Personal Narrative: Diablo Ballet

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“I went from ‘I hate how I see myself in the mirror, I am constantly analyzing myself, talking down myself, like about negative thoughts,’ to… at the end of that time, I was like, ‘Okay, I just wanna dance to music and feel like I’m moving… you know?’ and by that time I also kinda sorted out my weight issues. Not on purpose. It just kinda happened with becoming happier.” (Larissa)

I met with the wonderful ballet dancer, Larissa Marie Kogut, on a sun-drenched Tuesday afternoon, minutes after her rehearsal with Diablo Ballet had ended. She greeted me with an enthusiastic smile, much like the one I had seen at my ballet studio’s production of The Nutcracker, where she had been a guest performer, acting as the Sugarplum Fairy. Thrilled to be interviewing my idol, I could barely expel the words from my mouth, which got twisted up with each other as
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I was lucky to have been able to interview Larissa at that time; she hadn’t joined Diablo Ballet until January, after the Winter Ballet Gala. She is one of the most beautiful dancers that I have ever seen, which may be because she has to been to, as she explained it “the best of the best”: the National Ballet School of Canada. Though she admitted that it may have been too large of a leap for her, a sixteen-year-old at the time, she knows that the experience has taught her many valuable lessons about ballet, given her the opportunity to meet amazing people, and have exceptional experiences. She did say, “Mostly, that high-stress situation led to me being the victim of the stereotype, and not knowing how to deal with stress at sixteen, away from home”; the stereotype she was referring to is the issue of being unsatisfied with her body and weight. Larissa had
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