Dance empowers me. It empowers me mentally and physically. The feeling that is exerted throughout my body is unexplainable. No matter how corny it sounds, dance makes my life complete.
I am thankful that my parents started me in dance because I was an energetic child in need of an outlet; they honestly had no idea at the age of three that I would take it this far. The journey I have gone through to get to where I am today is insane. I have gone through personal hardships, countless injuries, switching studios, failure after failure, and bits of success. I fell in love with competition dance when I started at the age of five. I then continued that journey for the next ten years of my life. To say the least, the reality T.V. shows aren’t far from the drama dance competitions exhibit. I have a million never ending competition stories from competition, bad and hilarious. All ranging from the time I didn’t wear proper spanx under a costume to when drama between dance moms went down. No matter how much sanity I lost, I still loved competition.
Eventually, I had to further my dance training and become more serious. Is this really something I want to do for the rest of my life? I wasn’t at the technique level I needed to succeed in a college program. Not going to lie, I was not the star since I was little. I definitely had to work hard. I wasn’t the kid who naturally could put their leg at their head or could bend all the way backwards to the floor without even trying. I was the tall kid in the back that didn’t get the cool solo parts in the dances. I wanted to change that so I stepped up my game. Slowly but surely I began to understand what hard work meant and what I needed to do to succeed.
Like 90% percent of the athlete pool, I have had injuries that have gotten in my way. I have had little injuries such as breaking my thumb twice, a concussion, sprained tendons in my shoulder, and sprained ankles. I have also had more serious setbacks. I have had major jaw surgery and I currently have two broken feet. I had major jaw surgery in 2012 where the broke my jaw, cut out pieces of my top bone and have latched and screwed it together. It was a major set back in my training because of the recovery time, but that didn’t stop me. Now currently I am dealing with both of the Sesmoid bones in my feet are broken. The way my bones are structured and the over use overtime from dance has caused them to create a cleft. I have been put in a boot for over six weeks and have received three cortisone shots in both feet. The next step is to inject amniotic cells into my feet and then be put in a cast. This is becoming a critical time in my dance career and I wont let another bump in the road stop me and when I am recovered I will work and progress even harder.
I am currently attending Indiana Ballet Conservatory, a pre-professional ballet dance studio under the training of world-renowned Russian ballet dancers. It’s honestly surreal when I think about how one of my teachers was named World’s Best Dancer in Moscow in 1991. I then began taking better care of my body. I work out, attend yoga and Pilates, and dance six days a week. I have been a vegetarian for a few months now to go to the next level with my health. I am a junior in high school ready to begin my search for colleges. I have begun interest with the University of Arizona, Fordham, Point Park, and Marymount in Manhattan. I will soon begin auditioning for summer programs in the beginning of the year for programs such as Point Park, Lines Ballet, Hubbard Street, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Alvin Ailey, and many more. This past summer I spent six weeks at Alvin Ailey studying dance. It opened my eyes to what it could be like in the real world. My mother asked me if this was really what I wanted, to pursue dance in college and live out my life with dance, and I told her I couldn’t imagine not having it in my life. Not having that feeling I get when I hit a five pirouettes or the emotions flowing through my body when I interpret a contemporary dance with my own movement. My life wouldn’t be complete.