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For Stella Abrera, being a ballet dancer was an "unconventional profession" in her parents' eyes, but it was a path they were ultimately supportive of when they saw how driven she was.

Now, in her 20th anniversary season with the company, Abrera, who last year began her role as a principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre, is reflecting on her journey and the ups and downs that she's faced in her career.

"I'm really grateful to be doing my job still because it came close to not happening anymore," Abrera told NBC News.

RELATED: Stella Abrera Battles Back From Pain to Ballet's Ultra-Elite

Look for new "Life Stories" videos published on Thursdays beginning in May and through September. Episodes can be watched on NBCAsianAmerica.com, NBC Asian America's Facebook page, NBC News' official YouTube channel, and the NBC News app available on mobile devices, Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV.

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