Tell us a little bit about yourself :)
I'm Laura, I'm 18 and I live in Germany. I started Ballet around 4 years ago with 1 hour a week. 2 years ago I joined my current school shortly after it was founded to take more classes. Other than Ballet I love horseback riding, which I unfortunately had to quit 2 years ago because I didn't have enough time between school and dance.
Also I am a huge TV show geek and love cooking and backing and I'm very passionate about a healthy lifestyle.
How did you get introduced to ballet?
I have always been dancing and started Ballet at age 3 but quit after a year because I didn't enjoy classes at that studio. I went on to try different styles of dance over the years, but never took ballet again until I was almost 15. I had started watching a tv show called dance academy and discovered I actually loved watching them dance and it really made me want to try Ballet again.
When I first joined classes, it was a lot to take in and I thought about quitting again because I thought I'd never catch up because of the overwhelming amount of steps and french words but that also made me work harder because I really wanted to be able to do all the stuff I saw on tv, so I fought through.
When did ballet get really serious for you?
After almost 2 years of just an hour a week, I really wanted to do more ballet and really wanted to get on pointe, that's when my current studio opened and I jumped af the chance to dance almost every day and it kind of just got a mind of its own after that. I really wanted to get in a prestigious ballet school (I didn't but I'm still working on that) because I really couldn't imagine my life without ballet anymore.
Can you share your biggest challenges?
I tore some ligaments in both of my thighs which really affected my flexibility and really caused a huge set back. The hardest thing about that was that there was absolutely nothing I could do except sit it out and wait for it to her better instead of overworking the injury and being in pain for weeks because of over ambition.
How do you handle pressure?
Dance has always been the thing to take all pressure of me, even though you do sometimes feel like you're out of shape and should be getting your leg up higher but that only makes you work harder.
Can you share your thoughts on self consciousness?
The thing about Ballet is to fake confidence when you're dancing, because that's the only time it really looks good. I think every dancer feels at least a little bit self concious about their own performance and thinks they could have done better, but that's what encourages you to do even better and work even harder. Humbleness about your own performance usually makes it better as you never forget to work hard and I think everyone gets a at least a little bit nervous before they go on stage.
What was your most embarrassing moment (in regards to ballet of course ;)
I make mistakes all the time, there is really not one thing that really stands out.
How did ballet influence your life in other ways?
I have become a lot more confident and I got the chance to work with a lot of amazing people and hope that only progresses further. You do learn to take care of yourself but being a dance doesn't mean you can only eat salad all the time, you wouldn't get any energy from that.
It's totally okay to eat candy or junk food occasionally and you shouldn't beat yourself up over it. That has been the hardest part for me to learn, as I struggled with food a lot in the past and I don't think these thought ever completely go away.
What does your daily routine look like ?
I dance about 4-5 times a week (sometimes even more) about 10 hours a week. At the moment I don't do anything else but in the past I would dance in the afternoon and have school in the morning. I'm starting college next month, so that's probably how it is going to be then too.
What about your flexibility training? Where does that fit in?
We stretch at the end of every class, which is very helpful. I think the most important part about flexibility is to know when to stop and learn how to tell the good and the bad pain apart in order to prevent injuries like torn ligaments.
What keeps you motivated?
I follow a lot of instagram accounts and watch ballets on youtube.
What are your future plans/goals/dreams?
At the moment I'm not really sure where I want to take my dancing, I would love to study dance but it is really hard to get accepted into schools but I will definitely keep trying.
Any tips for passionate ballet dancers starting out?
Just go for it and don't be afraid to make mistakes, we all started somewhere. My only regret is quitting when I was younger because starting late can be really tough.