Pearl of Wisdom
One thing that made a huge difference to me was that my teacher said to me: “The more restrictions I have the more freedom I will find.”
This I did not understand fully at the beginning because obviously every dancer is looking for freedom, but it is very difficult to practice freedom. So you have to practice the things that give you the freedom. And therefore I understood after investing a lot of time and practice into this subject that in the end my teacher was right. The more discipline, the more rules I had, the more freedom I could get from them.
On Today’s Dancing
Looking at today’s dancing, the one thing that I think is fantastic is the amount of abilities that these young kids have now in their bodies. What they can do, how they can express themselves, I think it is a great advantage.
Unfortunately I don’t think they use it for the best benefits for themselves. Therefore, if you look, there are not too many individual characters coming through these days in the dancing. It is great dancing, but not many characters. In the past we had great characters. The reason why is maybe we were not so physically fit and trained as they are today. So basically the technical elements that we learnt we had to apply and this basically made our dancing easier to do and more coordinated. Whereas today, because of their physical abilities, let’s say they can maintain a bad posture for several rounds and you need a lot of muscle power in order to do that.
Advise to Pupils on How to take a Private Lesson
I think this is quite logical: when you go for a private lesson, you’re presenting yourself, you’re presenting your partner, you’re presenting your product. So if you turn up … in a vest, chewing chewing-gum, in a jeans, obviously you’re not very proud of your product. Or if that’s included in your product that’s fine, but I think just use your brain and think how you would like to sell your product, the best in any situation… Whether it’s in lesson – but you go to competition – whether it’s your behavior on all of the floors, I think it is all about your product and what you want to show.
Dealing with disappointment
Personally, my biggest disappointment were not with my results but was always with myself. Therefore I had to take full responsibility whether I had a good competition or a bad competition. I had to know exactly why these things happened.
The problem is if you have a good competition you don’t really take the time to sit back and reflect why it was good. Only when we feel we had a bad competition that we go cry to our teacher to do something about it. I think everybody has failure and success, it is how you look at it. Personally I’m quite a positive person, so all my failures made me what I am today.