Faith Longnight is a rising senior at South Eugene High School in Eugene, Oregon. She was initially introduced to ACT-SO by her brother, Simon Longnight, who competed in both the local and national ACT-SO competitions. After hearing about all of the amazing memories he created through the program, Faith could not resist the urge to try it herself. She does not regret her decision to join one bit and is thoroughly enjoying her experience thus far. She competed in the 2017 local Eugene ACT-SO branch competition in the Dance Contemporary category, where she won a gold medal for her dance piece titled, Rise Up. Due to her accomplishments at the local competition, Faith has advanced to compete at the national competition in Baltimore, Maryland this upcoming July!
Faith competed in the 2016 local Eugene ACT-SO branch competition in the Dance Contemporary category, and she received a gold medal for her piece. She then traveled to Cincinnati to compete at the national competition, where she performed her dance piece titled, She Used To Be Mine. Although her work was, unfortunately, not awarded with a medal that year, Faith is grateful for the experience and is excited to be back again this year to compete nationally.
Three Words to Describe Feelings about National Competition
Thrilled, scared and excited. Faith is thrilled about competing in this year’s national competition because, when she competed last year, she met so many wonderful people. She is looking forward to reuniting with the friends that she made at last year’s competition, while also creating new friendships this year. Naturally, she is scared about participating in the competition because she will be competing against some of the most talented students in the country. Although she is nervous, Faith knows that this competition is so much more than a bundle of nerves and fear. Lastly, she is excited to travel to Baltimore and take the culture, talent, and creativity head on.
Then vs. Now
At the 2016 national competition, Faith was terrified and allowed her anxiety to hold her back from being fully engaged at the social events and getting to know other ACT-SO participants. However, this year, she knows what to expect from the competition, and she plans on having a phenomenal experience.
Nerves & Excitement
Although she is going into this year’s competition with a more open mind, Faith is still nervous about meeting new people. She knows that everyone will be very nice and understanding; however, due to her introverted nature, being in large social environments makes her a bit anxious. She is looking forward to watching all of the talented students compete on a national stage and showcase the crafts that they have been working hard on all year. Faith also hopes to gain an authentic understanding of African-American culture as she will be surrounded by nothing by Black excellence and success at the competition. She has grown up in an accepting, yet quite sheltered, town, where she is rarely around a group of more than 10 African-Americans at once: “The culture is so much different than [what] I am used to, and I want to be able to experience it to the fullest at ACT-SO nationals.”
“Do it! For me, I always hold myself back from doing things that I’m unsure about. ACT-SO is something that, if you are on the rocks about it, just go for it, because, I promise, you will not regret it.” – Faith Longnight
We wish you the best of luck, Faith, in the 2017 national competition!