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Success Stories
Smileywoman's "Success Story" [inspiration from a 45 year old dancer] (karma: 10)
By smileywomanmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 11032, member since Sat Sep 17, 2005
On Tue Dec 06, 2005 10:06 PM
Edited by webthighmaster (251) on 2005-12-19 00:30:56 fix non-sgml characters
How a 45 year old's passion for the simply joys of dancing brought her back to ballet. Pursue your passion regardless of age!

I love dance.net because it's an outlet as well as a support system for dancers of all ages and levels. KUDOS to DDN for being an avenue for so many lovers of dance! Below is my story, I hope it inspires!

I got back into ballet because it has always been my passion to express myself through some form of performing arts. As a kid I wrote songs, stories, poems, was a gymnast, played the guitar, and did a bit of ballet. I grew up poor without financial or family support... I was an "A" student and was told that I must have a SERIOUS career and I wouldn't be allowed to go to New York City and be a starving artist.

I moved to DC at 18 and spent the next 20 years working on a medical journal. I then was a business consultant until I put myself through college graduating last August with an honors degree in Psychology.

I own two businesses that I run outside of my home. One is buying and selling vintage wedding gowns as well as refurbishing old gowns with vintage materials and laces from all over the world. I also do web design and maintenance.

I remarried 3 years ago, after falling in love for the first time. My new husband is my best friend and nurtures and believes in my dreams. Therefore, I've been encouraged for the first time in my life to pursue my artistic side for the sheer joy of personal expression. I sing, dance, and am learning to play the piano. We also have a banjo and mandolin in the family, which I've been eyeing with interest. We have six children between us...all grown expect one.

As far as my pointe shoes, first I'll describe my challenging feet! I wear an American women’s size 8.5 medium to wide because of my wide fore foot. I also have a high arch, a tapered foot, 2nd toe longer than the first, and hammer toe. In addition, I fight metatarsalgia which bothers me in my aerobic exercise, but ironically not in ballet! I have many pairs of pointe shoes, but my Gaynor Minden's are by far my favorite! My GMs are size 9 sleeks with a number 4 box and a sleek heel. I also have a pair of Fuzi's which I will probably ditch [too wide]. I also have Pawlova's, [easy to go en pointe, but overall not comfortable] and Maya II's [new from Russia which I'm saving for when my other pointe shoes die]. The quality of my Maya IIs surpasses the CHEAP paste shoes I so often encounter. I also have a pair of Ulanova II's for sale. . . I bought the wrong size and they wouldn’t take them back!

I’ve provided a link to my dance photo album at photobucket.com if you'd like to see some pics. CAUTION: They're modest at best…REMEMBER I'm a beginner! photobucket.com . . .

My favorite funny pic is the one I call "red pointe waiting." I like it because it captures my frustration with working the self-timer on my digi camera.

PS The non-dance pic is of one of my dogs, Annie. She’s the stupidest, cutest, most loveable dog on the planet!

Dance because you LOVE it and don't let the lack of support deter you.

Regards,

smileywoman

48 Replies to Smileywoman's "Success Story" [inspiration from a 45 year old dancer]

re: Smileywomans Success Story [inspiration from a 45 year old dancer]
By Dancing_Fairy3 Comments: 50, member since Fri Nov 11, 2005
On Wed Dec 07, 2005 10:09 AM
Removed by calypso (11968) on 2006-01-07 11:49:38 This is netspeak ---> "u r kewl... wut skool do u go to?". Netspeak is the deliberate shortening or misspelling of words. It is not permitted anywhere on this site. Not on the boards, either in original posts or replies, and not in chat. Period. Please take the time to type those few extra letters. Moderators will completely remove posts that contain netspeak.
wow them pictures are really gd

im 14 and hoping to start ballet after christmas. i already do tap and modern jazz, so a new challenge would be great!

neway thanks for letting me look at the pics and ur post was great thanks.

xxxx
re: Smileywomans Success Story [inspiration from a 45 year old dancer]
By Lauren_M21member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 1488, member since Tue Mar 16, 2004
On Wed Dec 07, 2005 10:46 AM
wow its amazing
Lozzy m
re: Smileywomans Success Story [inspiration from a 45 year old dancer]
By Euphoriamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 1909, member since Mon Dec 05, 2005
On Thu Dec 08, 2005 05:20 PM
i really enjoyed reading about your story. I think its wonderful that you have pursued your dream to continue with ballet. In a way i can relate im 23 and I did ballet for about 15 years and got to intermediate ISTD, however, i also had to go get a serious career and after getting a law degree im now in the process of training as a barrister and didnt have time for ballet anymore. Its only been recently that ive dusted off my shoes and started again, and its soo hard and my body has been bitterly complaining! I looked at your pictures and they are fantastic, you have wonderful turnout and great arches and you look so happy in all of them, you really are an inspiration. Can i just say that you also have the cutest dog!
WOW!
By ballerina_manque Comments: 57, member since Sun Aug 07, 2005
On Fri Dec 09, 2005 01:08 PM
I think that the progress you have made is amazing. I am a later starter as well, started when I was 15. I cannot wait for the day when I can to releves on pointe without falling over. I can't wait for the day I can actually become as flexible as you are. Way to go. Congrats.
re: Smileywomans Success Story [inspiration from a 45 year old dancer]
By Yoli Comments: 180, member since Fri Apr 16, 2004
On Sat Dec 10, 2005 01:00 AM
I enjoyed your story and pics. I'm 23 and beginning pointe. I love dancing so much. Much like your family, my family thinks performing arts are nothing you take to seriously, only for fun. So I never danced hoping to make it my career.. ofcourse now I wish I had looking at the progress I've made in two years dancing nothing but ballet. But I dance because nothing else makes me more happy then seeing my feet in those beautiful pointe shoes... To all the young girls whose family would rather they do something other than the arts for a career just remember no matter what you choose never stop dancing as long as it make you happy! Congrats Smileywoman you look great!
re: Smileywomans Success Story [inspiration from a 45 year old dancer]
By lakisha Comments: 5405, member since Mon Mar 28, 2005
On Sat Dec 10, 2005 10:18 AM
Your never too old and it is never too late. Thank you for proving that!!!Keep up the good work
re: Smileywomans Success Story [inspiration from a 45 year old dancer]
By Honeymember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 2842, member since Wed Jul 06, 2005
On Sat Dec 10, 2005 03:19 PM
That's really cool. good job!
re: Smileywomans Success Story [inspiration from a 45 year old dancer] (karma: 1)
By mynameisxena Comments: 47, member since Tue Aug 09, 2005
On Mon Dec 12, 2005 11:07 AM
Smileywoman, you rock! :)

I'm only 3 years younger than you, so I can relate all too well to the physical challenges of being an "older" dancer. I've been through a rough spot lately, and thought I had to give up dance (which is why I haven't posted to the forums at all for awhile. I was in a deep depression). Out of the blue I got a phone call asking me to tutour a girl in ballet and I grabbed at the chance to be a part of the ballet world again. Now I'm forming a small company, and once again putting on the pointe shoes. (I really need to find a comfy pair, but that's another topic, lol). My first day back here reading posts, and yours just leaped out at me. I LOVe your pics and your cute little dog. they're all just awesome. Your story is truly inspiring. I need to remind myself that it's nevcer too late as long as I'm still breathing.

Thanks for the inspiration and the reminder!
re: Smileywomans Success Story [inspiration from a 45 year old dancer]
By smileywomanmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 11032, member since Sat Sep 17, 2005
On Mon Dec 12, 2005 12:55 PM
Your reply to my story was so touching that it made me cry! I'm so very happy that you are inspired by my story. I wanted to provide some inspirational words to all the wonderful supportive people at DDN.

Thank you for being one of them, and I hope you keep us posted [especially me...I want to hear about your wonderful experiences as you recapture your love of dance again].
Smileywoman's "Success Story" [inspiration from a 45 year old dancer]
By lovelydancer Comments: 1908, member since Fri Jul 20, 2001
On Thu Dec 15, 2005 11:34 AM
Smileywoman~

Your story is a huge inspiration to me! I am 24 and have been out of dance for 2 years and just started taking again! Your story made me realize that it doesnt matter what age you are if you love dancing as much as we all do here at dance.net then you should go for your dream. I am hoping to get back into pointe next year once my body gets used to taking class again! Let me tell you its been rough!! But I am so happy to be back in dance!!

Thank you so much for your story! It really did touch me!

Lovelydancer
re: Smileywomans Success Story [inspiration from a 45 year old dancer]
By BalletFanmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 395, member since Mon Oct 28, 2002
On Fri Dec 16, 2005 12:18 PM
Wow.

I am 40 and a non-dancer but think its wonderful to see a beautiful lady like you doing ballet.

Keep the good work up and share photos with us more often.

Regards

Paul
re: Smileywomans Success Story [inspiration from a 45 year old dancer]
By BaBy_GiRl_DaNcEr Comments: 19, member since Wed Sep 28, 2005
On Sun Dec 18, 2005 10:07 PM
i really enjoyed reading about your story. I think its wonderful that you have done your dream to continue with ballet. I cant really relate. Its only been recently that ive done more dancing but i think its great to hear youve done lots to enjoy your dream! I looked at your pictures and they are fantastic, you have wonderful turnout and great arches and you look so happy in all of them, you really are an inspiration. Can i just say that you also have the cutest dog!
re: Smileywoman's "Success Story" [inspiration from a 45 year old dancer]
By shuliemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 354, member since Sat Sep 25, 2004
On Tue Dec 20, 2005 07:05 AM
Wow! You have such beautiful legs and feet! And I want your graceful arms!
I am an adult ballet student too- though much younger than you (I am 22)- I can relate to you 100%!
It is very inspirating to see adults progress in ballet- it once again shows that ballet and pointe are not just for the youngsters and is a prove that an adult can look wonderful on pointe too.
Great pictures and great post!

(P.S: What an adorable dog! :))
re: Smileywoman's "Success Story" [inspiration from a 45 year old dancer]
By Agrippina Comments: 449, member since Tue Apr 08, 2003
On Sun Dec 25, 2005 01:02 PM
Wow. Congratulations on sticking with ballet. The pictures are lovely. You are such an inspiration.
Inspired & Motivated!
By Virtue Comments: 47, member since Tue Jan 08, 2002
On Fri Dec 30, 2005 08:53 AM
Thank you for sharing your story...it has motivated me to pursue my dream of forming my dance company...I haven't had any formal training, but I've taken classes, mostly hip-hop...I do want to branch into other areas of dance, esp. ballet...I plan to start a beginner's class at the beginning of the year, along with a couple of other classes...I'm 25, but not exactly in shape, but reading your story has given me the courage and hope that I know I can do this.....thank you so much!
re: Smileywoman's "Success Story" [inspiration from a 45 year old dancer]
By ForevaDancing Comments: 69, member since Sun Feb 20, 2005
On Fri Dec 30, 2005 10:50 AM
I'm inspired!!! the fact that you are still so determined to continue doing something you love after all those years. it has reassured me that i will continue to dance no matter what.it proves that you can still enjoy to do what you want to do even though you have a career and a family. congratulations!!
re: Smileywoman's "Success Story" [inspiration from a 45 year old dancer]
By CALLSTEPHEN8888 Comments: 2, member since Tue Jan 10, 2006
On Tue Jan 10, 2006 06:31 PM
Very inspirational. It would be nice to hear some more as your dancing progresses.
happy
By OSDAStarlett Comments: 2, member since Wed Jan 11, 2006
On Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:53 AM
happy you got to follow your dreams!
re: Smileywoman's "Success Story" [inspiration from a 45 year old dancer]
By housewife4ballet Comments: 24, member since Tue Jan 17, 2006
On Tue Jan 17, 2006 07:37 AM
wow, your pictures are great and your story very inspiring! i'm 24 and have just started ballet (last summer) and you've given me hope to keep at it! i'd give you karma but i'm new and can't. thanks for sharing!
re: Smileywoman's "Success Story" [inspiration from a 45 year old dancer]
By cute4u_86 Comments: 147, member since Wed Aug 24, 2005
On Sun Feb 19, 2006 11:03 PM
Maria, your success does not ends here but only starts. Thank you so much for giving us extra motivation to continue to stay healthy

XXX AmAndA XXX
success story
By xoxodancexoxo Comments: 23, member since Fri Jan 13, 2006
On Mon Feb 20, 2006 02:25 PM
Wow I love that you because so successful in life after all you went threw!! I hope that you become the dancer you've always wanted to become.
re: Smileywoman's "Success Story" [inspiration from a 45 year old dancer]
By thenextfonteynmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 293, member since Sun Jun 05, 2005
On Fri Apr 07, 2006 08:42 PM
"Dance because you LOVE it and don't let the lack of support deter you."

i love that comment!! i have no support for my dancing from my dad's side and my mum's side are only tolerating it because they don't want to say no to me. More than anything, i want to become a successfull ballerina, even if it's only in a small company, all that matters to me is that i dance. You are inspirational in that you found a way to include dance in your life even after all these years. You rock!!

*~t_n_f~*
re: Smileywoman's "Success Story" [inspiration from a 45 year old dancer]
By delilahhaze Comments: 22, member since Sun May 21, 2006
On Sun May 21, 2006 01:51 PM
i find your story hugely inspiring- thank you so much for encouraging me to accomplish my dream! i am a nondancer, 20 yrs old and overweight, but hopefully this will all change!
re: Smileywoman's "Success Story" [inspiration from a 45 year old dancer]
By keiachelle Comments: 22, member since Thu Apr 13, 2006
On Mon Jun 19, 2006 10:45 PM
wow! thanks... If you are dancing now.. I know that I should keep dancing because I love it so much. Thanks for your post. It was very inspirational!!!
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