What I thought was going to be one of the most defining moments of my life was getting into my dream program Fashion Communication at Ryerson University.
Getting accepted into University is all anyone talks about through their highschool years. But, being a competitive athlete, regional arts program dancer and highschool student I always had a full plate. At times it was hard balancing a part time job, school, figure skating and a social life, but looking back I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
As my friends and I entered a new chapter of our lives, attending Universities far and near, I had to reevaluate my decisions. As figure skating took a back seat and my studies came first, I found myself becoming more and more unhappy. Figure skating brings me the utmost joy and I knew it was something I wanted to pursue.
So I took a chance and made a plan.
I deferred from school and spent hours a day training on ice and off ice, putting together audition videos and sending them to names like Royal Caribbean Cruises and Disney On Ice. I told myself I would give myself one year to see what I could accomplish in the sport.
Through this process I was judged by many people. Some, calling me crazy for not being in school, telling me that skating isn’t a real job. It was hard, but I couldn’t have done it without the support system I had around me. My coach Adrian pushed me every day to keep going and keep believing. I was skating the best I have ever skated all thanks to his help. He truly taught me that having a job that makes you happy is far more important than what people will ever think about you. I have my parents and family to thank, as they have always encouraged me to chase my dreams and have always been by my side to help me do so.
There were times that I, myself, wanted to give up… not hearing back from any job opportunities in my field, waiting and waiting, refreshing my email every five seconds.
And then finally one day there it was an email from Disney On Ice. Saying that they loved me for the role of Moana on a European tour starting in October.
In that moment I knew all my dreams were about to come true. I got flown to Tampa Bay to get fitted and photographed.
I signed my six month contract in Europe.
I packed my bags and was set for the experience of a lifetime.
Some will say you just got lucky. Or that would never happen to me. But, I used to think those exact same things. And look where I am now. Anything is possible with a dream and a plan.
“Take a chance.
Go for it.
Be all in.
Or else why do anything at all.”
In the end we only regret the chances we didn’t take.