by Tara Moore
“Enthusiasm is like a ripple in the water, it spreads!” One of my favorite aspects of this program is the sense of community that it brings. At nationals this past summer I was often told, “Once you get involved in this program, you never seem to leave!” This has proven true not only for me but for my family as well. This past weekend I had the privilege of attending a local program held in Blacksburg, SC. I was able to perform as entertainment during intermission and speak about my journey as the current Distinguished Young Woman of America. I was absolutely thrilled to be back on stage and perform my nationals routine for the audience. As a college student, I do not always get the time to perform and miss my days as a competitive dancer, so this opportunity brought me so much joy. In addition, I was able to share some of my unique experiences in Mobile and the anticipation of the 60th national finals that will be held this summer. I truly had a blast attending this local program and seeing several familiar faces!
There is no doubt I had a ball at this event, but I wasn’t the only one from the Moore family grinning ear to ear. My dad was also involved in the program as a judge and absolutely loved it! He had previously judged a local program held in Greenwood, SC, and this was his second opportunity to “showcase his skills” as he would say. He was the only male judge and gave valuable input for all of the contestants. After watching me grow up as a performer on stage and gaining familiarity with the DYW program itself through my experience, there is no doubt he is credible to take on this task. He enjoyed the interview process as he had prepared questions on a variety of topics, and of course loved the talent and fitness portions as he can relate to my training leading up to the DYW competition. My dad has always been invested in my dance training and I’ve always called him the “ultimate dance dad!” I am now glad that the DYW program has allowed us to share another special bond through giving us a way to both participate.
After attending this local program, I was reminded of just how thankful I am for the DYW program and all that I have gained through my journey. I have been blessed with a title that has allowed me to make a difference in my community, pursue my passions, and spend time with my family that only seems to grow! I have met so many people throughout this process that have guided me and shaped me into the person I am today. I am thankful for the relationships I have developed and the once in a lifetime opportunities I have been given. This program has been so enjoyable for me and my family, and I could not be more grateful!