3 Things to consider to ascertain whether you have what it takes:
DESIRE + DETERMINATION + DEDICATION
The picture above is Mlindi Kulashe, soloist with Northern Ballet Company, Leeds, UK and Ashley Dean (Scott) soloist dancer with the Royale Ballet Company, London, UK. Both dancers trained with Dianne Cheesman and were accepted onto the Cape Junior Ballet Company training programme. Their journey in achieving their dreams was by no means an easy feat. Ashley lived in Hermanus and had to travel every weekend to train with CJB in Cape Town, whilst Mlindi lived in the township Nyanga, and had to face the many taxi strikes when trying to get regular training. Yet they remained determined and dedicated in pursue their desire to dance.
What does it take to become a dancer, specifically a ballet dancer?
First the young dancer needs to have the talent and the desire to become the best they can be. There are many ingredients needed to fulfill this very sort after career. The world of dance and dance itself is not easy and there are no shortcuts! Dancers need to work extremely hard and often have to make many sacrifices, which in itself can be challenging. Especially during the years of puberty, with the many physical changes as well as peer pressure to social life and often places you in that tricky spot of having to make choices. So what are you willing to sacrifice to achieve your dreams of becoming a dancer?
Natural ability and potential are very important but these attributes can only take a dancer so far! Ballet is an art form that requires a strong classical technique, artistic and musical quality and the body of an athlete! This often take years of hard work, practicing the same exercises over and over again. Repetition builds consistency in pursuing perfection. This type of repetition is extremely necessary to achieve more control and better results each time thus honing the skills for turns, jumps, beats or pointe work. Throughout their training a dancer should try to focus on being the best they can and keep a positive mind. Determination and focus are very important requirements. How committed are you about achieving your goals? How much extra time are you putting in every week to get stronger, to become more flexible?
Determination is what it takes.
Examinations are an excellent way of assessing where your strengths lie and which areas you need to focus on. Competitions do have a valuable part to play in the process of becoming a dancer, if looked at with an open mind. When used as a stepping- stone on the way to becoming a dancer, as this trains the ability to handle nerves when under stress of the competition. However becoming a dancer does not depend on how many competitions you may have or have not won! In fact at times failure or not achieving the result one has been striving for, often can be a catalyst to greater growth and learning experiences. Winning should not be the most important thing but the entire experience and what you gained from the experience is what counts! Ask yourself what did you learn?
Desire, determination, dedication are just 3 things to consider when embarking on a dance career.