This time last year was a monumental time in my dance career. The Carolina Ballet dancers had just returned to the studios from our holiday vacation and were preparing for the upcoming program of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Rachmanioff’s Pino Concerto No. 2 (Click to view posts).
My Artistic Director, Robert Weiss, pulled me aside during a five-minute break one rehearsal to promote me to a Soloist dancer, and, a few days later, to nominate me for the Princess Grace of Monaco award. Both were an immense honor.
Such honor brings the responsibility to be a role-model of professionalism and dedication to the younger dancers in the company. Five years ago, when joined Carolina Ballet straight from S.A.B., I remember looking to the Soloist and Principal dancers as examples. The change of environment from a school to a company is quite shocking.
When preparing my application for the Princess Grace Award last year, I wrote a one-page statement describing my most challenging experience, my most valuable lesson learned and what I wish to accomplish in three years. I share my thought below.
Dance is a language that has endless means of communicating by way of movement and expression. It has nurtured me to become the person I am today and has allowed me to express myself in ways different than talking or writing. I have discovered the intellectual growth in dance is a continuous process, as it has no single technique, but rather an incredible and overwhelming multitude of “languages.” The mastery of one style can lead to the involvement of another toward an inexhaustible appreciation of this art form. In turn, each generation of dancers uses a combination of these “languages” to convey a message from their individual life experiences.
The most challenging experience that I have encountered in my dance career has been developing my own artistic voice as a ballerina beyond the basic technique vocabulary. I have become fluent in the classical ballet “language,” but I strive towards a more eloquent and varied articulation. The valuable lesson I have learned in the past few years, as a professional dancer with the Carolina Ballet, has been the realization that dance “languages,” outside of ballet, can and indeed already have, significantly furthered my artistic voice. By such exposure, my movement expressions have become stronger and more versatile.
Now, I look forward to future dance challenges and exposures. In the last four years with Carolina Ballet, I have grown tremendously as a dancer and a person. Each time I step into a studio, I strive to reach beyond my personal limits, so that the next day I can commit to higher achievements. In the next three years, I hope to experiment with new forms of dance by attending a variety of programs and festivals. In addition to developing my artistry, I aim, as a professional, to set an example for younger dancers and students by inspiring them through my love of this art form and my dedication to it.
To conclude, I wish to express the honor I feel to be considered a nominee for this prestigious Princess Grace Award. I hold much gratitude to each individual that has been part of my training and career, including the numerous instructors and coaches at the School of American Ballet. I particularly want to thank Robert Weiss, the artistic director of the Carolina Ballet, for this nomination and the opportunities he has given me in the company. To be recognized at the national level as a young artist, with the promise of potential within an art form, implies the responsibility to strive towards ever higher achievements in the field of dance, and I will do my best to realize such goals.
A year later, my opinions and goals have not altered, but I have become more focused towards the future and its invigorating challenges I have yet to encounter.