Kansas • USA
I started dancing at the age of four after watching "The Nutcracker" and deciding I wanted a pretty costume like the ballerinas were wearing. The glamour and poise of ballet has always appealed to me, and it still enchants me. I grew up dancing at a wonderful studio in Northern Virginia and then went to Mercyhurst University to obtain my BA in Dance. After college, I moved to Kansas City to dance professionally, which was a dream come true for me. Last year, I was involved in two major car accidents that left me in constant pain and made dancing feel impossible. At one point, when nothing seemed to be improving, I thought about what it would be like to give up and do something else. Dancing had become an obligation, not a joy, and I dreaded classes and rehearsals. Thankfully, I had some amazing doctors and physical therapists who understood my career and helped to restore my health. Around that time, a friend approached me with a proposal to produce a dance show at the Kansas City Fringe Festival. Of course I said yes, and VidaDance Company was born. The company has had great opportunities already, and I'm excited for its future. This year, I am also starting a dance studio, VidaDance Studio. I never would have chosen to be in car accidents that injured me, but looking back, it was those experiences that led me to refocus on what was important to me and on what my goals were for my career. I resigned from the company I was dancing for, started my own company, joined another company for a season, and then started a studio. The wonderful thing about dance is that there are so many avenues to pursue, and they can look like very different things for different people. For some, it's just a hobby on the side, a way to relieve stress and have fun. For others, it's teaching the next generation of aspiring dancers. For me, it's a way of life.