I have been working toward my dreams of being a professional dancer since I was seven years old. The summer after I turned twelve, I had the opportunity to spend a month in New York City training at the Joffrey Ballet School Summer Intensive. While I was there, I saw a Broadway show called Movin’ Out. Seeing Elizabeth Parkinson perform the lead role in Movin’ Out was such a pinnacle moment in my life. I realized, in that moment, that I wanted to be a professional dancer and performer. Since then I have been taking more and more dance and musical theater classes each year. I have also been saving up money to be able to attend summer intensive training programs around the country. Due to both my efforts and my parent’s efforts, I have been able to attend three other summer intensive programs. In 2008, I went to the Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia. In 2009, I attended San Francisco Ballet School, and in 2010, I was one of 44 dancers from around the world that was selected to attend The Juilliard School’s summer intensive program in New York City.
Recently I attended a three day workshop where the artistic directors of Ballet West, Colorado Ballet and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago came and taught classes for the purpose of auditioning pre-professional dancers for entry level positions in their dance companies. While there, I received offers to attend the summer intensives of all three companies on scholarship. I also received an offer to join the Colorado Ballet second company. Though two of the directors urged me to join a company now instead of going to college, I feel strongly that at this point in my life I need to go to college and refine my craft. I want to give myself time to really concentrate on learning and personal growth, so when I do enter the professional world I can be fully engaged in giving my whole heart to my job. Going to The Juilliard School is a big dream of mine and one that I would always regret not doing because of lack money or circumstance.
After completing my college education at The Juilliard School, I see myself joining a company like Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet Company in NYC or Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Because there are so many different companies that interest me, I really want to find and be a part of the companies that I resonate with. After dancing in companies, I want to perform in Broadway shows. Musical Theater has always been a passion of mine and I want to pursue that aspect of performing in my career as well. Once I have had a long performing career, I want to create and direct my own dance company and training studio. I love teaching and choreographing and they will inevitably be part of my life. Education and training only have value if you share what you know with others. Helping others grow and build their confidence brings me endless amounts of joy; but I know that in order for someone to be an excellent teacher, they need to have experienced it themselves, which is another reason to go to college and have a successful performing career.
Achieving all of these goals will not be easy. There is much hard work to be done and many challenges ahead; however, I am happiest when I am dancing and performing, which is why I am pursuing a vocation in the performing arts. More than anything, I want to have a family and lead a happy life that has a positive influence on every aspect of the world around me. A quote by Howard Thurman is a perfect expression of what I want to do with my dancing and, most importantly, with my life. He says, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” In these very difficult times, the performing arts are needed more than ever to help uplift and inspire humanity. I hope to contribute to society by enriching the lives of others through the artistry and passion of dance.