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Grace Dong

“There was one performance that I remember super concretely, just because of the strength of the emotions that were going through my body. I was 11 years old, it was in my third full length Nutcracker with my home dance studio. I got the lead role of Clara, who is the main protagonist. During one of the scenes where Clara was a bystander and I wasn’t dancing, I

distinctly remember feeling pure joy. I remember being 11 years old and thinking to myself, “I want to do this forever. I never want this performance to end.” This is significant to me because I was so young, and this is me as a 20 year old looking back on my 11 year old sense of happiness. That was one of the first instances of my life where I could say that I just felt pure passion. That’s how powerful dance is. At some point, despite all the difficulties, it becomes just pure passion, and there is nothing complicated about passion.”

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