Madison Gunst - Judges' Choice September 2014

I am currently 18 years old and I have been dancing since the age of 3 and haven’t stopped since. My dance journey began at a local dance studio, with ballet and continued to study classical ballet, jazz and flamenco there up until my freshman year of high school. When I entered my freshman year of high school I began to branch out and immerse myself in other forms of dance, including hip hop and urban hip hop, but in my sophomore year of high school I began a year internship at Miami City Ballet. As I enter my freshman year at the University of Central Florida, I continue my passion in dance in all different forms and styles, while minoring in dance.

Although I haven’t competed in many competitions, the few that I’ve entered and won and not won, gave me a specific experience that sticks with me. For example being on stage at the NYC kpop dance contest, and hearing and seeing a good 100+ people watching me regardless of if they liked it or not was the best feeling in the world. My thoughts about the benefits of competing in competitions, are positive, based on how each one could be a learning experience on how to perform in front of crowds, to not be afraid, showing something that you are truly passionate about to many, and to be a more confident person in a competition or not. I haven’t participated in a competition as a group, yet, but this upcoming October I will. My advice I would give to other Kpop dancers trying to reach a level of accomplishment is to never give up and don’t be afraid to not just do covers of choreo, go out of the box and make your own and experiment with it. As cliché as it may sound it’s the best advice I could give.

The most inspiring person to me is my brother. He isn’t a dancer, but how he overcame his difficulties with school, his dreams and aspirations, gives me hope and shows me that, it truly does all work out in the end if you keep moving forward and never give up. My dance role models are Misty Copeland and Ian Eastwood. Not only do I love dance, but I also have a passion for sports (like basketball, soccer) and the arts, or anything that has to do with being creative. Even after completing college, I never want to give up dance, and hopefully one day teach ballet or hip hop classes all around the world and to perform on many stages including “World of Dance-LA and Orlando”. If the opportunity arises to be able to dance for a professional ballet company, I would love to jump at that chance as fast as I could.

I still can't believe it….

Once again, thank you!