Rachel Cox has dreams of leaving Elida for New York City to perform on Broadway and build a career as a professional ballerina.
Rachael Cox practices at S-W School of Dance. Cox said she began dancing at the age of five.
Cox, a junior, began dancing at the age of five when her friend Jasi Roberts asked her to join a program called Extended Learning at Eastern New Mexico University. Before joining the class, Cox never thought about gliding across the stage on her toes.
Eleven years later Cox is right on track to making her dreams come true, according to her dance instructor, Summer Wilson.
"I don't see her having any problem reaching her goals," said Wilson, owner of S-W School of Dance.
"She's already overcome so many obstacles that there's so few left now."
In June 2010 Cox suffered a hip injury while preparing to attend an intensive ballet workshop in Seattle. Her injury prevented her for attending dance classes for a year but Cox continued to practice at home in Elida.
Cox said she also stayed in shape by cheerleading at Elida High School during her year off, which facilitated her recovery.
"It was really hard because dancing had become like my life and I wasn't dancing anymore," Cox said.
"But now I'm dancing again."
She said she is not performing at her previous level but aspires to become a better dancer in college.
Cox said ballet requires mental and physical strength and helps a person mature quickly. She said her thoughts and ideas are better expressed with leaps, turns and spins than with words.
"It's easier for me to dance what I feel instead of say it because dancing is almost like a purer form of feeling," Cox said.
"I believe ballet is a sport because not only do you have to be athletic but it also demands a very high level of your mental. It's not just doing the moves. It's more about feeling it."
Cox recently auditioned for the musical drama "TEXAS!" and said she received great feedback. She said she could possibly work for the company as an understudy.
Cox hopes to land a career with dance companies such as American Ballet Theatre and Pacific Northwest Ballet. She said she recently got into acting and wants to learn to sing.
Wilson has taught Cox to dance for nearly 11 years. She said Cox's intense and unyielding passion impresses her most. Wilson said she sees the dedication and drive to accomplish goals in Cox.
"Anyone can do anything," Wilson said. "It is all about the dedication, the drive, the desire and the willingness to make sacrifices to make big dreams come true."