At the age of 16, Theron won a modelling contract in Salerno, Italy, and moved to Milan with her mother, though her true passion was performing, with a keen interest in dancing since she was very young. After her year ended, Theron began to attend the Joffrey Ballet School to train as a dancer, though a knee injury ended her hopes of cutting it at the top level. She recalled: "I went to New York for three days to model, and then I spent a winter in New York in a friend's windowless basement apartment. I was broke, I was taking class at the Joffrey Ballet, and my knees gave out. "I realised I couldn't dance anymore, and I went into a major depression. My mom came over from South Africa and said, "Either you figure out what to do next or you come home, because you can sulk in South Africa." However, she showcase her skills by dancing with Channing Tatum at the 2013 Oscars.
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