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The Gift of Dance

Girl Scout Nicole Frazzini launches Project D.A.N.C.E. and helps girls build self-esteem.

Nicole Frazzini discovered the joy of expression through dancing at an early age. By the time she was 5 years old, the South County High School junior was already a competitive dancer.

“I was extremely shy as a child. … Dance allowed me to express myself in ways that I wasn’t able to when I was young. It serves as an outlet for me to unwind and reduce the stresses of everyday teenage life and I want to teach that lesson to as many young children as I can.”

—Nicole Frazzini

“I was extremely shy as a child,” Frazzini said. “Dance allowed me to express myself in ways that I wasn’t able to when I was young.”

She used that talent when she conceived of her service project for the Girl Scout Gold Award.

Last year, she launched Project D.A.N.C.E. “Dance Appreciation to Nurture Confidence through Expression,” and organized and ran a series of dance workshops for elementary school children.

Her goal was to teach young dancers “that committing to an activity like dance helps build long-lasting confidence and self-esteem,” she said. While researching her project, Frazzini said she learned that a root cause of teenage depression, low academic achievement and crime is often low self-esteem.

She also realized what an important role dance has had in her life and on her own self-confidence.

“Dancing serves as an outlet for me to unwind and reduce the stresses of everyday teenage life and I want to teach that lesson to as many young children as I can,” she said.

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Nicole Frazzini, a South County High School junior, receives a Girl Scout Gold Award for Project D.A.N.C.E. “Dance Appreciation to Nurture Confidence through Expression.”

Frazzini held three Project D.A.N.C.E. workshops, each focused on a single type of dance: Ballet, jazz and hip hop. She also organized a trip for the participants to see the Manassas Ballet’s performance of “The Nutcracker.”

On May 24 at New Hope Church in Lorton, Frazzini was one of 185 Girl Scouts from throughout the area to receive an award at the Precious Medals ceremony. The Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital, South Central Fairfax Association, presented the girls with Bronze, Silver, Silver Trefoil and Gold Awards.

The Gold Award is the highest honor earned by a select group of Girl Scouts who have demonstrated superior leadership, organization and a higher commitment to community service. Comparable to the Boy Scout Eagle award, the Gold Award projects cover a range of issues from anti-bullying campaigns and protecting the environment to building confidence and promoting healthy behaviors. The theme of this year's ceremony was “Taking Action to Make the World a Better Place.”

Frazzini said she could not have completed her project without the help of her “team of amazing volunteers,” including Windy Queen, director of HeartBeats Music and Dance and Nicole’s project advisor, Jamie Hartley, ballet instructor, Jane Hardiman, her friends and her parents, Paul and Maria Frazzini. Her mother, Maria, serves as leader of Troop 374.

“I hope through opportunities like Project D.A.N.C.E, more children will make the connection that committing to an activity that you love is not only fun, but it also helps build the confidence you need to be successful and to help get you through the challenging times in life,” Frazzini said.