It all began when I was four years old and my mom took me to the ballet to see Richmond Ballet's “The Nutcracker.” I was mesmerized by the movement, the colors, the characters, the lights, but most of all I was in awe of the ballerinas on pointe. I wanted to go up on my toes like that and float across stage as all the dancers did. I was on the edge of my seat the entire show; pretty sure I didn’t blink when the snow queen and king came out and did their pas de deux together and I was sold. I had dreams of being a ballerina. So, as any mother of a daughter did, she signed me up for dance classes down the next day at my local studio, West End Academy of Dance.
I danced with the West Academy of Dance all the way through middle school. Ballet was by far my first love. I just loved the way it was so precise and elegant and yet always challenging. It wasn’t until the end of middle school into my first year of high school that I had to make a choice. At the time I had been doing both dance and competitive swimming, both were yearlong activities and I loved them both equally. Dance was definitely more of an expression of my emotion though my movements, whereas swimming was more for fitness and speed. My dad sat me down and said ok here’s the deal, you need to pick one that you want to pursue more seriously with so when it comes time for college you’ll have a path to go towards. Well crap. I could go either way, but guess who won, Dance!
So, as my dad had told me, I went to study with the Richmond Ballet to further my training and did that all throughout high school. I did my first year of undergraduate at VCU as a Richmond Ballet trainee, it was at that point where I wanted to study more than just ballet and so I looked into transferring schools. I had auditioned at Marymount Manhattan College in NYC and knew that was the place I wanted to be. It was a life changing experience that I will never forget! Just being able to live up in the big apple, to be able to study all styles of dance, to go see other professional companies, to have all the arts at my fingertips is something that I am forever grateful for. I graduated in May of 2015 with a BFA in dance and a concentration in ballet. I didn’t know what to do next exactly except I knew I wanted to keep dancing. I auditioned around NYC for a few months and then traveled back home to RVA to look for something else to do. That is where I reconnected with Starr Foster.
I had seen an add on social media for guest artists to come perform in Starr’s production of “Page to Stage”. It was amazing to see how Starr used stories written by local artists and created a dance to them. After the show I was itching to perform more, I knew that is what I was meant to do and wanted to for as long as my body would let me. Starr and I reconnected after the show and she asked me to come dance in her company, Starr Foster Dance. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse, I loved her movement that she created and her pieces are very mesmerizing to watch. I loved her ability to take her movement and morph it to all the different dance styles of her dancers and is mind blowing every time. I have been with Starr’s dance company since 2015, for about 3 years and I have loved every moment and adventure along the way. Starr is a phenomenal choreographer and I couldn’t be more grateful to be apart of her professional company which has turned into my family. We all come together in our one love to dance and to have freedom to express ourselves. I am excited to see where this road of dance takes me as far as it will let me. It will, has been, and always will be my first love.