Madison Mark

Clarksville • Tennessee

Story

I love ballet. It is my absolute passion. I perform and try all styles of dance but I've always been a ballerina in my heart. When I first started I was 11 years old and I lived in Alaska, dancing at the best studio ever, Ballet Praise. However, we are a military family so we move a lot and now live in Tennessee. Finding studios that suit both my younger sister and I is hard but we always manage. Now that I'm older I've started getting very negative views about my body type in the ballet world. I've seen pictures of beautiful ballerinas that have curves and I've thought "wow! She's like me, I have hope". Until I start reading the comments. More than half say that she's too busty to be a ballerina. That maybe she should try contemporary. Maybe I should try contemporary. Well, here's the thing I've tried contemporary. It's wonderful but it's not my passion. I've had to learn to find the helpful things my body type has given me rather than the negative. Because if I had listened to every teacher who pointed out my body shape flaws and every nasty comment, I would stand in front of that mirror in the dance studio every day and pick myself apart. But that's not something I can afford to waste my time on. Staying postitive is important for me because I used to spend days crying and not wanting to go to dance, not wanting to put on those tight leotards that seem to scream that I don't look right, and not wanting to perform. But now I'm trying harder in classes because I know it'll pay off. It already has started being worth it because I got cast as the main role of Cinderella in my studios version of Cinderella the ballet in the spring. I'm not world known quite yet but I'm only taking baby steps!

Studio