Dammiel Cruz
Photo by Lindsay Thomas.

In the eyes of many, America is a symbol of freedom, opportunity, and a more stable way of living. For people like my mother America meant exactly that. At the age of 31 while pregnant with me my mother purposely traveled to New York from the Dominican Republic so that I would be born as a citizen of the United States. She had my best interest in mind and wanted me to have the most successful future possible. In the Dominican Republic my grandmother was the first prima ballerina the country has ever had. For this reason my mom was born into ballet, she was a first soloist with El Ballet Nacional de Dominicano Republic. Since 2 of my family’s past generations were ballerinas as you can guess I handed off the dancing trait. Being an American citizen is a privilege considering what my mom has experienced in a third world country. Being raised in America has made me realize how important small values in life are.  I have become so grateful with the fact that I have a cellphone, access to internet, and electricity. At the age of 8 I was lucky enough that my mom had me audition for the School of American Ballet. Luckily I was accepted and continued to spend the next 10 years of my life ay SAB. Upon graduating SAB I spent 5 months in Pacific Northwest Ballets PD program and then in February I was invited to join PNB as an apprentice. If it weren’t for my mother’s doings I would never accomplished my goals of becoming a professional dancer and keeping the tradition alive.