My name is Madelaine Lourdes Nugroho, and I am 14 years old. I am from Jakarta and my dance school’s name is Marlupi Dance Academy.


Photographer: @aurelliamichellee

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

So I joined MDA at the age of 4. At first, I joined for fun. But in 2017, I started to get serious. I joined a special class known as the trainee class, and I was getting private lessons with Miss Claresta. And I joined a competition in 2018 and won 1st place. And in July, I joined the FTP program until now. I started to get serious because I noticed that I really enjoyed doing ballet. I love how I can express my feelings and emotions through dance and especially their pieces of music which are very classical.

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?

No. It's a big no for me. Because I was injured for three years until now, sometimes the pain comes back into my knee, and that sometimes it likes to bother the training process. And sometimes, when I want to push myself more, it hurts even more, so that’s the biggest challenge of my life. Not being able to listen to my own self is the biggest problem for me. Also, sometimes my flexibility is not there yet, and my point work is not there yet either. I have to work extra hard on that, especially now since I’m getting older. That’s been really hard for me, but I always believe that everything needs progress. Every minute of the day counts.

Photographer: @nicolekosasihwidjaja

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

I would say myself because ever since I got injured, my mind has split into two sides. So one side will say, "Just give up. It’s not worth it", and the other side says, "Keep doing it because everything needs progress". If it’s someone, I guess I would say some friends just told me I shouldn’t give up because I am injured. People say ballet life is really hard, but they don’t know how many sacrifices we have made due to training. And I feel like training is really worth it because this is what we signed up for.

How do you conquer negative talk?

I say to myself that those words are wrong. And I tell myself that I'm doing the right thing. Because this is my dream, and no one can stop what I love. Because a champion or an inspirational person never gives up their dreams, and that’s what I want to be when I am older. I want to inspire people that they can do anything they want by dreaming big, even though it may be completely different than what you imagine.

Photographer: @christiliajg

What is your favorite quote?

"Everything needs progress." - Author Unknown
"Never compare yourself to others." - Author Unknown

So, what’s next? Any big plans?

What’s next? Well, my next step, I would say, is to focus on YAGP, and also I am trying to apply to several ballet schools.

Photographer: @nicolekosasihwidjaja
Sep 30, 2021

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