35-year-old trans ballerina proves – it is never too late

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Sophie Rebecca, 35, worked as a racing driver for many years – but quit the sport as she transitioned to female, because now she was able to reach her dream – to become a ballerina. “I was trying my best to be manly, but a lot of it was just a front. It was trying to run from who I was,” she told BBC. She was welcomed in female-only ballet studio, which is trans-inclusive since 2013. And now, two-and-a-half years later, she has become the first trans ballerina to achieve her ‘intermediate foundation’ qualification, passing with a merit. “I’m not transgender because I dance and I don’t dance because I’m transgender. I dance because I’m a dancer. It just happens to be that I’m transgender. It’s a passion, it’s the way it makes me feel and its perfect. It’s me,” the ballerina explained. Her ballet tutor, Lynne Reucroft-Croome, added that Sophie will be at a disadvantage as she dances through transition, as she begins hormone treatment. She said: “It’s going to change everything. The muscle strength will go. We’re going to lose strength in adage — the slower, more controlled movements when the leg is lifted off the floor. We’re expecting it to diminish and we’ll have to build back to it again.” She added that Sophie’s transition had not been an issue in the dance classes, however. Ms Reucroft-Croome said: “I thought it was unusual because it was a situation that I’d never come across before, but what is strange [about it]? I’m not judgemental about anybody.”

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