Meet Sharon Chance, from Abuja, Nigeria. The Ballet Academy piques.
Can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started ballet being a child, but when I became a teenager and had to go to school like every other Nigerian kid, so I left classes, and although I continued to build upon a bit of what I had learned. When I got to my final year at the university, I started taking online classes and doing researches and downloading YouTube videos and e-books and tutorials. Up till now, I can’t tell you I have had a formal instructor since I to made a professional decision in my dance journey only online. And I am more than grateful for even having to be able to learn. However, it takes longer than normal to figure out many things. I hope to become a professional dancer one day and make my family and Nigeria proud!
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?
Regarding my story above, it’s been really rocky! Because I don’t have the luxury of taking dance classes being an adult, especially in Nigeria, where ballet is only seen as a thing kids take as hobbies! And adults dancers are regarded as unserious or “get real.”
So I have to teach what I know and learned to make a living and sustain my dance career in terms of costumes and pointe shoes, etc....
What personal limitations, if any, did you go through in your career?
The personal limitation is my age! I wished I never had to go to the university to waste all the time and had the opportunity to travel abroad to study ballet and become a professional in a company like many pros my age I know of.
Has anybody ever tried to limit you on what you could do? If so, how did you fight it?
YES! YES! YES! I remember going for auditions and being told off! That ballet isn’t for me, “oh, it’s not a Nigerian thing! “Hey! You don’t have enough turnouts! “You can’t do pointe work!
“Start doing something else what about Afro dance? Or modeling...
How do you conquer negative talk?
I turn deaf ears to them as I told myself every day that failure isn’t in my dictionary!
What is your favorite quote?
Determination and passion work best with consistency! Even if you fail, try again and again till you get better!
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I’m working on creating a new ballet, something that would be internationally recognized, and maybe then I’d get invited to work with famous artists and directors I have always admired.