Haven’t we all asked ourselves this question? Haven’t we all wondered: am I meant to be a dancer? Like something outside of our control could actually determine whether we are cut out for it or not.
But what are you really asking? Do you want to know if your destiny is written somewhere? Maybe you are wondering if you are talented enough or if it is a wise choice to choose to dance as a professional career. Some of us just need an extra boost of confidence, someone telling us “Yes, you were born to dance!”.
In this post I will share some advice for you to find out if you are meant to be a dancer or not.
Do we have a destiny?
This is a deep question and people have written many books on this over the centuries. I only want to share my personal, simple opinion on this topic, and it is completely fine if you are not in the same page with me.
I believe that we all have certain skills and interests that are “given” to us when we are born and it is our choice to determine what we do with those skills and interest as we grow up.
Principal Dancer Marianela Nuñez (London Theater) started dancing when she was 8 years old and since then she never stopped dancing, she never really questioned if she wanted to do anything else professionally, and I am so glad she stuck to ballet! It looks like destiny was written for her. She was highly skilled and her interest was totally there!
But we are not all like her.
I remember an interview from Paloma Herrera (former principal ballerina at the American Ballet Theater) saying that she sees aspiring dancers that are gifted and have the perfect body to succeed in ballet – which is very rare! – and they don’t seem to enjoy it as much, so they work less than other dancers that are not as gifted but work much harder!
Guess which one has a more successful career?
The point that I am trying to make is while, yes, some of us are more naturally talented for certain things, we all have a choice.
It may look like you were born to dance because you have a natural ability that other people don’t but what if you don’t like performing at all?
Or maybe it’s the other way, maybe your body is not perfect but you know that you want to make it as a dancer and you persevere, or even come up with a style that matches what you have to offer! This is exactly what Bob Fosse did, by the way.
Can you make a living as a dancer?
Now that you know that you know you have a choice over your actions and that the talents you were born with will not determine 100% what you do with your life.
Maybe you are worried about the M word… yes… money. This happens a lot because most people on today’s world tend to believe that there is absolutely no money in dancing, and that you have to be poor and waitress if you want to dance.
Well, some people have it easier than others. That’s true. Life can be uncertain for many artists and dancers.
That doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to make a living as a dancer if you decide that is the path you want to take.
There are many ways of making a living as a dancer that go beyond dancing in a company or Broadway show. And I will write a post on that soon!
It is possible…
It is achievable…
It is not the easiest thing in the world…
How much are you willing to work for it?
Some people think that if you are born with a pretty body and flexibility, then you are born to be a dancer and it is not like that at all!
I mean if you have a body that adjust to different dance styles, that’s amazing.
In order to be a dancer you need to work on technique, strength, your ability to learn other people’s choreography, discipline, and so much more. If you didn’t start so young, you will have to work even harder.
In order to be successful at anything you have to put the hours of work. Not only for training and rehearsing, many times you will need to spend some hours a day applying for jobs and scholarships, making videos for auditions and reading books. There is actually a lot more to dancing than just dancing!
If you want to be a teacher and don’t have students yet you will have to do some work for getting students and give them valuable information so they keep coming back to your class. If you have an online dance course you want to sell you will have to learn how to brand yourself in order to get clients.
Many people don’t want to go through all that in order to make a living. And that is just fine. For many, many people, dancing is their passion but not a career.
There are so many people out there that have “normal” job and then just dance because they love to, and they are amazing dancers, because that is their passion and what they love to do. I think that is just beautiful!
Are you looking for approval from someone?
If this is the case… I am going to stop you right there and be totally blunt with you. Because this was me for so many years.
I had a family that didn’t think of to dance as a real profession, so I went around trying to get that approval I didn’t get from my family somewhere else, like teachers and later on colleagues. I wanted someone to look at me and tell me I was special.
I was so worried about being noticed that I wasn’t really enjoying the process of becoming a dancer, I wasn’t paying enough attention to it. And I was being so hard on myself because I wasn’t getting the results I wanted.
Until one teacher said to me, “no one is going to tell you are great unless you say to yourself first”. Well, he actually said that to the whole class, but you get my point.
After that, I became more aware of how far I had become and that started to worry more on myself and my work, rather than what I should be doing or what others may say about me and I am doing just fine.
If you are looking for something nice to say to yourself that will improve your dancing read this post:
Don’t look for others approval. Just don’t. Trust me.
Your confidence starts within yourself it is not validated by a teacher or choreographer.
We are all meant to dance
Sometimes I spend way too much time looking at videos of little kids dancing, but it made me realized that we are all meant to dance. Dance is a part of us and I believe that we should all dance even if that is not a way for us to make many.
There are plenty of styles to choose from!
Sometimes I wonder if all accountants ask themselves if they were meant to do that in their lives… I don’t think so.
Art is more about doing and less about wondering, if you want to dance just go ahead and do it.
I am dancing as I write this post!
If you want to be a successful dancer and travel all over the world showing your art, then get to work because there are many people doing it right now and it is not impossible.
If you read this far… I think you are totally a dancer and I thank you for reading this.
Drop a comment below if you have any questions or comments!
I leave you with this little remarkable buddy who is truly meant to dance !