My name is Everly, 14, and I live in Toronto, Canada. I dance at The School of Cadence Ballet.
Can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started ballet when I was barely walking. I used to go to the studio and watch my mom teach, and I wanted to be like the older girls. I started taking classes when I was 2. My dance studio had a very well-rounded dance program, but I really loved Ballet best. I went to the National Ballet of Canada for 2 summers. And then I decided to go to The School of Cadence Ballet so I could focus just on ballet. I love it there and have been able to audition for all the big ballet schools in the world. I was so happy to be accepted into schools like Royal Ballet, San Francisco, Vaganova, Kirov, Ellison, and Paris Opera for summer and some for full time. But because of Covid, I was unable to go. I am really happy with my training at SCB though, so that is where I want to stay for now.
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?
I think it has been both easy and hard. My family has been able to afford to send me to dance lessons and support me that way. But it is also hard seeing other students who have families who are unable to pay for private lessons, private school, travelling, and go to many summer intensives. It is also hard because some relatives are not as supportive because they don't think that being a ballet dancer is a realistic career. It can be stressful, but I keep working to prove to them that I can do it.
What personal limitations if any did you go through in your young career?
A big limitation for me is that I have Celiac Disease. I get a lot of stomachaches and feel unwell, even just from minor cross-contamination. Sometimes, I have to sit out, which I don’t like doing, or I push through, but I know I am not dancing my best. I also have a sleep disorder, and it is sometimes hard to dance when you haven’t been able to sleep.
Has anybody ever tried to limit you on what you could do? If so how did you fight it?
Some of my family members don't love me dancing. But I keep proving to them that I can handle dancing more. I really want to do comp this year, but they think it will be too much. I am hoping that if my marks are good, maybe I can compete again.
How do you conquer negative talk?
I just try to think about what I am good at and keep working on the things that need work. I also know everyone develops differently, so I try not to compare myself to others.
What is your favorite quote?
"Keep calm and ballet on" - Author Unknown
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I just really hope to make it through the year without having to go back to zoom classes. Maybe I will also be able to go away for a summer intensive this year.