My name is Ava Buckhalt and I am 14 years old. I live in Maryland and I dance at Turning Pointe Dance Academy.


Photographer: @jeritidwellphotography

Can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.

I am a “military brat” born at Fort Knox, Kentucky. When I was 6 weeks old, we moved to Fort Rucker, Alabama. At 2, we moved to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and at 7 we moved to Maryland.

I took my first ballet class when I was 2 years old. When we moved to Maryland, I began taking dance classes at Turning Pointe Dance Academy; I joined their Competitive Team in 2017. I train in all dance genres, but I especially love Contemporary and Ballet.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?

Moving so many times was hard for me. I was very sad to leave so many friends. More recently I have realized that pursuing your passion can also come at a price. “I can’t, I have dance’” is a recurring statement for me. I am a Freshman in high school this year and it is hard to not be able to participate in school activities but, in the end it is worth it to me because of how much I love dance.


What personal limitations if any did you go through in your young career?

I have had a couple of significant dance injuries. Thankfully, they have not affected me long term, though they have taught me patience and the importance of listening to your body.

Has anybody ever tried to limit you on what you could do? If so how did you fight it?

I am very fortunate that everyone in my life has been super supportive.

Photographer: @jeritidwellphotography

How do you conquer negative talk?

Negative talk is so toxic. I really try to ignore the negativity and focus on positivity.

What is your favorite quote?

“Believe in your infinite potential. Your only limitations are those you set upon yourself.” - Roy T. Bennett

Photographer: @ally_day_photography

So, what’s next? Any big plans?

I am super excited about a new season of dance! I am part of some unique group dances with fantastic choreography!

Sep 29, 2022

More from 



View All

Join Our Newsletter and Get the Latest
Posts to Your Inbox

No spam ever. Read our Privacy Policy
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.