Prima ballerinas captivate the eye with their suppleness and dexterity. Their exquisite performances on stage, some bordering on the ethereal, have left audiences gasping in awe.
Behind the myth, however, are stories of real people who struggled hard to achieve their heart’s desires.
Evelyn Cisneros is Mexican American and extremely shy. She was so shy that she completely covered herself with her dress while performing with a children’s choir at the age of 4. At the age of 7, her mother, groping around for a solution to her shyness, forced her to attend a ballet school. It paid off as her shyness dissipated and her confidence grew during training. Unexpectedly, she fell head-over-heels in love with ballet and dancing. She was pigeon-toed but she overcame the physical limitation with her unbelievable dedication. According to Evelyn, she felt a fire inside her heart that burned with a desire and need to dance.
Yuan Yuan Tan is another heartwarming ballet story. Her father did not want her to become a dancer because he wanted to see her pursue a degree in medicine or engineering. Her mother, who fully supported her daughter’s decision to become a ballerina, dared her husband to a coin toss to decide Yuan’s fate. Yuan’s mother won. Yuan moved on to become the youngest principal dancer at the San Francisco Ballet. In an interview, she reiterated her commitment to dance saying, “Over the years, as a dancer, and we have very good inner strength, to every day, I just can’t come into a studio, whether you’re good, you’re sleepy, or you’re sore everywhere, or you’re injured, you always put on good shows”.
Ballerinas, like Evelyn Cisneros and Yuan Yuan Tan, have sprung up from every corner of the US and the world, all filled with a burning desire to taking ballet and dance. With every ballerina who achieves success, however, another ballerina’s dream somewhere crumbles to the dust because of debilitating injuries during training. Cheryl Ale, an expert in the field of ballet and dance, is left shaking her head in disbelief and speaks out strongly that it need not be so. Her ballet instructions are based on the Revolutionary Principles of Movement (RPM). With the RPM, training injuries because of overstraining, overuse, and forced exhibitionistic contortions are avoided. It is ballet education that focuses on aligning the bodies of students and how to motivate physical movements with gravity.
Cheryl Ale believes that anyone can take ballet lessons and dance. A training method such as the RPM, with its core group of RPM teachers, is the revolution that is sorely needed in ballet. She wants you to be part of it and there is no better time than the present.