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Despite practicing for at least 12 hours a week, nine months a year for the last four years, my sport – ballet – is only considered a hobby by many people.
Most people I know are oblivious to how arduous ballet can be.
I push my body past the breaking point every day and play through the pain, just like any other athlete does.
Imagine what goes into the average dancer’s life. For performances, I wear insanely tight corsets which only fit when I can no longer breath. I balance my entire body weight on two or three toes in excruciatingly painful shoes. Then, I dance vigorously for eight minutes straight without stopping.
My motivation for dancing has never been to receive a trophy or medal; I dance because I love ballet and performing. When people start discrediting ballet, however, I take offense. I want to be acknowledged as a ballerina…and as an athlete.