Over the years, whether I was living in Buffalo, Atlanta, or Randolph, New Jersey, I learned to adjust as a person, and as a serious dancer. In fact, I found traits I needed to survive and grow as a dancer were also valuable in school and life. Of all the experiences I've had as a dancer, I cherish those moments when I had the opportunity to learn from other dancers.
Learning is central to the development of a dancer. In Atlanta, for example, I trained with dancers who studied with the Atlanta Ballet Company as well as those who had trained with famous European dancers, I learned something different from each, even though practices were long and grueling. And yet, although at times I wanted to give up, I sensed that I would be rewarded for my efforts.
This pattern repeated itself several times. I would be uprooted and immediately plunged into new and bewildering situations that made adjustment difficult. However, each time I was determined to apply what I had learned, both as a person. and as a dancer. Each time my repertoire grew. By this I mean that I not only learned new steps on the dance floor, but I also gained maturity in my responses to the world. Indeed, in time I was able to welcome change, because I knew it meant growth.
Over the years dance has helped me to grow in other ways. From it I have learned that hard work really does pay off. I...