I began my dance career at the age of two.
When I first started it was because I needed an activity to help build up my strength. I began dancing at Stephanie's School of Dance. But It wasn't until about third grade that my passion for dance really started.
My sister had just transferred to a new studio at the time, the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. When I went with my mom to pick her up one day, I saw these girls wearing a blue and black unitard and stage makeup. The Preludes.
I wanted to be one. I changed dance studios that year and in 2010 became a member and got my first pair of pointe shoes.
For me, getting my first pair of pointe shoes meant everything. It meant I could dance with the big girls in the company and try company roles.
While I was never a company member, I was a Prelude for 3 years and learned a few of the Nutcracker Act II dances that if the music came on I would still potentially know how to do today (although many of them have been changed over the years).
Despite all of this, it was not until high school that I started to appreciate dance in a different way.
December of eighth grade was my last complete year of dance. It was getting to the point where something I once loved was turning into something I was dreading doing.
So, I looked for something else to do and that is when I found where I truly belonged.
That year, instead of trying out for Nutcracker I volunteered for quick change and I believe it was one of the best decisions I had ever made. It made me happy. Not only that but it gave me something new to do.
That same year was also the year I started as an assistant in rehearsals. My first one was with the rats in scene II of the Nutcracker and I remember being so excited.
I was a rat for about 3 years while I had danced as well as doing other parts in the scene so I felt like I knew it pretty well and for the next few years up until I graduated High School that is what I did. It gave me a new purpose.
Over the years my working backstage and in rehearsals transformed.
During rehearsals, I often times ran music and other things when I wasn't assisting.
In shows, I learned the technical side and became experienced with how to do spotlights and did that several years before I worked in quick change. I even learned how to control mics and sound during a few musicals and did so during the live shows.
So. Yeah. Dance didn't work out for me but through it, I found something greater.
And, yeah, there were times where I missed it and sometimes still do, and that feeling of performing and being onstage and everything that come with it never goes away, but I wouldn't have changed my choice to quit for anything.
I will be forever grateful for all the important discipline and balancing skills it taught me.