Artist Statement

As a little girl, I’d walk through the grocery store with my parents dancing on my tiptoes imagining I was a ballerina. I continued doing this and eventually took an interest in gymnastics. Seeing Shawn Johnson in the Olympics was my favorite thing to do as an elementary schooler; I’d watch closely, making sure my fingers and toes extended just as hers did.

After a while my dreams of being a ballerina/gymnast died down. The media made me feel as though I could never be either one of these things if I hadn’t already started around the age of 4. To this day, I still point my toes, extend my arms, and do kicks, flips, and spins at random moments (even in the store). I sometimes even walk around on my tiptoes as if I’m wearing ballet shoes. I’m 18 now and I still have those dreams and I do plan on reaching them. Although many people have told me that it will be difficult starting out as a young adult, I still have the drive to pursue my dream. This painting took me about 3-4 weeks to complete because I wanted to capture movement. The imperfect busy, green dance wallpaper, her bent arms and leg, her tilted head. I appreciate this even more because it shows something the media does not typically shed light on: Black ballerinas, something I know I’ll eventually become.

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