If you’re looking for Kendall or Payton Meuwissen, chances are they’re in a dance studio.
That practice has paid off. Earlier this month, Kendall was third runner-up at the Miss Dance/Drill Team USA competition in Irvine, CA, and also won the award for best dance technique. Payton, 9, placed first at the Little Miss Dance/Drill Team USA competition.
For the Meuwissens, dancing isn’t a chore—it’s a part of life they love.
“I like that (with) dancing there’s all these different kinds of dance and you can improv so you can do your own dancing that you want,” Payton said. “Dancing makes me feel happy. When I’m sad, I just dance and I’m all better.”
Still, it’s no easy matter to place so high in a competition against girls from across the country and Japan. The competition began with a solo, a skills demonstration and an interview.
“You do some turns, you do your flexibility, your leaps—whatever makes you unique you want to showcase that so that way the judges can remember you and you stand out,” Kendall said.
Judges then winnowed the competitors down to the top 10 and then the top five before announcing the winners.
“I knew there were some really good girls, and once they said my name I was really excited that I won because I didn’t know that I ever would,” Payton said.
But the Meuwissens have no shortage of dancing experience themselves. Kendall has danced for 14 years, and Payton has danced for seven.
“I love to dance. I love that it’s like a physical release and you can also express your emotion while doing it,” Kendall said. “It’s just like become my life. Everything revolves around dance.”