Dancers who Overcame
This morning, a friend shared a link on my wall about a ballerina (Alessandra Ferri) who’s still going strong in her 50s. Not only did it encourage me, who feels like I’m doing something pretty “out there” by starting back into pointe on my 40th birthday a couple weeks ago, but it made me think about other dancers who overcame huge hurdles to do what they loved.
(this is me yesterday, watching a video of myself at 14)
—Maria Tall Chief was my hero growing up. I wrote a report on her when I was in 6th grade, because I knew I was going to be tall (Not only was she the first Native American to be a major prima ballerina, she was also much taller than was considered acceptable. She was 5’9″, which is half an inch shorter than me).
—Misty Copeland is the first African American woman to be promoted to principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre. Have you seen the pictures of her that are in the style of Degas’ works? She’s stunning and I hope I can see her on stage someday.
—Georges Exantus lost his right leg to an earthquake in Haiti, but he now dances professionally with a prosthetic leg. In addition, he comes from a country where people with disabilities are even more overlooked than they are in America, but that didn’t stop him.
I don’t know about you, but I’m now an emotional mess. If these dancers didn’t stop when they faced these obstacles, there’s no reason for me to think I need to stop anytime soon.
If dancing is in your blood, don’t give up just because society tells you it doesn’t make sense.