Saturday 30 September 2017


Reader Josie has dreamed of a career in dance ever since she can remember... but will her dreams come true?

Josie says:
When you're little, it all seems so easy. You have big dreams, of dancing in pointe shoes and a white tutu at Covent Garden, being handed a bouquet at the end as the audience goes crazy. I read too many ballet books, or maybe not enough. I lived and breathed ballet, and I never for one moment thought that my dreams would not come true.

As I grew older, I learned that dreams aren't quite as simple as the Disney cartoons make out. You don't just wish on a star and get your dream future handed to you on a plate. You have to work, and hard. My ballet lessons went up to twice a week, then three times, then four. There would be extra practices when we had a show, and extra pressure to be chosen as something other than the chorus line. Still, I loved it. The joy of dancing made all the hard work worthwhile. I progressed through my grades, began dancing en pointe, watched my ballet friends fall away as teenage life and its pressures and dramas took precedence over ballet. Only a handful of the girls I'd danced with since the age of four are still taking lessons now.

Reality seeps in, and it can sour a dream. I wasn't chosen to audition for the Royal Ballet School, nor the regional school, when I was younger. It's a bit like not getting that letter telling you you're going to Hogwarts... a huge reality check. My parents started telling me to think about careers, and they didn't mean careers in dance. They said that only a very few dancers can make it to the very top, and that I should start to see it as a hobby I loved rather than anything else. That broke my heart. I am in Year Eleven now, taking A levels, and my friends are starting to talk about sixth form and universities and whether to pick things like English or Business Studies. I couldn't picture myself in that kind of future. I spoke to my ballet teacher about this and she had a different story to tell. Not everybody takes the same route in ballet, and not everyone gets to be a prima ballerina, but they can still have a career in dance. She pointed out that I was also studying Tap, Modern and Musical Theatre, and suggested I apply for a place at Performing Arts College. It's like a foundation for a degree. Next week I am attending an open day at one of the big Performing Arts colleges in the city where I live, and if it goes well I will be applying. It will be two years of dancing and if I do well, I plan to apply for a Musical Theatre course at university. My dream is alive again, changing a little, but better than ever and even more exciting because this time they are genuinely possible. Never give up.

Photograph by reader Hollie; posed by model.

Cathy says:
This is such a powerful piece. Dreams do evolve as we get older, and there are always many routes to your end goal, or different versions of it which can make you happy. Determination and sheer hard work can take you a very long way! I wish Josie the very best of luck! Have YOU got a dream that sometimes seems impossible? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!


  1. Aw I hope it all works out for you
    Good luck!
    Love from aaliyah xxx

  2. I really love this post! I can relate to this tremendously as I'm a former aspiring ballet dancer! I can't thank you enough for sharing this story!❤❤😊❤❤😊

    #sweetreats xxx



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