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Picture 11My daughter has done all types of sports since she was 3 years old. She started out at that time taking ballet and tumbling along with playing soccer in the summer and swimming lessons. As she got older, she continued to dabble in a variety of sports, always sticking with dance. I let her add one variety of dance a year until she was taking all the classes her studio, Allegro Dance Arts, offers–ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, tumbling, urban jazz, hip hop and ultimate fitness. At the age of 13, she now dances 7 days a week, which includes at least 5 hours a day on Saturday and Sunday!

Wait a minute–I know some of you are thinking that dance is not a sport. Think about sports. Sports require skill and physical effort. Does dance require skill and physical effort? Absolutely! So are girls who dance athletes? Without a doubt. Dance is a sport, too.

Brid’s level of involvement has grown so high because she now does competitive dance (think Dance Moms without the drama). She competes in team pieces, duets and even solos. The benefits to Brid being an athlete extend beyond her physical capabilities. Girls who play sports on teams learn key teamwork and goal setting skills. Being part of the competition team, Brid has to sign a contract, committing to extra practices in and outside the studio, travel, participation and more. But most importantly, the contract highlights being part of the team and acting as such. Recently, one of my daughter’s hip hop pieces won 1st Place in their division:

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Another benefit beyond athletic ability is that girls who play sports perform better academically! You would think that, with Brid being at dance every weeknight and over 10 hours on Saturday and Sunday, school work might suffer. On the contrary! Brid has developed excellent time management skills, takes advanced classes and maintains high honors. You’ll find many young lady athletes to not only be strong physically, but be strong in the area of academics as well.

Practice and dedication are two vital factors to being successful in any sport. Whether your daughter’s sport is soccer, dance, or basketball, practice at home and with the team are key to being successful at that sport. Dedication and being part of a team are guiding your daughter into becoming a stronger female, both physically and mentally. It takes hours of practice and dedication before you can compete in your sport.

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I am beyond proud of my daughter’s athletic ability. We want to know how you empower your daughter to play like a girl! What athletic abilities are you proud of your daughter for? Join the conversation at http://www.verizon.com/playlikeagirl

Verizon FiOS gives your family the connection and speed you need to play with the big boys. Share your proudest moment of your daughter’s athletic achievements at www.verizon.com/playlikeagirl. You could be chosen to win a grand prize valued at $5,000!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Verizon. The opinions and text are all mine.