All That Glitters

15-10-2018

Three years of hustle in the Sydney dance industry grind; rent being primarily covered by teaching and retail work. My sparkly, sequinned-feathered showgirl heart longing for the stage and my soon-to-be-discovered gypsy traveller soul begging to see more of the world.

One email {of around a hundred or so sent-out} including my portfolio and a brief casting enquiry, filtered through the office, or perhaps even reservations inbox, of what is now the World’s Greatest Circus and to the dance captain of their “Show Ballet”.

The pieces eventually fell perfectly into place, as I now am certain that they always do.

Fast forward to March 17’ and I’m boarding a plane bound for Germany and an eight-month contract. I’d never been to Europe. I would be performing two shows a day, living in a wagon, working alongside a huge international cast of exceptional talents and touring over 30 cities.

With some kind of universal courage carrying me through the departure gates, I quickly realised that I had been totally dependent on others up until that point. The real, not always so glittery feathers of my actual wings began to emerge, and I’ve been flying ever since. Sometimes struggling to stay strong and keep fighting through clouds of uncertainty and times of uneasy or threatening storms. Sometimes soaring through the clearest blue skies drenched in warm rays of sunshine.

My whole “world” got totally flipped upside down. The tower of ideas I had built my life upon, burnt to the ground and still currently under re-construction, another contract down and another commencing next month.

I have learned to live without the things and people and personal beliefs that were once paramount.

I have journeyed within, to find my highest self. Divine Wisdom. My intuition - my greatest superpower. My place of calm, of quiet, of peace, of freedom that empowers me to chase anything and everything that sets my soul on fire!

I know now that all is temporary and that humans are incredibly designed to adapt. That having faith, a kind heart and the utmost self-respect paired with zero need to control the natural flow of things has gotten me this far and will continue to lead me into the abundance of my wildest dreams.

I want performing artists (and all my fellow earthlings) to understand that you have the right to measure your own success based on your own circumstances. Stop comparing and start celebrating how far you’ve already come. Stay consistently hungry as hard as it gets and as true to yourself as possible – because following your passion is your purpose in life. Should you always push forward, at whatever personal pace feels right, I promise you that magic will happen. Know that the lows of this industry are LOW; but the highs make it all worthwhile.

Love, light and endless CHOOKAS -

Erikka xx

Dancer & Soul-fire chaser.


Juggling High School and Dance

Being a high school student and a dancer can be both difficult and stressful. Handing in all 8 school assessments at once, keeping your grades up, remembering all the choreography for the end of year concert, and maintaining friendships are only a few things that create stress during the teen years. Even though you may think your stresses seem insignificant, in the moment it was an important part of our growth in our teen years. Here are a few of my important tips I wish I knew before I started high school as an aspiring professional dancer. Of course, I am constantly working on these myself.

Instagram:  @emileebeecham

Instagram: @emileebeecham

LOVE YOURSELF

Before you care or love anyone else, the most important person to care and love for is YOU. It may seem selfish, but it’s a sign of strength and maturity. Because dancing is something that you truly love, don’t be scared to show people the commitment and passion you have for it. It is what helps define us.

FOCUS

Focusing on negative people that make you feel guilty for missing out on a sleepover, or a movie, can make it hard to focus in rehearsals and performances. Focusing on what you love is a lot more beneficial. Knowing exactly why you love to dance, and what styles you enjoy the most is very important in becoming a successful dancer.

FRIENDSHIPS

During high school you will meet many different people with colourful personalities. Making friends with people who aren’t dancers can be difficult because they might not understand the commitment you’ve made to dancing. Something like missing a dance rehearsal is a big NO NO! If you ever feel like your friends aren’t supporting you, communicate this with them - communication is key! If they still can’t understand, then it is okay to keep healthy boundaries from them. Friendships shouldn’t ever drain you, they should empower and support you.

SEEKING HELP

If you ever feel stressed or worried, never bottle it up. Talk to a teacher or a mentor! Finding someone who understands you, and that you can tell anything to, is as essential tool for surviving high school as a dancer. I go to my PDHPE teacher for advice at least once a week, and it’s honestly the best decision I have ever made. Being able to tell someone everything that is on my mind, and leaving with a smile is such a relieving feeling. Even if what you’re stressing over seems small; if it’s preventing you on focusing on school, dance, or yourself, ask a trusted adult for advice! Always remember seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness!

Being a dancer and a high school student at the same time can be challenging, but you will gain a resilience that will strengthen your character. Remember to show the people that care for you, how much you appreciate them. And always believe in yourself.

Written by: Emilee Beecham

 

 

Edited by: Stephanie Cheah