I’m not one to give up or quit anything I’ve started. Thats something that was instilled in my as a young child. Have there been times in my life that I have wanted to quit? Absolutely. Yet, never have I quit anything.
At the age of four I was taken to see our hometowns “ballet company” made up of amateurs perform The Nutcracker. After watching the performance I told my mom, “I want to do that.” Of course I had no idea that they weren’t professional or how grueling it would be to get where I am at now. That summer I was enrolled at that ballet studio. I was there for fourteen years. I studied and completed my Royal Academy of Dance training. Royal Academy of Dance is a style of ballet. Its very classical and traditional much like the russian style. I thought I had it all together by my fourteenth year at that school and my sixth year in the company. Boy was I wrong.
After graduating high school, I left during summer for a five week program with a professional company in Chicago in hopes of receiving an offer for their trainee program. Despite the fact that they seemed genuinely interested in me, I didn’t get a contract. My back up plan was community college, and trying ti figure out what else I wanted to with my life. But I couldn’t let it go. I called up Los Angeles Ballet and asked if I could take an audition for their trainee program. I thought hey why not. They are in the same city as me and I NEED to dance. Two days after arriving home from Chicago I went and auditioned. Just took a class with the people that where at their summer program already. It was a very hard audition for me. They were stylistically so different than me. I have never felt so discouraged in my life. I knew I didn’t even have a chance. Yeah right, like a Balanchine company would take a very R.A.D and Russian trained dancer to be one of their trainees. I was done for.
Within the same week they emailed me telling me that they had accepted me into their trainee program. I honestly couldn’t have been more excited and relieved to hear that. I was given a second chance. I am very grateful for that. I knew it was going to be challenging and frustrating, but I’m weird and enjoy those things.
After my first day of classes there, I got in my car and bawled my eyes out. It was like trying to learn chinese by immersion. Impossible. Everything that I had been taught for fourteen years, was wrong to them. My arms, my head, the way I articulated my feet, the quality of my movement were all wrong for Balanchine. I had to relearn how to do everything. I lost count of how many times I wanted to quit in the first two to three months of being there. Yet, I kept pushing harder and harder and learning as much as I could and trying to improve. I’m still nowhere near where I want to be, but I’m striving to become the best that I can be.
“Keep on going.” That should be my superhero catch phrase. Those three small simple words have a lot of power and meaning behind them for me. Keep on going. Press on forward. Eventually you will find yourself where your dreams have been taking you while you were sleeping.
On nights like tonight, I still have thoughts of quitting and a hysteric sobbing fest in my car. Even though I have improved tremendously due to great instruction, I feel like I’ll never make it. So I make myself work harder, and sometimes that helps and other times it doesn’t. This career path isn’t for the weak hearted, minded, bodied. It’s a hard life to live, but to me its with it and I love every moment of it.