My name is Ariana, 11, and I dance at School of Cadence Ballet (Toronto).
Can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started dancing when I was 2. I was doing tap, jazz, and ballet at that moment. Then I got really bored of dancing. I felt like I had no passion anymore, and I took on gymnastics and played hockey. When I was around 8yrs old, my grandma took me to the Nutcracker to watch all of the ballerinas. I thought it was beautiful and amazing, so I started taking ballet classes at a recreational level. I felt really happy dancing. Then I thought of goals I might want to achieve. I remember I had a big goal to go on pointe like what I saw at the Nutcracker. I told my mom, and she helped me find a school that would make me train very professionally, which would help me go on pointe faster! I auditioned for a summer intensive with The School of Cadence ballet and was offered placement in their professional training program! By the age of 9, I reached my goal! Now I am still training at Cadence with all of my friends!
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?
So far, things have been very easy for me. I feel like dancing helps me release stress and negative thoughts if I have any. There was one time I got really discouraged. I remember I went to a chiropodist, and I was getting my feet checked, and my mom told the doctor that I was doing ballet. Then the doctor told me I should quit ballet so that I don’t get bad feet. The doctor told me that I should do some other dance like hip hop. I felt very discouraged.
What personal limitations if any did you go through in your young career?
When covid started, I had to dance virtually. I didn’t have any equipment like a barre, sprung floor, good devices, or Marley. I also didn’t have enough space in my house. My dad tried to make me a barre. Although it still works, it’s not the best as it can be very wobbly sometimes. I also had to use my mom's work computer to dance.
Has anybody ever tried to limit you on what you could do? If so how did you fight it?
As mentioned earlier, the foot doctor was the only person I remember who tried to stop me from dancing. After that incident, I talked to my friends about it. Then one of my friends asked me, "would you rather have bad feet and be happy or good feet and be sad?" It made me laugh a little, and I just tried to forget that time.
How do you conquer negative talk?
I try to ignore it because I know that even though there are people who try to discourage others, I will always have my friends and family who support me.
What is your favorite quote?
“You do not find the happy life. You make it.” - Camilla Eyring Kimball
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I would really love to train at VBA in Russia for a summer intensive after covid!