August 19, 2010 at 10:01 a.m.
But, when Jessica Johnson takes the stage, it's a lifelong journey on display for all.
Johnson, who is only a sophomore at Chisago Lakes High School, has been a part of the Kaleidoscope Dance team for 10 years.
The 15-year-old has been at the studio for so long that it has become a part of her. "It's a huge part of my life," she said. "Dance is everything to me, so the studio is basically my home."
Johnson has said she has learned a ton of life lessons from the studio, including better responsibility, as well as being more mature, even at such a young age.
"I think she really does help with the younger dancers," Kaleidoscope owner Laura Moody said of her student. "The younger competition team watches her all the time and looks up to her."
With all those younger eyes on her, Johnson sets quite the example with her strenuous work routines and positive attitude. "She is a very modest person, but she works super hard. As hard as I've seen anyone work in this studio," Moody explained. "She makes it to every single class, no matter what."
Johnson's favorite class is lyrical ballet, which is a much more modern form of the dance art. It emphasizes expression over technique, and Johnson loves to express herself.
That devotedness to the sport earned Moody a very select honor this year. She was selected for the Dance Olympus VIP Tour, which is a traveling dance tour that brings only 13 qualified girls around the nation for a month and a half.
Johnson was a part of the tryout process in which over 1,500 girls performed in front of a panel of judges, but only 13 were eventually selected from the pool.
The tour brings girls around to do a mix of things. They do some competitions, but it's more like a summer camp tour where the girls go around and learn new dances from professional dancers.
One of the biggest obstacles that remains between now and next June 11, when the tour begins, is the fact that Johnson has to raise around $5,000 to go on the tour, but she is excited for both the challenge and the opportunity. "I just want to get the full experience of the VIP tour," the Lindstrom resident said. "I've talked to a few people who have done it before, and they've grown so much, and I just want to keep adding on to my future in dance."
Johnson said she was going to be with Kaleidoscope until she graduates, and she hopes to pursue a college degree with dancing and to have a career in the sport she has grown to love so much.
Moody has been the head of Kaleidoscope for just over seven years now. She grew up in the Chisago Lakes area and attended Chisago Lakes High School. She danced all the way through high school and into college at Mankato State.
At 21, Moody was presented with the opportunity to purchase Kaleidoscope, which had been in operation for 23 years before then. She jumped at it, and since she took over, the studio, which is now in it's 30th year, doubled in size. They have about 200 dancers each year at the Lindstrom location. There has been such a demand that just last year, Moody opened another Kaleidoscope branch in St. Croix Falls.
In Lindstrom, there is two full-time competition coaches and two others that teach once a week. Moody also counts some teacher/dancers among her ranks to help further the other girls' skills.
Commenting has been disabled for this item.