RIO ANDERSON: The
point of ballet is to make it look effortless. But beneath all of that,
it’s the most difficult thing I could imagine. Ballet can completely break you,
and it’s pretty all or nothing. INTERVIEWER: When did
you start dancing? RIO ANDERSON: I
didn’t start studying ballet, seriously,
at City Ballet School until 14, which is pretty late. A lot of girls start when
they’re like 6, 7, 8, and I started in level
three with the 11-year-olds. INTERVIEWER: Did you ever
feel dejected because you were older, thinking
that you had to do so much more to catch up? RIO ANDERSON: So I would leave
the class almost every day and go cry in the bathroom
before coming back in, because the 11-year-olds
were so talented. And it was really
depressing, and I thought about quitting all of the time. INTERVIEWER: What
kept you going? RIO ANDERSON: It’s
hard because you don’t see improvement day to day. But eventually, you
see just a glimpse, and that feels so when
you can see that you’ve accomplished something. INTERVIEWER: Tell me about
some of the competitions that you’ve won. RIO ANDERSON: This year, we
did participate in the Youth America Grand Prix. It’s the biggest student ballet
competition in the world, and I ended up winning
the silver medal. So I received a scholarship
to the Royal Ballet School. I was accepted to
Harvard this year, but I’m choosing to defer. INTERVIEWER: And
how difficult is it to get into the
Royal Ballet School? RIO ANDERSON: I think
it’s harder than Harvard. It’s definitely a
dream come true. INTERVIEWER: You have a very
distinct ritual when it comes to performance and ballet. Can you tell me about that? RIO ANDERSON: So
part of the ritual for me is a very set routine
for preparing your body. And in doing such a repetitive
and specific warm-up, you also get your mind
into that sort of zen zone. I just sit down, close
my eyes, and then I rehearse my dance in my head. Sometimes I’ll put in
earbuds, but the music activates the muscle
memory when you’re dancing. I like to visualize
all the dancing, go through each step in
my mind, just thinking about the movements,
and also, really train to feel them in my body. You do the ideal in your
head and hope it translates. INTERVIEWER: What
pressure are you under? How high are the stakes for you? RIO ANDERSON: As a
student, each performance matters so much, because
you just don’t have as many, in the competitions. You only have one
chance on stage. It’s a lot of pressure. The visualization is so
important, because it shows me what I’m going for, what I’d
like the performance to be. And I get really nervous. So if my mind goes
blank onstage, the muscle memory kicks
in, because your body recognizes what’s going on
and what’s going to happen. INTERVIEWER: What lessons have
you learned about success? RIO ANDERSON: The most
surprising thing, for me, has just been that
success can come. When I started and I was nowhere
near the top of my class, I never imagined any of this. I really fell in
love with dance when I discovered classical ballet. And it’s strange, but what
I like the most about it is just how challenging it is,
and improvement that you see is directly proportional
to what you put in. You decide how hard
you work, and you decide how much better you
get, and it’s all on you. Which that independence and
control is really satisfying. [MUSIC PLAYING] INTERVIEWER: I hope you
enjoyed this episode about Rio’s dream of becoming
a professional ballerina and the rituals that are
helping her get there. To see more rituals of
extraordinary people, please click here to subscribe. And for another episode,
please click here to watch now. SUBJECT: The ritual of swimming
is so important for me. Every day my body gets to
be immersed in the bay. I can’t imagine my
life without it now.

Meet The Dancing Prodigy Who Turned Down Harvard
Tagged on:                                                                                                                                     

100 thoughts on “Meet The Dancing Prodigy Who Turned Down Harvard

  • June 10, 2019 at 4:05 am
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    I used to do ballet until I was five years old, now I’m regretting the fact that I quit

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  • June 14, 2019 at 2:54 am
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    I wanted to badly to dance at the same age she started, but all the teachers around me were either ass holes and didn't really want me there, obviously, or didn't take me at all… Looks like it has changed =]

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  • June 17, 2019 at 11:31 pm
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    Every time she went on her toes I internally hurt

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  • June 22, 2019 at 6:21 pm
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    She needs to HELP ME I practice everyday and I try so hard but ballet is so difficult some times…….but I will never stop ….periodttttt

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  • July 1, 2019 at 12:35 am
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    I can dance better than her and I am 11!!!
    I do jazz ballet hip hop contemporary lyrical musical theater and open dance

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  • July 8, 2019 at 11:52 pm
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    Rio is my role model ❤️

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  • July 9, 2019 at 8:39 pm
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    Wow beautiful, I can't believe she used to think she wasn't any good

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  • July 9, 2019 at 8:56 pm
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    Btw I don't know what the commenter is talking about bones solidifying at 16 so you can't bend or get the turn out.I started seriously working on my flexibility at 21 and now I can make people feel sick so I must be quite flexible enough 😁

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  • July 10, 2019 at 7:38 am
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    I Wanna get a chance at Harvard

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  • July 14, 2019 at 8:02 pm
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    To defer a college offer usually means to put it off for a year or two before matriculating. Plus Harvard is not the best place for an elite dancer to polish her dancing skills.

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  • July 14, 2019 at 8:15 pm
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    Today she is a moderately successful ballerina in a local setting. She is not known nationally let alone internationally. So I would say prodigy was a little premature as the way things turned out.

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  • July 15, 2019 at 8:35 pm
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    training is not a ritual -shallow thinking

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  • July 16, 2019 at 3:01 am
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    I do ballet it’s hard 😊

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  • July 16, 2019 at 5:07 pm
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    I wish I could do some sort of dance form but I’m like obese. I was 60kg at the age of 12. The fat goes to my legs and arms. I feel embarrassed to go outside to workout and I have no space in my home.
    My mother always buys junk and processed food because she’s always working. My siblings bully me. My brother tells me to starve but it never works out for me. He lost almost 20kg from starving but I’m not very motivated and then my friends will ask why I don’t have lunch.

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  • July 16, 2019 at 10:53 pm
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    Wow people achieving things left and right and then I’m here depressed asf rejected 4 times from college and suicidal

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  • July 18, 2019 at 1:41 am
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    lol she didn't turn down Harvard, she deferred

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  • July 18, 2019 at 10:14 pm
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    I want to dance again but I lost all of my skills from when I did dance when I was 6

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  • July 19, 2019 at 5:18 am
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    Ik someone who got into Harvard but not into our state's college which has a 60% acceptance rate 😂

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  • July 19, 2019 at 11:24 am
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    Inspirational, truly…talent without time and effort… is meaningless.. beautiful, hardworking young woman…

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  • July 19, 2019 at 4:01 pm
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    HER TURN OUT THO. 0_o
    This inspires me to work harder ♥ (Especially on my turn out lol)

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  • July 19, 2019 at 7:42 pm
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    I wonder where she is now?

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  • July 19, 2019 at 8:04 pm
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    51 year old learning from younger generations and winning Thanks so very much Yes muscle memory

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  • July 20, 2019 at 12:04 am
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    Wishing you all the very best.

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  • July 20, 2019 at 1:21 am
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    I want to do ballet sooo bad😢 but we don’t have the money😭😭

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  • July 20, 2019 at 4:00 am
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    Now this is the definition of passionate and determined dancer I mean she turned down one of the ivy leagues I’m surprised. But happy and glad for her 👍👍👏

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  • July 20, 2019 at 7:42 am
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    She is the definition of hardwork and success.

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  • July 20, 2019 at 10:39 am
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    This girl is one of the great examples of the fact that if you never give up, you really can do anything you want

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  • July 20, 2019 at 2:59 pm
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    I would suggest reconsidering the title of the video due to the following reasons:
    1) She did not turn down the offer from Harvard, she deferred. There is a huge difference.
    2) She is not a prodigy; she just worked a lot harder than others. Calling her prodigy is diminishing her hard work.

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  • July 20, 2019 at 3:01 pm
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    The model of success, protocols, and discipline that she uses to manifest her Talent and accomplishments, I bet does not include her being on her cell phone, social media, or gaming and making it the focus of her life! Our schools and most of our youth are failing because of where their focus is applied into video games and social media, and their lack of applying themselves!

    Reply
  • July 20, 2019 at 3:48 pm
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    I’m not surprised she was accepted to Harvard. Extremely smart lady, never heard anyone talk about visualization other than joe rogan.

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  • July 21, 2019 at 12:40 am
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    Please stop saying " So " at the being of your answer. 🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄

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  • July 21, 2019 at 12:42 am
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    I did ballet when I was 8, but the other girls were so terrible that I quit, but it wasn’t worth it. Go for your goals, and don’t give up. The only opinion who matters is yours.

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  • July 21, 2019 at 2:31 am
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    Impressive young woman, 😊🇨🇦

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  • July 21, 2019 at 1:34 pm
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    And what s wrong with you? Harvard? Lifes short, you trew away a better future for what a leotard and a weggie! Are you stupid? well guess what you are now

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  • July 21, 2019 at 5:26 pm
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    so beautiful and talented

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  • July 21, 2019 at 7:07 pm
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    She’s been dancing for 3 years, and she is at that level. That is beyond amazing.

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  • July 22, 2019 at 5:07 am
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    YouTube Recommendations:
    2015: No.
    2016: Not this year
    2017:Nah
    2018: Don’t feel like it
    2019: Yesssss

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  • July 22, 2019 at 5:24 am
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    I only started ballet at 10

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  • July 22, 2019 at 4:29 pm
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    She is just a very hard working girl I think she is amazing but not exactly a prodigy

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  • July 22, 2019 at 4:37 pm
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    I started ballet late too, I understand but Thank you, I’m motivated and inspired.

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  • July 23, 2019 at 3:26 am
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    Devotion. Hard work. It's the only way to achieve anything. This is inspiring.

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  • July 24, 2019 at 11:54 pm
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    The quality of Harvard has gone down in recent years.

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  • July 25, 2019 at 2:11 am
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    THANK YOU SO MUCH
    this has inspired me so so much. i could not get into ballet until a year ago (i’m 15) and the past year was just hard. i always get very sad thinking that i’m very late to it and seeing how every girl my age is so good at it just makes me feel like i’ll never be as good as them. i feel like they’ll never give me important roles because there are girls better than me. i always think about how would it be if i has started earlier even tho i couldn’t. the preassure of being better and catching up with everyone is so much sometimes i think about quitting
    this video really has pushed me and made me feel like i’m not alone and it’s ok and it will get better. i always try and push myself as hard as i can and get very frustrated if things don’t come out great. i guess i need to be patient and hopefully this year i improve even more 💗

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  • July 26, 2019 at 2:10 am
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    “The improvement you see is directly proportional to what you put in. It’s all on you. And that’s so satisfying.” Words of a true athlete!

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  • July 28, 2019 at 1:38 am
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    I wish I could be a dancer but there is no places nere me

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  • July 29, 2019 at 2:18 pm
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    it really motivates me, that she started dancing when she was 14, because I‘m 15 and I already danced for some years but just for fun and I want to join class for serious:))

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  • July 30, 2019 at 3:27 pm
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    She is my inspiration I’m 11 and I want to do ballet but my moms keep telling me is too late

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  • August 1, 2019 at 8:04 am
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    Пластилиновая девушка))

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  • August 2, 2019 at 4:39 am
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    I am a dancer I want to be professional too but in contemporary cause it’s just my dream

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  • August 2, 2019 at 6:09 am
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    Why was I so satisfied at 1:21???

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  • August 2, 2019 at 2:04 pm
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    She is the complete opposite of me. Ive always dreamt of becoming a ballerina but I quit halfway because it kinda pressured me too much ;-;

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  • August 2, 2019 at 10:17 pm
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    Harder then harvard damn

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  • August 3, 2019 at 2:50 am
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    God if I could go back and beg harder to go to ballet classes.

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  • August 3, 2019 at 3:13 am
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    She’s so articulate and intelligent. What a gorgeous young lady inside and out.

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  • August 3, 2019 at 8:40 am
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    my friend jeremy turned harvard down too

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  • August 3, 2019 at 5:26 pm
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    i feel so 😀👍 shit about myself 😀👍 i don’t have like … a talent and neither am i in any way special or whatever academically so this just ….. 😀

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  • August 4, 2019 at 12:52 am
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    She’s very well spoken! Gave me goosebumps. She’s gonna go far ♥️

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  • August 4, 2019 at 1:04 am
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    Shes one of the people that has the best mindset and shes such an inspiring person

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  • August 4, 2019 at 2:40 am
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    I think u guys r confused she’s not a prodigy I mean she is fucking talented but that’s not a prodigy she just wanted to become a ballerina and succeeded a prodigy is more so someone who is just natural almost as though they don’t have to learn how to do it

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  • August 4, 2019 at 6:48 am
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    She's obviously very gifted and talented and would, therefore, excell at almost anything she tries.

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  • August 4, 2019 at 8:06 pm
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    Most challenging, difficult but beautiful, rewarding career.

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  • August 5, 2019 at 9:46 pm
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    Rituals

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  • August 8, 2019 at 3:53 pm
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    Her dancing is beautiful!

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  • August 8, 2019 at 5:33 pm
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    to hell with Harvard liberal school that brain wash's there students .

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  • August 9, 2019 at 12:47 am
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    Harvard is overrated

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  • August 9, 2019 at 12:47 am
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    Older???? Cause the 11 year olds … omg !

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  • August 11, 2019 at 2:39 am
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    I was 10 and started ballet and I sucked so bad so I decided to quit kinda makes me regret quitting.

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  • August 13, 2019 at 4:38 am
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    Ballet is infinitely harder than Harvard.

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  • August 13, 2019 at 5:06 pm
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    Beautiful, amazing, and extremely hardworking…
    But god damn i want to fix her eyeliner!

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  • August 14, 2019 at 12:18 am
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    How cool to witness the living of a passion into what I hope is a long and glorious twilight for the little gem.

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  • August 15, 2019 at 10:42 pm
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    Very cute girl, very talented. Needs to whiten her teeth.

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  • August 17, 2019 at 1:53 am
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    inspirational story !!!

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  • August 18, 2019 at 6:44 pm
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    Yeah but most 6 year old’s quit and someone who is 14 is old enough to know what they want and work hard for it.

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  • August 18, 2019 at 11:51 pm
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    She motivated me as I wanted to do ballet but I knew I was to late to join but now I’m a really good dancer 🙂

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  • August 19, 2019 at 1:37 am
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    "You do the ideal in your head", like a mathematician (geometer), "and hope it translates", like a physicist (super-string theorist). (You thought I was going to say "engineer"?! … those are two or more steps removed ☺). Plato vindicated at last. (T2:17)

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  • August 19, 2019 at 1:39 am
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    She did not "turn down" Harvard, she deferred … big difference. Harvard is lucky and privileged to have her, when they do.

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  • August 19, 2019 at 4:50 pm
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    Due to research Harvard has a 4.5% acceptance rate where as Royal Ballet has a 10-15% acceptance rate

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  • August 20, 2019 at 1:16 am
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    AWESOME

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  • August 20, 2019 at 4:02 pm
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    Harvard is an overrated school of satanists!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • August 21, 2019 at 2:09 am
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    I have scoliosis and I do flat ballet and I teach my self it’s make me so happy and I feel so free

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  • August 21, 2019 at 11:42 am
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    She didn’t turn it down, she deferred.. total click bait, disappointing, especially as it’s a beautiful piece that literally has nothing to do with her decision to defer and everything to do with chasing dreams.

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  • August 22, 2019 at 12:26 am
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    I don’t know if anyone knows this but-
    I’m actually like really REALLY REALLY good at sleeping.

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  • August 22, 2019 at 1:09 am
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    OMG SHE WENT TO MY SCHOOL!!!

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  • August 22, 2019 at 9:33 am
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    What an outstanding individual.

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  • August 22, 2019 at 1:06 pm
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    I turned down Harvard…it did not turn down me…as an employer, that would be excellent in reading that on her resume. I would be impressed.

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  • August 22, 2019 at 1:53 pm
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    I started when I was 5 years old then I gave up at 7 and now I'm starting ballet again at 11 but I'm flexible cause I train my self at home

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  • August 23, 2019 at 12:58 am
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    Ballet is more interesting than getting into Harvard

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  • August 23, 2019 at 1:39 am
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    One break and it’s over

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  • August 23, 2019 at 2:23 am
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    Her “ritual” is known as a “dirt dive” in the skydiving world. All “professional skydivers” do this every time we are in the plane climbing to altitude.

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  • August 23, 2019 at 2:40 am
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    i always regret quitting ballet when i was 10 just because i had no friends. im 20 now, and i have no hobbies or anything that i like or want to pursue. feels like its too late

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  • August 24, 2019 at 1:29 pm
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    I cannot imagine being this intelligent, talented and well spoken 👏🏻 best of luck to her, looking forward to seeing more from her

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  • August 25, 2019 at 2:38 am
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    I relate to her so much and she’s so inspiring, I started later than most dancers and I felt depressed because of thinking I wasn’t as good as the other girls my age, but I’ve worked my way up and even made my teachers proud

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  • August 25, 2019 at 9:18 am
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    …..Ballet is just So Fucking Boring …but it's a Great Way to Totally Waste your Youth !!!

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  • August 25, 2019 at 9:11 pm
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    Subscribe to my YouTube

    Reply
  • August 25, 2019 at 11:44 pm
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    she's not the first person to do this…

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  • August 26, 2019 at 12:11 am
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    She talks in a very elegant way, her voice is so calming!

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  • August 26, 2019 at 4:52 am
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    I’m 14 & I was in love with ballet when I was 6 but I’v never had the chance to participate in Ballet classes because there are no classes in my city.
    do you I’d still have the chance of getting my”being a ballerina “dream?

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 4:57 am
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    You can become a prodigy in 6 years ?????

    Reply

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