Is dancing contemporary just a dream for me?

by Luke Cepheid
(Bacolod City, Philippines)

Hello there! My name is Luke of the Phils.. I am a 17 year old boy theatre performer who never had any lessons in contemporary dance... I trained in ballet when i was 13 as a part of a requirement of a school play. Although i was just a singer, I always fancied and dreamt of dancing side by side our broadway dancers... but unfortunately, i stopped the ballet lessons when i turned 15.. now its been 2 years and i gained a lot of weight. Nevertheless, I maintained the strength of my legs and arms.. I tried out for the College Pep Squad and I got in.. but i felt bad because i did not have the flexibility of the other members.. I can side split(although it hurts) but I can't straddle split. My arabesque lost it's proper rotation and got a lot lower. My kicks are a lot lower and from 3 properly executed ballet pirouettes, i degraded to barely making 2 untechnical turns.. Since I was a singer back then, they did not allow us to train for leaps and stunts.. so that part, im kinda zero.... But the only thing that keeps me going is that when people see me dance, they usually ask if i had had ballet lessons because my lines are strong. That gave me hope.. I went back to dance classes both ballet and contemporary.. but got scared of the ballet classes.. i was put in beginner's class where i had little girls as classmates.. AND THEY ARE HELL FLEXIBLE!!.. and when I saw the contemporary class, the members possesed extensions and pirouettes which I can barely even execute.. I did not attend the contemporary class anymore..

I wanted to ask some insights if I should go for my dream of being a contemporary dancer(non-professional but really efficient).. because I don't know where to start... probably by sucking in my pride and dance with little midgets in tights and black ballet slippers... but i need to know if i could still do it.. despite my age and stunt issues...

I would really appreciate an honest answer.. Thank you and God Bless!

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Oct 16, 2012
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Dear Luke,

You should absolutely go for your dream of being a contemporary dancer right away!

There will always be better dancers in your class or company (unless you are Silvie Guillem or Mijail Barishnikov!!!)

Ask yourself: Are you passionate about dance or are you passionate about competing with other dancers? I'm almost sure your answer is: I'm absolutely crazy about DANCE!

So, just go for it! Stop comparing yourself with others and give yourself to the joy of dance, which you already sense. For what you tell me, you DO have aptitudes and some knowledge. Don't wait anymore and start developing and enhancing those.

One thing is true and you need to know that: it will not be easy. Art is never easy, nor of short processes. It will be hard and long, but you can be incredibly happy while doing the path. Don't let ideas or vanities turn your dream down. If you persist, you will be a dancer.

"If a dancer dances, everything is there..." said Merce Cunningham. And he was right. Dancing is about DANCING, not about being better than others. It's about enjoying movement and living your own dancing life.

Do you want to recover your flexibility, splits, pirouettes, lines, etc.? Work hard and persist. You are young enough. Time will do the rest.

Remember that you just have one life and it is passing...

Please read the following thread for an answer to: Where to start contemporary dancing?:

Where to start dancing contemporary?

Chase your dream now. The joy of dance is waiting for you!!

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