A trio of childhood friends who grew up around the Santa Clarita Valley dance community are now together again as teammates for San Diego State University’s dance team.
Brianna Rice, Madison Connors and Dominique Singer had all been dancers for several studios in the SCV since they were kids, and although they attended different high schools, the bond created by dancing never separated them.
“They learned dedication, time management, and self-confidence, for sure,” said Madison’s mom, Erin Connors. “Because you got to get up on that stage and perform teamwork, persistence. They learned all of those things that kind of stemmed into academics and life skills and that’s kind of what dance taught.”
What makes the Santa Clarita dance community unique is its competitiveness, according to the trio, an attribute that prepared them for collegiate level — where the competition is just as good, if not better, than you are.
“There’s some tough times we go through to prepare for nationals,” said Madison. “In January, we had just came back from nationals. But to prepare we used our entire winter break that we have off of school and we practiced from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every single day to prepare for nationals. So it gets to like, day 19 where we’re barely alive. We’re trying to push through but having your best friend by your side doing the same thing with you and pushing you to be the best, to me, is so special.”
The SDSU Dance Team finished second in nationals, but the girls said having each other was one of the things that helped them get there.
“I honestly would say the friendships I made really helped along the way. I know most people switch or stop continuing their sport after high school or even after elementary school, but the connections I made really helped me continue it and it was something I looked forward to,” said Rice. “It’s a passion of mine and being able to have a best friend since I was 3 years old ’til now, it’s crazy.”
Learning lessons that can be taken with you for the rest of your life, while your best friends are doing the same, is something they all said was what pushed them to achieve greatness.
“I would just say dance has really just taught me so many valuable life lessons, and even just forming relationships that I brought with me in college and same with Maddie and [Rice] that I’ve just been growing up with my whole life,” said Singer. “It’s nice to just have those kinds of relationships with you all the time.”
Although they’re all in different years at SDSU, their bond since childhood remains strong and, according to them, most likely always will be.