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HomeMaddie Owens

Maddie Owens 17 ~ Margaret Rylatt Scholarship

Dance has been an enormous part of Maddie Owen's life from her earliest days, and with each class her passion continuously grows.

In fourth grade, Maddie discovered her love of tap and now, a year from high school graduation, she plans to major in dance performance.

It’s difficult to explain exactly what dance does for her. Worries and doubts that come with high school just melt away as the music starts. She can be whoever she wants without being judged because who the audience sees is not Maddie, but a dancer. It’s a limitless art, and one she cannot live without. Any chance to explore dance and bask in the pure joy it offers is a chance worth taking.

Dear Dance Council;

I cannot even begin to thank you for the beyond-amazing experience I had in New York City at SLIDE. Within the first twenty minutes there were about ten new steps I had never even heard of, and the rest of the week held even more discoveries.

At first it was difficult to be around so many fabulous tappers, but I quickly became used to the immense talent. I was very proud to also discover that even with my lack of experience in the tapping world I seemed to place in the top half of the convention, which encouraged me even further.

The teachers were some of the most outstanding individuals I had ever encountered. Anthony was by far my favorite. I had had him before at the NUVO convention in December and knew I would adore him in NY, but being able to take classes of such difficulty in a smaller environment was honestly one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had. I videoed all his combinations on my phone so I can spend the many months needed to finally nail his choreography. Emily was another of my favorites. I’d never taken from her before, but she was very inspiring. She was extremely modest, (and for a person of her talent she had absolutely no reason to be), and her choreography was very rhythmic and challenging.

The improvisation classes were also one of my favorite aspects of SLIDE. I learned that you cannot place boundaries on yourself as far as steps, but that instead focusing on the actual rhythms and accents of the song creates a much freer and creative improv. This is still something I need to work on, but the two classes I took made me twice as good as I already was.

One of my favorite parts of dance is that I can and will always improve. This is also one of the most frustrating parts, but with intensives such as SLIDE where I grow exponentially in a little less than a week really help encourage me to keep trying even on those days where I can’t even muster a single pirouette. Especially since tap is one of my favorites, it was easy to shake off the frustration of ridiculous choreography and just relish in the fact that I was taking from some of the most talented dancers in the country and that I was growing beyond what I ever dreamed I could be.  

Again, I would have never even dreamed of doing any of this without your amazing scholarship. It was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity and I will never forget it. I’d also like to add that I felt Hoofin’ Crew really helped me on the road to becoming a better tapper. There were several standard steps everyone knew at SLIDE that I hadn’t learned until at Hoofin’ Crew, and this helped me keep up with everything. I truly had the time of my life and can’t wait to go back to the glorious NYC, but until then thanks again for this amazing opportunity. I will never forget it.

Much thanks,

~ Maddie Owens