Addison Harvey – Virginia Interview by Claire Plath Nomination by Jamie Harvey Photography by Mike Gillette Photography - Dance Hope Cure Issue 36 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
The Nomination: Addison Harvey is a passionate teen with an incredible work ethic and loving personality. She puts forth hard work in everything she does, dancing up to 20 hours a week while using her passion to help manage her schedule and strong academics. Addison has anxiety which can pose challenges; however, she has learned to use her strengths through dance and school to overcome difficult situations. We are extremely proud of her as she advocates for herself and others in similar situations. Her kindness and heart come through not only in dance but also through the ways she treats others.
Photography by Mike Gillette Photography - Dance Hope Cure
What inspired your passion for dance, and how has dance helped you in different areas of your life? I started dancing at the age of 2½. I have loved it ever since. Dance has helped be me in so many aspects of my life. I have been able to use dance as a place to thrive away from my anxiety.
How have you dedicated 20 hours per week to dance while also managing your schoolwork? I use the study hall to get some of my school work done. I also get my school work done in a few hours that I have between school and dance. I use schedules and agendas to make sure that I plan out my entire day, from when I get my school done, to when I have dance. I also make sure to do my work on any breaks that I can get.
What challenges have you faced through having anxiety, but in what ways have you overcome them? There are times when my emotions overwhelm me due to my anxiety and it makes me feel like shutting down. Initially, I would have outbursts that could be hard for others to understand, however, in working with my counselor I have gained tools that help me deal with those situations and remind me of how to center myself. Breathing deeply and taking time away helps me calm myself and regain my perspective of the situation.
Photography by Mike Gillette Photography - Dance Hope Cure
Tell me a little bit about how you pursue to help those in need through helpful causes. I have done three photoshoots with Dance Hope Cure. DHC is an organization that raises money for dancers with cancer. I love to do the shoots with them because I get to know dancers with cancer and am able to listen to their stories and be and advocate for them. It is awesome to be there for them and be able to donate my time and earnings to a really good cause. Also personally I spend time getting to know other kids with similar challenges. I really love to share things that help me but also to make sure that each of them understands they are not alone.
How does your kindness and positive personality shine through how you treat others, and always volunteer to help those in need? I make sure that I treat others how I want to be treated. The golden rule. If I was having a bad day, I would want someone to cheer me up. Or if I wanted to be respected then I would want someone to respect me. One day I noticed a boy in my school eating by himself, I understood how that felt and so I made sure I went and sat with him to keep him company and make sure he knew I was there for him. I had the support of my teachers which was awesome as well. I knew we were both supported and it felt great.
What is the hardest thing you’ve ever accomplished, and how did you do it? I know this may sound really silly but getting my round-off back tuck (Cartwheel landing with feet together then doing a back flip). I was able to get it because of my amazing teachers helping me and my dedication to getting it. I practiced every day to get it. One day, everyone in my tumbling class was getting a skill that they had been working on. I thought that if everyone else can do it then why can't I? So I asked my teacher, Mr. Noel, to see if he thinks I was ready to do it. He said he thought I was ready, so I tried it even though I was really nervous. I did it and I felt great about it. It taught me that even when I am not confident in something, trying to achieve it will be more successful than not trying.
Photography by Starquest
What advice would you give to someone who wants to be where you are today? If you want to reach a high level of dance, sport, or academic you have to have a positive outlook on it. If you say you can’t, then you will probably end up not being able to do it. Yes, there will be ups and downs, but you can’t let those define you. If I let what others said about me or if I let those negatives define me, I wouldn’t be where I am right now. Oh and also remember that if you aren’t able to do it the first time, then try again the next time when you have a chance.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years/what are your plans for the future? “Where do you see yourself in 5 years/what are your plans for the future?” is a really hard question to answer. I don’t want to rush life. I am only 13. I don't want to make plans for my future self. I was put on this earth for a reason and I just don’t know that reason yet. God has a plan and I will follow that plan. I just don’t want to be rush that plan. But I will say this. In five years, I can see myself graduating from High School and applying to college. In five years I hope to be the best part about everyone that I care and love for.
What is your favorite activity or pastime that wasn’t in your nomination? I love to watch Grey's Anatomy from ABC and research medicine especially Multiple Sclerosis (MS). My grandfather passed a few years ago due to MS and some other complications. All I know though is that, if he were here today he would be so proud of me and what I have done. I miss him every day. You don’t realize what you have until you don’t have it.
Do you have a hidden talent? What is it? Yes. I am double jointed so I can do weird things with my fingers. I also can put my legs behind my head and rock up and down. :)
If you could publicly present any topic to a group of your peers, what would it be and why? Kindness and how far it goes. I was bullied a lot last year and it was because someone thought that it would be okay to take the bullying to Instagram. I think that people just don’t understand how important it is to be kind. You never know what someone might be hiding or dealing with at home or school. Like my old principal used to say, “We expect you to treat your fellow students with respect and kindness because we never know what may have happened before coming to school or last class.” One small drop of kindness can change someone's entire day.
3 Things on your bucket list Meet Misty Copeland Dance with the American Ballet Theater Be in the Radio City Music Hall Nutcracker
Who do you find inspiring? Misty Copeland and all of the people around me.
What about you inspires others/why do you think you are inspiring? I think that I am inspiring because of some of the things that I have/am going through because I think that telling parts of my story to others can make them see that if you persevere and keep going, it will be worth it.
Anything else you’d like to tell us? Thank you for this opportunity.
Addison will be featured in issue 36 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!