Speaking Up and Following Her Dream: Ballet Dancer Sydney Magruder
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“I started being open about my experience as a person with mental illness, because there’s a real serious void in the dance world,” says professional ballet dancer Sydney Magruder (@theblackswandiaries), who has struggled with anxiety since childhood.
“In January of 2015, after having mixed success auditioning in New York, I went and did a show in Boston. And then I’m not exactly sure what happened, but for nine months after coming back to New York, I didn’t leave the house. I didn’t go to class. I didn’t see my friends. I hardly talked to anybody except my wife. I’m just getting back to where I feel like I can audition again.
In the ballet world, we don’t pay attention to people with mental illnesses. We kind of write them off and marginalize them as not being dedicated or hardworking enough. But I am one of the most passionate and dedicated people I know — anybody who knows me will also tell you that.
You don’t have to pretend you’re not sick, but you do have to fight every day to make your life what you want it to be. Every day you do have the choice to get up and do something and be great. You can’t let anybody tell you you’re not worthy.” #hereforyou