This morning I attended an open professional Ballet class followed by a Jazz class, specifically designed to focus on technique, but also to allow those of us with experience to really dance the combinations.
I thoroughly enjoyed the time in the studio this morning, I was dancing my heart out! I worked on my technique paying attention to all my problem spots, and I pushed my legs and my body hard. Yes you get puffed and tired in class, but if you keep going and push yourself past those barriers it feels amazing afterwards.
I’ve been doing the Jazz class almost every week and it has been fantastic to get an idea of how much strength I am regaining and of course to continually work on my technique. The thing is, if you are a real dancer, a real perfectionist, you should never be happy with your technique or think you have reached the point where there is no more for you to learn.
Nobody’s perfect, so we all need to keep practising. Even when you are a professional dancer you need to keep working on your technique and keep up your A-game. As long as you have the attitude to work hard and always give it 120% you will go far.
It frustrates me when I see dancers who think they have got it made, and they become slack on things like warming up, working on their skills, and rehearsing. I remember when I was at a seminar with Colin Peasely from the Australian Ballet Company, he said to a studio full of young, hopefull dancers..
“Getting the job is the easy part. Once you’ve got the job you have to KEEP IT”
I’ll never forget him saying that. No matter where your career takes you, there is always more to strive for, more to experience, more to give, more to be passionate about. There is always room to grow and develop. Choreographers and Dance Teachers don’t want to work with dancers who don’t rehearse and don’t care enough to keep learning. They don’t have time for people like that, and there are hundreds and thousands of dancers out there, so remember you ARE replaceable. If you keep that in mind sometimes, if you need something to give yourself a push, remember there is always someone better out there.
Are you going to just stay at the level you are at, and let other dancers surpass you? Or are you going to rise to the challenge?!
This is a picture of dancers auditioning for the Phoenix Suns. This is only one snippet of all the dancers that were on the court. How are you going to have the confidence to stand out from the crowd in a situation like this? By knowing within yourself that you train hard, you can perform at your absolute best level, and then give them the passion and pizzaz to top it all off.
If you aren’t working hard on your dancing, (and I’m not just talking about doing class I’m talking about doing your own practice, and pushing yourself as well) then you are not going to feel confident going into the audition battlefield!
Trust me, as you get older, it gets harder, especially if you have a break. So do it now! Get into shape now, consolidate your technique now, do your stretches for your problem areas now. Don’t wait for your teacher to tell you to do it. If you want to be good, you have to do it yourself. Because only you will get you there!
If you are a student at a dance school, and dreaming of the day you will be in a company, remember you have to get through the audition process first and you are not always going to have your teacher there to guide you. You need to listen to your teacher, take on board the things he/she is saying, and then go and practice them and apply them yourself. Don’t wait till your next class to do it. It’s too late! By then someone else has applied that correction and has moved ahead of you. You need to take your career into your own hands and make it happen for yourself.
So, here’s to working hard and being able to go out there with confidence and the right attitude!