#4: Know What Matters to You
Constance Doyle is a classical ballet dancer in Austin, Texas. Like many professional dancers she began her career young—though in her early twenties, she’s already trained for more than a decade. Constance graduated from the prestigious School of American Ballet in New York City and currently works as an apprentice with Ballet Austin.
In the professional dance world, comparison between artists can be “a double-edged sword.” Company directors and audiences criticize dancers’ technique, musicality, and artistic choices against ballet’s rich historical tradition.
Growing more confident in her personal worldview has given Constance the mental and emotional strength to navigate a competitive career field.
In other words, she’s worked to articulate the reasons why she dances—the things in life that matter to her even more than her passion for ballet.
For Constance, this means practicing her Christian faith and emphasizing her individuality as an artist. She sees herself as a steward of a particular talent, with the responsibility to cultivate it for a purpose beyond herself.
“Each artist has a different mind, different life experiences, [and] different training…that make up who they are and what they have to offer,” Constance says. “I fight artistic discouragement by reminding myself that by the mercy of God I have a gift that is unique to who he made me to be.”
Constance could easily become frustrated by the constant creative evaluations she must undergo to be successful in her profession. Instead, she chooses to be inspired by her individual strengths and abilities as a dancer. They give her “something to offer as an artist that differs from any other person on earth.”
This article is the fourth of a 5-step series of artist interviews, dedicated to helping you find your artistic groove. Get the rest of the steps here.
Image by Ron S. via Unsplash