Brynn Mauthe has been dancing since she was 3 years old. And the Conrady Junior High School seventh grader has performed on some big stages over the years.
But none bigger than the stage on which she performed recently with a group of some 200 dancers from throughout the country. Brynn and the dancers performed during halftime of the Orange Bowl in Miami.
Close to 100,000 people attended the Florida State - Michigan game and millions others watched Florida State win 33-32. Those same fans were treated to an eight-minute dance performance that featured Brynn and 12 other girls from her Impact Dance Studio in LaGrange.
"It was so much fun to perform there," Brynn said. "That was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. And while it was a lot of fun, it was also very grueling."
She said the dancers woke about 4:30 each morning leading up to the performance, ate breakfast and hopped on buses to a convention center to practice their routines late into the afternoons.
Sherry Mauthe, Brynn's mom, said the family made a vacation of the experience. "We had never been to Miami," Sherry said. "We enjoyed ourselves. We went to the beach and collected shells. We were able to spend some time with Brynn while she was not practicing."
The dancers and their families also went on a dinner cruise.
Brynn has been dancing for 10 years. During that time she has been perfecting the art of tap, ballet, contemporary, hip-hop and lyrical dancing. She was a member of the Conrady dance team and choir last year but couldn't try out this year for the dance team because of conflicts with her dance studio schedule.
She said she hopes to pursue the performing arts (acting, singing and dancing) in high school and beyond.
Brynn said the experience will be one she will never forget.
"I'm used to performing in front of crowds, but never one this big," she said. "I admit I was a little scared when we started. But it got better once we started dancing."