6 Tips For Young Dancers From Dance Royalty
July 5th, 2020 by Elizabeth Radabaugh
As young dancers grow into seasoned pros, they learn a lot of valuable lessons on the way. There is nothing that can replace years of hard-earned experience. In the meantime, you can learn from the lessons of experienced dancers! Here are some tips from superstar dancers that you can use in your everyday life!
1. Gaby Diaz
StarQuest alum and winner of So You Think You Can Dance Season 12 wants you to keep training.
“You need to stay in class, no matter how old or mature you are as a dancer. You are never too good to take class. The second you stop taking class and stop tuning your instrument, it’s going to get boring. You have to keep refreshing what you can offer. There’s a lot going in the dance world, don’t get stuck.”
2. Misa Kuranaga
International ballet star and principal dancer at the Boston Ballet, with some advice for anyone dreaming to be a professional ballerina.
“You can be super talented, but if you don’t have a strong mentality, there’s no way you can sustain it. You have to do training to the level of an Olympic athlete every day and you have to love ballet to keep going,”
UNICEF ambassador, model, and principal dancer at American Theatre Ballet and principal dancer Étoiles at La Scala Theatre Ballet says you need 3 things.
“You need 3 things to be a dancer, talent, passion and dedication. If you have these qualities and study at a good school, you can be a great success.”
4. Stacey Tookey
Three-time-Emmy-nominated Canadian choreographer and dancer, and regular guest judge and choreographer on So You Think You Can Dance wrote this to her younger self.
“Don’t wait for someone else to notice you. Make your voice heard through your vulnerability, authenticity, and availability in the classroom or rehearsal space. Love the body you were given, because it can do amazing things. And please take care of it. Give yourself rest when you need it. You won’t fall behind, I promise.
Stop comparing yourself to others. You are a unique artist with your own set of gifts. Let competition drive you, not diminish you. The stage is very big, and there’s space for everyone.”
5. Kathleen Breen Combes
5′ 4″ powerhouse and principal dancer at the Boston Ballet wrote this to her younger self.
“Watch people to learn, not to compare or critique. It’s great to admire pointed feet, high legs and multiple pirouettes, but spend more time watching the approach, the intention, the tilt of the head and the focus of the eyes. At some point everyone in the room will be just as talented as you, and the little things will be what set you apart.
Become reliable. Use your brain just as much as your body. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want-be strong and know your worth. It’s OK to acknowledge your abilities and fight for them.
Quit hiding your weaknesses. Everyone has them. Strive for perfection in rehearsal, but when you step onstage, know that it’s your imperfections that make you interesting. And don’t be afraid to fail. You’ll learn a lot from your failures. Give it your all-the worst you can be is bad.”
6. Chloe Arnold
Tap-dancing choreographer, producer, and entrepreneur, founder of the viral tap group, Syncopated Ladies, wrote this to her younger self.
“Dream huge, set your goals high and don’t let anything throw you off your path. Train with passion, focus and determination. A strong foundation will earn you respect in your field.
Be yourself: Wear your hair big and wild, rock the clothes that inspire you and tap your heart out! … Stay humble, be thankful and don’t let anybody steal your sunshine!”
With all the advice of these inspirational dancers, you’re sure to move forward with some wisdom in your step!
Aran Abilock is a writer for StarQuest. He loves mac and cheese, theatre, and all things Pokémon!