I think I was around fifteen/sixteen years old when I first realized how madly in love I am with dancing. Some people think this has always been the case when they meet me today. But to be honest: dancing before that was not my favorite kind-off sport (today I wouldn’t even call it sport anymore, I like to consider it a form of art).
At the age of three my Mum took me to ballet class. Well, a dance class where you spin around a little, jump and just have fun. Because of my Dads work we moved places quite often and in every new city I would face a new dance studio, new people, new boundaries. Besides dancing I have always been very active and tried many different sports such as swimming, football, horse riding, badminton, athletics etc. and I was good in all of those fields. I just basically knew what type of sport fits me and my needs. I was horrible at volleyball in school and therefore I would never have taken that sport as a hobby. Eventually all sports came and went but dancing always stayed with me.
When my parents and I moved back from England to Germany I wanted to quit dancing because I thought athletics was my type of sport. Of course this was also the age when dancing wasn’t considered “hip” and I thought it would be the right time to move on.. and especially away from ballet (the dance style I feel most home with today).
My Mum dragged me to the local dance studio and made a three month contract. My Mum said “Three months. You will try this for three months and if you don’t want to stick with it after this time its okay. But you need so try.” I took my first class and never left the studio again. My Mum simply knew me better and I still owe here a lot today.
At that age I didn’t know how far this all would take me and I certainly didn’t see myself teaching younger girls and dancing the lead roles on stage. But thats what just happened. Well, not just. It took me years of hard work, bleeding feet and commitment to actually come to the point I am now. And also sacrificing a lot on the way.
With 15 I had the chance to be a part in a production of Romeo and Juliet, a crossover project with dance and normal school students. We mixed ballet, hip hop, breakdance and acrobatic elements in the choreographies. Back then I was dancing a police guard who protected the city of Verona. I always loved being a part of this production and hoped to be able to someday dance one of Juliet’s friends and most of all I wanted to dance Juliet. Sadly the production was just set-up for two seasons and I wasn’t old enough to even come close to those roles.
Years passed and other productions came and went. But Romeo and Juliet always sticked to my heart. And then, at the age of 21 I was offered the role of Juliet. Of course this didn’t just happen out of the blue. I worked my ass off the years after the first production. I have been training everyday since and missed quite a few birthday parties, weekend trips and so on. Back then I never knew if Romeo and Juliet would return. This time the production was performed at two different locations and I had the chance to finally dance the role I always dreamed of. But the pressure was on. My body was aching and I cried more than once. But in the end all the hard work payed-off.
Today, when looking back at what I did and what I haven’t done, I would certainly not change a thing. I think a lot of my friends struggled with me because I was so busy with all the training and the rehearsals. And also the different working hours I had and still have. I even think my first longterm relationship failed because of my desire to become the best dancer I could be. I felt pretty lonely on the way sometimes and think I did push everything, my body, my emotions and the feelings of my friends to the limit. Being older and wiser (yes, I think after 21 years of dancing I can use this term) I want to encourage young girls out there to not give up when there is something you really want to achieve. Of course nothing comes easy and certainly there are losses on the way. But I can already say: I didn’t regret anything I have done. And I’m still not even close to where I want to be as a dancer and as a person. But I hope I will be able to find it someday.