“I dreamt of being a ballerina since I was 5 years old. For 15 years I devoted my life to it till I was 20. I never realized I suffered severe anxiety and depression till I reached my professional career. I was in a company where I was liked by the director who hired me but disliked by the ballet master. So much so that the ballet master belittled me, embarrassed me in front of my fellow colleagues and really made me feel worthless, often telling me so.
I’d moved states to join this company so I did not have any family support. I became very ill, often vomiting before class due to anxiety. I would wake up and wish anything would happen to me so I did not have to go. I knew I was ill and not myself. I just wished artistic staff could truly see the impact they have on dancers and their mental health.
I stopped dancing shortly after, I currently study psychology as I hope to one day be able to provide the help that was never offered to me. Dancers deserve to be cherished, supported and not feel ashamed to ask for help. It’s the hardest career physically AND mentally.”