photo by Andrew Grant

My mom will tell you that I danced my way into the world. With summersaults and backing out booty first, it seems I was born to be a mover and shaker. As I child, I didn’t want to dance; I had to dance! I remember begging my parents to sign me up for dance classes, and finally, at seven, I started my first ballet class. Even today I can remember the moment I stepped out of the wings and onto the stage with the warm lights. I was going to be a dancer.

As I grew, my training continued. Although I had the heart, the dance world was a tough place. I had always dreamed of someday being the Black Swan, but my desire to be a classical ballet dancer were smashed at age sixteen. Apparently being 5’2”, with tibial torsion (not so perfect turnout), and “fat potential” will hinder your chances of being a ballerina. Because of this, I was demoted from a pre-professional ballet training program.

Oh heck! Who wants to dance fairy tales all their life anyways! After a stint of feeling bad, hating dance, and being downright miserable, my mom talked me into taking dance classes at the local college through the post-secondary options program. Basically I was a high school student who took college classes. Once I started dancing again, it didn’t take long for my passion to come back.

After graduating high school, I was immediately offered a job dancing with a contemporary ballet company while teaching and going to The Ohio State University full time. (Yup, I was crazy… but I loved it!) I graduated OSU with a BFA and landed a job with a modern dance company, Repertory Dance Theatre. It was there that I learned what Arts in Education was all about. From then on I knew I needed to spread my love of dance to anyone and everyone.

Following RDT, I danced as a “rent-a-dancer” and for several pick-up companies, got certified in Pilates, taught, and learned more about the business side of dance as an arts administrator. I pride myself for knowing how to unclog a toilet, creating syllabi, and even building business strategies. I’m basically a “jack-of-all-trades” in the dance world, and all I want to do is continue learning and educating all things about dance.

The dance world is full of trials, successes, politics, heartache, and passion. We all strive for perfection and acceptance. Not going to lie… sometimes it gets to you. Through many years of my love-hate relationship of dance, I’ve finally realized my imperfections are what makes me unique and perfect in my own way… I’m the Offbeat Ballerina, and I’mperfect!

Please share your creative projects, chat, read, and spread your love of dance with me here at www.offbeatballerina.com. Got a story to tell? Submit your story to offbeatballerina@gmail.com.