Payton Kline, Minnesota Ballet
From the time I was six years old, I knew I wanted to be a professional ballerina. Looking back, of course I didn’t know of the pain, injuries, setbacks, and challenges I would face on the road to achieving my dream. I also didn’t yet know of the immense joy, fulfillment, excitements, and friendships I would make along the way as well. I’m so blessed to say that Arizona Youth Ballet—particularly Christina Hampton—was by my side through my trials and my victories. Had it not been for Christina’s support, love, and accountability, I wouldn’t be able to say that I really did get to live my dream of being a professional ballerina. I’ve never encountered a teacher who is more knowledgeable and invested in their students’ successes as Christina. To have her in my life as a teacher, mentor, and second mom is something I will always be grateful for.