As a child, I was obsessed with dancing, and becoming a ballet dancer was my most desired dream ever since I can remember. Performing for my very first audience - my parents, I was simply following my fantasy; however I was already quite confident of my uniqueness as an artist.
As we know it, professional ballet education mostly starts at a quite early age. When I turned four years old, I visited a ballet studio for the first time. On the long way of achieving my dream, certainly at that time a few important rules came up immediately: first of all - to listen and follow my ballet master thoughtfully, and the second one - always check and correct myself through the reflection in the mirror. The education of future professional ballet dancers is bound up with daily painstaking work, and our reflection helps us precisely to learn and understand the significance of the aesthetics in classical ballet.
Nevertheless, in the process of nurturing our body day-to-day, we may start to lose our self-confidence as unique artists, due to the endless polishing of our instrument, which is our body. Already as a kid, I was enjoying pretty much to work hard in the ballet studio. However, at the same time, regularly I used to hear about my mistakes during ballet classes, and eventually it made me feel, that most of the time my steps are wrong. I guess, my ballet master was afraid to praise her students and wanted to make them work even harder and harder, what I was doing desperately. Unless the ballet classes were for me more than just training, but tiny steps to achieve the most cherished World. So thus, I was focused only on my mistakes, and definitely it was affecting my self-confidence. Even though my family and friends were always by my side, I have never considered they could objectively assess my efforts.
Becoming a student of the ballet college, I kept working fanatically. The feeling of the upcoming professional career inspired me very much. Despite achieving several prizes in international ballet competitions, still I had to deal with the problem, as accepting the imperfection of my body. Certainly, for me it was connected to accepting myself as well. Apparently, just with the aid of the body, by using it as an instrument, dancer can be artist and creator. I felt also how sometimes it prevented me from the natural self-expression on stage. And it was the main reason to acknowledge this problem.
Is there any chance for the young artists to accept their exterior objectively and comprehend their daily hard work as a fascinating process, which is supported by self-respect and awareness of our uniqueness? The idea I came up with, happened when I was already a member of the National Ballet Company, and performing on the stage became the most important, interesting but difficult challenge for me.
Hard work in the ballet studio is a key to the success on stage. At the same time, we would not be honest if we did not admit that the eyes of the audience are always on the brighter artists, who are not afraid of manifesting their extraordinary way of art.
I have been watching principal ballet dancers in the ballet studio, from the wings, or the audience, on the records. Such dancers already went through a long professional career and they could express themselves sincerely through the dance telling us some story, while all technical demands of the dance naturally were on the background. It was always so fascinating to me to find out for myself how to become one of them.
Year by year, my ballet career was developing. I was leading a lot of performances. Technically I became much stronger, that let me think more about the freedom on stage. Going through this issue, I realized that avoiding the problem of self-confident will not let me develop myself any further as well.
On the way to consider it, I had to go back to my childhood memories of my strong desire to become a ballet dancer and the emotional context during my ballet education later. Being honest, I needed to ask for the professional help. It encouraged me to rethink about my mistakes that always may be happened during daily work in ballet studio, since it is a process, in which everyone is growing up, as professional. And I could realize how sometimes subjectively we may see imperfections in body, while objectively it might be turned to especial features. After that, working process in studio on each role became much more interesting and it let me get to know myself deeper.
For the ballet dancers each new performance brings other technical and artistic tasks and new ways to find out our individual solution. This individual work may help a lot to understand ourselves better. And first of all, it is based on our uniqueness that I believe is clue to the pure art on stage.
This idea made me accept my body as reflection of my personality and my soul as well. During working on the new character, or already telling story to the audience, now I may rely on my intuition, trust myself by following music, that passing though my soul and makes resonance in each movement. Each time this kind of discovery makes me feel confident and free in creating my own art within the choreography.
In conclusion, I would admit, that during the education of future ballet dancers it’s quite important to take care of their mental health as well as the physical. To help students to feel their uniqueness, not just as artist, but as human as well. I believe, it may inspire anyone to be creative and strong in our own way. In such circumstances, from early age students are getting to know their individuality along with nurturing body day-to-day. I’m sure, that in the future it may help dancers to find their unique style on the stage, what makes performance unforgettable for the audience and brings new experience for the dancers, what always make our personality develop.