By Amanda Ahn and Keith Ng
Dancers give up most of their childhood to achieve their dream of joining a world-renowned ballet company. These dancers make major sacrifices and put in their blood, sweat and tears in order to succeed in the competitive world of ballet.
Dance Theatre International is a studio that is dedicated to setting dancers on the right track to success. The directors at DTI, Maggie and Xavier Ferla, have created a curriculum that trains dancers not only in the art of ballet, but in various other styles of dance and choreography that prepare their students for the professional dance world.
“It’s more than my passion,” said Jeena Prasad, a dancer in ballet level 6. “It’s something that I really, honestly just need in life.”
Each ballerina dedicates at least 10 hours each week. During the studio’s Nutcracker, spring show and competition seasons, the dancers train and rehearse up to 20 hours a week. Because of the amount of time the ballerinas dance in the studio, they do not have much time for other hobbies or activities.
Ketrina Lam, a dancer in ballet level 7, said, “I spend a lot of my time dancing, which can take away from doing homework, or spending time with friends and family.”
Even though the long hours they spend in the studio are physically, mentally and emotionally demanding, they continue to commit to the art, supported by the strong dancing community.
“Some people who are in the arts as well are more supportive because they understand,” said Amanda Baumann, a dancer in ballet level 7. “Some people who are solely athletes don’t necessarily see ballet in the way that we do.”
The ballerinas at DTI are all extremely passionate about their dancing. Any dancer can be good at what they do, but without the love for the art their true talent for ballet will not be noticeable.
Ballet might look like an effortless and undemanding art, but many underestimate the hard work dancers put into it. Fundamentally, not only does it take excellence in technique and poise, it takes strength, passion, dedication and focus to be a dancer.
See below for a video highlighting the work of Dance Theatre International: