25 life lessons I learned from ballet - #1
Beyond the arabesques and grand jetés, ballet is an abundant source of priceless life lessons. With the rigorous training and intense discipline it requires, ballet can teach one how to deal with pressure, disappointments, challenges, and ultimately, success. On her 25th anniversary as a professional dancer in 2009, prima ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde took the time to list down 25 key lessons she learned from ballet and which she felt both dancers and non-dancers can apply in their own lives. This series shares those enduring nuggets of wisdom – one lesson at a time.
By Lisa Macuja-Elizalde
1. Perseverance counts! You do not become a ballerina after a three-day workshop or a summer of dance classes. It takes years, usually six to ten years of daily training, in order to be qualified to become a professional.
Top photo: As a student at the prestigious Vaganova Choreographic Institute in Russia, Lisa’s determination enabled her to soldier through the difficult ballet classes, homesickness, and culture shock. She graduated in 1984 at the top of her class. Photo from the Ballet Manila Archives