Taking a step back
Ballet was my life. I cannot remember a single Friday night when I was not at the studio dancing away. I loved every minute of it. I had been taking ballet since I was 5 and had never taken a break until the incident.
One Friday night, we were rehearsing for The Nutcracker. I was walking back to my spot to run the dance from the top when I took a step. Crack. Something in my foot had popped. This happens all the time, so I just shook it off and kept dancing. But by the time I got home that night, I could barely walk. My mom took me to the doctor the next day, where they told me I had fractured my foot and had to stay off of it for six weeks.
I could not believe this was happening. Who the heck fractures their foot by walking?! I was immensely upset. This would be the first time in nine years that I would not be a part of my company’s production of The Nutcracker.
Even though I was sidelined for only six weeks, it felt like a lifetime. Those first couple of days I honestly had no idea what to do with myself. I would go to ballet and sit there and watch class, but that only made me more upset. Then I had a revelation: My whole life had been dance. I was dancing 15 hours a week, and when I wasn’t, I was studying. I never had real opportunities to do other things. And me feeling bad for myself was not going to make my foot heal any faster.
So I did what I needed to do – I took a step back, and began doing things for myself. I got more involved in National Charity League and was able to hang out with my friends outside of dance. Looking back, this was one of the best things I could have done. It made me realize a lot of things I had been missing.
But once the six weeks were over I was able to go back to dance, and all seemed to be right in the world. I was still doing something I loved, but now I was able to cherish the time I spent doing other things outside of ballet.
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