In the world of dance, stereotypes are like ghosts that haunt every dancer’s pursuit of their passion. They dictate what a dancer should and should not do, how they should look, and even what they should feel.
These stereotypes are particularly insidious because they are often unspoken, yet their impact is felt deeply by those who dare to defy them. But there are those like Brittany O’Connor – a dancer who breaks through these chains, shatters the stereotypes, and inspires others to do the same.
Her journey as a dancer has been nothing but a rollercoaster ride, filled with obstacles that would have shattered anyone else’s dreams. At every turn, she faced discouragement and doubt from those around her. Despite being told that things were not possible for her because she started dancing later in life, she fought against what others believed and eventually found that she had an autoimmune disease that no doctor had taken the time to diagnose until she pushed for it.
Her father, who was a quadriplegic, was injured in his early 20s and told he would never be able to walk again, take care of himself or move again. Despite what everyone told him, he ended up competing on the American Wheelchair rugby team and in the world championships. He raised Brittany and her brother as a single parent, defying the odds. Growing up in this mindset of being a fighter, Brittany was inspired to help people find the belief in themselves in everyday life.
As Brittany said herself, “I never let anyone else dictate my path, and I was determined to prove that I could achieve my dreams regardless of my age.” Countless times, she was told that she couldn’t achieve her dreams because she started dancing later in life. But she never let those hold her back. Through her hard work and dedication, she went on to become an internationally recognized artist, inspiring countless others to follow their dreams despite any perceived limitations.
One of the most pervasive stereotypes in the dance world is the belief that dancers trained in classical forms like ballet cannot perform contemporary or commercial styles. This limiting belief is so ingrained in the dance community that many aspiring dancers feel like they have to choose one style over the other. They are told that they cannot be both a graceful ballerina and a booking commercial artist – that they cannot have the best of both worlds.
Breaking through the boundaries of dance styles, Brittany has shattered the limiting belief that dancers must choose between classical and commercial dance. Her awe-inspiring transition from a graceful ballerina to being known for her fierce, legs for days, fusion styles, she has proven that dancers can be multifaceted and versatile.
With every step she takes, she defies the stereotype and inspires others to explore the limitless possibilities of dance. Brittany‘s journey shows that a dancer’s potential is not limited by their chosen style, but rather by their determination and passion to push beyond the boundaries.
Are you ready to break free from the chains of stereotypes and pursue your passion for dance? Take inspiration from Brittany O’Connor and dare to defy the limits. Step out of your comfort zone, explore different styles, and never let anyone else dictate your path.
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