Hello, everyone! My name is Summer Reed — I know Katherine (Katie!) from when I was a baby ballerina watching her dance with the other big girls that I so badly wanted to be like someday. I grew up in Austin, TX, and started taking classes at The Dance Studio at the age of 3. When I got a little older Katherine and I danced together in the studio’s junior company “Dance Spectrum,” and she was even my “big sister” at one point! Talk about an excited 8 year old. Pretty sure she gave me a stuffed Powerpuff Girl toy at one point…. HOLLA
Fast forward about 12 years and here I am sitting in my ridiculously overpriced studio in NYC, watching Gossip Girl re-runs with my fat cat Willow, putting off folding the laundry I just brought up from the basement, and keeping an eye on a giant water leak in my ceiling that is threatening to burst over my radiator at any moment. And like they always say — you can tell so much about a person just by examining their home. I do what I can to keep things tidy, maintain a somewhat normal schedule (okay..not really), and keep the cat happy and fed. But, the laundry doesn’t always get folded right away, the dishes pile up when I’m busy, and some days I am so disgusted by the crap that has collected on my bathroom sink (you know what I’m talking about — I’m never really home to contribute, but somehow it gets there anyway) that I… well I just get irritated and run out the door like I always do. Because in NY, you are always playing catch-up.
Never are you leisurely strolling around Central Park with a tiny dog in your Chanel bag, talking into your iPhone about rescheduling your massage and making a brunch date with your girlfriends for Sunday afternoon (you can’t get up too early, for you have plans to drink fancy cocktails at that rooftop bar with tons of beautiful people the night before). In actuality, you find yourself CONSTANTLY RUNNING. All. The. Time. I even wiped out hard on Monday and still haven’t learned my lesson. My boss tries to look the other way every time I’m late (never more than 3 minutes!), my ballet teacher doesn’t even laugh anymore when I sprint/slide right into plies at the barre with my hair half up and bobby pins in my mouth, and my cat has finally stopped freaking out when I’m out of the apartment working for 16 hours. So the question is – why are all 8+ million of us sticking around in this sardine can of a city?
Because the highs are just as extreme as the lows. You never run out of new places to discover, incredible people to meet, and amazing memories to create. The energy here is unlike that of any other city, and it truly is addicting. For me, the dance world is what keeps me going. I finally left Pittsburgh after 4 years of military-style ballet school feeling quite rejected (I mean, who wants a tall ballerina with flat feet? No one, hellooo), and coming here has been a miracle for my self confidence.
Dancing with hundreds of different people every week who all simply love to dance is such a neat experience. I’m taking ballet, jazz, theater dance, modern, tap, voice… you name it – you can find it here! And all of the teachers are absolutely phenomenal. Auditioning for Broadway shows is a blast, and in the mean time I keep myself busy getting certified in Romana’s Pilates and cocktailing at a TX BBQ restaurant. And while I may not ever live in one of those beautiful Chelsea apartments that I love to peek into as I walk down the street at night… I still have to stop, take a deep breath, and embrace this feeling of being so incredibly alive in New York freaking City!!
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