Despite the fact that ballet is one of the most physically demanding artforms that requires a great deal of strength and endurance to perform extremely difficult exercises (all the while making them look effortless) one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to deal with as a dancer is the dreaded R-word… rejection!
While there’s no denying the fact that rejection can be a tough pill to swallow, I often remind myself that rejection isn’t the universe saying no, it's simply the universe giving you the opportunity for redirection. And trust me, as someone who has lived through a career in classical ballet with one of the world's top companies, I’ve definitely had my fair share of it!
The first thing to note is that rejection is something we will ALL have to deal with, whether it’s at an audition, in an exam or at a casting. Even the best dancer in your class and the world's biggest superstars like Taylor Swift still deal with rejection, the difference is the way you deal with it. Rejection isn’t the important thing, it’s how you deal with it that really matters.
Think about it for a minute. If we were handed every single thing we set out to achieve, we’d never get the opportunity to learn some of life's most important and not to mention most valuable lessons like resilience and determination. These qualities are so important not only for a career in dance, but also for everyday life. Resilience gives us the ability to navigate through adversity so we can adapt and thrive in any situation we’re faced with - especially the hard ones.
On the flip side, experiencing rejection also means that when we are presented with opportunities, we experience an amazing buzz and feel a huge sense of achievement. Remember that without the lows there would be no highs and the rejections help us appreciate the wins.
I’ve always believed that you either succeed or you learn, but you never fail. In a highly competitive career like dance, it’s important to make sure that you never lose sight of your goals and more importantly never forget your ‘why’. Remember why you love to dance and hold that tight and trust that there is a school, a company, a part and opportunity suitable for every single dancer out there!
You might be rejected 2, 3, 4 or many more times in your career, but remember the only difference between those who succeed and those who don’t, is that the ones who do succeed are the ones who never gave up!
Discipline, hardwork and determination are always rewarded and don’t forget that most of the time rejection is just an opportunity for redirection. Life has an incredible way of steering us onto the path that’s right for us (even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time). Trust the process and remember that rejection is an important part of your journey and will only make you stronger and more resilient! Life happens for you, not to you.
I like to remind myself: “The harder I work, the luckier I get”