At some point in childhood, somebody probably asked you, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Your answer may have been a football player, an astronaut, or perhaps even the president. Mine was always the same—I knew that I wanted to be a dancer.
Having started dance at the age of three, my childhood revolved around dance training. As I aged my passion only grew, and what started as an extracurricular activity became a career path by the time I was in high school. My dance training was not easy. My feet would blister and bleed from hours spent in pointe shoes; some nights I would come home and soak my muscles in an ice bucket while I finished my homework. The pressure of a high-intensity, pre-professional dance studio sometimes broke me, and there were multiple nights that I came home in tears, both physically and mentally exhausted. But I never considered quitting. Every time the going got tough, I would close my eyes and picture myself in the wings of my first professional performance. I told myself everything would be worth it when I finally reached my goal.