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BTC covers Sydney Washington

June 16, 2017

BTC sat down with Sydney Washington to learn more about the work she is doing in the classical ballet and mental health world! 




Super excited to be sharing our first member of the BTC squad and one of my closest friends, Sydney Washington. Sydney and I met 6 years ago in college (shoutout to Skidmore College!). My sophomore year we became really close and even started a student club on campus for Queer Femmes of Color. 


Since graduating from college Sydney has been on the move! After taking a hiatus from dance to focus on her mental health and self care, Sydney started sharing her experience, candidly and openly, about her mental differences. Over the years, her IG page has picked up quite a following attracting over 20k followers. Sydney doesn't just focus on mental health, but is also a voice for LGBTQ folks and black ballerinas, daring the ballet world to prioritize diversity. 


Sydney has been featured in major publications such as Teen Vogue and has been a proud voice for queer folks, black ballerinas and others experiencing mental differences. 


Read how she is LIVING LIFE BEYOND THE CLOUDS below!



  • Name?

    • Sydney Magruder Washington


  • Where are you from?

    • Originally? Mitchellville, Maryland. A sleepy, idyllic suburb of Washington, D.C. My mom drove me back and forth to New York City on weekends to visit my grandparents.  I lived in Atlanta, GA for five years...and now I’m back in New York City.



  • What are your passions and interests?

    • Ballet, music, literature, education (in every form)...hard to narrow it down. I’m a passionate person and everything I do ends up becoming a fixture in my life. But by profession, I’m a ballerina.


  • How did you find your passions and how did they blossom?

    • From a young age my parents encouraged me to learn everything I could about whatever I wanted - they indulged my every whim with regards to my interests. We took frequent trips to museums and to the ballet, to concerts and to sporting events. They gave me easels and paints, science kits and books of experiments, a full encyclopedia set (I’m dating myself, surely), every book imaginable (I had my own separate playroom that was approximately ½ bookshelves)...I was always surrounded by intellectual and artistic stimulus. But it was ballet and music that stuck.



  • What is the mission with your work?

    • There’s several. As a ballet dancer my goal is always to represent brown ballerinas everywhere and excel at my craft. As someone living visibly with mental illness, it’s my mission to let young people know that a diagnosis of mental illness is not a death sentence. It changes your life, surely, but it doesn’t have to be the end.


  • What has been a huge breakthrough in your creative/entrepreneurial journey?

    • I think I’m in the middle of it right now. My platform has doubled in a week’s time, so I’m dealing with those fun but demanding growing pains, and plotting and accelerating my next move on a minute-by-minute basis.


  • What has been the biggest struggle in your creative/entrepreneurial journey? What has it taught you?

    • Trying to not focus on numbers. Views, likes and comments can make or break my mood, so I really have to separate those arbitrary metrics from the worth of my story. That’s been tough to swallow.


  • How do you practice self love and rejuvenation when you're overwhelmed by your work?

    • I have an amazing wife who not only puts up with the demands of all that I do, but encourages me along the way. She’s good at distracting me from the occasional insanity of all that I’ve managed to get myself into professionally.


  • What investments have you made for yourself?

    • I’ve invested in quality headshots and dance photos, but dance is an investment of the body more so than the wallet - investing in myself means eating healthly, sleeping enough, not drinking and getting my butt into a pilates class as often as possible.


  • What projects are you working on or have coming up?

    • You’ll find out soon enough. Beyond The Clouds will have an exclusive first look at my next move. (see link below)

Check out blackswandiaries.com


  • What advice can you offer to our readers who are hesitant to dive head first in their dreams or struggling to balance it all?

    • Every day is a new opportunity to try again. If you are fearful today, write down 5 ways you can be brave tomorrow.


  • How do you live beyond the clouds?

    • I’m the kind of person who tends to walk through life with my head in the clouds anyway, so I exist on that plane. My wife is the grounded one. I am never hesitant to say “What if...just hypothetically…” and spin myself into some crazy wild dream-state. That’s kept me lighthearted when I would’ve otherwise succumbed to melancholy by now.


  • How can we follow/support your journey?

    • You can keep up with me on Instagram @TheBlackSwanDiaries.


  • What is your favorite genre of movie?

    • Period drama. I’m a sucker for a hoop skirt and forbidden love.







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