“My ballet story is convoluted, as many are. I began my journey at four and loved everything about it. I danced everywhere and was filled with the ineffable joy that ballet both allows and creates. I was in advanced classes very early and on pointe much younger than recommended (at that time). My goal was to major in dance, join a company, and live the thing I loved so much.
As I sunk into puberty, my shape and size began to change, which was frowned upon and shamed by my instructors. One, my favorite, told me to forget partnering because they’d be unable to lift my fat ass. Thus began too many years of disordered everything to make me look worthy of the title ballerina.
When I was 16, that same teacher asked me to step into a “different kind of relationship” with him, and, in that moment, parts I didn’t know I had, shattered. I convinced myself I had no talent and that the attention I’d been paid and praise I’d been given all those years had only been for a wider grooming for the relationship he mentioned.
So, with body broken and heart handily amputated, I quit. I still captained my high school dance team and found scattered joy in those moments, but when I graduated, I stepped past my dance history and convinced myself I wouldn’t look back (though I have and always will).”