Editor's Letter: When the Going Gets Tough, Keep Going

Dance Theatre of Harlem member Lindsey Croop (photo by Nathan Sayers)

When it feels like the world is against you, it’s easy to consider giving up. But successful dancers know how to persevere and weigh their options when life doesn’t go their way. Our cover star Sarah Hay demonstrates these skills perfectly. Her training and early career were full of rejection, poor body image and the frustrating feeling that she was being held back. It took guts for her to leave her company before she had a contract somewhere else, but eventually she found a home—and a promotion—in Dresden. Now, she’s about to be famous, as the star of the Starz network’s new ballet drama “Flesh and Bone.” (Check out our behind-the-scenes photo essay on page 32.)

Another inspirational example is Jennie Somogyi. Though she was told she would never dance again on three separate occasions, she wasn’t about to give up so easily. In “True Grit,” the New York City Ballet principal opens up to Dance Magazine editor at large Wendy Perron about how a deep inner strength kept her going during long months of recovery.

The same perseverance and open mind can be useful throughout your training, as well. Take it from Nashville Ballet apprentice Kristin Young. She had her heart set on getting into Indiana University’s highly competitive ballet program. But when she didn’t, she quickly switched gears and enrolled at the University of Oklahoma—and is thriving because of it. If you’re about to apply to schools, be sure to read “Planning Plan B” for advice on making an audition strategy that covers all your bases. Then, turn to our “Higher Ed Guide” to learn more about 100 ballet-focused dance programs.

Dancers are remarkably tenacious. If you’re feeling discouraged, follow Hay, Somogyi and Young’s lead—you never know what opportunities are around the corner.

 

“I always imagined using my degree after dancing, but I’m learning I can grow both my interests. After I started sharing my ideas for DTH’s social media, they asked me to do some public relations for the company.”—Dance theatre of Harlem’s Lindsey Croop on her dual degree from Butler University

Latest Posts


Courtesy ABC

Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Alicia Mae Holloway Talks About Her Time on ABC's “The Bachelor”

Bunheads tuning in to the season premiere of ABC's "The Bachelor" on January 4 may have recognized a familiar face: Dance Theatre of Harlem's Alicia Mae Holloway, literally bourréeing out of a limousine to greet bachelor Matt James. While Holloway unfortunately didn't get a rose that night, she did thoroughly enjoy being the long-running reality franchise's first professional-ballerina contestant, as she told Pointe in a recent Zoom call.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

#TBT: Carla Fracci and Stephen Jefferies in "La Esmeralda" (1987)

Carla Fracci, a former principal dancer of La Scala Ballet in Milan, is among the rare class of ballerinas who continued to perform into her 50s and beyond. Romantic ballets were her calling card throughout her career. In 1987, when Fracci was 51, she was featured in a television special, dancing reconstructed 19th-century ballets in the style of historical ballerinas. In this clip of La Esmeralda from the program, Fracci and her partner Stephen Jefferies, a former principal at The Royal Ballet, deliver an extraordinary performance, capturing the verve and spirit of their characters.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

Ask Amy: How Can I Make the Most of Performance Opportunities in a Pandemic?

My school is connected to a professional company that operates on a show-to-show basis. Students can audition for company performances when they're 15. My 15th birthday is in February, and I think that our directors are choosing people to participate in virtual performances based off of whether they have performed with the company before. This was supposed to be my big first year with the company, but COVID-19 has changed that. How do I make it known that I want to participate? Do you think I should wait until things are more normal? —Lila
Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks