Thinking back to my first day in September I realise how much I’ve learnt in these first 13 weeks at Upper School. Despite the early rises and occasionally chaotic tube journeys, walking through the school doors each morning has been a delight. I still remember how it felt when I used to walk through them just a few months ago hoping that I could soon be a student there.
After five years at White Lodge it has been a big change. Having to commute daily and having to do my own food shops has already taught me some valuable life lessons – also that even treating yourself to just a small take-away coffee after class every few days will become an expense!
I am pleased to have made progress in some areas of my dancing, but I am aware of what still needs to be worked on and how I will achieve this. As my teacher always reminds us, ‘Rome is not built in a day’. Technicality aside, as a class we have been focusing on the importance of the three principal elements that make not only a dancer, but a captivating artist. They are musicality, coordination and the intention behind our eye focus. We also follow the ‘3D theory’; that with determination, we are more dynamic and are therefore able show detail in our movement. I feel very lucky to have such a knowledgeable, experienced and encouraging teacher, who has given us all some great advice.
Young people can be easily distracted living in the middle of a city like London and the truth is you can sometimes confuse what you’d like to do with what really you should be doing. I’m not implying that we’ve been up to no good but, for example, we know that instead of staying out all day after our Saturday morning class we should return to our boarding house, recover from the week and prepare for the following one. Accepting this has become easier and will happen with less of an effort now that we have adapted to our new [school] life.
I love spending the majority of my day in the studio. What keeps me motivated for the demanding schedules is the healthy competition within my year group, which simply drives you to keep giving your best to avoid lagging behind. And then of course going over to the Opera House each day – encountering all the top dancers, peering in on their rehearsals and having the opportunity to watch inspiring performances for free [for which I am very grateful for], maintains that long-term ambition of wanting to become a professional dancer.