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What Was It Like Working With Merrill Ashley?

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By TurnedOutPointeOfView on Monday, January 27, 2020

Thank you for the question @andreeaunicorn

Working with the legend, Merrill Ashley, was everything and more a dancer can wish for during a rehearsal period! She is AMAZING!

Studio Time with Merrill Ashley. Working with Jonathan Chmelensky and myself on the Pas De Deux

When I saw Merrill in the hallway of the Royal Danish Ballet for the first time, I ran up to her, gave her a big hug and I started crying. I was THAT excited! Absolutely, a complete, 100% fan girl moment. I knew ever since my boss, Nikolaj Hubbe, announced that she was coming to set Ballo Della Regina on us that she would be the highlight of the season!

Merrill Ashley working with George Balanchine in the New York City Ballet.

I trained in NYC at the School of American Ballet which is the ballet school that feeds in to the New York City Ballet, aka Balanchine’s company. So of course, I’ve grown up knowing exactly who Merrill Ashley is. She is someone I’ve admired greatly for a long time. Living Balanchine royalty. I also read her book when I was a teenager, Dancing For Balanchine, (I recommend it if you have not read it, to take a look) and as I read it, I kept nodding my head in agreement to the words on the page. Her opinions and views on things struck home when I could recognize the same thoughts from within myself.

Merrill and I working on a bit of the Sugar Plum Variation.
Merrill was so kind to come and watch my stage call and share her thoughts with me, even though she had just arrived from the USA and was most likely very jet lagged!

You could feel from day one in the studio with Merrill, that her goal for every dancer in the room, was bigger than just getting the ballet on and up to par. Merrill wanted to help you improve to be a better all around dancer. That is an exciting energy to feel from your coach. When you are already working hard, and then feel that energy coming from her, it just makes you want to work ten times harder. To soak up every second, every word of wisdom she has.

Studio Time with Merrill Ashley.

Under her eye, we explored every step in Ballo Della Regina. We spent six weeks, for five days a week with extended rehearsals everyday, to work on Ballo. This process came at our busiest time of the year which is of course, The Nutcracker season. So yes, some days were long. Some days we were more tired than others. Some days we wouldn’t even leave the theater until after the evening’s performance. We’d go straight from Ballo rehearsals to getting ready for the Sugar Plum Fairy or Cavalier. We were working very intensely but it was without a doubt, the best rehearsal process I’ve ever had. (Powerade did become a must have) 😉

Merrill doing the pas de deux with me, when my partner was busy in a different rehearsal.

I defiantly didn’t want to disappoint Merrill or let her down in any way but she made the atmosphere so nice and supportive that I was able to forget that I was dancing in front of one of the ballerina’s I admire and idolize the most in the world. The fear and intimidation vanished. There was room for jokes and stories! Oh the stories! To hear about Balanchine and that epic period of time she danced in was 100% ballet heaven. Everyday, I looked so much forward to going to work. I was completely inspired by her.

On stage rehearsal in the Raymonda Sets.

There is truly nothing more rewarding than to feel that you are improving as a dancer with your coach. My time with Merrill was a gift. I know in 5-10-20 years, I’ll still be talking about how lucky I was to get to work with Merrill Ashley!

xoxo
-Hol

Back stage after the premiere with Merrill Ashley and Stacy Caddell.
Bows at the premiere on January 12th, 2020 at the Royal Danish Ballet.

Are There Any Differences from A Brunch and Ballet class to Everyday class?

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By TurnedOutPointeOfView on Friday, November 29, 2019

Photo: KGL Teater

Thank you for the question, @andreeaunicorn

There are a few differences but truly not as many as you might think. In Denmark, about once every few months, the public is invited in to the Royal Theater to watch the ballet company take morning class on the stage for free, while they can enjoy a croissant and some coffee.

The teacher varies but more often then not, for a Brunch and Ballet class we have our boss, Nikolaj Hubbe. He is quite charismatic and he always keeps the audience completely entertained with his jokes and Dan-glish way of speaking. For everyday class, we don’t actually have Nikolaj that often. Maybe twice a month… maybe. Some months less, some months more. Former Principal Dancer with RDB, Jean-Lucien Massot, former dancer and character dancer with RDB, Mogens Boesen, and former Principal dancer with NYCB, Adam Luders are our more typical teachers for everyday class. The past year or so, management has been bringing in more guest teachers from all around the world which is also super fun. Teachers such as, Taina Morales, Johnny Eliasen and Eva Draw.

For our everyday classes we never take it on stage. We always start the day in one of our studios backstage. The teacher also isn’t miked up but Nik, or whoever is teaching doesn’t change their steps, or behavior just because there is an audience for Brunch and Ballet. Who they are without an audience is the same as who they are when there is one.

The last fifteen minutes of a Brunch and Ballet, there is always a little demonstration of what we are currently working on, in hopes that we inspire a few audience members to come and see our next show.

A typical class is a full one hour and a half with no demonstration. Usually class ends with people trying out all sorts of steps they are working on, fouette turns, or boys jumping around.

Photo: KGl Teater

The outfits that we come in, the weird stretches you see us do, the leg warmers, the rolling out, the hair down, the messy buns, the side talking, the laughing, the jokes, the focus…. that is everyday. What you see is, what you get with RDB. 😉

Next Brunch and Ballet is April 25th & May 9th!

xoxo
-Hol

When Is The Best Moment Of Performing?

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By TurnedOutPointeOfView on Friday, November 1, 2019

Photo: What Dance Can Do Project

Thank you for the question, tut4thewin!

Awww… performing. Without a doubt, my most favorite thing to do. I love stepping out in to the lights and sharing an evening with an audience. Magic happens. I swear, there is magic in the air at a theater. It is just waiting for you to ignite it.

My favorite moment when performing is when you are so “in” to the show that you can just play. The mind no longer has to focus on everything it has been instructed to do from the previous weeks. Everything clicks. All emotions become pure and your own physical boundaries get pushed! It’s just you up there without your coaches helping hand. Time to own the stage. It’s exhilarating.

Photo: Tejs ‘Olm

For weeks before a performance your head is filled with a lot of input from your coaches. Corrections, portrayal, emotions, counts, stage left, stage right, downstage, upstage… It can become numbing when you have so many things to remember in the same second.

But, this part of the process cannot be skipped. You need to know all of these things in order to present your best self and in order to reach the best overall production. Some days are frustrating. Some days are tiring. But in the end you are always very grateful for having a team working with you and helping you along the way. You couldn’t do it without them.

When you finally get to the performing step of the process, the mind starts to calm. That’s when you can start to lose yourself in the moment. It is the most amazing moment when performing. It may not happen on your first performance. Usually, you need at least one run under your belt. But then, an extra boost of confidence comes. Your body is automatically doing the steps, you know all your cues like the back of your hand and the opportunity to play has arrived. Play with holding a balance here, stretch the musicality there, add an extra turn where you can, when you can, steal another glance at your partner… There is nothing more joyous then getting to the level of playing on stage. It brings you on a high that you don’t ever want to come down from.

Photo: Brian Larsen

As I was writing this, the ballet that kept creeping in to my mind was, Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland by Christopher Wheeldon. This ballet was a huge challenge to take on. The role of Alice has many specific instructions and steps. Have to look at the clock on count 2, of the fifth 8…. etc. And Alice is always moving. Always!
It took a long time to learn all of it and then to remember all of it, and then again to become comfortable with all of it. But I’ve never felt more rewarded by a role then Alice. Especially the second time the Royal Danish Ballet put up Alice, I found that I was really able to start to play on stage. I still crave that feeling after performances. I had some of my best performances to date. Out doing my own expectations of myself, which I’d never experienced before. I can be a pretty tough cookie on myself. 😉
And I was having so much fun! Every night after I played Alice, I couldn’t sleep. I was still so much in Alice’s world… replaying the night’s highlights over and over again in my head. Those shows felt like magic. Igniting that magic that exists in a theater so one can play, live on stage, is the best moment of performing.

xoxo
-Hol

What Is Your Favorite Thing About Spar Dame?

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By TurnedOutPointeOfView on Monday, October 28, 2019

Thank you for the question, andreeaunicorn

Spar Dame, is the current ballet that The Royal Danish Ballet is performing! The choreographer is no other then the one and only, Liam Scarlett. The simplistic, yet chic sets and amazing costume designs are by Jon Morrell. Together they have created quite a show!

Spar Dame, or Queen of Spades in English, tackles a dark story about an interest that becomes obsession, that turns in to madness. It is based on Russian Alexander Pushkin’s short story about a officer named Hermann, who meets an elderly countess, aka. Queen of Spades, who holds the secret, three winning cards at gambling. Hermann seduces her young chambermaid, Liza, in order to get closer to the countess in hopes of discovering her secret cards. Every time he thinks he has taken a strong step forward in his scheme, it ends up being that the countess was really one step in front of him all along. Eventually, he loses his mind over the cards in a epic solo that closes the ballet.

Tobias Prætorius as Hermann. Final Scene of the ballet. Photo: Henrik Stenberg

That last scene, Hermann’s mad scene, is my favorite thing about Spar Dame. The set closes in on him with three huge walls blocking his exit. To me, representing his own mind closing in on himself. You see him dark eyed, frustrated and crossing the line in to insanity as the solo builds and builds and builds.

Alexander Bozinoff in Spar Dame. Photo: Henrik Stenberg

It must be an absolutely exhilarating scene to dance and play. The reason why it is my favorite thing about Spar Dame is because it is the first mad scene, as far as I am aware of, that uses the male character going mad instead of the more typical, female character.

The most famous mad scene will forever be Giselle’s. Rightfully so. It’s heartbreaking. The completely innocent girl experiencing a dramatic, heartbreak of devastation. Many amazing ballerina’s have performed this scene. Many more in the future will as well.

Giselle’s Mad Scene.

In Spar Dame, it is the mans turn to be completely vulnerable, to show an “ugly” emotion with the challenge of still being honest on stage. The closing scene in Spar Dame is choreographically phenomenal. Hermann dances for at least five minutes with big jumps, runs, and turns until he eventually jumps to his knees on the floor. Physically exhausted. Emotionally drained.

This scene stays with you. You believe that he has really lost it. Goosebumps. His obsession with the story and the countess destroys him in the end. Haunting.

Alexander Bozinoff & Kizzy Matiakis in Spar Dame. Photo: Henrik Stenberg

Bravo, to both our current men, Alexander Bozinoff and Tobias Prætorius playing Hermann. It is an absolute privilege to watch them perform. They knock it out of the park every time! You can catch Spar Dame through November 23rd. Not to be missed!

xoxo
-Hol

How Do You Tie Pointe Shoe Ribbons?

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By TurnedOutPointeOfView on Friday, October 25, 2019

Thank you for your question, andreeaunicorn.

Here is a photo series taking you through, step by step, on how to tie your pointe shoe ribbons. It’s a little tricky at first, but in no time you will be tying your shoes in a matter of seconds. I hope this is easy to follow! Let me know if you have any questions by commenting below!

Step 1. I’m putting on my left shoe.

Start by putting on your pointe shoe while sitting on the floor. Bend your knee and slightly flex your foot so it lifts off the ground. Make sure each ribbon is free on either side of your shoe.

Step 2.

Take only the ribbon that is on the inside of you foot and leave the other ribbon alone to begin with.

Step 3

Drape the ribbon across your ankle and bring it around the back of your ankle.

Step 4

Keep going around the ankle…

Step 5

Continue around the backside of the ankle again. (So the first ribbon goes around your ankle 1.5 times)

Step 6

Your right hand will keep holding on to the ribbon that you’ve been working with. Now, with you left hand, pick up the other ribbon.

Step 7

Drape this ribbon across your ankle, the opposite way, creating an X on the front of your ankle.

Step 8

Continue with the ribbon all the way around the back of you ankle, and across the front. When the two ribbons are parallel with each other then you are done.

Step 9

Still with a bent leg, let your leg fall into the “butterfly” position so you have easy access to the inside of your foot. You are ready to tie your first knot.

Step 10

Tie a knot. Try not to tie a knot that is too tight. But the knot does need to be tight enough that it doesn’t unravel. I tie my knots directly between my ankle bone and my Achilles tendon.

Step 11

Tie a second knot.

Step 12

Now, grab both ends of your ribbons and lay them on top of each other to create only one ribbon.

Step 13

Fold the ribbon in on itself.

Step 14

Tuck the ribbon under all the layers of ribbon on your ankle.

Step 15

TIP: Before I go onstage, I always take a small piece of tape and wrap it around my tucked in ribbons. This way, I’m sure that my ribbons will not fall out.

Step 16

A piece of tape, about this size.

Step 17

Fold the tape over the ribbons.

Voila!

Voila! Now you have a shoe that is performance ready!! Just have to put on the other shoe.

xoxo
-Hol

Do You Know Any Good Ballet Schools Outside of Denmark?

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By TurnedOutPointeOfView on Friday, October 11, 2019

Thank you for the question idataggaard!

Yes! I will highlight three schools that I believe are very interesting and worth checking out, that are outside of Denmark.

The School of American Ballet. aka SAB.

Now, I might be a bit biased because this is the school that I attended for four years, year round. I credit SAB for giving me my tool box to become a professional. They are a huge part of my foundation and I truly don’t know if I would be where I am today without them.

Photo from the SAB website. Teacher: Suki Schorer

SAB is located in the heart of New York City. Lincoln Center. 66th & Broadway. They train only in the Balanchine style. ALL the dancers that join New York City Ballet must be trained by SAB. So, if you dream of dancing for NYCB one day, then you must attend SAB.

I believe in this school 100%. Their strengths are definitely giving their students a wonderful technique. They teach how to move quickly, how to interrupt the music, and how to move big. You’ll learn a lot and be a much improved dancer by attending SAB.

Picture from SAB website. Teacher: Kay Mazzo

I am very grateful to this school and would recommend everyone to audition for their summer program! It was always so much fun! NYC is not to be missed!



The Royal Ballet School.

I am very impressed by the Royal Ballet School in London, England. They train in the English style of ballet. The system of training is based on the legacy of Ninette de Valois. It is located right in Covent Garden.

Picture from The Royal Ballet School’s Website.

What makes this school stand out, at least in my eyes, is that they have put a huge focus in to a “Healthy Dancer Program.” They have a team of 20, dedicated to the children attending the school. It includes,

Healthcare Manager
Clinical Psychologist
Counselors
Rehabilitation Ballet Instructors
Physiotherapists
Performance Nutritionists
Sports Physicians
Strength and Conditioning coaches
School Nurses
Pilates instructors

Each child is screened and profiled to create a conditioning program that will specifically help them succeed.

The team also collects information alongside the English Institute of Sport, which gives the school wonderful insights about nutritional support.

The school even has counselors as part of a school-wide mental health provision, led by a clinical psychologist Mental Health and Safeguarding Lead. This is so important. The mental side of ballet is the hardest.

Other ballet schools may have elements of what the Royal Ballet School is offering but they are defiantly leading the way.


Canada’s National Ballet School. aka. NBS

The reason why I mention this school is because many of the dancers currently in the Royal Danish Ballet have been trained by NBS. Dancers that I truly admire. For example, Ji Min Hong and Alexander Bozinoff. They all speak very highly of the school. This school is located in Toronto, Canada.

Picture from NBS Website.

The school is modeled after the Royal Ballet School in London and includes living facilities, and exchange programs for their students. This school is definitely also worth looking more in to.

How Many Pirouettes Can You Do!?

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How Many Pirouettes Can You Do!?

By TurnedOutPointeOfView on Friday, October 4, 2019

Thanks for the fun question, buster_jensandersen!

Pirouettes, pique turns, lame ducks, fouette turns, chaines, soutenu’s… I sure do love to turn! There is something about that feeling of being so on balance that you can make the world spin around you, while you stay put!

In my dreams I can turn 6, 7, 8 times around.

Reality always hits! I’ve NEVER done 6, 7, or 8 turns in real life. The dream lives on…

My average is 3 turns. I can consistently do 3 turns to my right. To the left, not nearly as consistent. More, every once in awhile.

3 turns in various ballets.

I can do 4 turns! But I’ve only ever done 4 turns in the studio. Whereas I have done 3 turns on stage multiple times. When I’m in the studio and go around 4 times I always have a little moment of, Did anyone just see that!? It’s exciting. 🙂

Today in the studio!

When you turn on stage and go for more then just two, you are taking a risk. It’s liberating. You can’t save a turn if you go for an additional rotation without being on balance. You will fall out of it. Consequently, possibly making a bit of a mess of your variation…

On stage there is a lot more pressure then just in class. I tend to thrive on the stress! I love the idea of pushing beyond your own limits in front of an audience. I’m a true believer of now or never! I always take the risk and go for 3 turns on stage.

I wouldn’t take this risk though if I didn’t believe in my turns. The faith comes from all the hard work done in class. I’ve analyzed how much force I need, (less is more in my case) and I use my personal corrections to keep my turns turning. Corrections such as, higher passe, don’t over open my left arm (when turning to the right), and to feel my arms being lifted up from underneath them.

How many turns can you do!? What corrections help your turns!?

Keep in mind that a single turn that is placed, turned out and controlled can be just as beautiful as multiple turns. It isn’t about the number, but the quality.

xoxo
-Hol

Did Scottish Highland Dancing Help Prepare Me To Dance The Bournonville Style?

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By TurnedOutPointeOfView on Friday, September 27, 2019

Great Question! Thank you Jim!

I’m absolutely flattered that anyone knows a little bit about my story. Thank you! Thank you for taking the time to check out my background.

For those who don’t know, I was a Scottish, Highland Dancer growing up. From the ages of 6 to 11 years old. I looooved it! Highland was my main focus. I did ballet on the side once or twice a week.

Baby Me.

Highland dancing comes from Scotland. It is a sport that requires a lot of stamina, strength and technique. It was developed in the 19th and 20th centuries and is still danced today.

If you are a Highland Dancer then you go to a Highland Games to compete. Highland games are held all over the world. As a competitor you are judged individually on four different dances, all danced to the sound of a bagpiper. The dances are, The Highland Fling, the Sword Dance, The Sean Triubhas, and The Reel. You wear a kilt, jacket and knee socks in the color of your choice. (There are additional dances, but in general, it is those four that you are asked to compete with).

What really stands out about Highland Dancing is that you continuously jump on the balls of your feet, alternating between legs for nearly four minutes. Your heels never touch the ground and if they do, you lose points. Major leg strength is formed and required.

The Sword dance was always my favorite. You dance over a sword that has been laid down as a cross on the floor. If you kick the sword you are disqualified.

The Sean Triubhas’s movements are the most similar to ballet and the reel is almost like a folk dance. It is all so much fun! To this day if I hear a bagpipe,

1- I need to find it and 2- I can whip out any of the Highland dances. Those steps are imprinted on my brain for forever!

Midwest Champion.

My childhood consisted of almost every weekend traveling to a different state or in to Canada to compete at a Highland Games. I can clearly still see my brother on his game boy in the back seat, my dad driving the car and my mom making sure everything was organized.

I won the Midwest Champion several times but once, at 10 years old, I won the United States Championship! I was ecstatic! My dad was filming the award ceremony and fell off his chair when they announced my name as the winner! Everyone was surprised! 🙂

Ever since winning the USA Championship title in a red kilt, red has been my lucky color.

The smallest one, on the right, is me. USA Champion.

Back to the question. YES! 100%. Highland Dancing defiantly helped me prepare for the Bournonville style, and for ballet in general.

Bournonville is famous for all of its small jumps; petit allegro. In all types of ballet you put your heels all the way down to the floor when jumping. It is healthier for the body. But since Highland is danced only on the balls of the feet, my legs formed a muscle strength from very young, preparing them for all of the Bournonville jumps.

The Highland competitions prepared me for the stage. I was never scared to step out in front of an audience. I was even, usually, the family entertainment at family gatherings. “Get Holly to dance, she will do it.” And so I did.

Performing the Sword Dance at a Family Gathering.

Highland also helped prepare my musicality. In the Bournonville style you have to chose which jumps are accented more then others. Depending on the music, and the sequence of the steps, it can really vary. Highland dancing had my mind focusing on making my jumps musical to the piping and already creating an awareness.

Highland dancing did not really help me prepare for the specific port de bras and head positions that are used in Bournonville ballets. Highland dancing uses the arms, (unlike Irish dancing, which has no arm movements) above the head or on your hips. Rarely below the waist. Bournonville style arms are almost all below the waist.

I would recommend Highland Dancing for anyone, especially if you are already taking ballet classes. It can only help you. Highland is fun, competitive and prepares you for so much potentially in your future! I’m so grateful to my Highland days…

California.

xoxo
-Hol

What Is Your Favorite Bournonville Ballet?

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By TurnedOutPointeOfView on Monday, September 16, 2019

Photo: Henrik Stenberg

Thank you for the Question, cvisintin.

Good Question. I have so much respect for August Bournonville and for all of the ballets he created. Being at the Royal Danish Ballet, his home, you truly learn a lot about him, his style, and the love of the Bournonville tradition.

My favorite Bournonville Ballet is, Napoli. I love the joy that is bursting out of this ballet. Third act, is one of the greatest examples of Bournonville steps with Pas de Six! Everyone has a big smile, the stage is filled with so many dancers, character dancers and children, all having a great time. I love how our joy, gets projected in to the audience with the happy ending, making it nearly impossible to walk away from the show without feeling good.

Holly Dorger & Jonathan Chmelensky as Teresina and Gennaro in Napoli. Photo: Henrik Stenberg

Fortunately, Napoli is a ballet that comes up quite often in our repertoire. Another reason why I hold Napoli in particular close to my heart, is because I’ve danced so many of the roles.

12 Finale Couples. Corps de Ballet.

When I first moved to Denmark, I played the mom in first act that eats spaghetti with her two children. I remember at eighteen feeling kind of funny, being so young and playing a mom.

Next, I became one of the twelve finale couples in third act. Then, the next time Napoli was danced, I did finale couples and second act corps de ballet.

Young me in 2nd Act Corps de Ballet.

A few year later, I went the next level up. I joined Pas De Six. I was SO excited when I first got cast to dance pas de six. It felt like I had finally gotten some sort of invisible, Bournonville approval, to be dancing this ballet among dancers specifically trained to dance Bournonville.

My first time dancing in Pas de Six
Pas de Six

Then last year, I was humbled to be cast as the lead role, Teresina. I loved every second.

Teresina!

I personally, am a huge fan of the additions that Nikolaj Hubbe and Sorella Englund added to our current version of Napoli. They added a very sweet and romantic pas de deux in act 1, which uses Bournonville inspired steps and gives the rather mime- filled act, another dancing number.

Corrections with Nikolaj Hubbe & Sorella Englund.

Act 2, they completely re-did. They changed the music and all the steps. Louise Alenius, is the composer of the new music. She is the definition of cool.

Their version of Act 2 is soooo beautiful from the front. The lights truly make it look like everyone is underwater, which is an amazing effect. The pas de deux that was created for Golfo and Teresina, is one of the most fun to dance. The steps make you feel like you are turning in to a sea creature, which is super interesting as an artist to play with.

Act 2. Photo: Henrik Stenberg
Act 2 with Ryan Tomash as Golfo. Photo: Henrik Stenberg

Third act is almost untouched, except for the addition of a small pas de deux between Teresina and Gennaro, in the very beginning of the act. This pas helps to tell the story and really shows off the love the characters have for each other. I love it!

3rd Act. With Jonathan Chmelensky as Gennaro. Photo: Henrik Stenberg

On years when we don’t dance Napoli, I miss it! I’m always hoping to hear that it will be in the coming repertoire!

Photo: Henrik Stenberg

Bournonville has many beautiful ballets that I can only hope, one day I’ll be lucky enough to dance.

xoxo
-Hol

Do You Have To Start Dance Young!?

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By TurnedOutPointeOfView on Friday, September 6, 2019

If you were to go in to any professional company class, anywhere in the world and ask the room, How old were you when you first started dancing? The most common answer would be, oh four or five years old. The dancers would all, most likely have a picture similar to the one below.

Me at four years old.

Sometimes, a dancer will say that they started as young as two! But what is even more uncommon to hear, is for a dancer to say that they started dancing in their teens or later.

It happens though! And you can become a professional dancer even if you start late! It is absolutely one of the most motivational stories to hear of, a dancer making it despite their delayed introduction to dance.

A few legends of dance are examples of those that started later. Such as, Rudolf Nureyev, Martha Graham and Misty Copeland! Rudolf didn’t enter a ballet school until he was seventeen! Misty was thirteen and Martha was also in her teens.

In the Royal Danish Ballet, we have one absolutely wonderful dancer, Eliabe D’Abadia, that got a late start to ballet. He is similar to Nureyev, as he didn’t take ballet until he was seventeen! Now he is going on dancing thirteen years professionally! Just amazing! I mean look at this handsome man’s jump, flexibility and feet!

Eliabe D’Abadia Photo: Daniel Stjerne

The one thing that all dancers have to do, but especially if you start later, is to dedicate themselves to dance. You have to be motivated and remain truly focused. Completely submerge yourself in to dance so you have the highest possibility of “catching up” and becoming professional.

There are many more stories of people starting late out there, once you start asking and looking around. Keith Sabado (danced with Mark Morris for 10 years and then with White Oak Dance Project) didn’t take his first dance class until college!

It is never too late to start dancing. To become a professional dancer in a company though, there is a time frame. A professional dancers “life” only lasts into their early forties. At the Royal Danish Ballet you must stop at forty years old. Many stop before.

Motivation, focus and passion is unstoppable even within a time frame. Be that next motivational story we all want to hear about!

xoxo
-Hol