The precocious Anna Pavlova turned heads in the world of ballet during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1905, her lead solo in The Dying Swan became her ticket to success and earned her unmatched plaudits from audiences and critics because of the delicacy of her ballet movements and ardent but fragile facial expressions while deeply immersed in her performance. Few people knew, however, that she was rejected when she first auditioned at the age of 9 for the Imperial Ballet School in Russia. She did not fit the mold of a typical ballerina because she was too slim. When she did get in at age 10, many expected her not to last for long. She had weak and thin ankles. Her feet were arched. She had very long limbs. In short, not the ballerina prospect that anyone will bet their money on to succeed. Yet, Anna Pavlova proved her detractors wrong.
What set Pavlova apart was her combativeness and her willingness to do the impossible. She worked on her ballet skills and techniques at a rate that anyone had not seen before. Not contented with her herculean effort, she asked for and took on extra lessons from her teachers. She graduated from ballet school in 1899. In 1906, she became a prima ballerina. Pavlova is credited for the now-famous quote, “No one can arrive from being talented alone. God gives talent; work transforms talent into genius”. It is an apt description of her life’s work that took her to the pinnacle of success.
Anna Pavlova’s transformation from an aspiring talent into a genius in ballet was made possible by sheer hard work during training, a requirement for students who want to be the next wunderkind. However, it has been observed that only 50% of dancers aged 12-20 reach the pinnacle of their ballet careers. The other 50% fall by the wayside with broken bodies and disappointed hearts because of debilitating injuries contributed by a punishing and ill-advertised training regimen.
Cheryl Ale, a leading light of the Revolutionary Principles of Movement (RPM) contends that it should not be the case. She pioneers a new approach to ballet training using the Revolutionary Principles of Movement (RPM). With RPM and its enthusiastic and professionally-trained community of RPM-certified teachers, unwanted and irresponsible injuries from ballet training have become a thing of the past.
You can check out Cheryl Ale’s book, The Spark, which spreads out in great detail a dynamic, tailored, student-centered, and injury-free method of teaching and learning ballet. For all ballet and dance enthusiasts in the US and all over the world, it is time to open your eyes and be immersed in the ballet revolution.