I grew up with two older brothers, so I never had someone to steal clothes from, talk about boys with, or urn to for womanly guidance besides my mom. I danced for seventeen years, starting when I was 4, and through that, I met some really amazing girls.

Going to class when I was little was fun because we could sometimes go in and watch the "big" girls dance. Being a little four year old and watching girls twirl around on their toes was mesmerizing to me. Back then, I met Basia, and she and I have the same age difference that my oldest brother and I do; nine years.

I'm pretty sure I have pictures tucked away somewhere of me sitting on her knee in my Snow White costume at recital time somewhere, both of us decked out head to toe in glitter, fake hair, and red lipstick. I wasn't close with Basia back then, given that our age difference was so big. However, as I got older, and Basia came back to the studio to be a teacher, we had a whole different relationship form.

I think Basia came back when I was fifteen, maybe sixteen, and from that point on, I was able to talk to her about things other than Barbie dolls. Basia is a person I owe a lot too. She helped me grow even more as a dancer and isn't the teacher to put up with immature crap in the classroom.

You go in, you listen, and you dance. We didn't start getting super close until my senior year at the studio, and now she has become someone I look up to and admire so much. For senior year, I was Gaston in our special ballet of Disney Villains, her favorite thing to say (and still to this day) was "slow down, Emily!" I would always be 3-5 counts ahead of everyone, and it just became what she would say to me.

After I graduated high school, I went to community college to not only save money, but so I could keep dancing. Over those two years, Basia became one of my best friends; she's funny, smart, beautiful, and an all-around great person to be around. We would think of choreography for the last special ballet I was in last year where I was Mulan, and take dinner trips to Brother's Pizza after a three hour Sunday practice. Those are some of my favorite memories with her: good food, good conversation, and endless laughter.

I've stayed the night at her house a few times, and we would have Outlander marathons. The last two times, my best friend, Kayla, joined us, and those nights have the best memories attached to them.

Basia is not only a very dear friend of mine, but she has become the older sister I always wanted/needed. She was there for me last year when my 2018 started off pretty rocky. She never let me forget my worth, and has never failed to support a decision of mine. To say I'm thankful for her isn't enough. I know she had a hand in helping me become the person I am right now. She is the best role model I could ask for, and I can't wait to make more memories with her in the future.

Love you long time, B! <3