My name is Valiqa Zahra (Arra), 7, from Indonesia. I go to Marlupi Dance Academy.
Can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started ballet since I was about 4.5yo. At that time, I enjoy dancing and become in love with ballet since then. At early 6, I joined the audition for the pre-professional program and was accepted. I started my first solo competition in July 2020 (6y). And since then, I focus on ballet.
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?
Yes. No, it is not. I'm not naturally flexible. I trained myself and worked out a lot. Since I joined the pre-professional program, I spent about 20-23 hours a week practicing in class (offline and online).
What personal limitations if any did you go through in your young career?
I'm struggling with my balance and have a lot of work to be done. 💪😅 Again, this is my learning process. I'm going through this one day at a time.
Has anybody ever tried to limit you on what you could do? If so how did you fight it?
Some people believe I was too young to take ballet as a professional thing. It is more than just a hobby. They believe I'm going to lose my childhood activities. But until now, I'm still enjoying my childhood things. I have a lot of friends at home, at school, and still enjoy a lot of things besides ballet. But most people I know support me. And I'm so lucky surrounded by many positive people.
How do you conquer negative talk?
I'll take it as motivation and try to look at it in positive ways. They care a lot.
What is your favorite quote?
"Dream, Believe, Do, Be. Repeat!" - Nina Shila
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Just enjoy my learning process. I still have a long way to go. The important thing is to enjoy what you do.