I’ve had my Instagram page since 2018 [when I was in elementary school]. [I’ve learned] social media is a space to be able to express yourself in whatever manner you like. You can display your own ideas and thoughts but it also comes with a lot of comparison and wanting to be like somebody else. I see a lot of dance on my social media and it's really easy to feel what I'm seeing or the people I'm seeing are much better than me or have more skill than me. Usually the people I see might have more experience than me in a skill or a dance style and it makes me feel very small. It can make me feel a little bit down and doubting my dance skills, but I've grown from that. [Greenhouse] has taught me that success is subjective and you should be able to determine your own success and success doesn’t look the same on everybody, so success to you, might not be the same for me. For me, I feel successful when I'm working towards a goal and that took me a really long time and I finally reached there. Or I'm still in the process of reaching that goal. So [I've learned] success doesn't have to the end point or finished product, but the process.


I always feel like there might be something I can’t get done. Especially with [my] age. Balancing school and dance, especially when [they’re] separate is really hard considering the hours and having to study for major tests, especially being 8th graders having to take the Regents test. But I always tell myself that sometimes you have to limit yourself. I have to understand that I’m doing a lot. A few days ago, I took a few days to myself and I really enjoyed my own company. In a way [expectations] could make you feel good about yourself knowing that people not only expect so much from you, but see and realize and notice how much you do. So it’s nice to get that recognition and understand that there are people who are supportive of the things that you do and who will always be rooting for you. But on the other hand, it could start to feel like they’re so much pressure on you and if you don’t overachieve or if you don’t keep yourself up to these standards.


Greenhouse gives welcoming energy and encouragement. They inspire me so much to be creative and they’ve helped me and guided me with my high school audition process and everything else. It’s not only a dancing community, but Greenhouse is like a family. I love the bubbly personalities of [the teachers] and how they’re all so sweet and encouraging and welcoming. It’s just that you automatically feel loved with all their hugs and the things that they say to you. It doesn’t feel like they’re staff members or just our dance teachers, but our families. [I felt really encouraged] when [Greenhouse] helped me with my high school auditions, providing me a space to practice, helping me come up with choreography and just the lessons. I [also] met a lot of friends [at Greenhouse]. It opened up my eyes. I feel like Greenhouse really opened up a shell for me. I've never really been a shy person, but at times, I can be very reserved and quiet. So I feel like Greenhouse has made me more social and really willing to dive into new friendships. I feel like it opened my life and a lot of love and willingness to make friends. The little ballerinas, they’re so adorable. I really like seeing young minds, who are interested in dance and being able to help them through that journey. You’re like role models to them.


I tend to really doubt my skills and myself. And I let that hold me back and I let that put my fear in that. [Greenhouse] has really helped me release that, to get rid of all that doubt and put more trust in myself and more confidence in myself. Failure, especially being a dancer, it’s bound to happen. However you have to understand that it’s something that you learn from. So don’t just bask in your failure, but make it an opportunity to take something from it. And understand that there is always room to grow. Greenhouse has taught me that there are endless possibilities and my life doesn't have to stop at dance. I have other interests outside of what I do. A big part of going to a performing arts high school is discovering whether dance is something I wanted to pursue as a career or professionally. So I can dive deep into my love of dance and see how far I'm willing go. Greenhouse has taught me that's not the only possibility for my life and that's opened me up to thinking the many places I can take my life and where it can go. It doesn't only end at one place.