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  • I've danced for almost my entire life. There are days when I spend hours at the studio, and every Saturday I'm leaping about in pointe shoes instead of hanging out with my friends.

    Also, I'm a really terrible dancer.

    I mean it. I'm in class with girls who are all two or three years younger than me. I couldn't do the splits until the eighth grade. I got my pointe shoes a few years late.
    I could blame it on the poor quality of the dance classes I took in a community center basement before I came to my current studio, but I know it's just how I am. I wasn't made for dancing. I've been able to overcome the obscene lack of flexibility I had in my younger years, but I'll never have 180 degree turnout or a back that can fold in half. I've never even gotten along all that well with other dancers. And I'm okay with that.

    It's an odd feeling to let a dream go. It's only been this year that I've come to terms with the fact that I'll never be a prima ballerina, and soon I'll be cutting down on classes to focus my energy on other pursuits. It makes perfect sense. I excel more in academics, and my main goal has always been to become an author. I don't enjoy dance class quite as much as I used to. It's just logical and it's also probably the path that would make me happiest, but letting go is still bittersweet.

    Sometimes I find myself wishing I had stopped taking ballet earlier so I could've dedicated myself to other activities instead. But then I find myself dancing in the kitchen once again, and I realize that dance has given me so much, from perseverance to artistry. I'll never stop being a dancer, even if I'm no longer spending every Friday night in a ballet studio or able to touch my foot to the back of my head. While dancing may not win me awards or the admiration of my peers, it has taught me passion.
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