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I first took a ballet class to improve my technique in contemporary dance. This was in 2010. It was a few years later I decided to study ballet.
I remember it was all new to me, very basic techniques and lots of new complex terms in a different language (French) and I found it boring to start with.
At first, it was a hobby and to improve my technique in other areas of dance. Later on, I began to see the challenges involved in a career in dance. It was only after graduating from university with a degree in social work that I began to consider dance as a career.
Not many, but even though ballet is relatively new to Nicaragua in comparison with other Central American countries there are quite a lot of male dancers. In the Escuela Nacional de Ballet (National School of Ballet) between 15 and 20% of the students are men.
The Escuela Nacional de Ballet was first formed in 1988 and ran for 10 years. After a break, the school restarted in 2008 and ballet has developed enormously over the last 10 years. There have been huge advances in technical and professional areas and ballet is now more widely known and accepted as an art form. As the school is part of the government department for culture and receives government funding courses are very reasonably priced. There are other private studios and schools of dance in Managua (the capital) and other departments but the only accredited school where you can study ballet is the Escuela Nacional in Managua. That is why after doing ballet in León for five years I decided to come to Managua to study ballet formally.
I got my first pointe shoes a couple of ago but have only been learning on pointes seriously for a year. As a male dancer there are not so many opportunities, but I want to learn so I can better understand the challenges for female dancers and be a better partner.
I have just got my second pair and I still use my first pair from time to time, but I think I will frame them!
I haven’t had the chance to dance on pointe in a presentation yet but would love to do something – classical or neo-classical or maybe something satirical.
Ballet is not easy, it is painful but it is wonderful. If you are passionate about it, work hard at it and fight for what you want it is definitely worth it. As one of my first dance teachers said ‘’no pain, no gain”!