When we opened our newest store in Illinois this past summer at Westfield Old Orchard, we made a whole bunch of new friends in the Chicago area. Amongst them was Dani McGowan, an aspiring ballet dancer with a love for fashion. Through her personal style blog, Mermaid Waves, Dani empowers girls to look and feel their best while constantly pushing her own style outside the norm. She’s always testing new trends and her creative street style make her one of our fave fashion bloggers. We recently collaborated with Dani for our new Go by Garage activewear collection. A ballet dancer for almost her entire life, she studied at the Chicago Academy for the Arts which allowed her to look beyond the performance dance and explore other styles of dance… and fashion.

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When and why did you start ballet?
I started ballet when I was about two and a half. For Christmas I asked for a pair of ballet shoes and my mom signed me up for classes as soon as I was old enough.

Do you practice any other styles of dance?
I also practice modern and jazz, and contemporary.

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As a dancer, what would be your dream opportunity?
My dream opportunity would be to pursue ballet professionally. Any way I could connect ballet with fashion would be another dream opportunity, like the dancers of New York City Ballet walking in the Opening Ceremony, NY Fashion Week, show.

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Dani is wearing the black Crossed Back Tank, black Athletic Leggings With Mesh, and the Windbreaker.