four years ago I competed in the Howard County Arts Council Rising Star Competition. It was my senior year of college and I never thought that the audience would choose me as the winner. The only other dancer to win the competition was the very first winner Alicia Graf Mack When they announced my name, I was so surprised and overwhelmed that I started to cry. The $5000 helped me live my dream by allowing me to move to NYC to dance. This year in celebration of Columbia’s 50 years, they invited all of the past winners to compete again. Tomorrow I will be taking the Rising Star stage again. I am honored to be placed among such talented artists. I look forward to sharing the stage with them and sharing our love for the arts with the audience.