Dance, for me, has always been about having fun. I dance with San Francisco Ballet, but I didn’t start with ballet. I began with hip-hop when I was very young, at Ewajo, a small dance studio in Seattle.
I was exhausted and wanted nothing more than a hot bath and bed, but something kept me from brushing this girl off. All I had left were my warm-up shoes—de-shanked and shabby—but on impulse I dug into my ballet bag, pulled them out, and offered them to her. The huge smile that instantly transformed her face brought a smile to mine as well, and I asked for her sister’s name so I could sign the shoes.