Aaron Pegg, courtesy Alison Stroming

The Multitalented Alison Stroming Writes a Letter to Her Teenage Self

Don't let her crazy follower count (84K!) or her Insta-ready smile fool you: Alison Stroming is not just another dance-fluencer. Yes, she posts gorgeous fashion photo-shoots and totally personable YouTube videos, but Stroming is also a serious ballerina, with the resumé to prove it. Stroming trained at the School of American Ballet and American Ballet Theatre's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. She's danced with the Alberta Ballet, Ballet San Jose, and the Dance Theatre of Harlem. Today, Stroming lives in L.A., and continues to dance, model, and perform as a guest artist all around the world. She also recently founded her own dancewear line, AS Dancewear, and a mentorship initiative for young dancers. —Cadence Neenan


A teenage Stroming poses in costume backstage (Courtesy Stroming)

Dearest Alison,

First of all, thank you. Thank you for your hard work, your sacrifices, and the strong foundation you've laid for your future.

Right now, you're wondering if you have what it takes to become a professional dancer. Deep down you know you do, so just believe in yourself. Don't get caught up comparing yourself to your peers. Instead, just let go of all insecurities and concentrate on your own personal growth. Do not put so much pressure on yourself to be perfect—you're perfect just the way you are.

With that being said, I have one wish for you: Remove fear from your heart and just own what makes you you. Confidence is what you'll need for your journey, and what a journey it will be! Your adventures will lead you to work with many talented dancers, choreographers, and artists, and you'll get the chance to travel the world doing what you love. Keep an open mind, and heart, and take in every moment!

The dance world is much wider than you think, and there are many paths to keep you dancing and happy. Although you'll face obstacles and disappointments along the way, don't worry about what went wrong. Just keep moving forward. Remember, you are worthy, talented, strong, and more than capable of doing anything you set your mind to.

Lastly, whenever you start doubting yourself, think of all of the people who have invested in you: your family, teachers, mentors, and friends. Know that they will always be rooting for you. You've got this! Love yourself, and SHINE!

Love,

Alison

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Hi, dance friends. It is a strange time to be a person in the world, and an especially strange time to be a dancer. As the dance community faces the coronavirus crisis, a lot of you are coping with closed studios, canceled performances and competitions, and a general sense of anxiety about how your world will look going forward.

Yes, dancers are super resilient, and there's been a lot of inspiring community-building happening. #LivingRoomDances and Instagram dance parties and virtual ballet classes with the pros are wonderful. Dance can, and should, be a bright spot in the darkness. But that weird, empty feeling you have? It might be grief. The loss of the certainty of daily class, the loss of the promise of that big end-of-year performance—that's real. The dance studio has always been a safe place; it's especially hard not to have that outlet now, when you need it most.

We're here for you. We—and our friends at Dance Magazine, Pointe, Dance Teacher, The Dance Edit, and Dance Business Weekly—are doing our best to document the hurdles facing the dance industry, and to advocate for dancers in need. We're developing more online content that will help you maintain and improve your technique while you're at home, and process the mental and emotional fallout of all this upheaval. (You can keep up with the latest stories here.) And we're still making our print magazine. We have issues planned and shot, full of great dance stories and beautiful photos. We're not going anywhere.

We want to hear from you. Talk to us. Or dance to us. Or both. We won't stop moving, and you shouldn't, either.

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