My name is Paige Richardson, 18, from Northern Ireland. I dance at The Lynsey Allen School Of Ballet.
Can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started dance at the age of 7, which was quite late compared to the other girls in my dance class. I first started off doing ballet and doing ballet exams (I’m now advanced 1 in my ballet). I’ve had to work extremely hard to get to where I am today,. I was never naturally flexible, so I had to work on gaining flexibility and improving my technique. I train in the styles ballet, pointe, modern/jazz, lyrical and contemporary.
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?
The dance industry is extremely tough but so rewarding at the same time. It hasn’t always been easy as a dancer I often compare myself to other dancers and feel I’m not as good or not good enough. At the same time watching people who are better than me inspire me to push myself and work harder to become the best I can be.
What personal limitations if any did you go through in your young career?
I’ve always had trouble with self-confidence as a dancer. I would constantly compare myself to other dancers thinking I’m not good enough and never will be. I still do to this day; however, I have better control over it instead of not feeling good enough. I feel that better dancers inspire me to work harder and get to their level.
How do you conquer negative talk?
Personally, I’ve been lucky enough to not receive any negative talk. However, I feel if you ever get negative talk to not take it seriously. Turn that negativity into something positive and grow from it. Sometimes harsh talk can kill confidence, but then you grow from that and become even better than you were before.
What is your favorite quote?
“You must tell yourself no matter how hard it is or how hard it gets I’m going to make it” - Les Brown
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I’m currently finishing my level 3 extended diploma in performing arts dance. I’m auditioning for a full-time dance school for BA Hons in dance. I’m auditioning for Mga Academy, Addict dance academy, Urdang and LIPA. I’ve luckily auditioned for two and successfully gained two offers; however, my decision is not final. I’m excited to see what’s next for me.