Zoe Saldana says ballet is the hardest thing she has ever done in her life.

The 'Star Trek' actress desperately wanted to succeed at the dancing art form but had to make the heartbreaking decision to quit in her teens after realising she just wasn't quite good enough to make it professionally.

She said: ''I had to quit ballet because it felt like a part of me was dying inside. It takes a lot of courage to face up to things you can't do because we feed ourselves so much denial.''

After quitting ballet Zoe decided to become an actress and did so with the full-support of her parents father Aridio Saldana, who is Dominican, and her mother Asalia Nazario, who is Puerto Rican.

The 33-year-old star - whose first major role was playing a headstrong ballerina in the 2000 film 'Center Stage' - said: ''In dance you use every party of your body except your voice. I wanted to start acting because I wanted to use my voice.''

Zoe believes her Latino heritage instilled in her an inner strength and a will to succeed when she started out in her career.

In an interview with Cosmopolitan For Latinas magazine, she said: ''People think of Latina women as being fiery and fierce, which is usually true.

''But I think the quality that so many Latinas possess is strength. I'm very proud to have Latin blood.''