Our thoughts fuel our mind just as food fuels our bodies. As a dancer I don’t think one is more important than the other. It is true when they say “you are what you eat” and “what you think you become.” I have received many messages from young, aspiring dancers asking for advice and I’ve noticed that the messages usually inquire about one or two major topics. A lot have been asking for guidance about maintaining a healthy body for ballet, while many others have been seeking tips

UNCOVERING YOUR WHY With a newfound perspective that gives way to inner peace and compassion,  with the empowerment and fearlessness to let our “weirdness” out into the world, we  now have to remember our WHY. It’s a question that I feel could change the world. Our “why” could be so simple — to create love on this planet and share our weirdness in a way that can heal or inspire or delight! The beauty here is that lives can change in all those little moments. You don’t have to

REDEFINING YOUR WEIRDNESS We are all born equal but we are also uniquely and divinely crafted. We are incredibly and exquisitely different. There was a time when we fully accepted ourselves. As children, we naturally opened up and let a bit of our “weirdness” out. Until somewhere along the way, someone told us: “No, put that away. You are weird and I don’t like it.” (Maybe not in those words but you get the point.) We were REJECTED. Put your weirdness away. You will be accepted if you’re just

EXPANDING YOUR PERSPECTIVE In the grand scheme of the Universe, the only thing certain is that nothing lasts forever. Evolution forges on, planets continue their mundane journey around the sun, stars explode, new life is born. Everything in the Universe is impermanent yet there is this overpowering need to cling onto things for security. For some reason, it seems hard to remember that we don’t survive life. In the end, no one gets out alive. Everyone and everything will inevitably disappear. All institutions and governments, laws and policies, power and

Two international ballet competitions. Two silver medals. Two months. If you asked me a year ago if I thought I would be where I am today my answer would have been:”Only in my wildest dreams.” A year ago, I was at a very difficult and painful turning point in my life. I had gone to the Moscow International Ballet Competition and was eliminated after the first round. It was an experience I had desperately tried to erase, not only from my memory but from my biographies, stories, and all

For a ballerina, there is no greater feeling than when taking a bow at the end of a performance. In that moment all the hard work you’ve put in becomes worth it. All the moments of frustration, exhaustion, and fear that have led up to the performance melt away to the sound of a cheering crowd. The applause is overwhelming, the lights are beaming and the music plays loud. You had given your all to your dancing. You had felt so at home onstage -- soaking in

Looking back to my teenage years, I can remember – like most adolescents – constantly being asked what I was planning to do with my life. In every instance, I always gave this unwavering answer: “I am going to be a principal ballerina who dances all over the world and positively affects others through my art.” Okay. Now you have to understand that I grew up in a small-town-in-the middle-of-nowhere-Pennsylvania where kids don’t just say things like that. Usually after giving that answer, I would receive a look of disgusted

My second season as a professional ballerina just came to a joyful close and I can’t help but reminisce on how much I have grown. I have been fortunate to dance major roles this year, including Giselle, Aurora, Cinderella, and Nikiya, and participated in international festivals and performances as a guest artist in four countries. As I think back to all of the challenges and triumphs that have taken place…I am filled with humble gratitude. For the last production of the season I debuted as Kitri in “Don