Why I Quit Ballet And What It Taught Me

Why I Quit Ballet And What It Taught Me

For all the dancers, pursuing, missing, or dreaming of ballet
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When I was four years old, I told my mom I wanted to take ballet classes. I never imagined myself fourteen years later still going to ballet classes daily. Ballet is an art that appears simple and graceful, but to those that know the pain of dancing, it is anything but simple. Everyday after school for the past few years, I would strive for perfection and spend countless hours in the studio. I danced for hours, examining every aspect of my body. Ballet caused me to look down upon myself. I never thought of myself as good enough. That being said, I always tried to hold onto the moments where I knew that all of the pain, anxiety, and exhaustion were worth it for those indescribable moments of absolute bliss. However, ballet is something that ends fairly early for most dancers due to injury. My whole senior year, I imagined myself finishing my last show and smiling under the heat of the bright stage lights. Instead, my finale was just like many other dancers.

Physically, I have a high tolerance for pain. But the pain of tendinitis in my ankle was more than I could endure. For months, I constantly soaked my ankles and feet in epsom salt and water. I would cry driving home because the pain was unbearable. Why couldn't I just walk away? What is causing me to keep hurting myself? I asked myself these questions but found no answer. Any dancer or athlete knows the difficulty of choosing between passion or practicality. Those that wish to succeed do not easily give up. Eventually, I realized that the mental and physical distress I was putting upon myself was too much. I took my last ballet class without even realizing that would be the last time I would ever dance.

Now, four months later, I find myself happier than ever before. The recovery period after I stopped dancing was difficult and strenuous but I am now healthier physically. My heart longs to dance again and there are many aspects about dance that I miss. Giving up on the one thing in my life that was constant was a decision I didn't think I was strong enough to make. I have learned how strong I am because of ballet--I proved to myself that I do not need to be perfect. I just need to do what makes me happiest. Everything that I learned from ballet, from time management, endurance, and precision, has helped shaped who I am. The memories I have from ballet are irreplaceable and the reflection process since I have put away my ballet shoes has been even more rewarding. Ballet has always been apart of me, and always will be--a feeling every ballerina shares.



Cover Image Credit: Anna Gombar

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads

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I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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What I Wish I Knew About Life After High School Before I Had To Live It

Life after high school isn't always what you expected it to be.

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So you're about to graduate high school and you think you have it all figured out. You and your best friends are going to stay close throughout college and you're going to take those long road trips in college to see each other. Think again.

Life after high school isn't always what you want it to be. You think you'll miss high school, you'll always be close with your high school besties, and you'll have all this free time in college. That's just not entirely true. I personally do not miss high school. I don't really talk to anyone I went to high school with on a regular basis, and I'm totally OK with that. I have friends in college that I believe will be my lifelong friends whereas my friends in high school didn't make an effort to keep in contact with me after high school.

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Anne Marie Bonadio

Just know that life in college isn't all easy, breezy, and beautiful like Covergirl. It's hard and you will struggle whether it be in school or with your friends. College isn't always complete freedom. You'll be tied down with school and life and you won't have the free time that you always imagined. You won't always be best friends with your high school friends. You won't be taking those road trips because you won't be able to afford them, and if you're like me, your parents won't let you.

College won't be exactly what you dreamed it'll be, but it'll be some of the best years of your life.

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