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Stephanie says that the professional strides of black ballerinas Michaela DePrince and , as well as the first hijabi Emirati weight lifter Amna Al Haddad and the first hijabi news anchor on American television Noor Tagouri reignited her pursuit of her passion.

While the teen was excited to delve further into her faith, she initially gave up her dream of becoming a in fear it conflicted with her religion; some devout Muslims believe dancing is forbidden.

Stephanie, 14, has danced since the age of two. In 2010, she converted to Islam with her two brothers, Australian father and Russian-born mother. “Everything made sense for me in Islam,” she said in an interview with the NY Daily News. “I like to be modest and I like to keep my dignity. I like to know the purpose of my life. I like to live a healthy lifestyle and avoid harmful things” she added.

Misty Copeland is empowering aspiring ballerina’s a world away. The strides Misty has made as the first woman of color to be a principal dancer in the American Ballet Theatre makes it possible for Stephanie Kurlow to believe in her dreams.

Loving this photo shoot from 2014, love the costume and the vibes ballet gives me ??✌?️ A photo posted by sᴛᴇᴘʜᴀɴɪᴇ ᴋᴜʀʟᴏᴡ (@stephaniekurlow) on Mar 16, 2015 at 3:03am PDT