I don’t really take breaks. I’ve been taught that breaks were [associated] with laziness. And I was always on the move from a really, really young age. So being on the move with everything, getting from a far away location of home and back to school and then come to dance and go back home and then still have to study for a test in the morning. That is A LOT. And then when I feel overwhelmed or if I feel like I have high anxiety of failure, because that thought comes in a lot, I turn all of that into anger and that’s not a good thing. But when it happens, I disassociate myself from people, especially people that support me. I probably answer a text late. Not because I don’t see the text, but because I’m probably overwhelmed with emotions and stuff. And I don’t want to answer it in a way that probably would be negative. So when those emotions come up, I really don’t take breaks. I just sleep. And then I come back to do it again and then that process happens.


High expectations come from parents, peers, yourself, teachers. When teachers compliment me, “you’re so smart. You’re so talented.” I’m like you saying that is kinda adding more pressure. Because it’s like what if I mess something up or mess up a move on stage? Will all of those compliments mean nothing or will you take it back if I mess up this one time? That’s scary. I’m not really worth taking that risk. Especially with parents, when they talk about you and they don’t even know, or some adults don’t even know they hold you up to that expectations. [You holding those expectations] just adds more pressure and anxiety comes into play. Success can really change your mindset, for better or for worse. I know a lot of people see it for good, but some people take it too far. For me personally, when you get a lot of compliments, people see it as motivation. I just see it as pressure, to be honest. I still say thank you as a courtesy.


But success can really change people’s mindsets. I’ve seen it before, of people being so successful to the point where they’re egotistical and they just think they can do a lot of things. And that’s happened to me a few times before. You fall really hard into failure’s pit and it really crushes you. And some people, they act like they’re really successful and stuff such as them showing off their persona that they’re doing everything fine or everything is going great, but really they feel really crappy and stuff. And that even adds even more pressure to the idea of success. But if you actually use it for good, it can give you motivation and it can be really truly inspiring and really positive. A lot of people have the idea of comparing, if you compare and you get the replica of their success, you’ll be happy with their success. Keyword: theirs. But then if you actually copy from every single detail and you get their same successes, like are you really happy with that? Did you not want your own?


Greenhouse has taught me that I can lower my expectations. I think specifically for dance, especially at Greenhouse, I feel like there’s always going to be a chance to get back up and succeed at whatever I’m failing at. [When I came here], there was a lot of loneliness. Specifically for me, I’m an only child and I have lots of friends, but I wasn’t really close with them. When I came to Greenhouse and met [my friend Alise], that void was filled. A lot of the teachers they were welcoming me, that was actually really comforting, because I didn’t get it that a lot. When I think of [Greenhouse Director] Mrs. Panzica, I feel like she’s a better that doesn’t run out and she’’s full of energy and just does not stop. Ms. Diana is a ray of sunshine, it’s like the moon is never existing. She’s just always there and she brings a lot of wisdom, teaching us a lot of things. And Mr. Tuna, a lot of moves and techniques I’ve learned specifically for hip-hop. I think of him as a sassy teacher, but sassy in a good way. He gives you confidence.


My family has high expectations for me, since I’m the only chance of a child that they do have and will ever have. So I have a lot of expectations that I live up to. When people ask, what do I want? I’m like what do I actually want? I know I want to get into fashion, but then again, it’s like is that what everyone else wants? Does it matter what everyone else wants?