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Instagram photo by carolineyangphotoVisit St. Paul Ballet's FB page to read today's full statements for Take Back the Tutu! "I’ve been learning that dance is not my identity. When I began to balance dance with other aspects of my life, my fuel tank began to stabilize, & I noticed an improvement in all the areas of my life. My Catholic faith has been the biggest stabilizer of my fuel tank. When I pray & spend time with God, my tank fills up. I know that I am loved & that I count as a person, so no matter how dance goes, I know that I have worth. Also, regardless of how busy or crazy my schedule is, I always try find time to spend with friends. The time I spend with them builds me up & encourages me so that I can approach dance with new energy and excitement. Now that I don’t rely on dance as the only determinant of my happiness, my fuel tank remains more stable. I’m not always 100% full, but thanks to the newfound balance in my life, I can dance freely and enjoy moving more than I ever have before." -Amanda Meuer, Company Apprentice // "My hope is to specialize in dialectical behavioral therapy for adolescents as well as dancers. In order to gain some experience in this field, I volunteered at a residential treatment center for adolescents with mental health illnesses last summer, and taught creative movement and ballet classes to the residents. I was so proud to see many of them have the strength to let go of their fear of failure, become vulnerable, and get lost in this movement that was new and foreign to them. I began to see how much joy it brought them to be able to revel in the movement, express themselves, and forget about being in treatment for just an hour a week. Those kids in that residential treatment center are what fuels me. As a dancer, they fuel me to remember my love and passion for dance, even when my feet are bleeding, my head hurts from learning three new ballets in one week, or when I’m frustrated with not being able to execute a pirouette exercise in class. Their willingness to completely release themselves into the movement reminds me of the reason I love dancing the most; it is the purest, most blissful form of self expression for me." - Amy Trayers, Company Apprentice

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