Tiffany and Company Dance Studio was a place I called home for fifteen years, a place where I was never afraid to be myself, and a place that was way more than just a dance studio but a safe haven. Starting at the age of eighteen months, a woman by the name of Tiffany took me under her wing and taught me everything there was to know about the art of dance. She guided me through the hustle and bustle of the crazy competitive dance world for numerous years. Shimmering rhinestones, countless bobby pins, and loads of hairspray were the three necessities needed in order to survive in the dance world. Countless hours of actual blood, sweat, and tears were spent working towards May 25, 2016, the day I would have received my sixteenth year of dance award, along with being the cover girl. Unfortunately, this day soon became a figment of my imagination.
May 20, 2016 was the day my world turned upside down; it was the final rehearsal before the annual dance revue. My dance teacher, Tiffany, decided to add a new trick called an aerial to the choreography of my routine. Never in my life have I been able to do an aerial despite having attempted the trick multiple times in the past. However, Tiffany held a tremendous amount of faith in me. She knew that I would do everything in my power to accomplish any dance move she threw at me. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and dove into what I thought was the proper way to do an aerial; I landed head first into the hard wooden floor. My ears began ringing as all I could see was black dots.Tiffany had no sympathy and immediately asked me to do the trick again. After trying for the third time, I received the same horrifying results. However, this time I could not get off the ground. As I opened my eyes, an overwhelming sense of nausea consumed me.Soon the room began to spin, and tears filled my eyes. The only words my dance teacher told me, accompanied by a cold look in her eye, were, “Save those tears for your pillow.” She was not the same caring woman who I grew up knowing, but she had morphed into a harsh, distant stranger. At that moment, I got up and used every ounce of energy left in me to walk out of the room. As soon as I got into the car I became hysterical, and water gushed like a waterfall from my eyes. I explained to my mom what happened, and before I could stop her, she marched into Tiffany’s office and demanded to understand what had just taken place. While sitting in the car, I dozed off trying to ease the excruciating pain in from my head, and when I opened my eyes, I was lying in a hospital room. Confusion raced through my mind as I wondered why I was here. The doctor walked in and told me that I had a concussion. I was not too worried about this news until he stated that I was on the verge of internal bleeding in my brain due to the amount of times my head came into contact with the hard floor. After I finally got home, my mom came into my room, and I automatically had a sensed bad news was coming my way. My mom sat on the edge of my bed and tightly grasped my hand with tears in her eyes. The words that came out of her mouth were words that I had never expected to hear in my entire life. She informed me that once she went to speak with Tiffany earlier that day, Tiffany asked that I no longer return to Tiffany and Company Dance Studio. At that very second, it seemed as though my world stopped turning. My heart sank into my stomach and I was completely speechless. I thought why would the woman who I looked up, who had become an inspiration and a role model for me for so many years, do this to me. What did I do to deserve this? Fifteen years of ten hour practices, had one down the drain. I never got the chance to receive my sixteen year award and to see my face on the cover of my revue book. The day I have always dreamt of, the day that had only been five days away, had simply vanished, and I realized that my dream had been only a dream. It was a crushing and immobilizing feeling to be awakened from this dream, which had turned into a nightmare, and to find that reality was not nearly as glamorous and not nearly as fair.
Although May 20, 2016 was one of the worst days of my life, I did learn a valuable lesson. From this day on, I will always expect the unexpected. Through this experience I have grown into a stronger person by keeping my head held high even when the going gets tough. Never in a million years did I expect this to happen, but everything happens for a reason.