After a long five-hour bus ride to El Dorado, Ark., we pulled up to the gym where 180 little campers patiently awaited our arrival. Walking into that scene and seeing dancers and cheerleaders of all ages going crazy just at the sight of the four of us is what truly makes this job so rewarding.
Each one of the girls had matching coral tank tops emblazoned with the Camp DCC logo and bright metallic turquoise shorts. Arkansas was READY to dance. Jennifer, Robin, Amy L., and I started off the day by introducing ourselves and then asked all of the girls to join us on the floor for a fun warm-up dance. Every single face in that room lit up with excitement as they ran down to the gym floor.
Soon after a spirited start, we separated all of the girls into six groups to do "across the floor" techniques. One thing that never fails every camp is how motivated the campers get when they are asked to do their "sassy walks" across the floor.
Camp DCC is more than just learning a pom routine and a camp cheer, though. We talk highly about the acronym D.C.C. and what it means to us. We have a one-on-one moment with the campers that we call "World Class," where we talk about Dedication, Confidence and Community. It's really important for us to share with these young girls how to apply those qualities in dancing and in real life situations. Having dedication and confidence will get you through some of the toughest times in life.
In finishing up a long day of stretching, choreography, dance technique and even some fun games, we prepared all of our campers for their big performance. And as we got closer to show time, where family and friends could come in and watch what the kids learned, you could feel the eagerness flowing in the room.
Show time begins and the stands are full of smiling, enthusiastic parents. We come out in our sparkly iconic DCC uniforms and perform one of our favorite dances for everyone. Soon after, we have the campers perform the pom routine and cheer that they learned for all of the parents in the crowd. It's pretty incredible to watch these young girls feeding off the energy of the instructors and truly taking in everything we've preached all day.
One thing many people don't know is that I got my start through a similar situation. I was a camper myself when I was 17 years old living overseas on a military base in South Korea. Having the opportunity to meet the DCC in person and see the poise, grace and how each of them carried themselves is what brought me to Texas to audition.
Because of that, if there is only one thing I can accomplish as a member of this team, it would be to inspire at least one other young girl to go for her dreams, no matter if it's becoming a DCC, a doctor or a teacher.[embeddedad0]