COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Among the hundreds of small businesses devastated by last week's flood was the Pavlovich Dance School. It's the home of Columbia's Classical Ballet and a home away from home for more than a dozen international dancers.
Strength, flexibility and grit. Despite their delicate movements, ballerinas are built tough. But seeing their studio -- essentially their home -- buried beneath 8 feet of water was enough to shake even their leader to his core.
"Everything of my life from my dancing career is gone," Radenko Pavlovich said. "You can't bring that back."
On top of that, many of Pavlovich's company members are here pursuing their passion thousands of miles from home and now, the little sliver of Columbia that feels familiar, is just an empty shell.
Renovations done back in August weren't the only loss. Costumes, music, the resources that allow the dancers to do what they do were destroyed by water. The school estimates new renovations will total $260,000.
"The self-abuse you take as a dancer is unbelievable, because of the pain and everything you go through because you love what you do," said one dancer. "You go through that drive to do it more and more. And I really saw that. What was really amazing is once the water was gone, the dancers all came here and tried to save anything they could."
While this may be their biggest test of strength to date, it won't be their last.