I began dancing at the age of three. First I took simple jazz and tap classes, but as I grew older I took more advanced classes such as ballet, pointe, modern, barre, and technique classes. From the first moment that I stepped onto the stage, any career possibility that involved something other than dancing didn’t seem like a plausible one for me. It wasn’t until I was about fourteen that I really took to the idea of living in New York City, the dance capital of the world.
As a freshman in high school, it seemed that everyday brought with it some conversation or lecture about college possibilities. With each month it seemed that more of my friends had figured out what they were going to do after high school. Each had narrowed their choices down to a few colleges or universities, one or two majors or degrees of study, and an ending career. I knew that the only thing I wanted to do was dance, whether it would be as an instructor, a student, or as a professional in a ballet or dance company. It wasn’t until I saw Save the Last Dance, a movie about a young girl with aspirations to dance at The Julliard School in New York City, that I finally grasped what I wanted to do. The Julliard School is a world-renowned dance, drama, and music conservatory in Lincoln Center, New York City. Being perhaps the most selective school in the country, The Julliard School admits about 7% of its applicants and is home to just under one thousand undergraduate and graduate students. Some of the world’s most accomplished choreographers and dancers are Julliard alumni. When I first understood the exclusivity of this dance conservatory, I was immediately discouraged. I thought that the fact that I came from a small town and danced in a small studio was disadvantageous, and that I couldn’t possibly fit the criteria that Julliard searched for. I didn’t begin seeing The Julliard School as a potential college until my junior year in high school. Natale Harter was my instructor from...
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