Can’t Keep Those Dancing Feet Still

Dancers literally never stop moving, whether at work or not, our feet find rhythm in silence. But apart from never sitting still, we are constantly trying to move in more ways than the obvious one. The best kind of dancers are forever trying to improve themselves and their work – never wanting their performances to stop developing and because of this, ballets themselves are steadily growing and changing each time they are performed.

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In ‘Anne Frank’ rehearsal with Andre Shatalin 📷: Admil Kulyer

Ballerinas are often never satisfied, and even though they may look perfect to their adoring audiences, there is always something they will have wanted to be better, even the best of them. But that is what makes them the best.

❝I am always hoping to do it better than the last time I did it❞

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Every day starts the same for a ballet dancer, at barre

If I think about it, like all other professional dancers, I begin every day at the barre repeating something I have done a million times already but I am always hoping to do it better than the last time I did it. And this is the same when I go on stage. Every time I perform I want it to be the best one yet, I want it to have improved since the last show and finish with the feeling I have developed in one way or another. Unfortunately, I have to admit that doesn’t always happen, which is disappointing, but learning to be realistic and not to get too upset about it is another way of growing and improving. Learn from it, brush it if and focus on the next one being your best instead. Take with you the positive to help keep on going, and grow with the negative.

When it comes to choreographies moving forward and getting better, the place to do that is in the studio and putting the time in. Usually working with a ballet master or sometimes co-workers, spending time in the studio figuring things out can be such a rewarding time. The moment when you crack something and it finally works or using the music differently to discover movements can flow better. You can feel the piece taking steps forward, and I just love it. Somehow, even after years of doing a choreography, you manage to find things to improve and then someone else will come along and finds new, different ways to help take the piece forward – it’s never-ending.

❝Dance is a moving art form with so many opportunities to grow❞

When a piece first goes on stage this is only the first step – a premiere is just the beginning. And of course, premieres are great with all their excitement and nerves but it is not until after that first show when the piece really comes together. Developing with hours spent in the studio and growing each time it is performed. The dancers get comfortable with the steps, music and characters, adding personal flair and sparkle. We each learn to put our own little signature into the ballet as the nerves lessen each time we dance it. And that is when a ballet becomes ours, each dancer making it their own.

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Performing with Flavio Salamanka in ‘Dornröschen’, a piece that never stopped developing for me 📷: Jochen Klenk

Dance is a moving art form with so many opportunities to grow and this is something we can appreciate and really take advantage of. The dancers that will never be perfect in their own eyes are the outstanding ones in mine. The endless struggle to be better will make anyone improve no matter what they do. The sky really is the limit when you can never reach it, even if you are on your tippy toes.

With love,

Harriet

 

2 thoughts on “Can’t Keep Those Dancing Feet Still

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