Avoid comparing your ability to others: everyone has their own path!

February 5, 2017

Loriella Andre

“I have been dancing since I was 5 years old. It started with 5 years of ballet and then I added jazz when I turned 10. The following year I tried contemporary. I’m currently doing contemporary, jazz, and ballet. My favorite style is contemporary because I can put my emotions into the dancing and there’s so much creative movement that’s possible. My favorite part of dancing is being able to express emotions throughout my whole body. The most challenging part of dance for me is picking up choreography but I’ve definitely improved in that area over the years.
Due to dancing since I was young, it has always been a part of my weekly schedule. Over time I’ve added more classes to get used to having less time with friends and family or for homework. I usually do my homework about a half hour after I get home from school or dance and when I have extra time between classes. I don’t like having the thought of  unfinished homework in the back of my head so I try to finish it as early as possible. Because I have several dance classes a day, I often have to stay up late doing homework and don’t hangout with friends on weekdays but it’s definitely worth it. My week can get very busy but the weekends are nice to catch up on sleep, school, and friends.
My advice to younger dancers is to not compare your abilities to others and always find time to stretch. It’s great to be inspired to be a better dancer by watching other dancers but don’t believe that your dancing isn’t good enough. I like to compare my dancing to a year ago to see my growth. Flexibility is always important to work on and a good idea is to lay in a stretching position while doing schoolwork. Also, always make sure you’re having fun and trying your hardest. Advice for a beginning performer would be don’t stress and just think about how hard you’ve worked for this moment. Remember to control your breathing, don’t forget about facials, and only think positive thoughts. Performing is something to get excited about because it’s the time to finally show the finished piece and all you’ve learned. I think performing is important for personal development as a dancer because it builds confidence.
I don’t plan on becoming a professional dancer, but I would love to be able to teach dance at a school or studio when I’m older. This year was my first time being a TA and I’ve become more passionate about seeing kids grow in their dancing and helping teach them. It’s great to watch younger dancers improving and having fun in dance class.”