The following story was submitted by Grace G. from CYT Fredericksburg. for our 2016 My CYT Story Contest.

A HYPE retreat helped Grace find her path again. *photo courtesy of CYT Fred's webpage
A HYPE retreat helped Grace find her path again. *photo courtesy of CYT Fred’s webpage

My CYT story could go on for ages, as would be expected for someone who is going into their 13th show and has basically grown up at CYT. My life has pretty much been God, Family, School, CYT. Period. To say my family life is CYT isn’t a figure of speech, everyone in my family is involved or has been involved with it at some point, and CYT has grown my family so much closer. My CYT life started a little differently than most. My older sister joined CYT when she was 14, and I was the typical shy 9 year old little sister that was on a swim team and thought that all those crazy theater kids were way too loud. I would just hang out in the makeup room bored out of my mind. But my mom dragged me to every show my sister was in, and I slowly started to adapt to the crazy people I now call my best friends. Yeah they were crazy, and awkward, and extremely loud, but they were pretty cool.

I remember one publicity event CYT had when my sister was playing Jasmine (in Aladdin). I was sitting in the corner booth of the Chick-Fil-A with my brother, when the magic carpet came over to give us a flyer for the show. We had a laugh and explained our sister was in the show, we talked for a while and then she asked if I wanted to come with her and help hand out flyers. I remember how much fun I had hanging out with her all night, and to this day she is still one of my best friends.

Well a season of shows later I had miraculously become friends with a bunch of these crazy theater people! And they convinced me to do a show! Me, my two brothers Nathan and James, and my sister Sarah all auditioned for CYT’s 2010 Production of A Christmas Carol and enrolled in CYT classes. I was enrolled in a “So You Think You Can Dance!” class and discovered that I wasn’t too bad at the whole dancing thing, I was super clumsy and fell a lot! But I absolutely loved it! At 10 years old, I decided that this was my thing. I dropped out of the swim team I was on and joined as a full time crazy dancing theater kid!

I continued to do every show I could and took CYT classes every season, all which were dance classes, for two years. And then CYT Fredericksburg opened their dance studio, Dance in the Light! I was so excited! It had dance classes of all styles Monday-Thursday, and a Competition dance team. I auditioned for the team as soon as I could! I was on the dance team for the next 4 years, and absolutely loved it, and some of my closest friends are from being on the team.

Fast forward a couple years, I’m starting high school. Which at the time I didn’t know would be one of the hardest years of my life so far. I found myself in a very bad place, I was surrounded by girls who were not good role models, and were pressuring me to try, do, and say things that I knew were not right. But I didn’t think much about it, and I just thought it would fade with time. Unfortunately it didn’t and I found myself giving into the pressure at some points and falling farther away from my relationships with my parents, my siblings, and Christ. There were about 6 month of my life that I didn’t talk about it. I made myself believe that it was okay, that there wasn’t anything to talk about, and I didn’t need help from anyone, not even God. But then our CYT started a HYPE. And I joined. Our HYPE went on a retreat for a three day weekend, and that’s when I found it, the need for Christ again, the need for help, the need for a change in my life. I vividly remember the first time HYPE lead worship before rehearsal the weekend after our retreat. Because that was the day I asked God to help me again. And He did. He changed my life, He flipped it back around, and the people in our HYPE helped. I now have a very strong relationship with Christ, my mom is my best friend and I tell her absolutely everything, and I have the best friends a girl could ask for! Sure my life isn’t perfect, no one’s is. But I’m in a very good place, and the people of CYT helped me to get there, and I couldn’t be more thankful! I’ve danced in many CYT productions, I have been Assistant Choreographer for two productions, and CYT has helped me find my passion for teaching and choreographing dance, which I plan to attend college for in the years to come. CYT is my family, and my home. I couldn’t be more thankful for the people of CYT and am blessed to call them my big, crazy, awkward family.

Do you have a CYT story to share? Submit it here!

*NOTE: DEADLINE for the 2016 My CYT Story Competition has passed. All submissions received after this point will be held for the 2017 My CYT Story Competition. 

DISCLAIMER: Though, all complete stories submitted will be forwarded to their respective area’s leadership for judging as part of the 2016 My CYT Story Competition, not all stories will be published on this blog. Likewise, having your story published on the blog does not guarantee that your story has been selected as a Regional Winner. 

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