My Dream of Becoming a Professional Ballet Dancer

At 13 years old, I was a little over 5 feet tall, a slight eighty»five pounds, supercilious, single-minded, and I could do 24 continuous pirouettes with my eyes closed Ballet, by nature, is a competitive sport The physical requirements are strict, the training starts young, and the technique requires a surfeit of dedication with little time to stop and take breaks when the stress of it becomes too much. So demanding is the regime that some parents loathe to even but their children through the intensity of it.

Naturally, I knew it was the dance for me. I was around 10 or 11 when] first noticed something off about my physical performance We were going through stretches before a lesson at the studio, and as a classmate grasped the bottom of my right leg during a back stretch, I had to press my mouth into my hands when i felt a dull, aching soreness wave its way through my lower leg.

At the time, it seemed like nothing—I’d had a lot of muscle cramps in my career, but when months (and then years) of this secret pain progressed to the point where I couldn’t manage to do a proper plie, I knew I had to face up to the fact that something serious was going on.

The doctors found the tumor when I was 14. It was benign, and non-cancerous, but it wrapped around the muscles of my calf in a way that prevented me from bending my leg. The orthopedists told me they would plan a surgery, and that afterwards l’d be in and out of physical therapy until I was “satisfied with the results of the operation.

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” The period of time following my diagnosis was a languid daze of doctor’s appointments, throughout which I watched my ballet technique and the dates for my pointe certification classes flutter past me with covetable gracer When they showed me the post-op MRI scans of my now recovered musclesiflimsy black papers that looked more like death certificates to my ballet career than a cancer diagnosis didiit seemed like this turn of fate had stolen away what was once the only thing important to me: a future as a professional danceri The first few months after my physical therapy ended, l was understandably in a rut when it came to what [would do next.

Was still casually dancing (out of love for the craft rather than out of aspiration for greatness in it,) but I began to realize that not having this single dream allowed me to shed the tunnel vision I‘d harbored since early elementary school. Maybe it was youthful eagerness or a more sinister pride that pushed me to believe that I had to be on top, but sometime during my tenure as a prima ballerina, I‘d started to put my life on the backburner for the sake of wanting success, Realizing that maybe it wasn’t my destiny to be the best dancer in the world allowed me to pursue my other interests, I had been neglecting the well roundedness that all students should have while they’re youngiand as amazing as it would have been to have danced principal at the American Academy of Ballet, I believe that my failure as a professional dancer both humbled my arrogance and pushed me try new things, things that l perhaps now love more than dancing, Being happy and successful didn’t mean being number one all the timer i suppose I needed to be dead last to fully understand that.

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My Dream of Becoming a Professional Ballet Dancer. (2022, Oct 27). Retrieved from

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