Read “For the Dance” and answer the questions that follow.
1. I sat on the soft, brown couch in Jessica Nix’s living room. She was fixing us a glass of sweet iced tea. You know you are in Arkansas when you are offered sweet tea.
2. On the walls hung pictures of Jessica in her Southern Arkansas Strutter uniform
. Many girls in Arkansas start dance early to prepare
for the dance or drill
team at the high school and college level
. Jessica came back in with our sweet tea and caught me looking at her pictures.
3. Jessica: That picture was taken right
after we won our homecoming game. I will never forget
half-time. We did not make any mistakes during our show. We had so much fun.
4. Interviewer: How old were you when you started to dance?
5. Jessica: I was five, and I took ballet
6. Interviewer: Which was your favorite
7. Jessica: Tap because I loved the noise my shoes would make.
8. Interviewer: How did you feel the first time you were on stage?
9. Jessica: (Jessica laughs) I really don’t remember
. I think I was calm because I didn’t look nervous
at all on the video of the recital
10. Interviewer: When did dance start to become a challenge
11. Jessica: It really started to become challenging
when I was in junior high. I had more
practices and things became harder. Of course, I made it become more challenging
because I became serious
about it. I became more competitive
. I went from just doing dance to have fun to wanting to be good.
12. Interviewer: What did you do to become a better dancer?
13. Jessica: I stretched, stretched, stretched. That was the only way to improve
. I also practiced turns anywhere I could. My friends were on the dance team. So when we hung out we were practicing. It was fun for us.
14. Interviewer: How did you know you were growing into a better dancer?
15. Jessica: When I made All-American in the eighth grade
. I was really shocked that I made it. I was the only member of the dance team that made it.
16. Interviewer: What does making All-American mean
17. Jessica: All-American is a company that does dance camps and dance competitions. If you are noticed at these camps and competitions, you get a ribbon. Then you get to audition
dance teams. If you make it, you get to travel. I traveled to San Antonio, Texas. Once there, I had the chance to dance with girls I didn’t know. It was a great experience
18. Interviewer: Who inspired
you to dance?
19. Jessica: It was more of me wanting to do it, no matter
what anyone said. I used dance as an escape
from things in my life that worried
20. Interviewer: What is your favorite
form of dance?
21. Jessica: Lyrical is my favorite
form of dance because it is not as slow as ballet
or as fast as jazz
. The lyrical
form of dance tells a story. It also is a way to release
22. Interviewer: What advice
can you give young dancers?
24. Jessica Nix still loves dance to this day. She has passed her love for dance to her five year old daughter Elizabeth. Elizabeth performs tap, ballet
, and participates in competitions. Jessica teaches dance and yoga