When Your Sister Dances Too…

Reader Question:

How can you step out of someone’s shadow? Like, how can you shine too?  I personally have this problem because my older sister is a better dancer. Any tips?

in the shadows of my sister



It is tough when you have an older sister that shares the same passion you do!  With sisters, it seems as though there is always that inevitable competition.  Usually the competition is pretty healthy, which is great!  You build each other up, and are hopefully constructive as far as any criticism goes.  But when it comes down to it, YOU want to be your own person, and YOU want to make a statement all on your own, which is an awesome goal.


Here are some ways that I would notice a student trying to individualize herself:
1- if you have improv class, really be open to trying new things and dancing in different ways!  That is THE BEST way to develop your own unique style and get noticed!


2- stay after class and ask for feedback/ask questions/get help if something is challenging.  If you don’t have time to stay after due to another class starting, ask for a private!  Just YOU!  Not your sister involved.


3- Do your hair differently, dress differently. Always go with what YOU like!


4- If you are old enough to get a solo, or you have been asked to do a solo, or you will eventually have one in the next few years, make sure your teacher knows that you want to be different than your sibling.  Everyone is different – especially sisters! Solos are a great way to show off your individual strengths.


5- If you have classes together, don’t stand near each other.  Stand by other people who motivate you so that you can focus on improving and not having your sister right by you to distract you.


The best thing you can do is be yourself!  Don’t try to be someone else or someone you are not. Stay to the front of the class if you are someone who has trouble following choreography. Take all the ballet and technique classes you can. Ask questions when you have them, however wait till the appropriate time to ask don’t interrupt your teacher. Don’t be shy. Remember you are not your sister or anyone else in that room!  You are you! So keep being who you are and working hard that’s what teachers and choreographers notice!




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