The Relentless Drive of a Dancer

Mackey Mitchell By: Mackey Mitchell

Despite constant criticism for pursuing a career in the arts and a series of unforeseen obstacles, Gabriella Farrell, a recent Webster University graduate, is determined to dance.

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Mackey Mitchell Architects: Loretto-Hilton Repertory Theater- Webster University from Mackey Mitchell Architects on Vimeo.

Gabriella has never doubted her abilities or potential, but that doesn’t mean things were easy. Her parents have always supported her passion, but had to relocate to India for her father’s work, leaving her to take care of her brother and their family home without her usual support system. Along with this responsibility, Gabriella began her mornings 4:00am to pack her bags for the day and head to work at Starbucks before tackling her full course load, rehearsals, and homework. And while she was preparing for her senior recital, the culmination of her dance studies, Gabriella suffered the biggest obstacle of all—a debilitating back injury that left her unable to move. “I was basically sentenced to my bed,” she says, “It was heartbreaking.”

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With incredible patience, physical therapy, and unparalleled drive, Gabriella slowly regained her strength. She spent countless hours stretching, rehearsing, and regaining her skills in the Loretto-Hilton Center for the Performing Arts studio and stage, readying herself to conquer her next audition.

Now her determination to make dance a career is stronger than ever. She’s already enjoyed celebrating her love of dance through teaching, including giving nonverbal children a new way to express themselves. But her dream job is to dance with a professional company, working alongside other passionate artists to share their love of their art with future generations. “Dance is like a legacy,” Gabriella explains, “There has to be someone to pass it on, and it has to be someone who’s passionate about it. Nothing can stop me from what I’m meant to do.”

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“Nothing can stop me from what I’m meant to do.”
– Gabriella