Conversations with Adult Ballet Students: #2. Mary Zhou

This is the second in the series of Conversations with Adult Ballet Students. Leave me a message if you would like to be profiled in a future edition.

這是《與成人芭蕾舞學生的對話》系列的第二章。如果你有興趣與我的讀者分享你的心聲和經歷,請給我留言。

Meet Mary Zhou. Mary is a university professor in Hong Kong and dances 6-10 hours a week.

這次爲大家介绍的成人芭蕾舞學生是周慧泉。周慧泉是大學教授,每周習舞6至10小時。

Mary-Zhou_Tutu_Photo

Q: Did you ever take ballet lessons as a kid? When was that?

 A: No, never.

你小時曾經學過芭蕾舞嗎

答:從來没有。

Q: When did you start taking ballet class as an adult?

A: When I was 28 , in Fall 2008 at the University of Pennsylvania gym. There, I took one class a week. Then I started seriously taking classes in Spring 2009 at Symmetry Dance Wellness with a Russian-trained master teacher, Kip Martin, four times a week. Later on, I took class every day except for Sunday, when the studio was closed.

你成年後何時開始學芭蕾

答:2008年秋天,28歲的時候,最初在賓夕凡尼亞大學的體育館,每周一堂課。然後2009年春天正式開始在Symmetry Dance Wellness跟隨俄派導師Kip Martin,先是每周4堂課,然後每天都去上課,除了星期天(學校没課)。

Q: What motivated you to do so?

A: I always wanted to try ballet, but did not have the chance. Then I happened to see they have ballet beginner class offered at my university gym. So I decided to give it a try.

:學芭蕾的動機是甚麽?

答:一直很想學,不過没有機會。然後忽然發現大學體育館有芭蕾基礎班,就决定去試試。

Q: Tell me more about your initial experience of taking class.

A: In the first two and a half years, I took class at a studio in downtown Philadelphia. My teacher, Kip, is such a wonderful teacher. I think he is the one who made me the dancer I am today. He really took adult students seriously. He believed in us, and believed that adults can achieve as much as children can. So I followed a systematic training with him, which built the foundation for my further training with other teachers. Today, I still think of Kip as someone who created me as the ballet dancer.

還記得你開始學芭蕾時的情景嗎

答:我最開始的两年半時間都在費城跟隨Kip學舞。我覺得他是一個非常棒的老師。是他造就了今天作爲舞者的我。他對待成人學生非常認真。他相信我們,相信成人可以像小孩一樣被塑造。所以在他的系統訓練下,我打下了很堅實的基礎,令到我後來可以再跟隨其他的不同老師學習。所以,到今天爲止,我仍然認爲Kip把我變成了芭蕾舞者。

Mary-Zhou_Class_Photo

Kip Martin teaching Mary Zhou

 

Q: What do you find to be the biggest challenge or difficulty to learn ballet as an adult?

A: I think it is to overcome that feeling that even if you try your best, you won’t be as good as those people who started as a kid. And of course, you can never reach professional level. Also, you are sort of constantly reminding yourself that when those kids are learning, they are growing up, but when you are learning, you are growing old…. That means you will become worse instead of becoming better.

對你來講,成人芭蕾舞學生最大的挑戰是甚麽? 

答:我覺得需要克服一種想法,就是,無論你怎樣努力,你都不可能像那些從小學舞的人一樣好。而且,你永遠不可能達到專業水平。同時,你還在不停地被現實提醒:當那些小孩子不斷學習,他們不斷長大;而當你不斷學習,你就在不斷變老……就是説,你會越變越差,而不是越變越好。

Q: What does ballet bring to your life?

A: I think it just opened up a different world for me. Before I took up ballet, I was a researcher and a writer. So I had only colleagues, classmates and fellow writers as my friends. Now I have a lot of dance friends too. Of course I learnt a lot of new things, and tried out new things. So I think it just added another dimension to my life.

芭蕾爲你的人生帶來了些甚麽?

答:我覺得芭蕾爲我打開了另外一個世界。在學習芭蕾之前,我是個研究人員和一個寫手,所以我有同事,同學,和其他寫手朋友。現在我有許多芭蕾朋友。當然,我也學到了許多新事物,嘗試了許多新事物。所以我覺得芭蕾爲我的生活添加了一個維度。

Q: What is the greatest achievement in your ballet life so far?

A: I used to set a goal: to get on pointe before I get my PhD. Now that’s done. I don’t think there is a single achievement, like performance or competition. I think being able to achieve my current level is an achievement. I am happy when other people say to me they do not believe I started ballet only in Fall 2008. I guess I wasn’t expecting to make such progress in such a short time either. So I will keep on working hard.

:直至目前爲止,你的芭蕾生涯中最大的成就是甚麽?

答:我以前有個目標,就是在取得博士學位之前可以穿上足尖鞋。那個已經實現了。我不認爲我有一個單一的成就,好比表演或者比賽。我覺得能够達到今天的程度,本身已經是一個成就。當别人説他們不相信我是從2008年秋天才開始學芭蕾的是時候,我總是很高興。我想,我自己也没想到在這麽短的時間裏可以有這樣大的進步。所以,我想我要繼續努力跳舞。

Q: What have you gained that was out of your expectation?

A: Being a writer, I also wrote one ballet novel. I put it online, and people liked it. Some of them thought I was a professional ballerina (ha!). One publisher was interested, and asked me to finish a sequel. Perhaps they will combine the two and publish it. So I’m working hard on finishing the sequel.

:有没有甚麽意想不到的收

答:作爲一個寫手,我最近完成了一部芭蕾小説。我放在網上,讀者都很喜歡。他們有些人以爲我是專業舞者(哈)。有書商聯系我,讓我完成續集,他們考慮將正傳和續集一起出版。正在努力碼字中。

Q: What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done for ballet?

A: Well, I once took all classes offered in a studio, like 21 hours a week. But last year, I did a summer intensive—four hours a day for 13 days straight. Summer intensives could be quite crazy! I could not even point my feet at night.

你爲了芭蕾而作出最瘋癫的事是

答:我曾經每天去上課,每周上21小時。不過去年我參加了夏季密集課程,每天4小時,一共上了13天。真是够瘋狂的。每天晚上回家後已經不能綳脚了。

Q: What have you lost?

A: I guess I have less time to write now. It used to be work and write. I  have been writing novels since 2002. Now it is work, write and ballet. My readers and editors are not happy about it.

:有没有失去或犧牲了甚麽?

答:我想我現在放在寫作上的時間少了。以前我的生活就是工作和寫作。自從2002年就開始寫小説了。現在是工作,寫作和芭蕾。我的讀者和編輯不怎麽高興。

Q: Is it all worth it?

A: Yes.

一切都值得嗎?

答:值得。

Q: Have you ever dreamt of becoming a professional ballet dancer?

A: No, since when I started, it was already impossible to have this kind of dream. Plus, I actually enjoy taking classes more than performing.

曾經想過做專業芭蕾舞蹈員嗎?

答:没。因爲我開始學的時候已經過了做這種夢的年纪。而且,相對演出,我更喜歡上課。

Q: As an adult dancer, what is your goal in ballet?

A: Not sure. I guess just keep improving.

作爲成人舞者,談談你的芭蕾夢想或目標好嗎?

答:不太清楚。我想,就是繼續進步吧。

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s