Stone Mountain • Georgia
In my previous hs & my last 2 studios, I've been bullied by a large group of girls ranging from age 14 - 19. I'm quiet & non confrontational, so when it just 1 girl at the studio, I figured eventually she would stop. I didn't stop, it got worse. I didn't have my 1st Ballet lesson until I was 12. After a year of Ballet, I was chosen for Junior Co at that studio. Only a few girls spoke to me, but I thought maybe it was because I was new or started dancing so late & they'd warm up to me. This went on for the entire season. In the fall, I didn't audition for Teen Co but was invited to train in technique classes with them. Within a week, the entire Teen & Junior Co stopped speaking to me & the original bully punched me in the eye. My mom removed me from that studio & we chose a new one. I got moved up to Senior Co & thought I'd found a new dance home. Well, I was in an Arts school as a Dance Major. Unfortunately, some of the girls from my old studio were students at my hs & sought out some of the girls from the new studio. The next thing I know, I was harassed, talked about, lied on & threatened by the entire Senior Company at the new studio & at school. Most of these girls were 16 & 17! It was so horrible that my mom removed me from that studio mid season & only after 1 competition. I will also be attending a new HS next week. I don't know why all of that happened, but I NEVER stopped dancing. I may not be a physical fighter, but I put all my fight in my feet. This summer I attended 3 dance intensives. The 1 I did in Los Angeles invited me to attend another 1 while I was there & I was awarded a full scholarship to do that. I've also been offered a scholarship to attend the A.S.H. Convention by 1 of the teachers in the fall. Those things that those girls did to me were horrible, but it showed me how strong I was & it pushed me to be a better dancer. So I say to every dancer dealing with bullies & challenges, "Don't let it get to you. Keep dancing & doing what you love to do. Stay focused. Take all the hurt you feel & put in your feet! Now DANCE your heart out!"