Laura Rutledge would’ve been a ballet-dancing superstar in an alternate universe. Instead, she’s a stellar sports media personality for ESPN and the SEC Network.

Rutledge discussed her first job as a radio personality as a student at the University of Florida, and how she determined she was willing to walk away from her dream as a professional dancer, on the latest episode of Basketball & Beyond with Mike Krzyzewski.

Rutledge discussed having several contracts with professional dance companies before ultimately opting to attend college at Florida.

“At the last minute, I just had the gut feeling of, ‘No, I need to accept my in-state academic scholarship, go to the University of Florida, and figure it out from there’,” the Tampa Bay native said.

It was a fork-in-the-road moment, and to the delight of sports fans, Rutledge took a leap of faith into the industry.

“It was really a tough moment in a lot of ways because I was giving up a dream that had really become a life-long dream of me becoming a professional ballet dancer,” Rutledge said. “I am an elite-level dancer, but I’m not as elite as I want to be to climb to the top. So I thought now I’m going to turn my attention to something else and make myself elite at it.”

That’s exactly what Rutledge has evolved into with her excellence as the host of SEC Nation and NFL Live. Kudos to Rutledge for being an inspiration to young women dreaming of entering sports media.