No Pain Means No Gain

What it takes to accomplish things, and information on life as a ballet dancer.


Marc Haegeman

In a world where everyone is striving to be the best, how can you reach the top?

Jasmin Rossi, News Editor

Every year, girls and boys across the world dream of one thing: to dance. That, however, is understandable; dancing allows you to travel the world, wear ravishing costumes, perform at some of the world’s best theaters, and most importantly, tell a story.

When you buy tickets to see a ballet, you’re buying more than just the ticket. You’re buying an experience. A story. And it’s just…magnificent. There’s music, lights, and dancers, magic. It’s one of the few things that, in this modern day and age, can make you escape the real-world. But, like most things, there’s something deeper behind the beauty.

Ballet is arguably one of the most beautiful art forms in the world. But it’s also, according to some, nothing but a girly, frilly thing that involves glitter and tutus. Most say it’s just an easy so-called art where you dance around to music in little pink ballet slippers. I beg you, don’t think that.

Firstly, ballet is an art form that is for both girls and boys. It is not all-pink, or all glitter, or all tutus. It’s all sweat, blood, and tears, poured into one extreme art. Ballet is hard, really hard. The pain is grueling, the stories are daunting, and you’re just one dancer, in a big, big world of them. Yes, when a dancer steps out onto the stage they are in costume and they do have makeup on, but that’s what everyone sees – a final product, and there is no way to explain how hard it is to get there.

Being a ballet dancer requires you to have the right kind of facility; feet that curve and point, knees that stretch, backs that bend, hips that are open, and extreme flexibility. On top of that, a ballet dancer needs to be able to hear the music, be the character, and feel the ballet. You suffer in your class, there’s unimaginable pain. And then, you think, why am I doing this? What if I get injured? Is it worth sacrificing my life? There’s no guarantee about anything.

Except one. You’re dancing. When you’re in your element, doing something you love, you’re not thinking. You’re risking everything, but you don’t mind. You keep going on, you keep striving to be the best. You’re constantly under pressure, and there’s no denying it. But you just don’t think of it.

When I was a little girl, in my first year of ballet, I hated it. I hated the fact that I wasn’t doing what the big girls were doing, I hated being treated like a baby, I wanted to be the person I knew I could be…but, I wanted to fast-forward to it. I had no idea that it would take that much work. In a way, I was being oblivious to that truth. However, I was willing to learn, and I did. That was important.

It’s fascinating. When you’re younger, you don’t realize how tough things can be, and even if you do, you think that if something is tough, it’s bad.  After all these years, I’ve realized that the best thing for a person to improve is for a person to struggle, and I have struggled, not only in ballet, but also in my life. I’m proud of that, however, because it’s what makes me, me, and it’s what makes me improve!

If there’s one piece of advice I could give a person who is just starting their journey in ballet, I’d like to tell them that making something easier for the sake of being easier, will never benefit you. In ballet, the harder you make something, the better! No pain means no gain, after all! Struggling is important, because there’s no accomplishing without it!

But this, is me! This is my hobby. What is yours?

Whatever hobby you have, whether it’s singing, dancing, acting, sports, comedy, you name it, take a moment to think about why you’re doing it. Take a moment to think about the things that will make you improve. Why are you doing this? If your answer is “I don’t know”, don’t worry! Not everyone will find a hobby they love at a young age, some don’t even know what their passion is well into adulthood! What’s important, though, is that no matter what you’re doing, try your best!

Good luck cougars! Whatever it is that you do!



Pair up with a friend!

Try to work with someone you’ve never worked with before, or make sure that you do not know your friend’s hobby.

On a piece of paper, describe your hobby, but don’t write the name of it! Make sure to answer questions like how it’s done, what characteristics it has, and how you do it. Then, exchange papers with your partner. Guess what your partner’s hobby is using the descriptive writing they provided.

Whichever pair figures out what each other’s hobby is first, they have won!

Have fun, cougars!