My eating disorder started when I injured my back and could no longer train for a professional career in ballet. It took years to overcome the devastation inside me and in all areas of my life. I took comfort with Ed because it promised me hope and happiness. Neither were true, what it really gave me was 3 psychiatric hospital stays, two eating disorder treatment facilities and a broken life. All of its lies were finally revealed and I came to realize that my ED was the thing that stood between me and dance, not my injury. Because this took 18 years for me to realize, a career as a professional dancer is no longer within my reach. What I can do is help dancers, families, and teachers fight eating disorders.
Dance is my passion…..and so is recovery. 🙂
I started dancing when I was 12 years old. After seeing a worship dance team at my church, I knew dancing was what I wanted to do. Starting with ballet classes, I fell in love with dance and couldn’t get enough of ballet. After one year I knew I was going to be a ballerina. I attended Frederick School of Classical Ballet in Frederick Maryland under the talented instruction of Mrs. Joyce Morrison, former principal with the Washington Ballet. After a year of training and seeing my talent, Joyce sent me to Maryland Regional Ballet School at age 13. Wanting so badly to make dance a permanent part of my life, I auditioned for Virginia School of the Arts in Lynchburg, Virginia. After being accepted into the school, I moved away from home at 14 to study dance full-time and had the privilege of studying under Jan Petrus Bosman from the Royal Ballet in England. Classical ballet was the focus of my training but also studied modern dance with Sveinbjorg Alexanders of Germany and Jazz under Mark Schneider -Assistant Ballet Master with the Fort Worth Ballet. I suffered a career ending spinal injury in the spring of 1994, at the age of 17, which ended my professional dance career.
With a broken dream and a hole in my heart, I walked away from dance and became a behavioral specialist for children and adolescents, a licensed Massage Therapist, and obtained my Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services. During those years, I developed anorexia, an exercise and diet pill addiction, bulimia and diagnosed with Bipolar 2 Disorder, which almost took my life.
Where I am today….
18 years later…..I am here, talking to you. I tried walking away but recovery, for me, meant going back to the beginning. I faced my greatest fear and grieved the loss of ballet. Recovery made it possible for me to have dance back in my life, and that is Dancing With ED. My non-profit has one purpose, to help struggling dancers.
I do not claim to have all the answers, there is no one who does. But I can say that I know what it is like fighting everyday, every hour, every minute. And if there is one thing I can say to you it is…..YOU ARE NOT ALONE!