Assistant Editor Jessica Wilson interviewed dance student Lorian Kurzweil for us to learn more about her journey in dance…
1. Can you tell readers how you became involved with dance?
I first asked my parents if I could have dance lessons when I was about 4 years old, because I was jealous of my friends who got to change into their pink leotards and walk across the road from my nursery to our local dance school. I started off with Ballet and Tap and immediately loved learning with my new friends and teachers. As I grew up I joined Modern and then Jazz classes too, always motivated by the idea of working my way up through each exam. I loved watching the older girls in higher grades; I thought they were absolutely amazing and wanted to be just like them.
2. What do you find you like best about dance class?
I love the buzz it gives me to feel I am improving my performance each week. If you push yourself to always work hard, you are the one who is going to benefit from it and feel stronger the next time you try something. I also love how I can completely zone out during a dance class, forgetting anything else I might be worrying about.
3. What is the hardest part about dance for you?
Overcoming limitations has always been quite difficult for me, whether it is to do with physique/facility of my body or general confidence in class. However, passing exams has always been a reassurance that if you work hard enough, you will be able to achieve your goals, which is an invaluable lesson.
4. What advice would you give to other dancers?
At every dance environment I have experienced–be it at my childhood dance school, local ballet company, university and so on–it has always struck me how low self-confidence can hinder your overall dance performance and ability. If you’re hung up on your body or don’t believe in yourself, it can really prevent you from being as good as you could otherwise be.
Whenever I have come across a dancer who is comfortable in their own body, they seem to be able to focus on what is important and reach their full potential in dance. My advice would be that you should never simply accept your physical limitations and give up: I truly believe that, with enough practice, you can overcome them and achieve amazing things. You should never stop yourself from trying for something just because you don’t think you’re good enough! I learnt this after I spent many months beating myself up about my ballet, which I realised was silly after passing my Advanced 2 exam!
5. How has dance changed your life?
Dance has brought an incredible amount of new and inspiring people into my life, some of whom I know will be lifelong friends. Looking back on the years I spent at my little dance school in Brentwood, England, I can safely say that I had the time of my life. It has also taken me into a new career at the Royal Academy of Dance, which I never would have imagined I’d be capable of. I now know that I am going to dedicate my future to bringing the joy of dance to as many students as possible!
BIO: Lorian Kurzweil is currently studying at the Royal Academy of Dance in London for a BA in Ballet Education. She is in her first year at the RAD and has previously danced with The Chelmsford Ballet Company, an amateur company which prides itself on its professional standards.