When you adopt a child, there’s no telling what kind of person they will be.
Their talents, their personality, their likes and dislikes — everything about them will be a surprise. So when Alison Stroming, originally from Brazil, was adopted into a family of dancers, it was anybody's guess whether she, too, would take to the stage.
All photos courtesy of Minute Maid.
Her mother, Jackie, let her try everything from horseback riding to gymnastics. But as it turned out, it was indeed dance that stuck — something she was pretty amazing at. With her mom's help, she trained extensively throughout her childhood and has gone on to dance at Juilliard, the Guggenheim, and the Metropolitan Opera.
The only drawback is that today, Allison lives and dances in Manhattan and rarely gets to see her mom, who lives in Los Angeles.
Luckily, they recently had a chance to sit down and talk, and Alison took the opportunity to thank Jackie — with a care package made of memories especially for her.
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It was clear from the beginning that what Alison wanted was to dance.
But though she was clearly born with the same natural talent for dance as her siblings, there was one way in which they differed — Alison was much more shy than her four older siblings.
It was Jackie who guided her, time and again, back to what she loved. "When you would go on stage, you lost all fear," Jackie says.
Now, Alison isn't just a dancer — she's an impressive one who can even name Misty Copeland as a mentor.
She's toured across Europe with the American Ballet Theatre and currently trains at the Dance Theatre of Harlem, one of the most prestigious dance schools in the country.
Dance also would continue to unite Alison and her mom — through cross-country moves, international tours, and all of life’s obstacles — for years to come.
Throughout her life, Alison's mom was there to help guide her toward achieving her dreams.
It was Jackie who taught her to overcome her hesitations. "You go after what you want, and don't worry if it doesn't work out," she would tell Alison.
As a mom and a supportive resource for her dancing children, Jackie has clearly done an amazing job. Alison is quick to acknowledge how much her mom's help contributed to her ability to achieve her dreams. "I wouldn't be where I am today without her love and support," she said.
It can be hard to find a way to thank our parents for all they've done.
It sometimes feels like there are no words that are sufficient to express our appreciation for all that our parents do.
But Alison's story reminds us that sometimes, all it takes is a treasured memory to show them we care — and that it's not just genetics that determine what runs in a family.