Hello! My name is Karen. My daughter Chloe has spent most of her school years in ESE classes. She struggled with math and reading. Despite her sweet, kind nature she was bullied horribley through out elementary school for her weight and her learning impairment. Due to being as quiet and shy as she was she never act out against the bullies.
At the start of junior high we were blessed to have her accepted in to our local arts magnet school. We had waited on the waiting list for 4 years the whole time believing she would major in drawing, which she was very good at. The day we walked into to officially enroll her we let her be the one to sign in for her major. When she handed us back the form we saw that she had checked... DANCE.
We were a bit shocked but the more we though about it the more sense it made. Ever since she was a toddler if there was music playing you'd find her dancing no matter where we were.
She had begged for dance lessons when she was young but I could never afford it except for one summer that our local rec center had a pre-ballet class for the little ones.
Once she started the dance program there she positively blossomed on that stage and quickly caught up with the girls that had been there for years. She went from a shy girl with no self esteem to this young lady with hopes for a future in dance that had no fear of dancing on that stage with hundreds of people watching. She finally had confidence in herself.
Due to the school's grade requirements she fought tooth and nail to bring her grades up so she wouldn't lose her opportunity. She actually got to the point that they took her out of ESE.
She became immersed in dance. She took 10 lessons a week through the dance program. In a short 2 1/2 years she was invited to the pointe ballet class. By this time she had made it clear that in her heart dance was her pathway. I can still hear her tell me "Momma from the time I get up until the time I go to sleep dance is all I'm ever thinking about. Mom, I have to keep dancing." I knew those words were coming straight from her heart.
She decided to audition for the high school arts magnet school. Her dance teacher was behind her 100% and offered to work extra with her until school was out. She also suggested she try out for a large major dance studio in our area. Her dance teacher put in a good word for my daughter to the studio and they accepted her,
The enrollment and tuition were very expensive but I took on a second job to make it happen.
Chloe was then taking 12 dance classes a week while bringing her GPA even higher to reach the requirements needed to be considered for the arts high school.
Just a few weeks shy of the end of the school year an unfortunate injury left Chloe with a broken toe and left Chloe unable to attend dance classes. Unfortunately auditions were fast approaching. She was devastated.
The week of the auditions I told her that I didn't want her to risk auditioning but that it was her call and that I wouldn't try to stop her. That morning she danced in pointe shoes with a broken toe and smiled through it all. The judges never knew until afterwards about my daughter's injury.
Sadly, the loss of dance classes did not go well and she was not chosen.
What pains me is that her dreams have not changed but my health has. She still hopes to be on stage again but I can no longer pay for the tuition for the dance studio. They are the only serious studio in our area and have been the stepping stone for many career dancers. Many from there have gone on with dance scholarships but I can't give her the chance she needs.
This year has been a year of many hardships and heartaches. I had worked as an in-home caregiver but had to quit when I became injured and I'm still unable to work.
Chloe needs a chance to try for her dream. She needs serious orthodontic surgery that I can't pay for. I don't even know how I can give her any kind of Christmas this year without help.
Please, if this touches someone's heart, please consider helping give my daughter back her dream.