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A Dancer's Not Meant for the Sidelines

November 24, 2015 | Rose Bowl

SidelinesAt the height of dance season Peyton Richardson was in a dance studio rehearsing six days a week. “That’s my favorite time of year,” she says.

Peyton admits it wasn’t always this way. Even though she is wild about ballet, the endless days in toe shoes could get exhausting. She credits the love now to her mandatory dance time-out during her first two months of cancer treatments. Peyton says, “I was like, ‘I need to go back. I have to go back. I’m so bored!’ I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of it again because I know what it’s like to not dance.”

Doctor’s Orders

Peyton points out that she didn’t choose to miss dance for two months. It was an order. She described going to a dance class recently and only being able to watch. She was in the middle of a four-day chemo regimen. During that time Peyton’s port had a needle in it to help administer her chemotherapy. Her port is about an inch under her collarbone. It has an external access point for treatments to go into her, and there’s a tube inside Peyton that runs from the port into an artery to her heart. That way the medicine goes directly into Peyton’s heart, which then pumps it throughout the rest of her body. Needless to say, she was sidelined.

“I just sat there and watched. I used to think it’d be nice to sit out a bit because you’re hot and sweaty and tired. But I was sitting there, and it was boring! You want to be up there dancing with your friends, but you can’t. I loved watching my friends, but I wanted to be up there, too. I don’t think I will ever want to sit out again.” 

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