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July 20, 2010 / ballerina2thepointe

Words of Wisdom

 

I was inspired to write this by reading a blog post made by a fellow dancer and friend Rebecca King. She has been working with a wonderful teacher and coach, Geta Constantinescu, teaching Swan Lake excerpts to some of the Miami City Ballet School summer intensive program. Geta is always full of wonderfully inspirational stories and great advice, and she’s always trying to draw out the absolute best in everyone. She is amazingly respectful of each and every dancer as an individual with different qualities to offer, and she has always made me feel like I should dance every role confidently and honestly, as myself, without the worry of emulating someone else.

Rebecca recently posted a quote from Geta in her blog which, to me, is the epitome of brilliant advice for all dancers and students:

“It is so easy to get pulled down by the drama around us; to let our egos get the best of us and worry about who got what part, who got promoted, or who is doing well in a company. But all dancers, students and company members alike, need to remember what brings us to the studio every day. It is the love of dance. When dancers are onstage they must assume that it is their last show, as we never know how life will turn out. Perhaps an injury is right around the corner and you may never dance again. That is how you should treat each and every day.

“There is a reason why ballet dancers who move on to different fields of work tend to excel. It is because we are perfectionists and our brains are programmed to learn. We must use those skills to our advantage and treat every part in a ballet as if it is a principal part. Every rehearsal, find something new to work on; a new feeling to find. Dancers must be patient and wait for their moment to shine. This will carry a dancer through their career, healthy mentally and physically.”

After reading this bit of wisdom, I immediately shared it with MY students. In doing so, I realized just how valuable it REALLY is, and how much I could benefit by applying it to my own career. It seems so easy to tell the kids in my class not to worry about who is chosen to dance the solos, not to let their egos get in the way of learning, not to dwell on what their friends are doing or not doing…but it would be advice well taken for myself as well. All too often I worry about casting, what roles I may or may not dance (and when), instead of being grateful for the many roles that I AM fortunate enough to dance.  It’s easy to tell them that they should be more lively, attentive and energetic in their morning technique class, but how often do I complain about being tired and achy before company class every day? It’s rather easy to remember how much we love to dance while we’re on stage in the midst of performing, but I think it’s something that we all need to try and focus more on during the grueling hours spent in the studio as well. Our sweat, tears, pain, and the hours of our lives that we dedicate to the dance everyday all stem from the amazing and rare combination of passion and desire.

We’re all a little bit crazy. We have to be to do what we do; and it is a beautiful thing. Sometimes we have to force ourselves back down to the real world though and think: How many people are really truly passionate about something, and how many that ARE have the opportunity to study it? How many that have the passion, the drive and the fortune to study are then healthy and talented enough to become professionals and earn a living at it? How many that do become professionals are then dedicated and strong enough to make a long and successful career for themselves?

I’ve really been pondering these questions the past couple of days, and it’s given me new inspiration to start this, my 16th season with Miami City Ballet ( also the company’s 25th anniversary season) with a whole new outlook and approach… APPRECIATION and GRATITUDE.

5 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Rene bendana / Jul 20 2010 10:57 pm

    Iknow again how I’m so proud of you .Your biggest fan
    luv
    Big Ray

  2. Rebecca King / Jul 20 2010 11:10 pm

    Yay Jen! This makes me so happy! P.S. The new layout looks fantastic 🙂

  3. Myrtie Montazami / Aug 30 2010 9:36 am

    Seen your web blog via yahoo the other day and absolutely find it irresistible. Continue the excellent work.

  4. Katie / May 28 2016 6:41 pm

    Hello-
    I very much enjoyed reading your blog and came across this post and it really caught my attention. I am a ballet dancer and these quotes really spoke to me.The two quotes that you included in your post are so true. People that don’t grow up in the dance world really don’t understand how competitive it is and how the little things such as casting and levels can really get us down and how it is so important to remember why we do what we do because in the midst of it all we often forget that. The second quote is also very real to me. I have sen people from my company graduate and go onto do wonderful things, weather was becoming a doctor or a dancer (just the other day on of the boys announced he was going to join the Minneapolis Ballet. The Things you learn growing up in this world like time management, determination, how to eat, strength and be happy is such a good base for anything in life.
    Thank’s for sharing-
    Katie H

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