Ballet Journey – 8 Years in 7 Minutes with Robbie Downey
From First Pointe Shoes to Job Search…
Hi friends! The journey through ballet training can be a long process with a lot of highs and lows. We have compiled some clips from throughout the years for a Ballet Journey video and it is really interesting to see the slow progress of improvement. It takes a long time with a lot of focus and dedication. I just want to remind you all to not compare yourself to other dancers around you. Don’t compare yourself to your friends or people on social media. Everyone improves at different rates. Be patient with yourself and stay focused. Develop a strong work ethic.
Competitions are a great performance opportunity and learning experience, but don’t get too hard on yourself if you don’t place. It is not all about winning competitions and that doesn’t always get you the job. My first year at YAGP I did not place and I never made it to the Final Round in NYC. It is a great way to get exposed to directors of schools and companies and to get more comfortable on stage under pressure. But don’t get in your head about it. It’s not going to make or break your career.
Negative self talk and inner thoughts are normal. We all have them. But, you should not feel negative about dancing 24/7. Social media brings added pressures and expectations. Use it to motivate and inspire you not discourage you. Don’t put too much weight into people’s comments or compare yourself to a video someone may have shot 5o times to get the best one. I have a lot of content posted that is definitely not me at my best, especially on youtube, but that’s how it really looks and how rehearsals go.
Remember, dancing should be fun. It is hard and you have make a lot of sacrifices. But, if the bad starts to outweigh the good you might want to take a step back and think about your goals and what you really want. Not everyone needs to go pro and a lot of people dance because they enjoy it. There are many other career opportunities in the dance field. Some people are actually better teachers than dancers.
Don’t forget about the audience. Are you dancing to tell a story? To make them feel something? To move them? To inspire? Artistry is one of the most important things about dance. If you are only focused on tricks, which are fun to watch I’m not going to lie, you may want to make sure your artistry does not take a back seat. There are some incredible performances with dancers that have had no professional training at all. Technique is important and tricks are cool but at the end of the day ballet (and dance) is an art form.
I hope you enjoy this compilation of my footage from age 10-18. This is obviously a very small recap of 8 years time but I hope you take something away from it!
I’m getting ready to start a new project where I interview pre-pro, professional and recreational dancers. For notifications on new blog posts and live streams join my email list here.