Freshman at iUPrep describes what it took to “pointe” him in the right direction.

When rough waters rise, you have two choices. Either sink or swim. Floating isn’t an option. Following Finding Nemo’s example, one iUPrep student has learned to master the art of “just keep swimming”. Freshman Nathan Travis has been swimming for 7-8 years; competitive swimming was one of his first favorite sports, and he continues to enjoy it. But this isn’t exactly where the rough waters started to rise. 

While Nathan was knee-deep in the watery rapids, his mother and sister were working diligently to try to get Nathan into ballet, long before the magic moment. Wait, ballet?

Yep. The duo of mom and sis were behind the scenes, giving every effort to point Nathan towards the art of dance; however, at first, Nathan wasn’t so sure about joining ballet.

“I was doubtful to join ballet, despite their efforts. But I chose to do nutcracker, playing a role that didn’t need dance experience, and I ended up liking it. My mom and sister used that as a final push into the world of dance, and it ended up working.”

Even though his instinct told him to just keep swimming, he decided to try dance, not knowing how it would end up. Turns out, it was more rewarding than what he was planning for.

But before positive results started to peek through his risk-taking, he had to encounter and hop over some obstacles. In joining an activity mostly female-dominated, Nathan learned that becoming a ballerino wasn’t all that easy. Despite his true intentions, his peers took on the role of being bullies, and they picked on him for his choice to partake in ballet. Lies such as being a girl, and other terrible assumptions were said aloud, but those didn’t deter Nathan. He was determined to keep dancing.

A little more plieing and a little less gossip and Nathan had learned something pretty important about ballet. “Because I had started in ballet, my swim times actually improved. I got physically strong enough to beat my previous times, and the rewards of doing ballet really started to show as I started to dance more.” Because of the hinting recommendation from both his sister and his mother, he now finds himself pointed in the right direction to be successful in swimming… and ballet. Nathan has found a happy place within the world of dance, taking each step with more freedom than the last.

“I was able to be free when I danced. It was my place to express myself, to not hold back.”

Creating a solid group of friends in the circle of ballet, Nathan’s message to others possibly Facing the same challenges that he did remains the same. “Keep your head up! Find ways to stay positive amidst adversity.”

Sometimes, life throws curveballs, and you have to face them no matter how hard they might be. We get tired, sore, and need a break; however, Nathan’s story of perseverance paves the way for all of us. 

Are you ready to take the leap towards success?