Pain as a Constant Companion

Reflecting on my interview with Sarah Nagel about my career and life as a ballet dancer

When Sarah Nagel, a journalist and friend, asked if I would like to be interviewed by her for the Sunday newspaper here in Karlsruhe I jumped at the opportunity. It was a pleasure to wake up this morning with my face on the front page and a beautifully written article to read while sewing pointe shoes on my day off. I have to admit reading about yourself over morning coffee is a joy, but another part of doing interviews I really appreciate is getting the chance to remind myself of where I have been and where I am now.

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‘Pain as a Constant Companion’ is the translated title of Sarah’s article in ‘Der Sonntag” as Sarah wanted to know the personal difficulties I have faced as a student and professional dancer and we talked about the hardship of physical and mental pain ballerinas face.

Things that affected me so much at a younger age seem so small now

While talking to Sarah I reminisced about the wonderful times I have had and of course the difficult ones alongside them. As I shared my story and seeing the chosen title of the piece this morning, I considered my past pains and difficulties compared to my current ones. Upon that, I realise how things that affected me so much at a different time and younger age seem so small now. How through time and experience, I can see how differently I would handle my past ‘pains’ now. It wasn’t necessarily wrong how I coped with them then but if I were to be put back into situations from my past I know I would be stronger and less defeated by them now.

Of course, these experiences made me who I am today, and now at this time in my life I can see the bigger picture and know how things turn out so it is easy to reflect on them – it’s just remembering to do so that may help me benefit from them even more. Life can get so busy and the difficulties we face in the present are forever the focal point, but taking some time to remember what each of us have gotten through before may help us get through the next hurdle in life. Maybe if we all did an interview about our pasts once in a while it would help us with the problems of today.

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In rehearsal for Swanlake (Photo: Admill Kulyer)

Yes, pain can be a constant companion, and definitely not just for dancers, but hopefully remembering difficulties we have already faced will encourage us to overcome the next one.

I want to thank so much Sarah for asking me to be a part of this interview, I took a lot from it, and thanks to ‘Der Sonntag’ for publishing a small part of my story.

I hope people will enjoy reading it:

Der Sonntag – ‘Schmerz als ständiger Begleiter’

I have added this link but unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to work. Alternatively, here is an image of the article and if this is unreadable try entering ‘Der Sonntag Karlsruhe’ into Google and find the article from the date 04.11.18. My apologies for the inconvenience.

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With love

Harriet