I hope all of you had a happy weekend! I'm glad that i went for my niece's (Rachelle) first classical ballet competition over the weekend. I know my little niece loves her ballet classes and dreams of being able to dance on stage and perform. The decision to participate in competitions is really a personal preference and depends mainly on the personality of the young dancer. There are many dancers who are dancing and performing at a professional level who did not compete in such competitions extensively at a young age and many that did. I do feel however, that as the girls get older, it is good for them to enter various competitions to help gain experience and understanding of the demands performing under pressure on stage, as performing a solo piece in a competition is very different to performing in the dance schools end of year show.
My little niece has started her first ballet classes last year and was so excited to learn the moves she sees in some of her favorite TV shows. I was a little apprehensive about letting her start ballet: Would she listen to the instructor? Would she enjoy it? What if she get hurt? Will she be discouraged that she’s not as graceful as others? My fears were erased on her first day of class when she came running out of her lesson with her pink dress and precious white ballet shoes, prancing around as excited as can be, saying “look what i learned today” as she twirled around the room.
I’m not sure where this is going – if she will ever want to be a professional ballet dancer, or if this is something that she will enjoy for years to come. So instead of looming in initial fears, her parents and i figured that we would just “go with it” and see where it takes her. As long as she is enjoying ballet classes, we see no reason to stop her from pursuing. She loves anything ballet themed at this point and whenever she watch Barbie emerged as a ballerina, you can imagine the squeals of joy from my niece!
In short, i would tell my niece to go for it and give it her all. I will also remind her to dance for dance’s sake, not for where it might get her in ten years’ time. Ballet can be competitive if you want to make dancing professionally your goal. The journey should be as rewarding as perceived destination.
As i was watching the performances, i could tell which ones have been practicing / dancing ballet for years and were truly gifted. I also spotted which among the little girls or younger dancers had much potential. The performances were good, for the most part. Some stood out from the rest. I'm proud to say that my niece was among the better dancers (not that i'm biased). One of the most applauded dances was the one that won in a competition before. It was a modern dance cum ballet type of number.
A shot of my pretty niece (Rachelle) and nephew (Ryan) who were at the ballet performance to show our support yesterday.
A shot of my niece and her mum (my sister-in-law).
Some snapshots of my pretty niece in her ballet dress!
The arts are extremely important to my niece’s development, personal growth and self confidence. This competition was a first for her and it was a tremendous accomplishment and a great experience.
A dancer with heart is what moves me. I don't honestly know much about dance. I love performing arts, but for me, a dancer is one that moves me. I can't count if somebody has done 4 pirouettes or 5 or even more, but i can tell if they aren't in time with the music. I have enough of an eye for dance to tell who moves me and often i am astonished to find out that he or she is not the one that is the favorite. There’s musicality. It’s innate. There’s the hunger to excel. Again, not something that can be taught. If the innate talent and musicality is there, along with the determination, great things can happen.