That is what it was. Jessie+hours of hard work=Dance. She started down the typical dance path at age 3 with the normal jazz/tap/ballet combo. She loved it from the start. She danced for 14 years; the last few years her life were almost entirely comprised of dance, mostly ballet, nearly every day of the week. And this was almost entirely what Jessie wanted. Over the years, I had many moms ask me how I made Jessie to go dance class. I never did have to make her go to dance though; she just loved it and worked tremendously hard at it. Over the years it was a joy to watch her progress and to watch her dance. Although this may seem odd, among my fondest memories of those many years of dance was driving her to lessons, most especially over the last few years.
There comes a point when a person has to make the choice and you ask yourself: is your passion still your passion? Is this going to be your passion for the rest of your life? Jessie gave up a lot of things for dance and there is life to be had outside of it. And while dance itself may be beautiful, behind the scenes it is less so. And after so many years of intense work you can simply burn out. Last summer she made the hardest decision she has had to make. After a lot of tears and discussion, she realized that she wanted to live a "normal" teenage life and explore the other areas of talents she possesses. And although it has been very difficult for her, (and me), I know she made the right decision. It's been just as enjoyable to see her live a "normal" life.
These pictures are from the Grand Prix Competition in February 2008. Above is from her Contemporary Piece; the bottom her Ballet Variation.
I think she is beautiful. Inside and Out.