But it all stopped at the age of 12, when puberty hit. I was training to audition for the teen program at the New York Academy of Ballet, and my teacher remarked: “If you really want to be in the program, you might want to consider what you’re eating, now that your body is growing.” In other words, she was telling me to lose weight. I was 12, so what do you do at 12? You skip meals, you don’t eat properly, and it got to a point where I fainted. My mom was worried and wanted to take me to the hospital, and I ended up telling her everything. In true Nuyorican fashion, she dragged me by the arm to the dance studio and cursed the teacher out: “Nobody tells my daughter what to eat, F you, F you, F you.” Now, I retell that story with pride, but back then, I was so embarrassed. I thought she ruined my life, because dance was my life. I gave up ballet then and there.