Dance that part: actresses with dancing background

by Saturday, February 20, 2016

How do we choose our course of life? Or does it choose us? Well, the commonly known truth is the one that Mick Jagger states in the famous Rolling Stone song “You can’t always get what you want”. But what we definitely can do is benefit from whatever situation is given to us, even if it seems like a complete fiasco.

 Some spectacular actresses, whose path to fame and acknowledgement started not from acting schools and castings. It had started from failure. From failure in dancing. Due to different life circumstances, they quitted dancing career and put away their ballet shoes. But they didn’t give up; they have decided to fight for success. And no matter how hard is to resign your past life and start a new one, they did it. All of our heroines admit that dancing had a significant impact on their life, philosophy and personality and helped them in further career and life in general. So let’s see what benefits these incredible women have drawn from their dancing background. And also learn how to bring something from dances to harmonize our everyday experience.


Alicia Vikander for DuJour Magazine

Alicia Vikander – Swedish rising star of such film as Anna Karenina, Ex-Machina, The Men from U.N.K.L.E., and Oscar nominated The Danish Girl. Promising young actress started off as “fast and furious” in the world of cameras and spotlight. But a couple years ago, her life was completely different. “In one way I did not dream at all of what I am doing now,” she says in her interview to The Telegraph, “I knew how tough the industry was in Sweden and it wasn’t ever in my wildest dreams that I could take the step and work abroad.” She got her start at the Royal Swedish Ballet School, where she studied from the age of nine. When Alicia turned 15, she moved to Stockholm upper school, where she had to live by herself in a small flat. Her independency started very early, as well as a strict discipline, that dance school obliged you for. She mentioned days beginning very early and some girls having matrasses to sleep in-between classes. All students tended to be assiduous and had very good grades. “It was because ballet is about perfection, and if you weren’t perfect, it was like the world was falling apart. I experienced a lot of stress around that.” Yes, it is not easy. But young actress makes an emphasis on the benefit that she has taken from this harsh experience. All directors, who have worked with Vikander, admit that she is incredibly disciplined, focused and fearless of all obstacles and difficulties on set. And these qualities are believed to derive from her ballet background. She quitted her dancing career due to some serious injuries. However, she also realized that her passion for stage doesn’t concentrate around dancing, and Vikander leaned towards acting. James Kent, the director of the movie Testament of Youth where our heroine has played a leading role, describes Alicia as “formidable”. And yes, she is. Movie in foreign language – done; learn Danish in two months for a role – done; star in the movie with professional high level cast – no problem. She will keep up. Because that is what dance is about: never back down and try your best. Try to be perfection in the thing you love. And that’s ok if you do not find your passion at once, nor did Alicia Vikander. But the lesson is: do not stop, try new things in life, and with discipline and strong will you’ll achieve unbelievable heights.


Next stop on our list is German actress Diane Kruger. Most famous for her roles in Troy, Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Bastards and her perfect sense of style. Growing up she showed passion for dancing in a very young age. Enrolled in the Royal Ballet School in London, she was quite successful at dancing and dreamt of the career as a prima dancer. But the unfortunate knee injury brought the end to her plans of becoming a professional ballerina. At first, she didn’t know what to do with the creativity and discipline that dancing school nurtured in her since childhood. By the way, Kruger was quite a tough kid, always working part-time jobs to support her mom financially and looking after younger brother. At the age of 15 she was mature and independent enough, so her mother agreed to let her move to Paris and start modeling. But ballet set up the bar pretty high, and modeling didn’t satisfy Kruger’s ambitions. So she decided to turn to acting and, eventually, gained wide world recognition of her work and talent. But Diane Kruger has never forgotten the roots of her present achievements. “Now, I think dancing has been the biggest thing in my life, much more so than modeling, and it still helps me enormously in my work.” she said to the Interview Magazine

156697-charlize-theron-charlize-theron-dance-wallpaperAnother great actress that came from the ballet training is surprisingly Charlize Theron. Award winning beautiful Charlize had started to dance at 4 years old and since then it was her great passion.  Her admiration of dancing did not stop even after serious injury, which prevented her from further ballet education. “All of a sudden, I could no longer do the things that had been open to me for most of my life. I had been a flamenco dancer, too, so had an appreciation for all kinds of dancing. There is still a sorrow inside me about what happened and dancing remains a great love. I used to go to the New York City ballet by myself and cry. I know there is no possible way I can dance again at that level.” she told in her interview to Indie London. Theron always states that she doesn’t like feeling sorry for herself. So she turned misfortune into a new start. She has decided that even if she cannot dance, she can still take the acting part of her dancing education and embrace it. Charlize once told The Guardian “Acting in ballet is underrated; great ballerinas tend to be great actors, I suggest. I used to always say that ballet was my theatre.” Indeed, every dance tells a story with a power of movement. It does show you emotions and feelings of the character while it evolves during the performance. So no wonder Charlize says that 80 percent of her acting comes from ballet. Moreover, it helps her to prepare for the role physically and emotionally, to put herself into the character’s shoes. And she also prefers to work out with the ballet-based programs, satisfying her need for dancing. So the only one thing left for us is guessing what a stunning ballerina Charliz Theron might have become, with such a gift for performing and devotion to dancing.

To make a brief sum up of all stories featuring these three wonderful women, let’s state what dancing can bring to our everyday life: discipline, determination, incredible fortitude and great diligence. Dancing is about being creative and passionate; it is about freeing your inner feelings, and it helps to create a harmonious relationship with yourself and the world around. The best decision in every kind of situation is to believe in yourself and dance along the things life brings to you, just as our heroines did. 

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