Meet Lily Mae Tjon A Tjieuw, 11, from Amsterdam, The Netherlands  -  Dutch National Ballet Academy.

Can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.

I started ballet at a neighborhood community center at 3 years old, loved ballet so much that at 5 years old I switched to a more serious amateur school. At 7 years I auditioned for the Dutch National Ballet Academy and got accepted for the preliminary course. Then at 9 years old I auditioned to become a full time student and succeeded. We have very long school days but I am loving every minute!

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 gone quite smoothly audition wise and I am at the school of my choice. Sometimes I haven’t got chosen for a roll or got  to participate in less performances than I would like, and that can be very disappointing, but I think this is something all dancers have to deal with.

What personal limitations if any did you go through in your young career?

I have to work very hard at my lines, because I do not have the perfect lines by nature. Also I am extremely shy, which sometimes shows in my dance. Another work in progress.

Has anybody ever tried to limit you on what you could do? If so how did you fight it?

No thankfully not.

How do you conquer negative talk?

Luckily I have never experienced this yet, we have a very positive and friendly vibe at school.

What is your favorite quote?

What you think you become, what you feel you attract, what you imagine you create - Buddha.  I saw this on someone’s IG page and love it! It has become my mantra,

So, what’s next? Any big plans?

My most recent big plan was to pass my ballet exam to progress to class 3, and I did!! So just enjoying this moment for now.

Mar 25, 2021

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