Jada Winston: recovering from surgery and finishing on top

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Jada Winston for Dancers of Minnesota. Photo by Matt Blewett

Jada Winston danced for the Wayzata Dance Team and graduated in 2019. Through the many ups and downs she wrapped up her high school dance career she has persevered and wrapped up her career by winning both the MSHSL Jazz and High Kick tournaments. It was especially powerful as 2019 wrapped up the storied career of Wayzata coach Leslie Swiggum as well.

Jada Winston for Dancers of Minnesota. Photo by Matt Blewett

We hope you enjoy the Q&A from Jada and make sure you check out her classes at Dance Esteem.

When and where did you start dancing?

When I was almost 3 years old, I started dancing at The Dance Shoppe which is now called Summit Dance Shoppe. I loved everything about dancing (especially the costumes), but what really kept me dancing throughout the years are the people. I will cherish the friendships I made through dancing forever.

Jada Winston for Dancers of Minnesota. Photo by Matt Blewett

How has your style progressed?

As I got older and joined my high school dance team, I got a lot more comfortable and confident when performing contemporary. My style of dancing hasn’t really changed over the years. I have always had a strong love for hip hop and jazz.

What do you love about dance today?

I love dance because I am able to express any emotion through the dance. You can dance on a good day, and a bad day. I am lucky enough to teach dance now, and the best part is seeing smiles on my students faces.

Jada Winston for Dancers of Minnesota. Photo by Matt Blewett

What are 1-2 challenges you have sustained in your dance career?

My biggest challenge in my dance career has been injuries. In my sophomore year of high school, I had knee surgery.  The doctors removed the patellar fat pad and plica from my left knee, which left me very weak and required many hours of rehab to regain the strength in the leg. My team was instrumental in keeping me motivated through the recovery and I returned even stronger than I had been.  In my senior year, dancing for Wayzata, I fractured my right calcaneus, which set me back, and yet again my teammates rallied behind me and were the wind in the sails that propelled my recovery.

Jada Winston for Dancers of Minnesota. Photo by Matt Blewett

What is one or two lessons learned from the challenge above?

I learned a lot about being a great teammate. Because injuries sidelined me during practice, I had to put in extra time in the gym to make sure that I could contribute when I came back. I didn’t want to let my team down, I also wanted to prove to myself that I could do it.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

Jada Winston for Dancers of Minnesota. Photo by Matt Blewett

The best piece of advice I’ve ever received is from the head coach of the Wayzata Dance Team, Alyse Iorio, to keep my shoulders down in my turns. I will never forget the day that it clicked, and I figured out how to execute turns with my shoulders down, it only took two years of the repeated reminders. After that, I felt unstoppable.

Do you want to give a shout out to anyone?

I would like to give a special shout out to my sister Ella Winston. Being able to dance with my sister on Wayzata Dance Team was a true blessing and an indescribable feeling. I will forever be grateful for how much of a support she is to me.

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