Dancers of Minnesota: Veda Schilplin

Favorite color: Ballet Pink

Veda Schilplin: Photo by @mattebphoto / #dancersofmn #mystorymn #mndancenews

Favorite show or movie: Hunger Games

Favorite beverage: Shirley Temple

Favorite game or sport (besides dance): Basketball

Favorite musicians: Ariana Grande, Britney Spears, Michael Jackson

When I grow up I want to be… I want to be a veterinarian and also a dance teacher.

When and where did you start dancing?

I started dancing at the age of 2 at a studio in Spearfish, South Dakota. However, I really fell in love with dance around the age of 7 when I took my first Jazz class with Miss Macy at Kids & Co. I will always remember dancing to Wind It Up by Gwen Stefani that year for our recital. I still have it on my Spotify playlist and can still break out the choreography to it!

Veda, Edie and Alexa: Photo by @mattebphoto / #dancersofmn #mystorymn #mndancenews

How has your style progressed?

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My favorite style of dance as a kid was Jazz. Now that I’m a bit older, my favorite style of dance is….still Jazz! Especially Jazz Funk! However, I also love Hip Hop and Contemporary now too. I’d love to gain more experience with Ballroom and Musical Theater because they are always so much fun at conventions. I enjoy being expressive when I dance and these styles really allow for that.

What do you love about dance today?

Veda Schilplin: Photo by Matt Blewett

Dance is a major part of who I am in so many ways. I express my emotions though dance and love that I can always find myself that way. I love dancing to funky, high energy songs because they make me feel happy and alive but I also love dancing to deeper, more emotional songs because they move me. There is a lot of dancing that happens right in my kitchen at home because I love doing Improv to my favorite songs for my family to watch. I love learning from the amazing instructors at Summit Dance Shoppe and from instructors at conventions and pop-up classes. I have learned something new from every instructor I have had the opportunity to dance with. There is no end to how much you can grow and evolve as a dancer, which I think is pretty cool. I also love and cherish the friendships I have because of dance. You go through so much together and spend so much time with one another that the bonds you form are really special. That’s why they’re called your dance family. Finally, there’s competitions! Competing is the greatest rush ever and its so much fun watch all of the other talented dancers perform too!

What are some challenges you have overcome in your dance career?

Learning to do my aerial was a pretty big challenge! It literally took blood, sweat and tears! I finally got it though and it is so much fun to do. Now I get to work on learning other cool Acro tricks for my dances.

Another challenge I went through was switching from a pretty small, but excellent, studio to one of the biggest and best studios in all of Minnesota – Summit Dance Shoppe. This was a little bit intimidating at first because I had always been in awe of the talent I saw from Summit at competitions and I wondered if I would be able to fit in. However, my experience at Summit has been simply wonderful and welcoming and I have learned a tremendous amount already from my new dance family.

What is a lesson you learned from the challenge above?

Through my challenges, I learned to NEVER GIVE UP and to practice, practice, practice – and it will pay off! I learned to go after my dreams and to NEVER SETTLE FOR LESS. I learned to be confident and to BELIEVE IN MYSELF and my ability. I learned to never compare myself to other dancers, only to the dancer I used to be. I learned to NEVER STOP LEARNING because there is always room to grow and improve.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

My tap teacher, Geoff Higgins, told me that whenever I learn something new in a dance class, I should take that new skill and apply it in all my other classes too. He said that this is how you get really good at all styles of dance, which is the key to becoming an excellent dancer.

Do you want to give a shout out to anyone?

Geoff Higgins of Summit Dance Shoppe, my tap instructor: Thank you for always believing in me and for helping me to believe in myself. You’re kindness and support has meant so much to me.

Mike Dietz of Summit Dance Shoppe, my jazz instructor: Thank you for always pushing me further and for making dance so much fun.

Summit Dance Shoppe: Thank you for creating such a wonderful space with the very best instructors for your dancers to learn from and grow with – we are forever grateful!