Space. If there is one thing I miss while in quarantine, it is space to move. Like most dancers in the world right now, I am confined to my 7x11 room with a portable barre. A makeshift studio. I am grateful for this small space, even though my body longs for the expansive studios I used to soar in not too long ago. I miss feeling free. I have been enjoying my time taking virtual classes and teaching on online platforms. These experiences give me energy and inspiration during

I often imagine ballet as an old white building. An institution or memorial we pass by with respect but take little time to stop and reflect on what it really embodies. Monuments are built in reverence to the courageous. They are constructed to remind all future generations of the timeless values that were upheld through challenges and difficulty — an ode to the triumph of goodness. Most of all, they stand as inspiration to reawaken the inner monument that resides in every human being.  A bold calling that

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