An Unexpected Passion

The sound of the shoes against the floor, the music blasting through the studio, and the time and effort all for a short time on the stage to showcase all the work. Sophomore Colby Jackson has had a growing passion for dance since the first time he walked into Alicia’s School of Performing Arts four years ago for a musical theater summer camp his mom had him take. Since then he has made company and clogging team, and has been inspired by the owner of the studio, Alicia Howell.

Jackson has made many different memories from dance. His favorite memory from dance is one from the summer that he will never forget.

“I made clogging team over the summer,” Jackson said. “It was very stressful and I was very nervous because I had only had one year of clogging and I didn’t think I would make it. When I called the studio and heard my number on the answering machine, I jumped off the couch and screamed. It woke my mom up from a nap but I just couldn’t control my excitement.”

Jackson has also had some embarrassing moments from dance. He’s fallen in practice many times when everyone was watching and blacked out at his first competition, causing him to mess up in the hip hop dance. He has his off days where he can’t get the choreography right but certain moments stand out to him.

“I remember this one time we were in class and it was dead silent,” Jackson said. “We were working on the dance when I got a cramp and ended up screaming really loud and it was really high pitched. Everyone looked at me and started laughing but I ended up laughing with them. Most recently I got caught in the curtain when I was going off the stage at the Miss Benson Pageant. I ended up falling when I got to the side of the stage. Luckily it happened when I was backstage again so the audience couldn’t really see it.”

Jackson shared some advice for performers. He learned this advice first hand after he had a very awkward moment at competition.

“Make sure if you wink, that you wink at someone of the opposite sex,” Jackson said. “At a competition I accidentally winked at a male judge. We made eye contact and it was really awkward.”

Jackson has a love for performing but there is a certain style he likes to perform over others.

“I love performing jazz because you can just smile,” Jackson said. “You don’t have to worry about your facial expressions so much and can just focus on performing the dance.”

Jackson has a lot of inside jokes from dance. His favorite involves the floor in the very back room in the studio where he took his very first dance class.

“It’s the tape’s fault,” Jackson said. “If we messed up, fell out of a turn, or if anything happened we would always say it’s the tape’s fault. We could always blame it on the tape and the teachers would always buy it because they knew the struggle of getting caught on the tape.”

Jackson sees both the good and the bad in dance. He loves seeing what becomes of him at the end of a season after eight months of working hard. At the same time, he could do without all the injuries he has suffered from dance and believes that there will be more in the future.

“I love putting in the hard work and seeing the outcome,” Jackson said. “But I don’t like all of the injuries. Everything from the blisters and bloody toes caused by one too many toe stands to having a messed up hip. And sometimes the people can get annoying. There are some that don’t care and don’t pay attention.”