Danielle Gardner and Impact Dance Productions are humbled to share a blog by the one and only Rachael Poirier Founder and Artistic Director at Danzmode Productions.
Rachael Poirier has greatly impacted many dancers and choreographers around the world including mine (Danielle Gardner). Sit back,enjoy and learn from one of the most amazing choreographers Canada has had the opportunity to call its own.
Dance is fun but mostly hard work, exhausting at times, rejuvenating and exciting at other times. But we dance because we love the music, the movement, that sweat trickling down our backs, the discipline, the satisfaction of a great performance, rare but attainable, the perfect high. Dance becomes part of our existence and is hard to let go once it is a part of you. My biggest advice would be this – always be grateful to the ones that help you whether teachers or family. We can’t be successful all alone.
There are a lot of people that help and inspire us along the way. Like yourself, love yourself, respect yourself. Work hard but at the same time, know what feeds your soul whether it’s spiritually, a walk in nature or spendingtime with your family…Find peace and silence, a calm, beautiful place to go frequently. Keep good associates, friends, and make sure they are driven and inspired. Stay free of alcohol and drug use. Don’t compare yourself to others. You are unique. Embrace that, nurture that and fly with that thought. No once can be compared to you and that is a wonderful special feeling because you are simply yourself. Don’t try to be like someone else. Remember art is not valued by a price tag, or a sales pitch, or a great resume. You simply like it or you don’t.
Embrace difference, whether in people or art, keep creation moving and changing, don’t get stuck. Don’t be afraid to step out of the box. Don’t worry about what people say, allow yourself to shine and to fail. So many are driven by the fear of failure, but if you do fail, it usually just means you’ve done something different, and people as much as they profess to love difference, more often than not, it takes a while to accept it or to have the right person doing something different, example; someone famous. Try hard not to be that person. Most people arefollowers, try hard to be a leader. Don’t believe everything you hear, most people feel a great need to over sell themselves, which to me just shows their lack of experience, because the dance industry will always humble you in one way or another.
To the dancers; you must have a great desire to improve and learn from everyone you meet. Some teachers I disliked I needed the most as they were the ones that were tough, not complementary, they pushed until you cried, they’re the teachers I remember. Don’t be a dancer that only dances to win an award, or dances for only admiration, you’ll be disappointed. The ones that have made it (which I consider paying your bills through performing dance), they are tough, humble, hardworking and usually aren’t the ones talking about how successful they are and how much they’ve done or are doing. Beware that you treat other dancers, studio owners, choreographers as you’d like to be treated. As soon as you think you’re great and have nothing to learn, you will stop improving. We are always learning. Respect your fellow dancers and teachers. Next time you win a trophy ask yourself where you won it and was there any competition. Win an international competition like N.Y.C.D.A. or Y.A.G.P. then be proud, then go back to the barre and practice more because really nobody cares if you have bragging rights. The dance community is small, have many friends that don’t dance. As lovely as we are, our conversations tend to get a bit boring.
To teachers: treat your dancers like they’re your own children, care that much and they will be successful. Dancers need discipline and direction, they want it, and of course a bit of love. The dancer you consider the worst in class, challenge yourself if you can make that dancer great, you’re a good teacher, remember that when you want to strangle them.
“Don’t dance unless you have to. If you can let it go and do something else that makes you just as happy do it, because it’s tough, it’s hard work, and your body will eventually tire. You must love it”