My name is Mary Birbeck, and I am a junior at Texas A&M University. I have been dancing since I was five years old and began dancing at HDS Ballet when I was fifteen.
My experience at HDS Ballet began a little differently than most. I began taking private lessons with Mr. Huang and Ms. Chen after taking a few years off from dancing. I could not have asked for a better way to get back into ballet. They both pushed me to do things that I did not think I could do and were there to motivate and inspire me along the way. I began taking group classes weekly as well as classes to prepare for the RAD exams. I was able to perform lead roles in ballets such as Sleeping Beauty. I even trained to the point where I was able to attend the Joffrey Ballet Summer Intensive in New York City. All of these experiences challenged me in ways that I had not been challenged previously. Ballet requires extreme mental, physical, and emotional strength, and I surprised myself with how strong I could be. I fell in love with ballet all over again because of these experiences, and it is all thanks to HDS Ballet.
I fell in love with the training and the people at HDS Ballet and never looked back. Ballet is so much more than an art or a sport-it is a test of strength in every capacity, and I believe it has made me who I am today. I am forever grateful to Mr. Huang, Ms. Chen, and all of the friends I made at HDS Ballet for being a constant and positive influence on my life.