My own personal grand jeté through life

13 Oct

To all those who’s life has been profoundly impacted in some way through dance…

My own journey as a dancer began 20 years ago in a very classical Russian school. At the time I adored my classical training and was taught with a mindset that this art form would define my entire life. Now although I don’t take anything for granted that I learned while studying with this particular ballet master, she was of the school of thought that every young dancer needed to be molded to perfection, rather than teaching that dancer to use what they have naturally been given to strengthen everything else and highlight what they are individually best at.

I myself did not have natural turnout, or a perfectly ideal shape for ballet, but I loved it so much I would not and could not give it up for anything. I went through all the blood, sweat, and tears of not being good enough, but kept pushing myself in spite of it. When I eventually left that ballet school for a more contemporary studio, I was finally taught to just dance from my heart and felt a sense of liberation that it is difficult to put into words. I was able to experiment with other styles of dance, and was truly inspired by those wonderful teachers to become my own personal best. Thanks to their instruction  I spent several wonderful years performing in the corps and eventually as a principle dancer for the Joffrey Ballet, until two blown out knees forced early retirement. However, shortly after leaving the stage I was invited back to my home studio to join the staff and teach ballet. I had never previously thought anything would fulfill me like being on the stage, but I have discovered that dance education truly has the power to change the lives of the students.

My motivation in starting this blog is to network and share experiences with other dancers whether they be professional, students, or just avid supporters; and to promote dance education for all young people who have the same passion I did. I will be regularly posting on what various companies are doing to bring out the best in their students, sharing personal experiences from my career, and updating on the activities of the National Dance Education Organization.

Thanks for reading!

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