Quotes For Dance Students

Quotes to keep you inspired while learning and practicing


When you stumble make it part of the dance.
Author Unknown

Treat each class as if it were your first.
Suzanne Farrell

Master technique and then forget about it and be natural.
Anna Pavlova

God gives talent. Work transforms talent into genius.
Anna Pavlova

The more injuries you get, the smarter you get.
Mikhail Baryshnikov

Many other women kicked higher, balanced longer, or turned faster. These are poor substitutes for passion.
Agnes de Mille

Perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add but when there is no longer anything to take away.
Antoine de Saint Exupéry

What we hope ever to do with ease, we must first learn to do with diligence.
Samuel Johnson

Nobody comes out of their mother's womb doing cucarachas.
Donnie Burns

Nothing happens in the body without happening in the brain first... dancing is 95% mental.
Bobby Boling

The one important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one’s work seriously and taking oneself seriously.  The first is imperative and the second disastrous.
Dame Margot Fonteyn

You don’t enter a dance studio and say “I can’t do that.” If you do, then why are you in the studio in the first place?
Judith Jamison

It is not so much upon the number of exercises, as the care with which they are done, that progress and skill depend.
August Bournonville

Do the steps that you've been shown, by everyone you've ever known, until the dance becomes your very own.
Jackson Brown

Even if you weren’t born with a genetically perfect body, you can take something like a hand, where everyone has the same capabilities, and you can make it speak. You can make it speak in many different ways.
Sarah Lamb

Persevere, don’t let someone tell you’re not good. This business is very subjective.
Tomas Schramek

Practicing is not forced labor; it is a refined art that partakes of intuition, of inspiration, patience, elegance, clarity, balance, and above all, the search for ever greater joy in movement and expression.
Yehudi Menuhin

In order that our art may arrive at the degree of the sublime which I demand and hope for, it is imperative for dancers to divide their time and studies between the mind and the body, and that both become the object of their application; but, unfortunately, all is given to the latter and nothing to the former.  The legs are rarely guided by the brain, and, since intelligence and taste do not reside in the feet, one often goes astray.
Jean George Noverre

The dance, just as the performance of the actor, is kinesthetic art, art of the muscle sense.  The awareness of tension and relaxation within his own body, the sense of balance that distinguishes the proud stability of the vertical from the risky adventures of thrusting and falling – these are the tools of the dancer.
Rudolf Arnheim

The only way you can be different is to be yourself.  If you don’t find your spirit and reveal it, you just look like every other dancer.
Suzanne Farrell

Practice as if you are the worst. Perform as if you are the best.
Author Unknown

Some dancers dream about successful careers…and some dancers wake up and do the hard work that’s necessary to achieve them.
Grover Dale

I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself.
Mikhail Baryshnikov

Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.
Tim Notke

Dance training is life training.
Joe Tremaine

Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.
Picasso

Dance - an art form. The body - an instrument. Learn to play the instrument and master the art form.
Debbie Dee

Movement without meaning is just exercise.
Marie Brooks

It's not magic! It's physics. The speed of the turn is what keeps you upright.
Deborah Bull

You're not here by mistake. Someone at your audition watched you dance and saw something special. All you've gotta do is figure out how to find that again.
From “Center Stage”

The only way to do it is to do it.
Merce Cunningham

If I had listened to the critics I’d have died drunk in the gutter.
Chekov

Look in the mirror. That's your competition.
Author Unknown

Enjoy the process of learning to dance. The process of our profession, and not its final achievement, is the heart and soul of dance.
Jacques d'Amboise

The practice mirror is to be used for the correction of faults, not for a love affair, and the figure you watch should not become your dearest friend.
Agnes de Mille

When you fall, try it again... everyone falls the first time!
Dave Dodson

There are three steps you have to complete to become a professional dancer: learn to dance, learn to perform and learn how to cope with injuries.
D. Gere

It takes ten years, usually, to make a dancer. It takes ten years of handling the instrument, handling the material with which you are dealing, for you to know it completely.
Martha Graham

Poise is the finest point of balance it is possible to attain, both mentally and physically.  The various parts of the physique having been adjusted truly to the centre of gravity, poise lifts the whole being to a point so delicate that it almost defies definition… Poise, the great law of equilibrium, is that second in infinity when action ceases and there is rest.
Ruby Ginner

Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired.
Martha Graham

Be guided. Face what you don’t know and allow those who do to help you reach your full artistic potential. There are no great talents out there who are fully evolved and developed without understanding the history, tradition, philosophy, behaviors, and relationships pertaining to their particular artistic expression. You can’t just rely on the audience loving you because you do wonderful tours in the air. That’s great, really great, but all of that has to be networked with all the other aspects of the art form. So often we have brilliant talents who show us their brilliance but never achieve the artistry.
Edward Villella

The next time you look into the mirror, just look at the way the ears rest next to the head; look at the way the hairline grows; think of all the little bones in your wrist. It is a miracle. And the dance is a celebration of that miracle.
Martha Graham

The spine is the tree of life. Respect it.
Martha Graham

Think of the magic of that foot... upon which your whole weight rests. It’s a miracle and the dance...is a celebration of that miracle.
Martha Graham

To learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same.
Martha Graham

Technical perfection is insufficient. It is an orphan without the true soul of the dancer.
Sylvie Guillem

The more you understand the music, the easier you can dance.
Orlando Gutinez

So many dancers rely on some sort of magic happening on the stage. They never, for various reasons, work full out in rehearsal. That’s very uncreative. They don’t discover the kinds of things that add up to a remarkable performance.
Benjamin Harkarvy

But remember that intent is everything. One does not just jump, one lifts into the air, one rises. In the same way the lifted leg of an arabesque becomes a wing, and not a mechanical leverage like a raised trap door. This is the precise difference between dancing and acrobatics. The dancer tries to express something; the acrobat merely pulls, raises, stretches and grinds. The acrobat is lost in a web of muscles the dancer is all but invisible in projected idea.
Agnes de Mille

I had to learn that slower is faster.  If you practice every day with patience and correctness, you will get there.  It’s like preparing for a jump.  You can’t rush.  You must summon the appropriate energy with split-second timing and have an understanding of purpose to get up in the air.  It requires training, confidence and mental effort.  You can’t have a vocabulary without the alphabet.
Edward Villella

Dance is bigger than the physical body. Think bigger than that. When you extend your arm, it doesn't stop at the end of your fingers, because you're dancing bigger than that: you're dancing spirit.
Judith Jamison

So many dancers feel that what they look like is more important than who they are.  This is a real danger for dancers who focus for years on appearances and think of themselves as merely a body.  The choreographer can’t work with them in the realm of ideas.  It’s a huge problem if they haven’t been connecting internally.  If they’ve decided that what’s inside is of little value, they can only try to approximate some kind of look.
Alonzo King

Every teacher will tell you that you cannot dance classical technique with perfection, there is no such thing, there is no way. So you have to adapt the technique to your abilities or to your deficiencies. Learn to cheat!
Jirí Kylián

Technique – bodily control – must be mastered only because the body must not stand in the way of the soul's expression.
La Meri

Ballet class is like Life Lessons 101. You learn some of life's most important lessons here that you will carry with you forever.
Joanne H. Morscher

Either you do the pirouette or you shoot yourself. One or the other, but something must happen.
Monet Robier

Although we do come from a silent profession, it is important for us to verbalize what we want to say. (As I tell my students):  you could love someone all your life, but if you never say it how are they going to know?  There comes a point when you have to say what you mean, which makes you scream louder when you dance. 
Suzanne Farrel

Everyday there must be something I can't do, otherwise it's boring.
Monet Robier

It's the easiest things that cause the most problems.
Monet Robier

Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.
Fred Sero

Amateurs practice until they get it right; professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.
Author Unknown

Be responsible, a good communicator, a good team player, while pursuing individual dreams, and understanding the pitfalls of being a perfectionist – a common characteristic among ballet staff and students around the world.
Mavis Staines

You have to believe there's something at the other side. And you have to have faith in yourself. You have to think that you have the tools to accomplish it.
Twyla Tharp

Though talent is wonderful, dance is 80% work and 20% talent.
Tad Williams

Discipline is the mother of the art. Discipline is not militaristic; the dancer must be relaxed.
Maestro Hector Zaraspe

Dancers keep looking for the perfect teacher without realizing that it's all there within themselves. You teach yourself; your teacher is a guide. If you do not hear the advice, corrections and words of your guide, it makes no difference how great the teacher. You will never dance.
Author Unknown

Even the greatest dancers in the world must submit throughout their careers to the continual corrections of daily class.
Author Unknown

You will only get out of a dance class what you bring to it. Learn by practice.
Martha Graham

Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God. 
Author Unknown