Blog Posts

The Time I Moved to New York City

It was August of 2017 and I was attending a ballet summer intensive in New York City. It was a small program and the teacher and director of the program had individual meetings with all the dancers after the week-long program was over. In my head, I was just excited to hear what she had to say about my dancing. I wanted some honest feedback on where I was and where I needed to be in order to make ballet my career. 

Image of the Freedom tower in New York City. A memorial skyscraper to remember the 9/11 attacks.
Freedom Tower by Ellington Nichols

I remember this day so distinctly. We had finished the day of training and I was the last dancer to have a meeting. My mom had been staying with me in New York so both she and I sat down in the hallway of the studio and listened to the teacher’s feedback.

One of the first things that came out of her mouth was, “I want you at my school and how do you feel about moving to New York?” I was in shock. Never in my life did I think I would have such an opportunity to train with such a reputable and educated teacher. 

The conversation continued on into the night and we ended up walking back to the subway together talking through the logistics of me moving to the city. I flew back home the next morning and then 3 weeks later, I moved to New York City. 

At the time, I had no idea how much that decision would impact the rest of my life. After moving to New York, I met the most amazing people, learned so much, grew on my own, experienced life in the most energetic city, tried new foods, and so much more. 

Looking through the streets of Dumbo, Brooklyn at the Brooklyn bridge. Ellington is posing in an arabesque in the middle of the street wearing a little black dress with pointe shoes on.
Photo by Olivier Morin

Looking back at this time in my life, I was so fortunate to have experienced that opportunity. One of the main things I took away from the entire experience was the idea of perspective. I lived in New York City for two years and over that time, my perspective changed. It was altered and shaped, stretched and thinned. 

Now, what do I want you to learn from reading this story? Well, there’s a couple things. 


The environment you surround yourself with will have the ultimate impact on your life. What really matters and what changes your life are your experiences and the people you surround yourself with.  


If you put your mind to something, then it will happen. The brain is such an incredibly powerful device. Don’t waste that power on thinking negatively or telling yourself that you can’t do it. Use your brain for positive thoughts and it can actually increase the well being of your life. 


Put yourself out there because otherwise opportunities will never present themselves to you. Sometimes you need to sacrifice typical comfort in order to excel and create growth.

New York City was part of the most impactful part of my life, thus far. I will continue to share my stories of the dynamic city and all the adventures I’ve lived through. In hopes, that my perspective will be encouraging, entertaining, and educational.

Until next time,


Photo of Ellington smiling while wearing a white tutu, forest green leotard, and black long sleeve jacket with the NYC skyline in the background.
Photo by Kristen Gentry