“There was a program in San Francisco where they’d come into public schools and teach movement.  They’d look for kids with potential and give them scholarships to dance school.  They visited my school in third grade.  And I guess they saw something in me, because they provided two free ballet classes per week.  I didn’t really like it at first.  But one night I went to see The Nutcracker, and it inspired me to become a dancer.  I enrolled in a serious ballet school, and by the age of thirteen I was dancing five days a week.  Then six days a week.  The school started to get really competitive as we got older.  Everybody wanted to be a soloist.   Kids would come to the school from all over the world.  Some of them were ‘bunheads.’  All they did was dance and watch tapes.  But most of us were more balanced.  Ballet is extremely rigid, so if you have the opportunity to have fun, you take it.  I started drinking a lot.  And doing a lot of drugs.  It was hard to hide.  I’d come to class late and tired.  I ended up dropping out of regular high school.  The dance school never approved of that decision, but I always hated studying.  Personally I don’t think I ever lost my edge.  I was just driven in ballet and partying at the same time.  They kicked me out of the school when I turned twenty.  I knew it was coming, because that’s the age when you either go to college or join a dance company.  But neither of those were options for me, so I just quit completely.  That’s when the dancing stopped.  But the partying kept going.”