© 2014 shay

Glorious Dreams


Ever since I was a child I spent most hours of my dance inside a dance studio. At the age of fourteen I got a scholarship to join the Israeli Ballet. I cannot say it wasn’t an amazing experience for me to join the Israeli ballet but I cannot say it did not harm me. The studio was an hour from my house, my study time was done on train and in cars, and my social interaction time? It did not exactly exist.  I walked into that class for the first time amazed to realize everybody else is at least 18 years old. I can say the dancers in that class didd not treat me the nicest. The end of the year came and the Israeli Ballet decided to put up a performance for “Alice in Wonderland”.  As a 14 years old I received a solo in that performance, which was mostly one of the most bittersweet moments of my life. I was so excited yet terrified. I spent hours in the studio until I could not move my legs anymore and someone would kick me out. The injuries I have experienced while practicing were not something any kid my age should experience. The quick solution was pain killers. I convinced myself that it will fix everything. All I wanted was to reach perfection, nothing was ever good enough for me. I gave up myself for reaching something impossible. It is not that I knew exactly what I wanted but I knew one thing and it was “it must be perfect”. After months of practice, the performance came and I went up on that stage doing the best I can, promising my body I will give it rest when all this is over. I decided to get rid of pain killer and let my body heal and only then I understood what happened. I believe this all came from the fear of failure and now, I have overcame that fear. The reason I chose to share it is because I have decided that now I am old enough to understand that doing the best you can is not the same as reaching perfection.

Being a dancer if every little girl’s dream for me it never left. This determination, competitiveness and perfectionism that I have in me made me give up my life for a dream I did not know if I even wanted to pursuit. I worked hard, I really worked hard. If my average grades would have been below 90% my mother would not let me continue dancing so far away from home. So I did everything I could, but there are only so many hours a day. This situation was a bit traumatic for me. Waking up with not much feeling in your legs is terrifying but I am thankful I have experienced it because I learnt the hard way that doing the best and being determined is important but looking around and being more of a balanced person is very important. I believe I became more of a balanced person trying to make the best of each day 🙂




  1. echoyoung
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 8:31 am | #

    Your video is fantastic, Shay – the montage of your videos and the close-up of your hand holding the pill? Very powerful and emotive.

    Thanks for sharing this, Shay. I’ve been so looking forward to your project ever since the first day you told me you were excited to put it together, and it’s really wonderful to see the time and effort you put into it. This might also be one of your best writing pieces you’ve given me yet! 🙂 Thank you for sharing such a poignant story, and it’s been so fun to do silks with you in the recent weeks!

  2. Hillary Lauder
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 4:34 am | #

    I’m so glad Mrs.Cho shared your link with me. Both the written piece and video are beautiful. Your thoughts on the difference between doing your best and reaching perfection were fascinating. Maybe some day you will be able to share your wisdom with other young girls?
    Its been an absolute joy to get to know you better through the silks class. I hope you are able to pursue it more in the future if you wish. You certainly have the ability to go as far as you want in the aerial arts and, most importantly, the wisdom to decide how far is far enough.

  3. Louise vanSteveninck
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 6:13 am | #

    Hi Shay,
    What a fantastic video! It is very powerful, especially the comment you make about goals getting in the way of life. Your video is beautifully balanced too with the dance movements forming the bridge between the two parts. Very well crafted. You use great powerful imagery of the painkillers and bandages too, to convey your message. And I love your music choice!

  4. dgrezeszak
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 7:42 am | #

    Touching. Really great work. You are stronger now!! That is what matters.

  5. Ji Hyun
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 9:54 am | #

    I love your artistic video, and how you faced up to your fears—I had no idea all the troubles you had behind your positive laughs today!

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