Allanah Marie. Dancer.
“My dance career ended because I was at a crossroads. My teachers were encouraging me to progress into auditions and eventually sit my Solo Seal with the RAD, however my hip injury hindered my progression as a dancer, and it was only getting worse. I could either have surgery on it to then audition for a dance company and continue my training; or move on to something else for a career. I was only 19 at the time and I had to make a decision.
I often look back and wonder what would have happened if I had just had the surgery and followed my dream.
I had danced Ballet and studied the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus since the age of three. I sat exams up to advanced level, performed in a lot of recitals and shows, and competed in various dance competitions growing up. Giving up on dance was never an option for me. I couldn’t imagine my life without it. Ballet is an escape from reality, my time for meditation and a time to really feel in touch with my body.
So when my career ended I decided to become a ballet teacher and train with the RAD.”
“The journey between then and now has not been an easy one and there were some setbacks in my first year with the RAD teaching training program. As it was correspondence, I became very isolated and uninspired. I wanted to give up half way through my training but having an amazing mentor to guide me through the study, and with my exam in London, I felt that it was exactly what I needed to remind me how much I wanted this. I am now registered and am so grateful for the journey as it has made me so much more driven and stronger.
I teach all ages starting from Primary or age three, up to advanced students and adults at Wellington Ballet. I am so lucky that I am able to pass on my love and passion for Ballet and have the opportunity to teach young students about grace, elegance, discipline – how to encourage each other and how to carry themselves. I know I have always been complimented on my posture. Good core strength and posture never leaves you!
These are some traits that are often hard to come by in society today.”
“I hope to be a good role model for my students, especially in these changing times for woman, I have an important role as their teacher. I think back to when I was dancing. I was constantly being told to lose more weight and I compared myself to other dancers’ bodies. For young women, it’s not a healthy mind-set to have. We are always faced with media and magazines telling us what the perfect body should look like, and this is only highlighted more when you’re standing in a leotard staring at yourself in a mirror for hours a day. So, when I teach my students, I never speak of weight and especially with the very young developing girls, I teach them instead about how to live healthy lifestyles and be happy in their own skin.
Growing up, I did have some really amazing teachers and mentors that I will never forget. Having their constant encouragement and guidance was important because when you’re young and training a lot, it is easy to get distracted and fall off track. Especially when all your friends are partying and drinking, and you have to stay focussed. My teachers and mentors always pushed me to do my very best. Now I hope to be able to do the same for my students.”
Thank you Allanah.
FOLLOW ALLANAH ON INSTAGRAM @ALLANAH.MARIE
Shot on Nikon D800 and Mamiya C330 with Kodak TriX 400 + Portra 160 pushed one stop
Film Developed + Scanned by INDIE FILM LAB