My name is Emma Tomlinson, 14, from Vancouver, Canada. I go to Goh Ballet Academy.
Can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I took my first ballet class when I was three years old, and I enjoyed everything about it from the start. I trained in lots of different styles other than ballet, like tap, jazz, and lyrical, but ballet was always my favourite. When I got older, I started to train more seriously in ballet, and I realized that it was all I wanted to do because I just loved it so much! I started attending international competitions and summer programs, and this past year I’ve started training at a half-day program.
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?
Nothing ever comes without struggles, and ballet is definitely no exception as you are always striving for perfection. But I’ve been lucky enough to not come across any difficulties too major. Of course, this past year has not been easy, and the pandemic has been really tough on all dancers, but we all support each other and keep working hard.
What personal limitations if any did you go through in your young career?
I’ve had to deal with minor injuries here and there, so recovering from those is often challenging. But I think the only other limitation I’ve dealt with is sometimes being too hard on myself to be perfect every time I dance.
Has anybody ever tried to limit you on what you could do? If so how did you fight it?
Thankfully not really! I’m fortunate to have had very supportive teachers at all the studios I’ve danced at and family and friends who believe in me and encourage me.
How do you conquer negative talk?
I have to remind myself that perfection is impossible to achieve. All I can do is work as hard as I can so that I can accomplish my goals and be proud of myself.
What is your favorite quote?
“You can’t stay in your corner of the forest forever waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” -Winnie the Pooh
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I’m looking forward to competing virtually at YAGP Canada in a couple of weeks and dancing Swanilda in my school, Goh Ballet’s, production of Coppelia. I’m also excited about two European schools I’ve been accepted to for their summer intensives, and continuing to train and improve!