If someone were to ask me if I had any advice for aspiring artists it would be to really know yourself, and whatever you do, never stop believing in that person! If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will either. There are many routes you can take within this profession. None is more valuable than the other. Never let someone else make you feel bad for doing what is in your heart and what you want to do. And whatever you do, do not put your definition of success into someone else’s hands. What I mean by that is life is a journey and you will constantly be discovering new things about yourself. Take those lessons and learn from them, use them to challenge yourself to be better. When you are young explore as many types of dance as you can. See what truly makes your heart content. Once you find your niche dive into it head first, get lost in it. Learn everything you can about it, and use that knowledge to your advantage. In today's world there are so many options to learn and ways to learn. This will help you figure out who you are, and what you want out of this life or this career. Once you have figured out what your desires are it is important to make realistic expectations for yourself. Just because one person's journey is a certain way doesn’t mean yours has to be that way as well. Everyone’s path is unique. Find your path. For example, maybe that’s going to college for dance, or maybe it’s joining a company as a trainee, dancing on a cruise ship, or maybe its taking a step back and deciding not push forward as a career- but just dancing for fun. All are respectable paths and all should be valued. The only thing that matters is that you stay true to whom you are, and you are doing what makes you happy. That is what success truly is, doing what make you, no one else, happy.
There will be struggles along the way. Embrace them do not get discouraged. The struggle is a learning experience, and you will come out stronger on the other side. Stronger as an artists, and as an individual. Throughout these struggles you will find your path, and also your definition of success. This is your life and you have to make yourself happy. After all a dancer’s life is always challenging, and gives you nothing tangible in return, no fame, nor riches. We do this because we have to, because if we didn’t we wouldn’t be complete. If you are not truly happy with what you are doing everyday spent in the studio, then what is the point? Success as an artist can mean so many different things, and this art form needs all of them. Success could mean dancing in a ballet company, competing in dance competitions, commercial dancing, working at a resort, getting a degree, teaching this art form to younger generations of artists, or just simply being able to use movement as therapy and taking class for fun. The options are endless, and they can change and evolve with you along the way.
Throughout your journey and exploration of this art form never stop learning, and working on your craft. Always stay true to yourself. Take the struggle and let it make you stronger, but always be thankful for the good times. Never stop believing in the power of you. After all dance is an expression of life, and everyone’s dance is different.