There’s so much in this episode that I don’t even know where to begin. It’s less question and answer. More of a conversation between two friends.
I’ve been meaning to catch up with Rose and record an episode of the podcast for a long time now. We go way back. Childhood friends dancing side by side for only a couple of years – but a couple of very formative years in our teens.
Before the pandemic hit, Rose was working on a feature film and HBO special which meant that she was constantly flying between London, New York, LA and Paris. So it was hard to lock down some of her precious time!
But like many, Rose has recently found herself with a little extra time on her hands. Of course the work of an artist never stops, but she’s certainly not travelling like she was before the lockdown. Currently Rose is settled at home in London.
We cover so many topics in this conversation and it was so nice to connect with an old friend who can relate to a time in your life that so few can. You’ll hear that we often dance around a few topics, a little unsure about what to share publicly in case it deters a young dancer from chasing their dreams…
But I want any young dancers listening to know that whilst there are still some shockingly abusive teachers around, they are so few and far between than back in my day. These days it’s so easy to expose indecent practices and teachers who are in this profession for the wrong reasons just can’t get away with what they used to.
My advice? Parents, do your research. Students, trust your gut. These days there truly are some beautiful ballet teachers who are constantly striving to produce more holistic and healthy dancers. When you find one, hold onto them for dear life.
Anyway, I admire Rose’s ability to so eloquently describe her thoughts and feelings around past events whilst forgiving, moving past and more importantly moving forward with her art, vision and purpose.
Now, this episode was recorded about four weeks ago during a time that studio owners like myself and freelancers like Rose were navigating our thoughts and feelings around online teaching. My studio is back IN the studio (thank god!) but I do share how we went about joining the online landscape whilst Rose shares some thoughts that I couldn’t agree with more.
But the main reason why I invited Rose onto the podcast was because she is a true artist.
Sometimes I come across a young student who naively declares they’re going to ‘start a dance company’ or be ‘an artist’ when they grow up. But what does that even mean? What does that even look like?
I’ll tell you what it looks like. It looks bloody hard! It’s filled with sacrifice.
Rose so kindly shares an incredibly vulnerable story of what it’s really like to be an Artistic Director trying to get a performance off the ground. So much can go wrong between that initial idea for a performance, it’s execution and the finished product – especially when the arts is so incredibly underfunded compared to other industries.
Let’s not sugarcoat this. It’s incredibly easy to have a dream or vision. It’s not so easy to execute. And most don’t have the guts, drive, determination or willpower to push forward when the world seems to be crumbling from underneath you. Let alone the grit to make it happen against all odds and the grace to ask for help when the purpose is far greater than you.
To me, this is what a true artist is. Someone who believes so much in what they are creating that it doesn’t matter what challenges they face – the show must go on.
Before I launch into our conversation; I’m proud of you Rose. I still look up to you as I did when I was a little girl. We have different dreams today, but if I walk through life with even half the grit you possess I’ll be pretty fortunate.
Grit & Grace,