Pandemic Musings: Why Ballet and Creativity is So Important to Me

Ever since I can remember, I have always wanted to create. Great way to start a post, am I right? I don’t know how this desire started, perhaps it was seeing ballet at a young age, or having a mother who spent all her life performing, obsessed with the arts. But from the time I was very young, I have always been a creator.

It started from playing with toys. I never played with them without making a story. Batman had a son that was mentally broken because his father always fought crime. Batman would always tell his son to go to his mother and rarely spent time with him. His son ended up becoming a villain and had to battle his father. All these are the thoughts of a four year old.

Before you get the wrong idea about my childhood, I’ll clarify. I never was abused by my parents, both of them love me very much, I’m a happy kid who sometimes imagined Batman was my dad. The creativity was random, yet always flowing. Even now I will pace around my room, dreaming up stories and battles and ballets. Most of the time the characters are of my own inventions, like Pyrin, the chosen one of the Phoenix. He tamed dragons and had a girlfriend that could shoot fire from her hands. I never had imaginary friends, I had imaginary WORLDS.

When I first started ballet I couldn’t find that creativity. I saw ballet as a chore, something that prohibited me from spending more time with friends. For the first few years I would dread ballet class, many times being so close to calling it quits. My attitude changed, however, when I saw a professional company perform.

The performance was Giselle, a short ballet and one of extreme drama and so much depth. I was taken into the story by the dancers, I felt like Giselle actually died, the Willis were real, and prince actually was saved by a ghost. The artistry of the dancers played with my emotions, making me weep, laugh and sit on the edge of my seat. I felt as if one of my stories I made up was coming to life onstage.

About two years later I moved to dance with the school of that same company, one of the big positives being that we got to watch all the performances for free. I fell even deeper in love with the company and with ballet. At the end of the year I was able to perform with the school, dancing the role of a goofy rustic. This was the first time I was able to use my artistry and creativity in ballet. I loved it.

This is all to say that-yes, I miss being in the studio like crazy during the pandemic. (Here’s a pic of me trying a new creation skill while I’m stuck at home: music on the ukulele.) Artistry is a crucial part to being successful in ballet. It is also one of the most fun parts in ballet. So next time you are performing, put your heart and soul into the movement and the character. You may inspire a little dancer to keep on moving.

By Kai