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RIO ANDERSON: The point of ballet
is to make it look effortless.
But beneath all of that, it's the most difficult thing
I could imagine.
Ballet can completely break you, and it's pretty all or nothing.
INTERVIEWER: When did you start dancing?
RIO ANDERSON: I didn't start studying
ballet, seriously, at City Ballet School
until 14, which is pretty late.
A lot of girls start when they're like 6, 7, 8,
and I started in level three with the 11-year-olds.
INTERVIEWER: Did you ever feel dejected because you
were older, thinking that you had
to do so much more to catch up?
RIO ANDERSON: So I would leave the class almost every day
and go cry in the bathroom before coming back in,
because the 11-year-olds were so talented.
And it was really depressing, and I thought
about quitting all of the time.
INTERVIEWER: What kept you going?
RIO ANDERSON: It's hard because you don't
see improvement day to day.
But eventually, you see just a glimpse,
and that feels so good when you can see that you've
accomplished something.
INTERVIEWER: Tell me about some of the competitions
that you've won.
RIO ANDERSON: This year, we did participate in the Youth
America Grand Prix.
It's the biggest student ballet competition in the world,
and I ended up winning the silver medal.
So I received a scholarship to the Royal Ballet School.
I was accepted to Harvard this year,
but I'm choosing to defer.
INTERVIEWER: And how difficult is
it to get into the Royal Ballet School?
RIO ANDERSON: I think it's harder than Harvard.
It's definitely a dream come true.
INTERVIEWER: You have a very distinct ritual when it comes
to performance and ballet.
Can you tell me about that?
RIO ANDERSON: So part of the ritual
for me is a very set routine for preparing your body.
And in doing such a repetitive and specific warm-up,
you also get your mind into that sort of zen zone.
I just sit down, close my eyes, and then I
rehearse my dance in my head.
Sometimes I'll put in earbuds, but the music
activates the muscle memory when you're dancing.
I like to visualize all the dancing,
go through each step in my mind, just thinking
about the movements, and also, really
train to feel them in my body.
You do the ideal in your head and hope it translates.
INTERVIEWER: What pressure are you under?
How high are the stakes for you?
RIO ANDERSON: As a student, each performance
matters so much, because you just don't have as many,
in the competitions.
You only have one chance on stage.
It's a lot of pressure.
The visualization is so important, because it shows me
what I'm going for, what I'd like the performance to be.
And I get really nervous.
So if my mind goes blank onstage,
the muscle memory kicks in, because your body
recognizes what's going on and what's going to happen.
INTERVIEWER: What lessons have you learned about success?
RIO ANDERSON: The most surprising thing, for me,
has just been that success can come.
When I started and I was nowhere near the top of my class,
I never imagined any of this.
I really fell in love with dance when
I discovered classical ballet.
And it's strange, but what I like the most about it
is just how challenging it is, and improvement that you see
is directly proportional to what you put in.
You decide how hard you work, and you
decide how much better you get, and it's all on you.
Which that independence and control is really satisfying.
[MUSIC PLAYING]
INTERVIEWER: I hope you enjoyed this episode
about Rio's dream of becoming a professional ballerina
and the rituals that are helping her get there.
To see more rituals of extraordinary people,
please click here to subscribe.
And for another episode, please click here to watch now.
SUBJECT: The ritual of swimming is so important for me.
Every day my body gets to be immersed in the bay.
I can't imagine my life without it now.
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Meet The Dancing Prodigy Who Turned Down Harvard

22701 Folder Collection
huihsieh published on March 27, 2016    劉宜佳 translated    Kristi Yang reviewed
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