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erinlebronI’ve been a dancer since I was four years old. I took a break as I entered college (and more intensive treatment) and during my time as a ballerina of sorts I used dancing as a way to pretend that everything was okay. I focused so much energy on learning, growing, and developing as a dancer that parts of me, Erin, as a person were left undeveloped, neglected, and hurt. One of the things I always told myself and honestly believed was that if I became a better dancer then my life would be better. But the truth is no matter how good of a dancer I was I was still the same me. Learning to live without the art form that had become so much of my life was so challenging at first; distressing at times, almost as though I had lost part of my identity. Today, I am me, and I am dancing again (in my own healthy capacity) I teach young kids the joys of movement, and I have fun, I move, and I once again find love in dance; but I know that I will never find what I once looked for in the mirrors of the dance studio: perfection, for I finally understand it doesn’t exist. Today I am Erin, a girl who love dance among other things – and I don’t think there is anyone I would rather be.

Ballerina No More
By: Erin Casey

Pink Satin Shoes
Big Fluffy Tutus
These were the things I lived for

I decorated my life in trophies, medals and ribbons
I practiced routines, moves and technique
For I knew that all I ever wanted to be was
Ms. Ballerina

I still get sad because there are things I miss
Like the after perfect performance bliss

But most of the time underneath the pink perfection
Was deep self rejection and disconnection

I hid my hurt, hate and helplessness
People including myself were blinded by my hard work

It soon become obvious but seemingly complicated
For dance and I had become one
It was not as simple as me being done

Eventually though for me to let go
Of the hurt, hate and helplessness
I needed to learn to live beyond the trophies, medals and ribbons
I needed to stop hiding behind the perfect performance bliss
And examine the deep self rejection and disconnection
I never stopped working hard
Just channeled it somewhere new
So I could figure out how to be not false but true
And I learned that dance and I were never really one
But that dance is something that can be; and still is fun

You are worthy. You are beautiful.
My name is Erin and This is Where I Stand.