find a role model

With Dayton Ballet’s season coming to a close I am saying good-bye to some role models that have danced with the company for as long as I have been there. I have always looked up to them it is bittersweet to see them go, but it inspired to write a post about role models. Everyone whether they realize it or not has role models and people they look to and helps shape them in some way. Some people only have one role model, while others have many. For me, I have many people I look up to and that inspire me in my life.

If you feel you don’t have a role model in mind, try to find one. It could be teacher, family, friends, or someone in media you admire. Role models can act as a source of inspiration or someone who gives guidance. Overall you should find a role model that makes you want to be the best you, you can be.

Family- I look up to nearly all of my family, since I’m the baby. Family is like a built-in source for role models.  I realize not everyone is lucky enough to have a supportive family that is why maybe you can turn to friends.

Friends- I greatly admire many of my seniority at Dayton Ballet School. They push me to be better not because I want to be better than them, but because I admire their strengths.

Teachers- Both school teachers and ballet teachers have definitely shaped who I am as a person. I admire their dedication to bettering the upcoming generations. If it weren’t for teachers in my life, I would have missed out on many important lessons, even ones I didn’t care to learn at the time.

Celebrities- The role model we may need at a certain time might not be around. To find the guidance need sometimes you have to look to people you don’t know. Even though you may not be able to talk someone in person or ask them for advice they can act as a role model. Tiler Peck has always been someone I strive to be like in my dancing. I know I have a long way, but if I could get anywhere near her level of expression and clean technicality I would be proud. She pushes me to try my best and that is what matters.

Overall I hope you have someone as a role model. If it weren’t for my many great role models I know I wouldn’t be where I am today. Thank you to the dancers of Dayton Ballet and Dayton Ballet School, my teachers in and out of studio, Tiler Peck, my friends, and my family. Seeing how any one can be a role model, think about how you may be someone else’s role model, people find inspiration all around them.

Check back next week!

how to get in character

This season is going by in a flash. It is incredible that Dayton Ballet’s last shows of the season are this weekend and that there is just over a month left of the school’s season. With the season coming to a close the spring show is too. Dayton Ballet School’s annual show allows for many dancers to perform and try a variety of repertoire. I am very excited to do the sweet and simple wheat pas de deux from Coppelia. I have had a lot of fun learning the piece and can’t wait to perform it. Knowing that many schools do a final spring show that often has characters with a lot of depth I thought I’d share my tips and process for performing a character.

  1. Research- Learn about your role. Look up the story they are apart of and how they are perceived. In addition watch videos of other people performing the same role. Try to find key traits you want to embrace, for me I try to play on Swanhilda’s major mood swings. Bringing joy to my steps and then being able to switch to a whiny girl. Drawing on the jealousy Swanhilda is known for to create a dramatic girl, is what I hope to achieve in May.
  2. Don’t Recreate- If there is another dancer who performed the role you are trying to fill beautifully, don’t recreate it. It is wise to try to implement certain elements of a dancer’s performance into your own, but trying to recreate their work will result in frustration only. You will find yourself frustrated if it isn’t exactly like your inspiration’s interpretation and will lose focus on what matters; the actual dancing.
  3. Subtlety- The smallest of actions can form a character. Don’t try to use grand, over the top acting to create a character, but plan little subtleties. Holding you head a certain way, the timing of a facial expression, or how you look at a fellow character are the small things that can make a major difference.
  4. Be One- This may sound silly, but don’t act like your character, be it. Be silly or sad or jealous or excited. If you think of yourself of being your character rather than pretending to be a character then it will read much more genuinely and feel more genuine as well.

Those are my tips! I really enjoy being a character when dancing and having a story, it gives dancing a whole new level in my mind. I hope you found these tips helpful and check back next week!