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Pride is something that I have been celebrating for years, even before I was able to stand in my own truth. As a young dancer, I never saw LGBTQIA+ individuals as anything other than my mentors, my teachers, and my choreographers. The dance community, in my opinion, was a safer one than most as a questioning individual in the 90s. I also knew at a young age that I was โ€œdifferent,โ€ but couldnโ€™t understand fully what that meant. As I got older, I began to realize that โ€œdifferentโ€ was not something to be ashamed of. Screen Shot 2021-06-08 at 3-42-56 PM


I later became a choreographer and a teacher myself, and I knew I wanted to create a safe space for all of my students; somewhere that they could just beautifully BE in that moment, and discover who they wanted to become in their futures. However, creating that safe space for them didnโ€™t fill the void that I had for myself. I still held my secret tight and was afraid to truly say, proudly, who I was. I worked so hard to create that safe space for my dancers, and yet I was too afraid to cultivate that place for myself. This road was brutal, and a constant battle of my mind, my body, and my heart. 


The courage revealed itself when I began to fall in love with my then friend, and now wife. She was my strength, when I trembled in fear at the thought of coming out to my family, my friends, my students, and my colleagues. She held me up, when I collapsed into her arms from the negative and unaccepting responses I received after coming out. And she was also there to bring to light, how much better you feel when you arenโ€™t carrying around such a massively heavy secret. 

Screen Shot 2021-06-08 at 3.43.11 PMI was luckier than some, and my family has been so supportive and accepting. I know that several do not have this outcome, and that is why I now speak loudly with pride so that the world begins to see, even if it is just one voice at a time, how often LOVE will win over hate. 



What I know now is that, I want to continue to create an outlet for all of my students, especially the LGBTQIA+ youth. I will continue to do that work for them because, no one should live in fear of expressing who they truly are, or who they love. I want that for them, but beyond that, I want that for the world. 

๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ Sarah Burney

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