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Growing up in a peach tree field as a farm girl in Grand Junction, Colo., I never could have dreamed where my life would end up. The glitz and glamor of being a Las Vegas showgirl were never on my bingo card growing up. I start- ed dancing at 3 years old, and I remember feeling energized and freed by the limelight. But once I hit middle school, I focused on sports full time.

My dream job growing up was to be a high school basketball coach. However, the universe had a different plan for me – one that involved the glitz and glamor of Las Vegas. I moved to Las Vegas when I was 18 with a crazy dream of becoming a showgirl. I worked so many odd jobs until I luckily landed my first professional job. I have been steadily working as a dancer and model ever since.

I auditioned for my dream job at “Fantasy” at The Luxor and was so lucky to be hired as a swing dancer, which is a part-time role. Since then, I have been able to climb the ladder – in stilettos – and can proudly say I am a featured dancer in AND co-producer of the award-winning show.

Even more recently, I was also promoted to one of the tough-est, yet most rewarding jobs ever – a MOM! I am so lucky to work for such an amazing producer in Anita Mann, who has allowed me to continue to work throughout my pregnancy as well as during this new motherhood journey I am on. Once my pregnant belly became too hard to dance on stage, my focus switched to my production duties behind the scenes. This was such a beautiful pivot and worked out well because I’m a workaholic, so I never wanted to take any time off. Believe it or not, I was sending payroll while I was in labor at a hospital and, honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Too often in show business, getting pregnant is a death sentence for a dancer. The idea of having it all simply didn’t exist years ago. Dancers had to choose between having a family or career. The fear of “Will my body bounce back?,” “Will my position be filled?,” “Will I be able to juggle my career and caring for a baby?” can be terrifying and exhausting, but in the era of female empowerment, it turns out – with an amazing support team – it really is possible to have it all!

That’s one area our cast really shines – we’re more than just colleagues, we’re friends, and I’m truly fortunate to consider them my family. Having a team like I do, led by Anita, who was choreographing Michael Jackson while seven months pregnant and continued choreographing other productions after giving birth, has really helped make it possible for me. Words cannot express how lucky I feel to have the opportunity to have a career and family.

Our show is all about bringing fantasies to life on stage, and mine is to be back on stage and feeling the joy of performing for a live audience again. I hope to have the opportunity to dance again and will work hard to continue my dream. I know my body won’t be the same as it was before. It’s a battle, but an enjoyable one, learning to appreciate my new body and the magical journey I am on.

Beyond the physical hurdles I face getting back into performance shape, I know there will be mental challenges along the way – balancing returning to work and being a new mom, finding time and encouraging myself to relax and spend as much time with my new family as possible.

As I look back and reflect, I tell myself daily – and sometimes hourly – to be kind and patient, which is something everyone should do in their life. I know with the support system I have and the work ethic I learned growing up on a farm, being back on the stage is a possibility for me.

I have done so much more in life than I had planned so far, and I know there will be so much more in the future, but without a doubt, being a mom to a beautiful baby girl is the best thing I have ever done.

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