The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

Athlete Profile: Allison Young balances discipline and art

Valerie Pilipenko
Ballroom dancing is a sport meant for two people. Allison does her warmup routine without a partner, simulating being led by another dancer.

Pair sports like ballroom dancing and ice skating are often treated as an art, even though they demand a similar level of rigorous discipline and mental resilience as other sports. Allison Young, a sophomore at Carlmont High School who had been ballroom dancing ever since she was six years old, believes that despite misconceptions of dance solely being an art, it is also a sport in its own right.

“Ballroom dancing is both an art and a sport; dancing requires the physical training any athlete has. You need endurance and flexibility, but it is also an art because you have to express emotions, tell a story, and make it look effortless,” Young said.

Dancers like Young may make the sport seem effortless, but in reality, it requires many hours of training. Young comes into her studio three times a week and trains for more than six hours weekly.

In 2022, Young’s intensive training led to a knee injury, which persisted into the following year. Due to her partner’s significantly shorter height, Young would experience strain on her knees, which caused her kneecaps to give out and slide out of place. She dropped her partner as a result of her injury.

“It was just frustrating to me because it was a loss of motivation. Without a partner, I felt as if I had nowhere to go and no goal to reach. I felt like quitting, but couldn’t because dancing was all I have,” Young said.

Young learned a lot from ballroom dancing and has integrated her love for the sport int other commitments. In her spare time, Young not only teaches dance but also incorporates it into her community service hours and leadership roles, which highlight her extroverted and outgoing personality.

Allison always has a smile on her face and is always nice and supportive whenever she comes into the studio. She goes out of her way to help me practice dancing, sometimes even following my steps without knowing my routine.

— Dylan Soo Hoo

“Ballroom dancing is a sport where you have to work closely with your dance partner,” said Alex Dubovyk, Young’s teacher. “Back when Allison had a partner, they worked well together and didn’t get into disagreements. Practices would always go smoothly because she knew when to say something and when not to. Due to her communication skills, she and her partner worked well together and made a lot of progress on their dancing.”

Her hard work and effective communication with her partner eventually led to her successfully earning a top 20 ranking in the United States National Amateur DanceSport Championships.

When asked what her biggest piece of advice was for aspiring dancers, Young said, “You have to be consistent, you have to have a good mentality, and you can’t let other people get to you, no matter how bad you are. You have to be consistent, keep practicing, and keep dancing. It doesn’t matter how late you start; it matters how much work you put into it.”


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