In the latest installment of our Dazzler Profile series, The Costume Gallery team caught up with Sadie Mae O’Sullivan of Toms River, NJ.
“Nothing is impossible. I hope others that may have a diagnosis, condition or obstacle that may make their dreams seem impossible will realize that they should never give up on themselves or their dreams!” - Sadie Mae O’Sullivan
When Sadie Mae O’Sullivan encourages her peers to persevere, no matter what obstacle might be blocking the path to their dreams, her words come from a place of wisdom.
Sadie is only 9 years old, but she has already overcome plenty of adversity in her life and dancing career.
“I was born very premature with multiple birth defects - of my legs, heart and neck - and I also have a condition called hypotonia that affects my core strength and muscle tone throughout my body,” Sadie explains. “I have had doctors tell my mom that dance and/or athletics would not be my path or something I would excel in.”
Sadie and her family did not want to accept that advice. With the right help, they believed Sadie could accomplish whatever she set her mind to. And they were right!
“Thanks to my amazing physical therapist, Kerry Walsh, and never giving up, I have become a national champion baton twirler and have danced on a major television show!” Sadie says.
Sadie told us more of her inspiring story in our Q&A session. Here are some of the highlights:
How did you get started in dance?
I started in dance to help improve my baton twirling body technique and artistry. I fell in love with dance as much as I did with baton. I began competing in dance at age 7 and now compete in both baton twirling and dance. It takes a lot of dedication and hours of training for both. But I love them equally and couldn’t imagine doing one without the other!
Who are your biggest mentors in dance and what impact have they had on your life?
My biggest mentors are Guy Groove, Jona Biddle, Mollee Gray, Jeka Jane, Daniel Catanach, Nisa Hooper, Julian Mireles and Wendy Stein. All of these people inspire me, believe in me and have helped me grow each and every time I dance with them. They have also made these months of dancing at home positive and enjoyable! I am so grateful for each and every one of them!
What memories do you have of your first recital?
I danced to “I’m getting married in the morning.” I loved feeling like a princess bride! The costume was made by Costume Gallery. It was white, sparkly, and basically what little girls’ dreams are made of!
Do you remember your favorite costume of all time? What can you tell us about it?
Yes! My favorite costume I have ever worn was my Alice costume. I wore the costume while playing Alice from an “Alice in Wonderland” ballet on the set of “Law & Order: SVU.” I was a principal performer on the TV show.
How have you kept dancing during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Early on, my mom and I figured out an online schedule for me, and I also made a list of goals I wanted to accomplish while dancing from home. This helped me stay motivated and to not lose sight of my goals.
What are your goals in dance?
Broadway! I definitely see myself working as an actress, model, singer and dancer when I grow up! I love to perform! 💜
What does it mean to be an “Influencer”?
As an influencer, you should be a good role model! I hope by being happy, kind and positive, I influence others to live their lives in the same way!
What message do you want to send to other dancers who look up to you?
Never give up! Go for your dreams!
Our sincere thanks to Sadie for sharing her story - and her great advice - with our community! We wish her all the best in her third-grade year, and look forward to seeing her sparkle and shine for many years to come!Thank you for reading. Please stay tuned to our blog as we continue to share more fun Dazzler profiles throughout the season!