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How An Injury Led Me to My Passion of Teaching Dance

PC Erik Tomasson, courtesy San Francisco Ballet

Since the beginning, when I first started dancing at 6 years old, I loved it. I never really thought of the hard work and long hours as a sacrifice because ballet always brought me joy and happiness.

In 2013, a bunion injury left me unable to dance for a year and three months. There was a point when I was unsure of whether it was going to heal.

But I never gave up trying to come back. I would go to the gym, I took up swimming, and I even did a little bit of barre to keep my body strong without forcing my foot. I tried to stay as positive as I could, but I couldn't bring myself to watch performances. It made me too sad and frustrated because I didn't know when I would be able to be back up onstage.

Scheller and Vitor Luiz. PC Erik Tomasson, courtesy San Francisco Ballet

As hard as being injured was, it allowed me to discover something new I loved about dance—teaching it to kids. Even though I wasn't able to dance myself, I could still share my passion for ballet through the technique and variations classes I taught. To see a true smile on a student, and to see them progress, fills my heart.

While I was injured, I had so much time to think. I realized how much I enjoyed the fact that dance gives me the ability to express my feelings through movement. Now that I'm dancing again, I want to hold on to that sentiment as long as I can. Dancing is my way of showing my heart and emotions to the world.
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