Love Yourself

The study of dance is exciting, challenging, and rewarding. It can also be frustrating and disappointing. As a profession, a lot depends upon qualities over which you have no control. Of course, we can work and improve but proportions or our overall shape are out of our hands. Luckily dance is about what we have, not what we lack. Don’t miss the big picture when you look in the mirror. Believing in yourself is crucial to benefiting and enjoying your time in the studio.

Assess

Take a good honest look in the mirror and assess what you see. Acknowledge your shortcomings and your strengths. Accept what you cannot change and move forward working on the things you can. You won’t get anywhere constantly bemoaning the fact that you have a short neck. Strengthen the rest of your technique and artistry and no one will even notice.

Understand

Don’t focus too much on the outward appearance. Dance may be a visual artform but there is so much more depth to be found in your work. Dance is about communication, storytelling, movement, musicality. Things like line, while important, are only tools we use as a medium of expression. Work to develop something original and interesting within yourself.

Discover the big picture

Ultimately each dancer is responsible for the development of their own technique. Spend some time in the mirror discovering how to shape the body you have to look the way you want, investigate and discover. History is full of amazing dancers that had spectacular careers in spite of any physical limitations they had.

Don’t put your shortcomings under a microscope

Everyone has that one elusive element that they think will transform their dancing, beautiful feet, turn out, nicer line. It doesn’t work like that. Dance is a balance of many things. It is always a push and pull between what we desire and what we have. Don’t place so much pressure on one element. Instead focus on becoming a well-rounded artist.

Respect your dream

If you want to be a professional you must think you have what it takes. Don’t hide your light under a bushel. Practice confidence with humility. Own the fact that you want to be great.

Courage

It takes a lot of courage to be an artist. It means risking failure. Failure is how we learn. I had a teacher that used to say you learn more from a bad pirouette than you do a perfect one. Learn from your mistakes and bravely try again. Don’t let the fear of falling hold you back. Be brave and give your all. That is something you can be proud of no matter what happens.

Don’t compare yourself to others

There will always be dancers further along in their development and those less so. Focus on your own journey. Take stock in what you have developed, feel good about where you are, and continue to progress and learn. The journey never ends.

We all know we should be kind to one another but we often forget to extend that same kindness to ourselves. Remember, the goal is not perfection, but rather humanity, in all its glorious imperfections. Our goal is to find a connection that supports the importance of the work be that class or rehearsal.  It is an elusive quest to communicate that for which there are no words. To do that you must begin to understand yourself. To love yourself, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Archives

MORE POSTS

Academy Student Wins Contest

Academy Student Wins Contest

We’re so proud of Academy at Oakland Ballet student Alexandrea Baker for having won first place in a youth arts competition with her solo choreography! This contest was sponsored by Arts for Oakland Kids, a fantastic organization who aims to ensure that students in...

Voter Resources for the Arts Community and Beyond

Voter Resources for the Arts Community and Beyond

Here at Oakland Ballet we’ve gathered a few resources that we felt might help smooth the voting process. We hope they make casting your ballot easier, and if you want to go beyond the ballot and get more involved in arts advocacy, we’ve got you covered too! Feel free...

Luna Mexicana Stay At Home Soiree

Luna Mexicana Stay At Home Soiree

Join us in a celebration of Día de los Muertos.   Share a meal from Agave, Ballet Folklórico México Danza, Jalisco Harpist Salvadore Vazquez, hear about the elements of an ofrenda with Daniel Camacho, learn to construct paper marigolds, and see excerpts of Oakland...

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

Oakland Ballet recognizes the contributions of LatinX Americans and Hispanics in our community. Board members, donors, company dancers, teachers, and choreographers, our organization is strengthened by the addition of their voices, diverse heritage, and perspectives...

Cancellation of Paramount performances

Cancellation of Paramount performances

It is with great regret that we announce the cancellation of the 2020 Paramount Theatre performances of Luna Mexicana and The Nutcracker.  Look for their return in 2021. Our Luna Mexicana Stay At Home Soiree will be October 30, 2020 7PM. Tickets available soon. Mark...

Connecting with the Community

Connecting with the Community

As spring bursts into full bloom, the artists and staff at Oakland Ballet Company are still basking in the success of the company’s newly added, early spring season – this year featuring the premiere of Jangala. This all new program had a modern, urban take on The...

Magic in the Multipurpose Room

Magic in the Multipurpose Room

On a Tuesday morning at ten o’clock, right before holiday vacation, the students of Howard Elementary in east Oakland streamed into the school’s multipurpose room for an assembly. They were excited because it was almost the holiday break. They were excited because it...

Casting for Graham Lustig’s “The Nutcracker”

Casting for Graham Lustig’s “The Nutcracker”

Ramona Kelly and Seyong Kim cast as lead roles in Graham Lustig’s The Nutcracker. Sports legends join the cast for special cameo appearances. Each year, Oakland Ballet Company holds auditions to hire company dancers - all highly trained performers possessing...