I’ve had people ask me what advice I would give to young dancers who want to become a ballerina or a ballet dancer. When I was younger, I was told that I would never be able to become a ballerina because I’m not flexible enough, talented enough, & because I couldn’t jump high enough. Do you want to know what I did with that? I worked even harder. I went home every night and stretched longer and harder. I would ask my teachers how I could improve my jumping, then I’d go home and practice it.
To the young dancer who wants to become a ballet dancer, here’s my advice.
- WORK HARD
I know a lot of people who will work hard in class and not do anything extra at home. Go that extra mile. Take the corrections your teachers give you and practice. Use your kitchen counter or ask your dad to build you a ballet barre! You can even use the back of a chair. Trust me, there are no excuses for why you can’t.
- ASK YOUR TEACHERS FOR ADVICE
I do this a lot, and teachers are always surprised when I do. When you do this, they make a mental note to keep an eye on you to see what you do with their corrections. If you steward their corrections well and you work hard to fix it, you will see results. I guarantee it.
- USE YOUR IMAGINATION
I feel like imagination is extremely important in dance. When I remember, I picture myself in the ballroom with the starry night sky from the movie BEAUTY & THE BEAST and I imagine like I’m dancing there. When I dance in that place, the movements and performance always come out and it truly does help my dancing.
- LET NO ONE CRUSH YOUR DREAMS
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been told that I could never become a professional dancer for several reasons by a teacher I trained under for about five years. I almost let her crush my dream. But then I attended my first summer intensive and met an incredible teacher: Mr. Pegler. You guys should know him from my Life On Pointe series. He told me that it was possible if I worked hard. So ever since he told me this, I’ve worked my butt off, and let me tell you, every time I have a session with him, I feel like I get ten miles better.
It is possible, boys and girls. I promise, dreams really do come true.
Sung Eun Rose