25 life lessons I learned from ballet - #3
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
3. Talent matters, but it’s not enough. Teachers count! Ballet is a handed down art form from one generation to the next. Even if you are born with the most beautiful and malleable body for ballet, you need a good teacher and mentor to train you to dance well. Ballet skills, just like the “three R’s” (reading, writing and ‘rithmetic) are skills you learn in school.
Top photo: At the Vaganova Choreographic Institute, Lisa Macuja (fifth from left) became a student of the formidable Merited Artist of Russia Tatiana Udalenkova who herself trained under ballerina greats Maria Romanova and her daughter Galina Ulanova. Photo from the Ballet Manila Archives