The Cardinal Times

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Profile: Dana Sylvester

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If you think of most freshmen, you probably imagine a short middle school looking kid, stumbling to their classes, and watching the upperclassmen in awe. Dana Sylvester is an exception. Towering over the other kids at almost six feet tall, sporting her bright red hair, and wearing her signature black outfits, many people mistake her to be a lot older than she really is. 

In middle school, Sylvester hit 5’10. While some people might think being so tall would be difficult, Sylvester thinks it’s not that huge of a deal.

“Height hasn’t really been a big thing in my life, because my parents are both relatively tall,” she said, “and the only physical thing I noticed was that I was very very skinny compared to everyone else, because I have such a high metabolism from my parents,” she added with a laugh.

Sylvester’s high metabolism has helped her with ballet, a very graceful, yet intense dance style, which she has been doing since she was three years old.

“When I was three, my mother wanted me to do it, and then I did it for ten years,” Sylvester explained. She joined a professional company and worked with people who were paid to dance. While that seems like a lot of time commitment and work, it has helped her develop into who she is today.

“It’s given me a lot of discipline,” Sylvester said, “physically it’s made me a lot more stronger, and a lot more flexible.”

While Sylvester took ballet very seriously, she also had some doubts about it.

“Ballet has never really been a career path for me, so for those ten years, I just spent all my time on ballet,” she said “and now my body is broken and it doesn’t work like a normal person’s.”

If a person grows up doing ballet, their hips develop differently because of the various plies and countless exercises they do to in order to achieve the “perfect ballet posture.” Sadly, this harms many dancers and creates a lot of health problems for them as they get older. Sylvester described the number of problems she has had while training.

“My hips pop out of their sockets at random times, my feet are destroyed from being on pointe for four years, and I’ve injured myself countless times,” she said.  “Sadly, there’s very little you can do when you have such little time to recover.”

“You just go back on stage, you never get a cast, you never get to wrap it. The most you get is to put your ankle in an ice bath for an hour after rehearsal.”

Just last month, Sylvester started doing something completely new, modeling. So far, she’s been really successful.

“I’ve gotten quite a few job offers that I wasn’t able to do, only because I was in school for some of them.” 

There are stereotypes about modeling being extremely hard on people, and models becoming insecure about themselves. Luckily, the company Sylvester works for is very kind. Modeling has made her more confident as a person.

“They care about you as a person and want you to succeed in life, and they pay for a majority of everything. They are very set on making you successful,” Sylvester said.

In two years, Sylvester hopes to model at Paris Fashion Week, but she also thinks that she won’t pursue modeling forever.

“I was told by multiple companies that I could do it as a career throughout college as well,” she explained, “but I don’t really see myself pursuing being a famous model.” Sylvester at least hopes that modeling will give her some extra cash, which would help her in the future. But she has bigger dreams ahead of her.

“I want to be a film director for Universal Studios, or I want to work with the CIA or the FBI doing criminal forensics and physiology.”

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