• Amanda Vanderbeek

    Amanda Vanderbeek

    Class of 2012
    Ely, MN
    Elementary education

    Amanda's Bio:
    I grew up in the Twin Cities, but now live up in Ely, MN near the BWCA, where my family has been for the last 7 years. I have three brothers, who I adore, and I enjoy fishing, playing basketball, and rough housing with them whenever I can. My mom has been a daycare provider since I was born, which served as inspiration for me to pursue a degree in Elementary education. I also love to paint, draw, and DANCE! I have been dancing for twenty years and am a dance instructor in Superior, WI....I can't imagine a life without it!

  • Laura Salazar

    Bogotá, Colombia
    Marketing and Business Management

    Bryan Chavez

    Richfield, MN
    Accounting and Finance

    Shivani Singh

    Mumbai, India
    Management & Marketing

    Kathryn McCarrick

    Saint Paul, MN
    Elementary Education

  • Yael Ikoba-Ndjip

    Brussels, Belgium
    Accounting Major; Finance minor

    Jin Baek

    Aurora, CO
    Biology and Chemistry (Pre-Med)

    Laila Zemar

    Casablanca, Morocco
    Biochemistry, Biology and Pre-med

    Katelyn Gehling

    East Bethel, MN
    Exercise Physiology for Pre-Physical Therapy

  • Daniela Moreno Gomez

    San Salvador, El Salvador
    Computer Information Systems and Finance

    Shauney Moen

    Graduate Student
    Oak Grove, MN
    Doctorate of Physical Therapy

    Jason Chavez

    Minneapolis, MN
    Psychology, Organizational Behavior, and Social Work

    Neena Koslowski

    Apple Valley, MN

  • Malvern Madondo

    Harare, Zimbabwe
    Mathematics & Computer Science

    Brooke Elvehjem

    Mora, MN

    Conrado Eiroa Solans

    Madrid, Spain
    Psychology Major, Biology minor

    Takudzwa Munjanja

    Gweru, Zimbabwe
    Health Information Management, CIS minor

  • Halle Nystrom

    Graduate Student
    Fargo, ND
    M.S. Health Information Management

Getting Involved in Your Favorite Sports

I have been dancing from the time I was two years old, and one of my favorite aspects of dance has always been competing.  When I danced for a studio (which I did for about 14 years), I competed in competitions across the state of Minnesota against other studios, some of which I learned over time had pretty big “names” in the dance circuit.  Larkin, Fourth Street Dance Studio, Lorenz…and we were against many of them in every competition we competed in!  It always seemed to make us want to work that much harder and be as focused as we could be.  Our studio was very modern and trendy with makeup and hair, as well as having over-the-top showstopping costumes.  I typically performed in 4-5 routines per competition, and we had an elaborate costume for each!  Thinking back, I now appreciate just how much my parents spent to see me enjoy my talent when I was growing up.  That stuff isn’t expensive!

As I have gotten older, I still enjoy performing, but it has become much more small scale.  After you reach the age of 18, it becomes much more difficult to compete in the circuit (at least at a consistent level for everyone in the age group).  So, instead of performing competitively, I have learned to supplement a new activity in the circuit that almost reverses the roles of what I have experienced my whole life.  You guessed it.  I am now a competition judge.  To be honest, I love it!  It is no doubt an exhausting job.  You have to work and pay meticulous attention to routines for upwards of 9 hours with little time for food or a trip to the restroom!  However, it is one of the coolest positions I have ever taken on, and I now have more respect for the judges who came to my competitions as a young lady as I ever have!  The reason I thought to speak about this on this blog is because I had the opportunity to judge a competition yesterday (all day yesterday, in fact).  I judged at a competition over in Superior, and let me tell you, it is always pure joy to watch new routines, see new and fresh styles, and see what “trends” are in the dance circuit for the current year.  I had a blast, the girls were amazing, and I saw some really awesome things to incorporate into my own dance class routines. 

I guess if I had to attach a “moral” for this blog, it would be that it really pays off to pursue your talents and favorite sports and activities, even when you can’t participate in them the way that you used to be able to.  There are so many ways to get involved, whether it is becoming a judge like me (of course, you need to be highly qualified…but if it’s something you have a history in, you probably will be), a referee, a coach or assistant coach, etc.  It pays to stay involved in what you love, so if you can swing it, do it!  You won’t regret it.

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