An update on my ballerina

I’m deeply ensconced in book writing. Just hit 11,000 words. I am so proud of it this time. I really feel like this is my very best work. I can’t wait for you to read this book!

In the meantime, I wanted to give you a little update on my ballerina. So many of you generously helped send Jewel to American Ballet Theatre this past summer. She learned so much and has continued to grow in grace and strength. The summer intensive was crucial in her training and we were so grateful for your support!

Ballet is her passion. Did I also mention she’s a straight-A student? She’s the kind of young woman I wanted to be at her age. Yes, I’m bragging. Forgive me, I’m just so proud of her.

She has continued cleaning her ballet studio to help pay for lessons. She does this without complaint. She is also on a ballet team and will be competing in the Youth American Grand Prix in January. It’s a true honor to watch her develop into a beautiful dancer and a gracious, hardworking young woman.

I was never allowed to take dance lessons as a child. It went against my parents’ modesty rules. If there is one thing for which I am deeply grateful now, it is that my own daughter is free to pursue her dreams. Freedom is so sweet.

My daughter had these pictures taken in preparation for upcoming audition season and I thought it would be fun to share them with you. Thank you for sharing in our journey. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

All pictures taken by Sharyn of At Play Photography.


  • Renee Ronika

    Beautiful. Blessings to you, your daughter, your books.

  • Susan

    Beautiful young woman. I hear you on not be allowed to dance while growing up.

  • Tara S

    Wow! Beauty, skill, talent, dedication – all right there in every photo! :-)

  • irws

    in picture # 1 her side profile looks a lot like you!!!
    very beautiful ballerina!!

  • Mike

    Your daughter is beautiful. By the way, since you are a fan of Homeland, I wondered if you’d seen this already?

  • Kim Van Brunt

    Those are some seriously beautiful photos, EE. You deserve to be proud! I love how you love her and want her to be free through her art. Just like her mama. :)

  • Handsfull

    You should be proud of her! She is a beautiful dancer. Thank you for the update, I’ve been wondering how she’s been doing.

  • priest’s wife

    It’s so wonderful that they allow her to save money this way- my girls (with this studio for over 7 years) were not allowed to offer handsewn bags (for pointe shoes) for sale as a way to make money to pay for ballet :(

  • Lucie

    Jewel is just as beautiful as her name. She sounds like an extraordinary young lady. I had just been wondering about her lately.
    I’m guessing that your parents would not approve of her ballet, although I suspected also that they might not even be aware of it, as I believe you are still estranged from them.
    You mentioned “modesty rules” and I thought again of all the young women in certain deeply fundamentalist circles (particularly Quiverfull, Vision Forum, that type of thing) who would never be allowed to dance in any way, because, as one gentleman on a certain reality TV show featuring such a family pointed out, dancing can lead to lust (only a slight paraphrase; the meaning is the same). As if there was no way on earth for people of the opposite gender to dance without inciting sexual feelings! And of course the ballet costumes would not meet their modesty standards. I’m sure even the lovely Irish dancer costumes wouldn’t either, though I see little opportunity for lust in Irish dancing aside from those short dresses (grin).
    I hope Jewel continues to grow in her dancing career and the fulfillment of her dreams.

  • Joshua