Conversation with Ballet Dancer/ Instructor /funder of balletcolourful Fenella McKirdy
Starting ballet at five years old, Fenella nurtured her love and passion for ballet through years of professional training and dancing. In this episode, she shared her experience as a young dancer in Ballet School (Including the toxicity and exclusivity often found within the Ballet world), what life was like living and performing professionally in foreign countries since she was just 17, and her current adventure of funding 'balletcooutful' and teaching Ballet! I want to share Fenella's favourite quote here:
‘Fill your life with experiences. Not things. Have stories to tell. Not stuff to show.’
YouTube: BalletColourful (with Fenella)
Starting ballet at five years old, Fenella nurtured her love and passion for ballet through years of professional training and dancing. Back to her early training periods, younger Fenella encountered a few negative teachers who questioned her pursuit, telling her to give up. Negative comments like that (particularly from instructors) can severely hinder a young dancer’s confidence, and Fenella was very confused about whether to stick to it. As she is getting older, she can finally look back to see through the fact that, she has always been doing well with receiving scholarships and many wonderful opportunities. Most importantly, she truly enjoys ballet and dancing.
Now, as a ballet instructor herself, she is aiming at instilling a long-lasting impression of the craft’s joy and beauty to kids/ young dancers. She turns her negative experience into a positive drive, which also makes her an instructor with a mission: to create an open and inclusive environment for everyone to enjoy ballet for recreation and joy. As the first step, she opened her YouTube Channel BalletColourful(with Fenella) where anyone can access the free platform to enter into the Ballet world. Moving forward, she is designing her teaching programs and running in-person sessions tailor to students’ needs with building students’ confidence as the key. Ultimately, she believes her role is to guide students along the way to achieve their individual goals (whether it’s pursuing as professionals or dancing for fun). I also truly believe, with her talents and teaching philosophy, Fenella will be the best instructor to kids/young leaners feel connect to her!
Upbringing also plays a key role in her character-building. Both of her parents told her the value of opening herself to the outside world and filling in life with different experiences and colours. Living overseas for many years ( NY, Tokyo, Shanghai, Etc.,), she immersed herself in local day-to-day living, which, she said, was the most exciting part of living overseas. I really appreciate her ability to sense small joys (do grocery shopping in the local market, etc.) and to blend into day-to-day living. That ability and character make her a true worldwide traveller from my lens.
The audition story she shared is very empowering. I believe self-grow comes from self-learn and push from others. Without her Mum’s encouragement, she may not return to do the same audition again. But it also took tremendous strength and courage for her to go back and try again. As Fenella said, it’s essential to surround yourself with people who bring you positive influence and push you to step out of your comfort zone sometimes, meanwhile, we also need to give us as many opportunities as possible. Perseverance is the key to success. But sometimes, there are many factors beyond our control. Grab the chance when it presents, regardless of results or outcome.
Fenella said she wants to live a life without regrets, which drives her to unlock all her potentials, always acting on what she is interested in and passionate about. I strongly resonate what she said: life comes with ups/downs and highs/lows, so treat yourself and others kindly. Life is short, and time is limited. To create an abundant, meaningful, and joyful life, really believe in yourself; You are capable; You do have something wonderful to offer to others! I also believe while we are doing what we enjoy, we also get help someone in certain way, which adds value and motivation in our life-pursuit journey.