Nancy Taylor Is The Hero I Didn't Know I Needed Because She Tells Me I Can Always Start Over
Start writing a post

Nancy Taylor Is The Hero I Didn't Know I Needed Because She Tells Me I Can Always Start Over

Why a 64-year-old in a tutu is my newfound motivation.

Nancy Taylor Is The Hero I Didn't Know I Needed Because She Tells Me I Can Always Start Over
Gene Schiavone

Ballet is an art form that has not only defined my childhood, but the way I look at performative art. Growing up practicing its traditions, learning to appreciate the dedication that it demands and believing in the impact it can have on those that watch it, dancing was more than just a way to express myself–it was one of the only things that made me feel like myself.

Like a lot of dancers, though, I also enjoy seeing how photographers can capture that same feeling I feel when dancing: a mixture of pure joy and precision; making something look so effortless. Someone who I think has always captured this essence is Gene Schiavone.

Schiavone is a world-class ballet photographer. Working with some of the most prestigious companies in the world including the American Ballet Theater, the Bolshoi Ballet and the Royal Ballet, his photography is known throughout the dance and theater world as captivating and even magical. Beyond his acclaim, what I've always enjoyed about Schiavone is his personal photo shoots.

Usually taking place in his studio in Naples, Florida, Schiavone photographs many up-and-coming ballerinas by appointment; making them appear as elegant and professional as the many stars he photographs on a weekly basis. What's so great about these personal shoots, though, is that the talent can come from anywhere and from anyone.

Posted a few weeks ago, an unexpected but inspiring photoshoot of Nancy Taylor, a 64-year-old ballerina, was shot and created by Schiavone. Although the pictures were almost enough to tell this woman's beautiful story, her words on persevering and discovering lost dreams were of pure heart and soul.

"I started ballet in my fifties after fracturing my spine and sternum in a fall," Taylor wrote on Facebook. "My surgeon diagnosed me with advanced Osteoporosis and told me that I would never lead an active lifestyle again. When a ballet studio opened just across the road from my home, I took it as a sign that I might have a chance to heal myself. I limped into the studio on a cane and told the instructor that if she helped me get my leg up on the bar, that I would learn ballet. She did, and on that day my life would be changed forever."

Taylor would later decide to train to go "En Pointe" when she was 58–something that was not encouraged by her instructors, but she did anyway–because let's face it, this woman kicks absolute ass.

Training herself in her own home and gradually moving to the gym to get stronger, Taylor is an outstanding example of what this art is all about: feeling beautiful and embodying that beauty through movement.

"My prognosis for the Severe Osteoporosis that I now suffer from, is that I can fracture a hip at any time, just walking, let alone dancing, but I have decided to take that chance and live my life to the fullest while I can," Taylor wrote.

An incredible thought to think: living your life to the fullest while you can. It's rewritten in so many books and films you can't keep track, yet the message is something that is so wonderful to its core.

The idea that you can really start over–whenever.

That kind of hope is something all of us can use to our advantage no matter if we are 21 and clueless, 37 and thriving or 58 and desiring to make a change. The idea that we ourselves have the power and the will to renew our careers, our habits or our minds is a reminder that we are constantly evolving. We are never, simply, finished.

More than anything, it takes a lot of courage. Not just to ignore what others may think, but at times be out of your own way; to allow ourselves to choose what makes us truly happy, even if it may seem scary.

I hope if that I ever feel the urge to, I will have the same courage as Taylor to pursue new dreams–or revisit old ones.

The truth is we all can use someone like this woman to encourage us, but the action will never come if we don't believe in the beauty and validity of our hopes and dreams.

It's not too late for me, and it certainly isn't for anyone else.

Taylor currently has a new book out called "FACE THE FEAR TOUR, Finding Your Inner Strength Through Troubled Times," and can be purchased at

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

I Didn't Know That I Would Lose My Best Friend To Her Boyfriend

I didn't know that you would stop doing the things that make you happy. The things everyone used to judge you for. You are the type of person who does things on YOUR terms and now they're on his.

I Didn't Know That I Would Lose My Best Friend To Her Boyfriend

As your best friend, all I ever want is for you to be happy. Because as best friends, we know exactly what makes the other happy. I know all your weird and quirky lingo. I know how much you hate certain foods and most of all, I know the things that are important to you in life.

Keep Reading... Show less

How to Celebrate Valentine's Day Without a Valentine

You know YOU are not determined by your romantic status

How to Celebrate Valentine's Day Without a Valentine

Although the most romantic and love-filled holiday is right around the corner, it's important to know that Feb.14, the middle day of the shortest month of the year, doesn't need to be determined by your current romantic status. With that being said, you can either choose to sulk over the fact that you're single or you can make the best out of Valentine's Day without even having one.

Here are a few ideas to celebrate the day:

Keep Reading... Show less

7 Fun Facts About The Eiffel Tower

The iconic landmark is reinventing itself with a splashy new color.

Eiffel Tower

Soon, the 2024 Summer Olympics are coming to Paris, and the Eiffel Tower will be in the spotlight.

Embedded so much into Paris's identity, the iconic landmark is no stranger to historic events and world-class gatherings over the years. It is sure to shine again.

Keep Reading... Show less

Blue Skies Weren't Always Blue

You don't just start as the person you are meant to be; there is a journey full of ups and downs that mold a person, so this is my journey.

Blue Skies Weren't Always Blue

Overall I'd love to say I grew up a happy overly enthusiastic child that was taught to love herself and be loved by everyone else, but I can't say that and I never will. My smile wasn't always as bright as it is today, but this is the story behind my smile, the story about how I got here to the happiest place I'll ever be. I'll begin at freshman year of high school.

Keep Reading... Show less

The Heart Wants what the Heart Wants

Just remember sometimes it is gonna hurt, whether we want it to or not!

The Heart Wants what the Heart Wants
Where to start...... Let me start with the cliche that life throws us curveballs and what we do with it is what counts.

One day he walked into my life. UNEXPECTED! And one day he walked out!

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments