Taiwanese ballet dancer Liao Yi Hsuan recently filmed an ad for denim company Lee Cooper—and it’s unexpectedly heart-wrenching.
Liao isn’t a world-class ballerina, an artist of such phenomenal gifts that she’s guaranteed success. Instead, she’s like many of us: Talented, yes, but above all, passionately committed to ballet.
In the three-and-a-half minute spot, she describes her struggles with injuries, finances, and self-doubt—and the reasons that, despite everything, she has continued to pursue this art she loves so deeply. The subtitles can be hard to read, but here are a few of her most poignant quotes:
“In the moment of dancing, you can connect with your true self. You can feel your hands, your feet, your heart. You can feel every beat of the music. I can just be myself. It’s pressure free. I just have to do what I do—dance my dance.”
“When I stopped dancing, I realized that I couldn’t feel myself, I couldn’t feel anything in life. So I know I have to keep dancing.”
“If I have a chance to nothing but dance, that will be the most luxurious thing ever.”
“If I can, I’ll dance till the last moment of my life.”
Here’s the full video. You may want to grab a tissue.