A heartwarming story of perseverance and self-confidence


When you believe in your own standards, you reach for the best.

At the age of eight, she started ballet lessons near her home in Benfica, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. By the age of 13, Ingrid Silva’s love of ballet was becoming so serious she wanted to solely focus on dance.

For her loving family, dance lessons were a luxury they simply could not afford. Fortunately Ingrid was able to start dancing with a programme that provides classical ballet training to kids from the favela. 

Her journey from favela to first position at New York’s renowned Dance Theater of Harlem has been one based on tenacity, hard work, and a quiet confidence, working in sync with herself.

Tough choices, right reasons 

Ingrid is still thankful that her mother “let her go” to pursue her path. Landing in New York at the age of 18, Ingrid knew she was there for just one thing: Dancing. She didn’t speak English, had few friends and had nowhere to live. “I was scared, still figuring out life.”

Dancing saved her: “It’s like air: I breathe, I dance.”

A dream, a journey 

“I felt I had the best opportunity in life because I met Arthur Mitchell.” Indeed, Ingrid was now mixing with the masters of her art; Mitchell had founded the Dance Theater of Harlem, and was the first African American principal dancer in the New York City Ballet. “I got to work with him which was amazing.” Now, eight years later, it’s clear that her move to the Big Apple completely changed her life.

Yet none of her experience has been wrinkle-free. Even confronting her first New York winter left her traumatised about the approach of cold weather. “It was the first time I experienced seasons. I wasn’t ready for the cold or the snow. I had no coat.”

Alone in the biggest of big cities, Ingrid had no choice but to fend for herself.

I had to overcome so many obstacles, trying to have a job as a dancer and still pay my bills. I used to go to ballet from nine to five, then at six I would start work waitressing.

Clearly, her ballerina’s poise might have helped her to manoeuvre plates of food and demanding customers. However she took all kinds of work to make ends meet, from babysitting to dog walking. She has no regrets about those days. “I learned so much.”

Between the constraints of her busy day, she managed to keep the energy and passion for her dancing lessons, moving her fate forward step by step.

“You are the only person who can change your journey, and keep walking forward. Believing changes everything.”

Trust yourself

Ingrid learned early on to seek inspiration within herself and her own capabilities.

“It’s really a question of trusting yourself. If every woman could unleash her full potential, we would take over everything.”

Ultimately it comes down to the individual.

Confidence is the key, and it comes from within.

Controlling your own destiny: a question of daily balance

Ingrid remains philosophical about where she is today, and owes a lot to her healthy habits. “Every day I have a routine, take care of what I eat, I sleep well, and exercise, obviously.”

Taking care of her body is only part of the equation — Ingrid takes care to rest her mind as well. “What’s really important for me, to be in sync in my life, is to have a life outside of dancing to be sane!”

With Ingrid, you sense that every day counts.

You can always go further

“I’m very much a perfectionist. I’ve pushed many limits with my body and my mind but I don’t have any regrets.” For Ingrid, the secret is having body and mind in perfect alignment.  

As that eight-year-old back in Benfica, she never imagined that she might one day become a professional dancer. Today, she inspires all of us to believe in our own journey.

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Being your best is when everything just clicks, when you feel at one with yourself and the path before you. "Live InSync" is your personal journey worth celebrating, like the ones you have already seen from Ingrid Silva. Share your story. What are those moments which make you feel in tune with yourself? How do you "Live InSync"? How does this help you on your journey to being your best.