Today’s Student Spotlight features Luke Spalding from Chicago Ballet Arts…
1. Can you tell readers how you became involved with dance?
I became involved in dance primarily through my older sister. I remember going to these little creative movement classes with her around Evanston before my mom learned about Chicago Ballet Arts. My sister started taking ballet there when I was in kindergarten and really liked it so when I got to first grade my parents signed me up and I have stuck with dance ever since.
2. What do you find you like best about dance class?
Grande allegro always has been the part of class I like best. It is just so fun and exhilarating to finally travel a lot and take up the entire room. Also I love the jumps that come with it that are unique to only that part of class. Flying through the air and reaching the extremes of motion is definitely a feeling that is unique to dance.
3. What is the hardest part about dance for you?
The hardest part of dance definitely is the long hours that it entails. It is very challenging to find the balance and self-discipline to finish homework, attend class, and do any other activities or extra curriculars after going to school. Junior year has been especially hard academically, which has made it more difficult to attend as many dance classes as I would like to attend this year.
4. What advice would you give to other dancers?
The advice that I would give to other dancers would be to really stick with it especially for other guys. I admit I really did not enjoy dancing after doing it for a couple years when I was in elementary school. I thought ballet class was extremely boring at times. But gradually I began to love dancing and to enjoy taking class in a different but better way than when I was little and starting out.
5. How has dance changed your life?
Dance has changed my life in so many ways. Going to summer intensives and dance events and performances allows one to meet so many passionate teachers and so many fellow dancers that are just so much fun to be around. In addition to the great people that you meet, dancing has made me very fit and extremely conscious of my body’s movements. It also has made me very conscious of my body’s aches and pains and has forced me to be able to deal with and avoid the injuries that are ever present in a dancer’s life.