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Gender-Fluid Teen Pointe Dancer is Making History at the Pacific Northwest Ballet

18-year-old Ashton Edwards is one of the first male-presenting individuals to dance on pointe with the Pacific Northwest Ballet's Professional Student Division.

A gender-fluid pointe dancer is making history at the Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle, KING 5 reports.

18-year-old Ashton Edwards is an accomplished ballet dancer who moved from Michigan to join Pacific Northwest Ballet's Professional Student Division last year.

"I'm originally from Flint, Michigan, where I've only trained as a male dancer in ballet and when I came to PNB, they opened up a lot of doors for me and were open to a lot of conversations to allow me to start dancing on pointe," said Edwards. "Now I'm doing everything, female and the male classes."

He is one of very few male-presenting dancers to train on pointe.

"Usually men don't go on pointe and it's very binary and men have their own separate training for jumps and turns, but for men to be on pointe at a professional ballet school right now hasn't really happened," said Edwards.

Edwards' family and friends have stepped up to support him while he awaits his next opportunity. A GoFundMe campaign was launched to "Keep Ashton Dancing," with the funds helping to provide financial support to keep Edwards training at home.

"It's incredible... I never expected it," said Edwards. "People actually said they look up to me and I can't believe it."

"There's already so few jobs, there's thousands of dancers and hundreds of jobs... to have a pandemic also, it's even fewer and very nerve wracking," he said. "But it's what I love, so I have to keep doing it."

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