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Advice for aspiring professional dancers | Celia Francis, Professional Dancer and Gymnast

Updated: Apr 2, 2021

I Dance Because is a blog series celebrating dancers from all walks of life. Dance is more than flexibility and tricks. It is expression, acceptance and authenticity. Dance is not (and should not) be elitist or reserved for a certain type of body type or life experience.

Celia Francis | Professional Dancer and Gymnast, Teacher

People are afraid of expressing themselves. Dance taught me to present myself with confidence. For me, that’s when a dancer is at their most beautiful – when they’re moving with freedom and joy.

Being yourself can be the hardest thing to embrace. It takes vulnerability to dance but, once you accept that, it helps you to explore who you are. I see dance mirroring life – to aspire to be your truest form, to show people your authentic self without embellishment.

There’s no wrong way to move – there’s technique of course, but the joy of dancing is far beyond technique.

I’ve been dancing since I was young. My mum took me to gymnastics and ballet classes, and eventually I joined an elite gymnastics team. I danced and trained throughout my childhood, but stopped when I went to university.

It wasn’t until my early 20s when I decided to take a dance class again. I took @karenestabrook's Saturday class at Pineapple Dance Studios, and instantly fell back in love with movement.

I took class from a variety of fantastic teachers. I believe this allowed me to progress quickly – I love learning and pushing myself. I recently took the @balletboyz Dancer’s Course, a year of professional training. Being in such an intensive environment with such talent really transformed me as a dancer.

My advice for dancers – whether beginners or professionals – is to work. Work harder than you think is possible. It’s easy to look at people who are incredibly successful and not see the hours of effort that they’ve put into achieving what appears to be effortless.


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