Would you ever consider leaving home at 14 to move to another state all by yourself with no family and not know a single soul? Sounds like the stupidest idea or maybe the bravest..
7 years ago was given the opportunity to train at the Australian Ballet School full time for 6 years after making it through the finals from all around Australia. In order for me to take up the opportunity I had to make the choice of leaving my parents, family and friends I had grown to love and move to Melbourne to dedicate the next 6 years of my life to Ballet.
I am looking back at this in past tense as I am now 21 and no longer doing Ballet. If you know anything about the profession you wouldn’t be surprised. It’s not all pretty and fun let me tell you! A typical day would be to wake up at 6:30am spend an hour warming up the body with cardio and stretches followed by and 1.5 - 2 hour class. A short break then back into 2 hours worth of rehearsals for up coming performances or assessments, lunch after that another 3-4 hours was spent again doing other classes not all ballet of course. Guess what thats roughly around 5-7 hours of dancing a day. Imagine doing that day in day out with one day a week off.
I managed for 6 years and upon graduation I had to seriously consider the longevity of my career as a professional ballet dancer and really take into consideration the physical, mental and emotional impact it would have on my life especially for the next 20 years. After going through every possible scenario I figured becoming a professional ballet dancer was not the path I wanted to take. I wanted to set up my future for the long term because as I mentioned a dancer can’t dance for the rest of their life.
Many people were shocked as they didn’t see it coming..well guess what people are unpredictable and you just never know what someone might do next. I do not regret my decision to not continue dancing after dedicating the last 10 years of my life to it. Instead I did some reflecting and realised this.
Who do you know who has moved away from home at 14 years old? This has forced me to grow up, mature and handle situations for myself. I had no parents here to guide me, every choice I made came from within. It sounds cliche` but I have jumped hurdles, made the mistakes, discovered myself and my beliefs but most importantly I have discovered strength, courage and resilience. Of course I couldn’t have survied the years without the support of my parents from afar and the new friends I had made. Although I am not dancing now I wouldn’t say I regret anything as I have grown beyond belief as a person, I am sure of myself and what I want..people spends their whole lives ‘discovering themself’ I am fortunate to have experienced all that I have, which has been life changing. Not many people realise what I have gone through at such a young age. Not just myself but dancers all around the world are giving up everything and dedicating their life to ballet. It is just a shame it isn’t all it is perceived to be to the general eye.
That was a bit of food for thought and an explanation on how I have come to where I am today and why I am who I am.