Pointe Profile – Tara Neil

Hi, dancers! In today’s post, we interview one of our Pointe of View dancers, Tara Neil. We hope you enjoy reading about her!
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How long have you been dancing?
I started dancing when I was 5 but I didn’t take it seriously until I was 8. I’m 19 now so 11 years.
What is your favorite role you’ve ever danced?
I haven’t been in too many professional performances but my favorite has to be The Mother Nature Fairy in an original ballet called Secret of the Seasons. As for more a traditional role, I would have to say Odile in Swan Lake.
What is your dream role?
My dream role is definitely Manon. I absolutely adore that ballet.
What’s something most people wouldn’t know about you?
I suffer from a chronic illness called Gastroparesis. It’s basically where food sits in my stomach for an abnormally long time (normal is 4 hours). It causes stomach cramps, weight loss, inability to gain weight due to malnutrition and a whole bunch of other complications.
What pointe shoes do you wear?
I am currently wearing Russian Rubins. I love them. I also wear Bloch Serenade.
Do you plan to dance professionally?
No, I danced pre-professionally in high school and it’s too cutthroat for me. I’m too old now to attempt a career as a professional dancer. I am majoring in psychology, and minoring in dance. I’m going to be come a Dance Movement Psychotherapist. So dancing will still be part of my career, just not professionally. Maybe I’ll join a company as a therapist or something.
If so, what is your dream company?
If I were to dance professionally, I would love to dance with either the Royal Ballet or the Hungarian National Ballet.
What’s your favorite ballet?
La Bayadere. I could watch it every day and never get bored of it.
Why did you start ballet?
I was always dancing around the house when I was little. I loved doing tricks so my mum originally put me in gymnastics when I was 2 which I stayed with until I was 8. I hated it so also started taking dance lessons when I was 5. Dancing was what stuck with me as a child and stayed with me all the way into adulthood.
What do you do when you’re not dancing?
I’m never not dancing…haha! But when I’m not dancing, I spend lots of my time working on my ballet blog Dancing Through Life, training Bella, who is going to be my future Psychiatric Serivce Dog, acting in plays and musicals, modeling, working at a local Pizza Parlor and doing school work. I’m a sophomore in college right now.
What keeps you dancing?
Dancing is the only time I’m really me when I dance. Dancing is what keeps me alive and happy. I’ve been told many times, that when you find something that makes you the happiest person on the planet, never let it go.
Favorite post dance snack?
Due to my Gastroparesis, I can’t eat soild foods that often so I would have to say¬†CalNaturale Svelte Protein Shakes.
Favorite quote?
I can’t choose just one. It’s across between, “If you don’t look for light in the darkest of places, even when it seems impossible, you will NEVER succeed.” ¬†(Amelia Shepherd from Grey’s Anatomy) or “We’re all damaged. We’re all frightened. We’re all freaks. But that’s alright.” (Seventeen Reprise from Heathers: The Musical).
Any last things you’d like to say to our readers?
Never ever ever listen to your haters. If I listened to all the people who have said hurtful, cruel things to me, I would probably not be alive today. HATERS is an acronym. Having Anger Towards Everyone Reaching Success. You are beautiful, and worthy. No one can tell you otherwise.
Thanks for reading! Have a great rest of your week and don’t forget to dance your buns off!

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