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Dancer Spotlight: Mariah Bennett

One of our greatest pleasures in working with dancers is meeting so many young ladies who have a passion for creating and sharing beauty with the world. Mariah Bennett is a lovely young woman from North Carolina who fell in love with dance the moment she first stepped out on stage at 3 years old and has been creating beauty on stage and off ever since. Now in her tweens, this pre-professional, multi-award winning ballerina is feeling the glow of the spotlight, but also feeling how it can burn. "I made a lot of friends at dance but as I grew older it got more competitive and a lot of girls mistreated one another," she tells us. The more the accolades came her way, the more the envy and jealousy turned longtime friendships sour. Her studio, always a place of joy and creativity, had become a place of hurt and sorrow. Mariah eventually chose to move to a different studio where she is making her voice heard, insisting, "Instead of picking out each others faults, being envious, or jealous, and down right being mean to each other, we should be each others biggest fans. We should cheer each other on!" And she is leading by example. Her classmates regularly hear her words of encouragement. Her Instagram feed is filled with positive motivations. She never hesitates to comment on the beauty and form of those around her. She is becoming a woman who

understands that beauty is created through hard work, sweat, and tears. It is also created through kindness, generosity of spirit, and team work. The effortless grace that an audience sees is backed by hours of work and a whole team of people including other dancers, choreographers, costumers, designers, engineers, parents, janitors, and more. Creative collaboration requires humility of spirit and an abundance of love. Mariah hopes to encourage her fellow dancers to rise above the competitive spirit that often turns to negativity. "There should be a bond between fellow dancers, because we know the hard work, often

painful process of making the tough stuff look so easy and elegant. My desire as a dancer in 2019, is that we can put our differences aside. That we can all see the beauty that each dancer holds. That we can come together for one common goal. Don’t allow negativity to bring you down." Join Mariah and show your support of a fellow dancer. #dancersunite

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