MONUMENT, CO — Sometimes pursuing what you're passionate about takes a little sacrifice, which is true for one local high schooler who's putting in the extra hours.
At 15 years old, most of us probably didn't know what we wanted to pursue as a career growing up, but Omari Jackson has. She's training to become a professional dance teacher and dance competitively while still in high school.
"I'll dance for forever if I have to, then I'll go home and do homework if I have to," said Jackson.
Jackson goes to Destinations Career Academy, an online schooling program that allows her to graduate high school, while also pursuing her career. She completes school work for about three to four hours a day, and dances the rest of the day.
"I want to be a teacher so I can help teach kids dance and I also want to be a ballerina, that's all I've ever wanted," said Jackson.
Becoming a dance teacher to share your passion with others takes years of experiencing, which Omari has because she's been dancing since she was two years old. She trains at The SunDance Studio in Monument, CO.
Some of the sacrifices she's made, not going to a public high school, so she has more time to focus on her training.
"A lot of dancers, they often choose online school because they feel it's easier to balance dancing and online school at the same time," said Omari.
"She works really hard, she trains really hard," said Toby Lyn Bertch, Omari's mom. "To see her passion and love for that (dance) is refreshing and important, because I feel like it gives other people an opportunity to be inspired,"
Omari is following in her mom's footsteps by becoming a professional dancer at a young age. Now, she has a message for other students out there working to pursue their career and something they love.
"Sitck your hands in the mud, full on submerge your head in the mud if you have to. Just do whatever you need to do to complete your creative process," said Omari. "But understand that some things take time."
Omari hopes her hard work pays off soon. She hopes to be a certified teacher and dancing professionally by the time she is 17 years old.