CELEBRATE: The Impact of Dance
In celebration of International Dance Day, we are exploring various paths within and beyond dance and highlighting the impact that dance can have on other areas of career and life.
We asked artists + professionals across Canada to share how dance prepared them for pursuits beyond the stage.
Left to Right; Evelyn Hart (Photo by David Cooper), Natasha Powell (Photo by Alvin Collantes), Laura Murray
Having the privilege of being a dancer, pursuing my life’s grandest passion, provided incredible resiliency in the face of adversity. It taught me the value of tenacity and courage and most importantly the value and reward of a unique dream in spite of outside influences deterring that desire. But most of all it showed me that my inner instinctive voice was the key to my heart and than no amount of physical gain or stature could erase the need for an inner truth. Trust in this voice has always ensured the correct path for me.
Artistic Director, Holla Jazz
I would have never thought that dance would give me so many life lessons. Dance has taught me so much about people, and that we are beautiful and complex beings. Not only has it helped me learn how to work with the widest range of personalities, but it has helped me create a life that was truly meant for me, and not a replica of what others might think my life should be. Dance has taught me how to love, how to listen, how to be empathetic, and how to be patient. But the most important thing dance has taught me is to stand up for what you believe in, or you’ll fall for everything.
Toronto-based Freelance Dance Artist
(Pictured in header. Photo by Shalan and Paul.)
Dance has prepared me for other pursuits in a number of ways. The most important of which I can think of is the work ethic it gave me. No one trains to be a dancer if they are only somewhat interested in this career. It is a tremendous amount of hard work and it can be thankless at the best of times, so one only goes after it if they love it and want it more than anything else. I have put so much energy into dance to be rewarded with those fleeting, exhilarating moments on stage that can’t even be described. Applying that focus to other avenues in my life has proven to be successful and impressive to colleagues with other professions. My philosophy has always been, “If someone is going to pay you to do something, shouldn’t you give it no less than everything you have?”
Principal + Founding Partner, Murray Paterson Marketing Group
From a young age, all I dreamed about was a career as a professional dancer. I studied and trained in a fiercely competitive environment, with constant critique, but I was in my happy place, wholly committed and unrelentingly driven. I attribute much of my professional success to the drive, discipline, persistence, and resilience ingrained in me as a dancer. I learned about the hustle, how to connect with my instincts, how to confidently engage and present authentically, to possess an unshakeable integrity, to lead courageously, and to be fearless in pursuit of my passion.