The Road to Recovery

Dancing through Senior year with a major setback


Photo Provided by: Lauren Gregory

The Cypress Woods Crimson Cadettes preforming in Hawaii.

Senior year – the bittersweet time of enjoying the last football games, prom, dance competitions, and creating unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime. Senior year is considered to hold some of the best times of a person’s life, but throwing a serious injury into the mix might just change everything

“It all started off good with football games, and being a senior is super fun,” Senior Mackenzie Hammonds said. “Then, I fractured my ankle.”

Senior Mackenzie Hammonds had it all; a spot on her high school drill team, a leadership position in the National Charity League, the opportunity to teach dance at her local dance studio, and the time to be involved in many other organizations. Then, midway through her senior year she suffered from a major injury, while training for drill team.

“I was just trying to improve myself, but it just ended up hurting me. So I had to sit out and I wasn’t allowed to dance,” said Hammonds.

Hammonds has been on the Crimson Cadettes, her high schools’ drill team, for three years. Being involved in Cadettes allowed her to create close relationships with her teammates, who supported her through her time being injured.

“It’s like a family bond,” Hammonds said. “ Others supported me a lot.”

While her team supported her, Hammonds also supported them at every practice and competition.

Hammonds said, “I still had to go to contest [competitions], so I had to lug the boot around all day and cheer for my team.”

Although Hammonds was not allowed to dance, she still supported her team and helped them in different ways than just dance.

“I could feel the energy they were giving off, but I wasn’t able to contribute. I wanted to be able to help the team, but I just wasn’t able to. I had to find different ways to help the team besides dancing,” Hammonds said.

Drill Team Director Lauren Gregory expressed how Hammonds still helped the team, while being hurt.

“I think she found an inner teacher in herself because she ended up still helping people when she was hurt. We would run a dance and she would be the first one to be like, ‘make sure you’re doing this’ to the girl who took her spot,” said Gregory.

While in recovery, Hammonds experienced many obstacles when dealing with her fractured ankle.

“Recovery was super hard because you weren’t allowed to do anything. Even though you wanted to take the boot off and walk around and have fun, you weren’t allowed to,” Hammonds said.

After two months of not being able to dance and having to sit out of the competition season, Hammonds finally recovered and got to dance with her team once again.

Hammonds said, “Being able to dance again was such an amazing feeling, it just makes you appreciate it more than before.”

In the end, Hammonds reflects on her time being injured in a positive light, despite it seeming like a negative experience.

“The bad times taught me how good the good times are,” Hammonds said.

Over the past three years Hammonds has gained a lot from being a Cadette and it has changed her into who she is today.

Hammonds said, “Cadettes changed me because it gave me like such a great support system. I gave me such amazing role models, like my directors. It really helped me find a good group of friends.”

Being a Senior, Hammonds is optimistic about her future and already has plans for college.

“My plan is to go to Texas Tech and major in education and minor in dance. So i’m going to keep dancing there in their dance department. My goal is to be a drill team director,” Hammonds said.