Katharine Rygiel


Sometimes I fear that I crave corrections and direction from my teachers too much. I am in the habit of determining my value based on what others think of me. In the dance world, another person’s opinion makes all the difference between you getting the job or not. In the past year especially, I have had trouble with confidence. I’ve discovered how dangerous this is. To me, it is a very thin line between being confident with yourself and coming off as stuck up. I don’t think anyone ever wants this to be the impression of themselves that they give. I think this is why I often come off as very pessimistic. I don’t like to tell myself I can do something and then fail. I will always try and give it my best effort, but I have trouble actually telling myself I can do something if I haven’t done it before. I gain confidence through experience, but I do not have it automatically. Maybe this is something I have to work on, but I also think it’s a very natural instinct. Even if I am not confident, I still feel I failed most if I don’t do something to the best of my abilities. I know what I am capable of and I often surprise myself with new things I can do. This is a very internal drive. I love the feeling I get when I get a correction and on the rare occasion a “better” and, even rarer, a “good”. I feel as if I am getting somewhere. It reinforces my confidence in my abilities. I think this is very human. We are very social creatures. We crave love. In dance, corrections translate to love.

It’s hard to answer the question “what is your purpose in learning your craft?”. I don’t know if I have a purpose for it besides the fact that I feel I have to. It’s not because my parents or teachers are forcing me to. I have to for my happiness. Working is what I love. If I don’t feel I have improved or had a breakthrough after a class it feels pointless. I feel pointless.

My ┬ámotivation is from within so that I feel I have a purpose. In academics, I sometimes get to the point of giving up, and when I do, I feel myself deflate inside. Not caring is not an option for me. Not because I won’t get a good grade (although that thought does scare me) but because I have given up on myself. That is when the failure occurs.

In ballet and dance in general I don’t usually feel myself reach the point of almost giving up. If it is new style I definitely get closer. However, I fear the feeling of giving up and failing myself more than I fear failing others. It is so cliche, but the only way you can fail is not trying at all. Being an artist is not easy. You put yourself on the line and challenge yourself everyday. To be an artist is to have that internal drive. As I said in my last blog, artists aren’t driven by the idea of money. Our idea of wealth is completely different and individual to all of us. What motivates me is necessity. Just like I need food and water and shelter and air, I need to dance; I need to do it to the best of my abilities. For myself.

One thought on “Necessity

  1. Joanna Coogan

    You have such a natural and genuine way with words, I love it. We’re all just kind of sitting here awkwardly attempting to get to know ourselves through these blog posts and yours are simply beautiful, insightful, and cut right through to what has to be said. Thank you for sharing these. C:

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