12 Aug Some Words of Advice
I am excitedly counting down the days until my departure for Denver. I was at a pool party the other day with some of the girls from my ballet studio, giving them some advice and decided to dedicate this post to them. Here are some tips to help you survive the dance world. First, show humility, second take care of yourself, and third know where you stand. Because I have lots to say on these subjects, I will be separating them into a few parts, so stay tuned!!
Before I dig into the advice, I’d like to share my story of my career as a ballet student. When I was 10, I started taking master classes at my old studio with this Russian teacher. I loved it because I was experiencing an orderly and improving class. I felt like I actually was improving. By the time I turned 11, I was one of the only people taking his class. A friend noticed and recommended that I go to Cuizon Ballet Centre. I was open to the idea, expecting to be the best dancer there. I have very vivd memories of being sore after doing our first pilates exercise (the hundreds) and somehow surviving the rest of that portion of the intensive. Then, we moved to the barre and I was amazed that everyone danced in unison and so extremely fast. After that 3 hour class, I was uneasy, broken down, and humbled. In short, I was shocked. My teacher, Lisa, told my mom that the way my body is built showed potential as a dancer. She told her that if I was interested in being a dancer, it would be possible, but I would have to work really hard. After my mom talked with me, I made the decision to become a dancer and I promised myself that I would move to a pre-professional program at 16 years old. The first 3 months with Lisa were some of the most hard months I’ve ever experienced. I cried everyday, and sometimes in class. I couldn’t understand how to use my muscles. My mom asked me often if I was still interested in being a dancer and I said yes and I would ask her if I could take more classes with Lisa, even though I would get so frustrated. Eventually, my body started to cooperate, and I was starting to improve quickly. That November (November 27th to be exact) Lisa told me I could go on pointe, and to no one’s surprise, I cried. I was so happy. After that, I auditioned for summer intensives and did not expect to get in or go anywhere. But then I got accepted to Pacific Northwest Ballet, one of the most prestigious schools in the country. I couldn’t say no! So at the age of 12, I went to my first summer intensive for 5 weeks. Ever since then I’ve gone to a summer intensive. I’ve attended PNB (12 and 13 years old), Miami City Ballet (14 and 15 years old), and Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell (16 years old). This was my first year of not going to a summer intensive. I can see that through all of my experiences, it has prepared me for going away this year to Denver. Truly, a work of God.