We are Aly and Sophie Rozdilsky. We live in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia and dance at UB Ballet and Abby Lee Dance Company.
Can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
We started off as rhythmic gymnastics but quickly transitioned to dance after falling in love with dance conventions. We have lived abroad for most of our lives in places like Vietnam, Thailand, Eritrea, Nepal, Algeria, and Mongolia. Having had teachers and dance instructors from these countries has influenced us tremendously. Besides dancers, we are also actors, acrobats, and influencers.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
We don’t talk about “passion” when it comes to dance. It is not an emotion; it is a craft often filled with tears and disappointments. Why do we keep doing what we do: because it feels awfully, awfully good to learn how to do something well, especially at a young age.
What personal limitations if any did you go through in your young career?
We have had to battle huge time differences in order to train with our favorite Abby Lee Dance Company, often waking up at 3:30 am to participate in a 4:00 am class. We have battled injuries, jealousy, malice, and cultural differences in places where dance is not an acceptable form of creative expression. Overcoming those has only given us hope and strength.
Has anybody ever tried to limit you on what you could do? If so how did you fight it?
Yes, there have been quite a few instances of anything from thinly veiled jealousy to straight malice. We have always protected ourselves and our good name. But in the end, this type of behavior comes with the territory. One sees famous people and only thinks of the glitz and glamor, not navigating absolutely vicious attacks by people who wake up with the thought of how to tear you down and go to bed with that same thought. If you can’t handle it, then you can’t succeed. Everyone tolerates people who are not a threat to them. But stick out even slightly from the masses, and you will see who is your friend and who is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
How do you conquer negative talk?
We conquer negative talk largely by staying above it and not engaging. We are so busy creating, studying, learning, living our faith, and savoring life with all its ups and downs that we have no mental space for engaging in petty fights. Want to talk bad about us; we are Teflon. Nothing sticks. We also allow prayer to navigate our lives and inspire us how to handle life; so that helps too.
What is your favorite quote?
"If you try and fail, congratulations, most people don’t even try." - Author Unknown
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
We anticipate a summer of dance training, auditions, and creative projects, and then we will see.