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By , Brighton, CO

I believe in the power of dancing.

Dancing on pointe shoes is any little ballerina’s dream and it was mine when I was little too. Seeing the older dancers be able to go on their tip toes and appear so graceful was something I aspired to do. But, getting to dance on pointe shoes is something that isn’t easy. It takes years of training to obtain, mostly because of the safety issues. Even so, my little 5 year old self promised that someday I would be just like the older girls and dance on my toes. I am proud to say that I have kept that promise.

Keeping that promise though was no easy task. There have been many times when I have wanted to quit. I still remember one night in particular where I almost did quit. I was having a hard time with a new step on my pointe shoes and I remember I attempted to do the step for the hundredth time and all of a sudden felt an excruciating pain in my right pinky toe. I quickly took off my shoe and realized that the inside of the shoe was covered in my blood and my pinky toe was only halfway on. My toe nail had gotten snagged on the fabric on the inside of the shoe and when I went up on my toe, it ripped my toenail up.

I remember being so frustrated. Instead of succeeding I had received an injury that would be slow to heal. I sat down in practice the rest of that week because it hurt to even walk on my foot. I wanted to quit but I didn’t. I realized that the only way I was going to succeed was to learn from my mistakes, get back on my toes and continue to do what I loved. I am so glad I decided to continue to stick with it because it has made me a better dancer.

I believe in pouring your whole being into your passions. For the past couple of years I have gone to dance practice for more than 8 hours a week. I have devoted my time to something I love. My muscles are constantly sore, my dance bag always smells like sweaty feet, and I always come home from practice exhausted. Exhausted yes, but also happy and feeling better than when I left.

I remember when I was in middle school my mom would always take me directly to the dance studio if I was having a bad day because she knew dancing made me happy. It was like going into a warm car during a cold winter day or finally drinking an ice cold glass of water on a hot summer day. Dancing was refreshing and it comforted me when I was going through a hard time.

Dancing allowed me to clear my mind a not focus on anything but the beat of the music and the the movement of my body. It has helped me get through rough days. It has helped me make new friends and most of the friendships I have made through dance are some of the best relationships I still have today. It has helped me realize what I love to do and most of all, it has helped me be myself.

For this reason, I believe in embracing who you are and what you are passionate about. I used to be embarrassed that I danced and did ballet. Personally I thought people viewed “a ballerina” as a stereotypical little girl thing and I didn’t want people to look at me in that way.  But, over the past couple of years I’ve learned to embrace it. A dancer is strong and powerful. We are required to have perfect control of every muscle in our body, hold our entire body weight on just our toes, and be impossibly flexible, all while making it seem as though it’s completely effortless and I think that is something to be proud of.

I believe in the power of dancing, in the power of embracing who you are, and most of all in the power of devoting yourself to something you are passionate about.

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