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Ballet West Academy Professional Training Division student Olivia Book. Haskell Photography, Courtesy Book.

When you see Olivia Book dance, you first notice her long lines, incredible control and captivating stage presence. It's obvious why the Canadian dancer received high marks at Toronto's Youth American Grand Prix competition last year—the girl has talent! It isn't until a second or third glance that you realize that one of the 16-year-old's arms is a little different than most. Born with congenital upper extremity limb deficiency, Book's right arm ends just above her elbow and is significantly smaller than her left one. "My right arm, or 'little arm,' has forced me to rely on my left arm for all of my daily life activities," says Book.

Though she's had to work twice as hard at things that might be second nature for many dancers, Book's passion for ballet trumps any of the physical challenges she faces. "I love how beautiful ballet is," she says, "and there are so many professional ballerinas that I admire and look up to. Knowing that one day I could dance that beautifully and make ballet my career makes me so excited."

Book, who trains full time at Ballet West's Professional Training Division, appears to be well on her way to making her dreams of dancing professionally a reality. Pointe talked with Book to learn more about her path to Ballet West Academy and how she manages some of her unique challenges.

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Buying your first pair of pointe shoes is a huge milestone. Below, ThePointeShop's Josephine Lee gives some of her top tips on finding the best fit for first time pointe shoe wearers.

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Josephine Lee outside Ballet West Academy. Photo Courtesy Lee.

Earlier this summer, we followed master pointe shoe fitter Josephine Lee of the California-based The Pointe Shop as she made her on a pointe shoe fitting tour around the West Coast and California. Now she's back, this time on a 45-day tour from California to Chicago, educating students on all things pointe shoes and helping them to find their perfect fit. Lee's making stops at top ballet companies and academies across the country, exploring schools and getting know academy directors. Below, check out Lee's stop at Ballet West. She touches base with academy director Peter Merz. Stay tuned for more!

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Nathan Chen with artists of Ballet West in "Sleeping Beauty" (2011). Photo by Luke Isley, Courtesy Ballet West.

From ages 8 to 14, Nathan Chen trained at the Ballet West Academy and often performed alongside the company. Now, he is well on his way to becoming a household name. Earlier this month, Chen won the national title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, and he'll be heading to the Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, as a member of the U.S. Figure Skating Team in February. If that's not impressive enough, you can now pop into your local grocery store and pick up a box of Kellogg's Corn Flakes with his photo on the front.

Chen is known for his exceptional musicality and artistry on the ice and has broken records for cleanly landing five quadruple jumps in one program. "My training and ballet background definitely gives me the competitive edge," Chen said to an NBC News correspondent last fall. We touched base with Peter Christie, one of Chen's former instructors at the Ballet West Academy and a supplemental coach on the ice, to get a better sense of how ballet influences the record-breaking 18-year-old figure skater.

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