At some point in every little girl’s life she dons a pink tutu and tries her hand at one of the most intensely beautiful and beautifully intense activities in the world—classical ballet. Most don’t make it past the first year, preferring the twirling more than the technique. But some, very few, know from a young age that the combination of hard work and raw talent can catapult you into highly competitive and impressive world of being a ballerina.
Emily Thurmon's day-to-day routine is a tough one. She gets up early and goes to school full time at Savannah’s Classical Academy and dances seven days a week. Three days a week she is in lessons with a private instructor. Often she isn’t home until 9:00pm and even then she usually takes her dinner in her room, lying out on the floor bent in an impossible position, doing her homework. Her mother a professional photographer, and of course Emily’s own personal cheerleader, is there to document her journey and through all this she says Emily has never complained once. It’s true, when you look at pictures of Emily or videos of her rehearsing there are times when she’s laughing and times when she’s concentrating but never a sad or overwhelmed look. Lauren says she’s a wise old soul.
At five years old she started classically training and seemingly hasn’t stopped since, now at 11, Lauren and Emily are starting to get more serious about what it’s going to take to succeed. Through it all though she says the journey in itself is amazing. “My whole family learns and grows with Emily, there is enough joy in there to add up all the work it takes.” Lauren says, with a tear in her eye. It’s rare to see a mother who’s so dedicated to her child’s passion while also being so far away from the typical “over bearing stage mom” trope. “If Emily told me tomorrow that she didn’t want to dance anymore, we would walk away satisfied with the knowledge that this experience has changed us for the better.”