I stood out the back of Junior Nationals 2019. My hair was curled, my make-up was done, and my leotard was on. The room was filled with nerves, fear and excitement. Everybody around me was stretching. Everyone was aiming for first prize – that big silver trophy. It is every girl’s dream to take that silver trophy home. Secretly I knew I had cleared a little space for it.  You never know when it might come home with you and I had everything crossed.

I sat down and my mind drifted off. I started to think about what’s more important – getting a prize or getting better at Physie? Was I here at Nationals just for a prize? I thought back to when I first started Physie five years ago. I had a little giggle as I pictured myself dancing in my first ever competition. I thought my back was meant to look like a banana and that sticking my chest and bottom out was what I was meant to do. My yards were wonky and I couldn’t even do the splits.

Look at me now, I thought. Here I am at Nationals for the fourth time and all because I have worked hard at getting better at Physie. Week in and week out practising getting my positions correct, my posture correct and just trying to be a better version of myself. It’s not just because I want a prize. I thought about the start of the year when we first started learning our new dances. I was horrible. But each week I went to class, I listened to my corrections, I fixed my mistakes and I got better and better and better. You learn from your mistakes and if you fix them you are already better at Physie. My favourite quote is “Look in the mirror – that’s your competition!”

I thought about my Physie idol. When I grow up, I want my Physie to be as amazing as her. She dances with passion and from the heart. She is not dancing for the prize. When she was my age, she never won a prize at Nationals but I think about the trophy shelf she has now and that is all because she wanted to keep getting better at Physie. And she did!

I snapped out of my daydream the moment the Associate started to announce who made the finals. I took a deep breath and she called out number 48. Oh, wow – that’s me! I jumped up and got ready to dance. I wanted to win but most importantly I wanted to show the crowds, the judges and my teacher that getting better at Physie is more important than winning a big silver trophy. I wanted to show that I had become a better version of myself.

But just maybe next year it might come home with me…?!