I took my first ballet class when I was three years old. After two weeks, I told my mom I wanted to quit. It wasn’t really my thing. In an attempt to dissuade my decision, my mother said, “Alright, but that means you won’t get to wear a pretty costume, and have your hair and makeup done.” That was enough to motivate me to finish out the year. Once I got on stage though, my motives changed. I felt an unexpected thrill when I stepped on stage. I remember spotting my mom with a big smile on her face. One of the greatest achievements to a three year old is making Mommy proud. That’s when I realized that one day, I wanted to be one of the “big girls” on stage. As I got older, I realized I wasn’t blessed with natural grace and poise, qualities that dancers always seem to have possessed since birth. I wasn’t blessed with 180-degree turn out or long, limber legs. At school, I had trouble making friends, and I was really insecure about myself. Coming to dance class provided an escape for me. When I dance, it’s like I’m on vacation. All of my worries just melt away. Sure, the other girls were better than me. Sure, they were probably judging me, but I didn’t care. I think that’s when I really developed my passion for the art of dance. When no one was there for me, the music and floor was there, waiting for me to press play and escape. Dance is never two-faced. It would never betray me, lie to me, or talk bad about me. With the support of my family and teachers, I have improved and grown as a dancer. Without dance, I wouldn’t be the person that I am. I wouldn’t have the confidence, determination, and work ethic that I have today. The Joffrey Ballet School is renowned for inspiring and developing brilliant, accomplished dancers since 1953. One day, I want to open up a dance studio for children with special needs. I want to give others the chance to dance, regardless of their condition, just as I was given the chance. If I was given the opportunity to attend Joffrey’s Summer Intensive, it would expand my knowledge and proficiency in the art of dance, and I would not take it for granted.

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