From Passion to Profession: Advice for Aspiring Dancers

By Rathimalar Govindarajoo

Rathimalar Govindarajoo with Divya Nayar in Panjara. Photo Courtesy: Nithya Kuthiah

Dance is an inherent part of any culture. Classical, folk, and modern/contemporary are three main forms prevalent today. In Malaysia, we are seeing a growing interest in dance, with an increasing number of young students seriously pursuing their craft. At some point, these dancers may find themselves at a crossroad: Passion or Profession? Should they choose a stable, secure profession for the sake of security, or should they follow their dreams, risking their lives in the process, to pursue an inner passion that could easily turn into a pipe dream? Moreover, what defines success for a dancer, especially in Malaysia where the performing arts are still not a priority? Is it popularity and achievements through the number of VIP performances? Or is it simply the promotion of Malaysia’s culture to the world? This question remains unanswered even today. Speaking from personal experience, single-minded dedication is required to take up dance as a career. Nowadays, there are many options for individuals interested in pursuing dance professionally: performance, teaching, choreographing, and writing are some of the many avenues available. Dance is a rare choice, but for those who have the perseverance, it can be a very satisfying and fulfilling decision. [Read more…]