Faith Fasoldt is an undeclared freshman and the new Academic Exploration Marketing Intern
I grew up here in Rochester, NY. Despite enjoying and being academically disciplined, I did not take the academic route after high-school. Growing up, I got very involved in dancing. Dance consumed me and I started training and rehearsing around 50 hrs a week while I was in high-school. Dance is an extremely competitive profession, and so I realized that if I wanted to make it, I had to pour all my time, energy, and money into it, which I did early on. After high school, I moved to Chicago to become a trainee with the Joffrey Ballet. I was so excited at this opportunity as this was what I worked for and my greatest desire ever since I was young. My dedication was finally paying off and my dreams were materializing. While I danced and lived in Chicago, I experienced some of the most exhilarating and fulfilling moments but also some of the most difficult and struggling times. I was in one sense so elated at all the wonderful opportunities and the fact that I was dancing with one of the best dance companies in the country. Yet in another sense, this dance culture, which I was surrounded by, was discouraging. I became discouraged by the unethical and unjust favoritism, the politics, the corruptness, and the toxicity of the culture. However, despite struggling and being very discouraged, I was surrounded by this culture, and it was as if quitting wasn’t an option; and in reality, I viewed dance as my identity.
Last winter (2020) was the start of the “audition season” for me. My two-year traineeship was going to be done by May, and I needed to secure a paid contract in another company if I wanted to continue dancing. However, Covid-19 happened. Auditions were canceled. When this happened, I felt myself spiraling out of control. My chance of continuing on as a dancer was rapidly slipping out of my grasp. Questions consumed my head:
While I waited in this time of anxiety, I tried to find my identity apart from dance. I thought about what I truly wanted in life. I ended up getting a couple offers for dance company contracts, but I turned them down as I was coming to terms with the toxicity of the dance world and decided to leave it behind in an attempt to become a healthier and improved person. During this time, I moved back home and decided to apply to Roberts. This decision, to pursue a different career and leave my identity as a dancer behind was probably the hardest decision of my life. However, I am so happy I made that decision and am now here at Roberts. Despite now being 2 years older than most freshman, I would not change my timeline if I could. I am thankful for those two years after high-school. I learned some invaluable lessons and it made me who I am today.
Word of advice for students: I would say, do not worry about your path in life. Everything happens for a reason and everyone is on their own path. Just take one day at a time and do the best you can. If you end up needing longer to find your career interest that is 100 percent okay! Be open to your journey and trust the process. Everything will be okay. I personally struggle with anxiety about my future, but I am learning to overcome this and trust my journey. I am learning to be grateful and learn from the bunny trails and obstacles in my life and you should too!