How I Ballet

So my ballet season has ended and I’m having bitter sweet feelings…

Two weeks ago I finish the last shows of the season with First State Ballet Theatre, and I am missing those hard rehearsal days lately. Luckily I’m still dancing fully and getting ready for the coming up show this weekend where I will be dancing as a guest dancer. And I’ve been extremely busy these past two weeks so if you’ve noticed, yes, I haven’t blogged anything for a little while. I really wanted to share this post right after the season has ended, but hey, I WAS EXHAUSTED! lol So here I am back, and today I’d love to talk about ballet aka my life! I’ve been getting so many questions and I’m super surprised that there are so many peeps who are curious, and today I’ll answer everything! :) Enjoy along with all the photos from this season I just danced!

Photo by  Frank Obara  from First State Ballet Theatre’s Sleeping Beauty

Photo by Frank Obara from First State Ballet Theatre’s Sleeping Beauty

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The most asked question: DO YOU GET NERVOUS?

- Yes, yes, and YES! I often get told that I never look nervous but I DO get nervous. (I just hate to show it! lol) I I’VE NEVER HAD A GOOD SHOW WITHOUT BEING NERVOUS. Years ago at my ballet company, we had an event of Q&A between us dancers and kids, and I got asked the same question, and I answered that it scares me if it doesn’t make me nervous.

Why is that? I have a clear reason for this - 10 years back, in Japan, I had my first show as a professional dancer and it was a very big deal to me, not just because it was my first show as a professional, because I was chosen to dance soloist (soloist; smaller featured roll) part at the Japan Ballet Association Show (one of the most historical shows in Japan, a lot of important ballet people will be watching). I finished the hardest part, variation, and I felt great, I was like “Ok! The hardest part is over, now I can just have fun!” - then next thing I know was, I was on my hands and knees on the stage. My teacher was disappointed and so was I. I lost my tension and lost focus. Ever since the show, I NEVER, EVER, tell myself “just have fun”. It’s my job to give the joy to the audience. I want to be focused until the curtain closes. But don’t take me wrong, I still have SO MUCH FUN when I’m performing! So anyways, yes, I get nervous and I love dancing on top of the tension! It feels like I accomplished so much after, too!

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Q2: HOW CAN I NOT COMPARE MYSELF TO SOMEONE ELSE?

- First of all, as long as you live in the ballet world, you will always, ALLLLLLWAYS be compared. BUT YOU CAN’T DO THAT TO YOURSELF! I grew up compared everyday, and I know the feelings. I know. But the thing is, you can never be the person who you are compared to, and you don’t have to be. Once I quit comparing myself to others, I started finding myself more. I found my personality to how I dance, what I like to do when I play this roll, this step, on this timing, etc. It gives me confidence that I am myself and that’s more than enough. Everyone has their own preferences about everything. Like, “Oh, I like that dancer better than that dancer”, and it’s the same as “oh I like orange better than pink” - and all the colors are beautiful. You have to be you, you have to be in your own color, and don’t forget, the others can’t be you!

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Q3: IS PARTNERING AWKWARD AT FIRST?

- I grew up not having pas de deux class so it was so hard for me to learn how to partner at first! Learning where to put your weight, timing, etc, it’s totally different from dancing by myself. But now I enjoy building partnership and trust with my partners. It’s literally team work but nothing else!

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Q4: WHAT ARE YOUR RULES BEFORE THE SHOW?

- It was my ballet school in Japan’s rule, and I’m still continuing forever, but my teacher always said, IF YOUR DRESSING ROOM IS NOT CLEAN YOU WILL NOT DANCE CLEAN. My teacher was ridiculously strict about our behavior in the dressing room, off the stage, when you are not performing. And just because I grew up in that, I feel so uncomfortable when my “station” isn’t clean. So I keep things clean around me, and hope* I dance clean.lol Fun fact: for the classes before shows, I ALWAYS wear leotards that are the colors of the costumes I’ll be dancing!

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Q5: ARE YOU ON A DIET?

- Nope! I try not to stress myself out with what I eat because I love food! But when I was a teenager I struggled so much, and I wish I could tell then-myself that I can eat whatever as long as you burn the calories! I also make sure to eat (a lot) before the show.

And that’s pretty much all! Hope this helps some of you and keep shining on the stage! Happy International Dance Day friends!

HAVE A MAGICAL WEEK EVERYONE!