En Pointe for success

Abby Dzikowicz

More stories from Abby Dzikowicz


Abby Dzikowicz

Meghan Brentana holds an attitude at the barre while warming up for the rest of class.

Backstage, anxiety’s high. The loud music is muffled by the thick curtains, making it sound like you’re underwater.

On autopilot, the heat from the stage light warms her skin. She stares into the abyss telling a story through movement. Meghan Brentana is home.  

“You get this feeling, like a high, it’s addicting,” Brentana said. 

Starting when she was six, Brentana’s Mother and Grandmother introduced her to her passion, dance. She’s continued with it for the past 12 years. 

Brentana has experienced mostly Russian ballet training, however, recently she got new teachers at her studio exposing her to classical, with a mix of Balanchine. 

Ballet is from all corners of the world, from Italy to Russia. With the wide variety of styles, it can be difficult to comprehend, as well as intimidating for the general public to fully appreciate it. 

“I love the challenge though, it’s so rewarding, but dance is thought of as this cute dainty thing, but it’s really badass. People don’t realize that not only is it physically hard but mentally as well.” Brentana said. 

For years, people have argued over whether dance should be regarded as a sport or an art. 

“I consider dance an art, but that’s not to say it’s not difficult,” Brentana said.

Dance has a lot to do with acting. There’s so much more to it than performing and looking elegant. 

 “People think dance is easy when they watch it, because that’s our job, to make it look easy. It’s as if you took the physical strain of football but were told to make it look pretty,” Brentana said. 

Dance as a whole is often undervalued because of dances’ delicate presentation. They don’t consider the hours of rehearsal and conditioning your body has to go through. 

“It’s about how much rotation you have, your foot arch, bone size, all things that are out of your control. You compare yourself to other dancers,’” Brentana said. 

However, dance is something Meghan loves. 

Dance has given Brentana many opportunities, like traveling. She has gone to Kansas City Ballet School where she trained over the summer. After, she was invited to stay for her freshman year of high school. 

Spending time away from family and friends is a weird adjustment for many including Brentana. But being independent and away from home allows you to become mature from experience. 

When she moved to Kansas City, she stayed with a host family. Dancing all day and doing Grand Haven’s online school. 

To find opportunities like these it’s about knowing people. Whether that be friends or family. 

“When I went to visit family down there, my mom and I went to see the company. Somehow I heard about the summer program and thought ‘Oh my god, I need to do this,’” Brentana said. 

Many dancers hold this level of commitment year-round, which is where dance differs from sports. There aren’t seasons or breaks. The physical strain and dedication is underappreciated. 

Brentana hopes that more people will go to ballets and indulge themselves in the world of dance. 

Although Brentana doesn’t plan to pursue dance as a career, she has been presented with many opportunities and hopes to take classes throughout college. 

“I’ll be an 80-year-old woman standing at the barre doing my pliés,” Brentana said.