Small dancers, big stage

"I really wanted [the ballet mistress] to remember me because I've don't it twice before. Even if I didn't make it, I wanted her to remember me. It gives you that familiar feeling that makes you feel really good inside and exciting," said Usack.

When Usack was five, her mom took her to watch a ballet class. Pretty soon, Usack was standing of in the corner dancing along, and now she said she has no problem dancing every day if she has to.

"It's fun to do and enjoyable. I can tell I keep improving. I mostly like jumps and turns because they're more fun and faster, so it's more exciting and energetic," said Usack. "It feels natural when I do it."

Onstage is where she's most comfortable, said Usack. Even when she's on a stage like SPAC that seems massive in comparison to her small frame, she said she doesn't get nervous.

"When I'm doing something besides dancing, like a play, I freak out but when I'm dancing it's not scary at all. I think because I've been doing it so long and with rehearsals, I know my steps so I don't normally mess up and it's something I like," said Usack.

Dancing will always have a place in her life, said Usack, and the lessons she learns outside jumps and twirls are what makes it even more valuable.

"Dancing holds on to you. Once you start you feel like you're part of it and can't really stop," said Usak. "You make friends and connect with your teachers and it's really special. Sometimes when your friends don't get a part, they know they messed up and you say 'it's OK' and you wish they were in it too. It's kind of sad for both of you because you're disappointed your friend didn't make it but at the same time you're happy because you did; it's mixed emotions."

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