To the one sport who made me the person I am today,
I am writing this letter to dance as a whole, on the heels of graduating seven weeks of physical therapy to correct and help heal my body from the physical demands you gave me over the past 13 years of my life. Though, I loved every second of your torment. From the times you broke me down and I felt like I could not psychology and physically go on, to the times when I was standing on stage and crying while receiving my first individual award for my first solo competition, I loved it all.
I began dance when I was just four years old. Back then I was just taking ballet classes almost every mother signs their daughter up to take through the local community district. I was too young to know what I wanted to do, so dressing in a pink tutu and ballet slippers a couple times a week was pure happiness to me. It was not until I was six years old that I joined my dance company, Inspire School of Dance in Naperville IL, that I knew that dance is what I truly wanted to do. From taking one class my first year and barely being apart of the studio, to graduating as a senior in high school, I spent 11 years of my life there in those four studio rooms. In those 11 years, I was apart of countless classes, worked as a teacher's helper, and took part in a five year competition team. These experiences I gained through dance I deeply value and the friendships I created with my teammates, teachers, and mentors are ones I hold close to my heart.
Also in those 11 years at my studio, I learned how to have musicality, a way to express my sorrows and joys, a healthy way to get out stress, how to workout and hold my body correctly, and how to feed my body correctly for the tasks placed upon it. From my teachers, I learned how to push myself to my limits psychology and physically and how to come back from it, the importance of perseverance and dedication, how to apologize to and forgive others, how hard the realities of dance can be, how giving dance can be too, and how to own up to my mistakes among countless other things. The passion my instructors displayed for this art is something out of a Hollywood movie. For every loss, they would take it to heart and try to better us from our mistakes. For every win, they taught us how to celebrate but, yet stay humble.
Over these 13 years in total, I can truly say I do not know where I would be in life if it was not for dance. Dance has been responsible for so many aspects of my life. It has also been partly responsible for breaking my body and pushing it to its physical end point. After 13 years I am forced to say goodbye to the sport I love due to knee problems that put me in physical therapy recovery for the past seven weeks of my life. As a graduated therapy patient now, I know I cannot perform and execute the physical demands dance places on my body. Although it is a hard and tearful goodbye, I know it is best for me now.
So, dance, thank you for being the biggest continuous factor in my life. Thank you for creating irreplaceable bonds with the people I love. Thank you for teaching me how to have humility. Thank you for fostering my passion to be as strong as it can be. Thank you for teaching me how to love fearlessly and take a chance. Thank you for my strong values and giving me an open heart. Thank you for so many other things I will never be able to put into words.
With all my love,