When I was dancing, I felt in control and happy. I'm a Virgo, so I really like to be in control.
Depending on the level you're at in your company, the higher you go up in rank, usually the longer you can dance.
I don't eat a ton of pasta or bread. But I eat dessert almost every night, and I drink. You need a bit of balance, and I've found mine.
I have the opportunity, which most people don't experience nearly as much, of being in front of a mirror up to 10 hours a day. Staring at your body, you really get to know every little detail of how to make yourself look your best.
Finding great training, I think, is number one. I did a lot of research and found really great teachers, and it just takes - I took a year off from school and did independent studies so that I could devote all of my time to it. But I think that training is the key, definitely, and it's not a sport.
At least in my performances, the audience has become so diverse in a way that I don't think ballet has ever experienced.
It's all so surreal, and I'm living my dream. And you know, principal or not, I'm getting to dance all the roles that I've dreamed of doing.
To be empathetic to everyone around you, I think, is such a powerful thing to hold.
Something happens when you feel that energy and excitement from the audience. And you do, I don't know, four pirouettes. You jump higher than you ever have. And it's just this really magical thing that happens in those moments.
When it came to my childhood - growing up in a single-parent home, often struggling financially - my mother definitely instilled in me and my siblings this strength, this will, to just continue to survive and succeed.
I was the first person in my family who was ever interested in dance, or fine art of any kind for that matter - I came from a very humble beginning in San Pedro, California.
I grew up poor in San Pedro, California, sleeping on the floor of shady motels with my five siblings and not always sure when or where I'd get my next meal.
When I was younger, my feet would hurt a lot, but you build up calluses and strength, and you don't feel as much pain there. But then again, it's a give and take. The older you get, you may feel pain in your back or your hips.
I love heels. I'm 5-foot-2, and I like feeling tall.
I feel like going to class every morning is so humbling. You're always working to improve, and you're always being critiqued on your next performance. It's not about what you've done. There's always room to grow.
It's hard to change someone's ideas when they might not even really consciously know that they're being racist, or have racist ideas, just because ballet has been this way for hundreds of years.
Ballet was this thing that just felt so innate in me, like I was meant to be doing this.
If the rhythm or beat of the music changes with a live orchestra, you have to think on your feet. If you feel like you are not on your leg, you have to make a decision to make it look as though nothing is going wrong.
It's weird for minorities even just to buy tickets to the ballet. We feel like it's not a part of our lives and we're not a part of that world.
What you put into your body is just as important as how hard you dance. I believe with the right training and an understanding of how to take care of your body, you can mold it to be whatever you want it to be.