On The Pursuit of Happiness 

Well I’ve been afraid of changin’

‘Cause I’ve built my life around you…

{Landslide — Fleetwood Mac}

2017 will be a year of change and I am so ready to embrace whatever it throws my way. I say this because I am finally coming to terms with how I’ve been feeling for the past year. When you’ve done one thing your entire life, it’s hard to know when stepping away is a healthy decision vs. just feeling that you’re giving up…now is the time that I healthily and happily step away from ballet. I know…shocking…but it’s been a well thought out decision and I can’t help but look on to the future.

38212d8d-ec70-4cca-b0ac-a33f8a8297d3.jpgBallet has been my life since I was a toddler. Ballet is all I’ve ever known. I’ve loved ballet. I’ve despised ballet. It’s made me happy. It’s made me frustrated. It’s taught me so much about life and given me so many life long friends and mentors that I can’t be anything but grateful towards it as a whole. But over the past year it has brought me little to no happiness. I’ve been happy in the places it has taken me and the people that it has brought into my life, but the passion and the love has not been felt in quite some time. It has consumed me with self doubt and criticism. It has made me cry countless tears and feel so lost and confused in this world…so I will be stepping away.

I will not be doing the audition circuit this year. I will not be signing a contract for next season. I will not be attending summer intensives. I will not be taking umpteen million audition photos and videos and staying up all night editing and critiquing.Processed with VSCO with a5 preset Instead I will be seeking happiness! Happiness in myself and my life. I wish to travel and see the world. Not just the world that contains ballet but the world that contains adventure! I will be attending school. I will be seeking a degree and finding passion in new things. I will be working each and every day to create a positive self image. Instead of fearing how I look in a leotard and tights, I will strive to love my body and love myself as a whole. It will be a big change and each day will be filled with different circumstances and new hurdles to jump, but the closer my final day has come, the more excitement that I feel.

Today I sent in my “I will not be returning” email. In a few short weeks the season will come to a close. In April I will be heading home and guesting in my final planned production (CDT’s “Jungle Book”). I may return to the dance world, but at this moment in time I look forward to taking a step away. I still wish to pursue teaching ballet in the future and I want to start doing dancer photoshoots, so I will not be saying goodbye entirely. I will attend open classes when I wish and for all I know I will take up some guesting’s as well. I just am not scheduling any of these things at this time. Taking it day by day and seeing whProcessed with VSCO with p5 presetere this new adventure brings me!

I know that I am excited now, but I also know that life without ballet will bring struggles too. As I have said before: this is all I’ve ever known. All I’ve ever looked for in my future is dance dance dance. It will be a big adjustment and it won’t always be easy. So in those tough times I will be looking for support and love. I am blessed with some of the very best people, friends and family in my life. My support system is all over the country and for that I am forever grateful. Love to all my family and friends today and always and I thank you in advance for those that will help me when the days get a little rocky. ❤