Dancing has been my life since I stepped out of the womb. Dancing makes me feel free and alive. When I dance, I feel like I am portraying emotions and feelings through the movement I make with my body. I feel like I am making the music I’m dancing to physical. I was always and still am shy and I sometimes have trouble conveying my feelings and thoughts with words, but I have come out of my shell more since then. When I was little I was very shy and dancing was a way for me to express myself without using words.
My mom started dancing in the dance ministry at church before I was born. While she was pregnant with me she was dancing at church. When I was born she would always bring me to her dance rehearsals at the church, so I was surrounded by dancing at a young age. So naturally, when I turned 3 my mom put me in in the kids dance ministry, called Tots for Jesus. I was also put in a small dance school called Devore in Queens New York. Then my parents put me in The Ailey School in Manhattan and Innvervisions, a dance school in Queens. I stayed at Alvin Ailey and Innervisions until I was 10. At age 10 I was getting more into dance and especially ballet. I wasn’t just dancing because my parents put me in dance classes but because I fell in love with the art form. I wanted to start doing ballet more seriously.
My mom’s friend who had her daughter at Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) suggested that I go to DTH. So I auditioned for their summer intensive and I got into session 1 of DTH’s summer intensive. That summer, I also went to the Chautauqua Young Dancers’ Weekend Workshop. It was at Chautauqua that I realized how little black dancers were in ballet. At Chautauqua, I was the only little brown girl there, but that’s a topic for another story. But at DTH I was surrounded by dancers who looked like me and inspired me to be better. At DTH I truly fell in love with ballet. Because the company and the students at DTH looked like me it gave me hope that I can make it as a ballet dancer. I was in awe of the company and the higher levels at the DTH school. I looked up to them and I wanted to be them someday, so that made me work and push myself more (which is funny because now I’m in the top level at DTH now). The training and the teachers pushed me and I really improved. I loved how invested the teachers were in our training. I also got a lot of performance opportunities that not only improved my confidence, but I also fell in love with performing. I was able to perform at the Apollo, Symphony Space, and even with the DTH company. Performing always and still gives me a rush. I love being able to connect with the audience and be able to tell a story through my movement.
And that’s how I fell in love with ballet and how I got to DTH, the dance studio I am at right now. If you would like to hear about my experiences at DTH as I got older and my other summer intensive experiences as a teen leave a comment down below. I hope you enjoyed this blog post. If you have any suggestions please leave them in the comments or dm me @gabriellaenpointe or @lifeasgabi.
This post was suggested by @urnaut.nusa