OT After gymnastics and the grit they learn

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Proud Parent
Feb 6, 2014
Twin Cities
I don’t post very often anymore (my older daughter is in a coronavirus hiatus from training until June), and when I do it’s usually about my older daughter.. because she’s still my gymnast, really. Today I wanted to post about my younger daughter though. I apologize but this is going to be a bit long.

If you don’t remember her/us, she was a rec artistic gymnast who was told she could never make team. She had the wrong body and would never be strong enough. She kept trying but no luck. She did rec for 2 years.

We moved long distance and she decided to transition to T&T- was placed directly on team and had a great few years. She did very well and she LOVED it, and loved her teammates so much. One day she got a block. A bad one, and it eventually spread to anything going backwards on all three events. Anyone who knows T&T knows that’s bad mojo. She fought through it while competing for a whole season before realizing that she wasn’t happy fighting for it anymore. This was highlighted by a cross country move and the idea of having to start over- without being able to compete any level- at a new place with a long commute. She decided to retire from gymnastics altogether and try ballet. She did T&T for 3.5 years.

At her first dance studio following the move, she was immediately placed in a beginning level of all styles when the owner looked at her, but was near instantly moved up multiple levels in everything once they saw her dance because she’s a natural.. but ballet lagged behind the rest. A year in and she was tested for the highest level of ballet and pointe work, and again was told that she would never get there because her body wasn’t right. She was too heavy to be a ballerina. She did ballet for 1 year.

Not one to quit on what she wants, she tried another studio and was tested for pointe and immediately granted permission to train on pointe and placed in the highest level. She stayed with this studio, receiving multiple lead and solo roles in their full length ballets until she graduated high school. She auditioned for many colleges to be a dance major. It was a mixed bag- some acceptances and some rejections. Good and mediocre programs fell on both sides of the decision line. She committed to a program but it felt like settling- she hadn’t gained admission to any of her top three schools. She had danced for 3 years.

Because she was sixteen she took a gap year. We were moving across country again, and she auditioned for dance placements in our new home. By kismet she heard on the day we got to our new home that she was accepted to be a professional company trainee at a small regional classical ballet company. That has been this year- she’s worked behind the scenes of the company, and danced in a corps role in every show they’ve had this year- she’s performed in 4 professional shows this year, with 3 more left to go before June. This year she was also offered a full tuition scholarship for a winter intensive (her first intensive scholarship) and gained acceptance to a summer intensive she’d auditioned for twice before, once rejected and once waitlisted. She will be spending the summer dancing in three intensives all at the top levels. She is still sometimes told that she has the wrong look and rejected, but she pushes through and tries to break barriers. She’s been dancing for 4 years.

Back in August she auditioned a second time for what was her number one college last year. She didn’t hear from them for over 7 months and assumed they’d rejected her again. She’d made plans to have a second year at her ballet company (she’d pulled back from her previous college because she wasn’t interested in settling) and planned to do some classes at the community college.

Then, two days ago she got an email. She was accepted into her number one choice college. She thought long and hard about if it was still what she wanted, and she decided today that it was. This evening she used her savings and paid her deposit. Here she is.. wrong body.. no lifelong training.. moved around and told no so.many.times.. and she’s coming off a year in a ballet company and heading to her first choice college. I think gymnastics taught her how to go for things, how to push when it’s hard, how to forge a path when you’re told you’re not right for the one in front of you.

Oh and she went back to gymnastics this year and conquered that backwards block- it was only for a session (that’s all we could afford) and only an hour a week.. but she did it.

5 years of gymnastics and 4 years of dance, and here she is chasing her dreams. We couldn’t be prouder of her.

-thanks for reading, I know it was a novel.
I needed this one tonight! SO happy to hear, as we have been following her story over the years and it is so awesome to have such a success.
And can I just say I love proving the masses wrong. Someday, someway, perhaps people will realize that maybe, just maybe people should not be judged by their appearances and what they haven't done but by what they CAN DO.
Just awesome. Congratulations!
This past weekend they performed in a show that was unlike the others all year- it was contemporary based (so no pointe shoes), where they’re usually classical ballet, but more importantly the choreographer shared a copy of the video she took from the audience with me. It’s not great video quality- the company owns all professional video of its dancers- but you can see how much my D loves being there. If you care to watch, she starts on the right (by herself with everyone else centered or to the left) and she has on the short skirt. Enjoy if you like!

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