Conversations with Adult Ballet Students #4: Shirley Poon

This is the fourth 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》系列的第四章。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。

Introducing Shirley Poon, a management trainee in a Japanese company in Hong Kong. Shirley is going to share with us her bitter-sweet life as a life-long ballet student, and how learning ballet has helped her build a strong character and face life’s various challenges.

這次爲大家介绍的成人芭蕾舞學生是潘嘉敏。潘嘉敏在香港的一家日本貿易行做見習行政人員,她將爲我們分享學習芭蕾的甜酸苦辣,以及芭蕾如何讓她培養出堅强的性格,面對人生各種挑戰。

Shirley Poon

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

A: Yes, I started dancing when I was three years old.

你小時曾經學過芭蕾舞嗎是幾歲的時候

答:有啊!我三歲開始跳舞。

Q: Have you ever stopped dancing since then?

A: No, except for a month when I was preparing for the public exams at the end of my high school term.

問:中途有没有間斷過?

答:我除了在中學考公開試前暫停習舞過一個多月外,從來沒有停止過學習芭蕾舞呢。

Q: What motivated you to keep on learning ballet?

A: I’m constantly attracted to ballet because every gesture and every step exudes a sense of elegance. Besides, the costumes in classical ballet are so beautiful.

是甚麽促使你不斷地芭蕾

答:芭蕾舞的動作一舉手、一投足都會散發著優雅的氣質,還有古典芭蕾舞中漂亮的服飾,都是吸引著我學習芭蕾的原因。

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

A: I think the greatest challenge for an adult ballet student is how to keep up the spirit of perseverance. Many movements in ballet cannot be mastered in a short time. Rather, one needs to practice over and over to get a handle on them. Besides, ballet requires not only perfection in technique but acting skills and coordination with music. All of these make ballet an extremely challenging art form. During the learning process, there are many things that can lead to a strong sense of frustration. Sometimes you just feel like giving up. For working adults, it is doubly hard when you have to gear up to go to a ballet class after putting in a full day’s work, when you naturally feel like hitting the couch and having a rest! But ballet is an art that requires continuous practice to make it perfect, that’s why I think that perseverance is such a big challenge for adults.

:對你來講,成人芭蕾舞學生最大的挑戰是甚麽? 

答:我想對成人芭蕾舞學生來說,最大的挑戰是要時時保持堅持的態度。芭蕾舞的動作好多不是一時三刻就能練習到,總要經過一段長時間學習,然後不斷反覆練習,才可能學會。芭蕾舞不只單單要求舞蹈員有技術上的訓練,還要學習情感表達、與音樂配合等等,這些要素大大提升了芭蕾舞的難度。在學習芭蕾舞的過程中,時時會遇到很多令人沮喪、很想放棄繼續學習的時刻, 而且對大多數成人芭蕾舞學生來說,每天下班後已經很累了,要堅持著下班後用本應休息的時間去學習跳舞,的確很困難。所以我認為要保持著對芭蕾舞的堅持是成人芭蕾舞學生最大的挑戰。

Q: What does ballet bring to your life?

A: Throughout my life, ballet has helped me build character, making me a person who does not easily give up. As I said before, ballet is an art form that has extremely high requirements. Physical stamina, technique and aesthetics—take either one away and it’s not ballet. When you learn ballet, you must not be afraid of failing. Even if you fail, you must try and try again, because you might just succeed the very next time! So what ballet has taught me, is not to easily give up when I run into difficulties in my work. When I face challenges in life, I have taken what I’ve learned in ballet and used the same attitude to keep on learning and preserving.

:芭蕾爲你的人生帶來了些甚麽?

答:這些年來學習芭蕾舞令我培養出不輕易放棄的性格。就如前題所說,芭蕾舞是一項要求很高的藝術: 體能、技術和美感缺一不可。學習芭蕾舞一定要不怕失敗,即使失敗了,要繼續嘗試,因為可能下次嘗試就會成功。直到今天我出來社會工作,碰到困難時,都習慣了勇於學習及面對,不輕易放棄。

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

A: Ha ha, I can’t say I have made any special achievements. But if you count them as achievements, well, I have gotten a number of awards when I and my ballet buddies competed in some regional dance competitions.

:直至目前爲止,你的芭蕾生涯中最大的成就是甚麽?

答:哈哈…我在芭蕾舞中不能說有什麼成就吧!一定要說的話,是跟朋友一起參與多區的舞蹈比賽友穫得獎項吧!

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

A: Sure! I have made friends with a big group of people who are just as crazy about ballet as I am. We often encourage and learn from one another. This is something that I didn’t expect in the beginning.

:有没有甚麽意想不到的收

答:當然有呀!我在學習芭蕾舞認識到一大群志同道合的好朋友,大家經常互相鼓勵,互相學習。這是我一開始學習時沒有預到的!

Q: What have you lost?

A: Because of the need to practice frequently, I have sacrificed time that could have been spent doing fun stuff with my friends outside the ballet circle.

:有没有失去或犧牲了甚麽?

答:我有時會犧牲了和其他朋友作樂的時間。因為好多時候要練習的關係,和其他朋友一起玩樂的時間自然少了。

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

A: There was a period when I was preparing for a ballet exam and rehearsing for a performance at the same time. At that time, I started practicing from nine in the morning till eleven in the evening. After a whole day’s training, my body was so exhausted that it became numb. But the next day I would return to the dance studio right on time.

你爲了芭蕾而作出最瘋癫的事是

答:最瘋癫應該是有段時間因為臨近芭蕾舞考試,又要排練演出,所以那段時間要每天由早上九時練習到晚上十一時。那時候每晚練習過後,整個身體都累得沒有感覺,但第二天又會準時返回舞蹈室。

Q: Is it all worth it?

A: It is! Because I love ballet so much, no matter how tired I get, it’s all worth it!

:一切都值得嗎?

答:值得!因為我十分喜歡芭蕾舞,再累我都仍然覺得值得!

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

A: Yes, when I was little, I did dream about becoming a professional ballet dancer. However, later on I realized that my physique is that of a professional dancer, so I did not keep my dream anymore. I am very satisfied that I can keep on learning.

曾經想過做專業芭蕾舞蹈員嗎?

答:小時候有過這個想法,但後來我知道自己的身體條件都不太適合做專業芭蕾舞蹈員,所以就沒有再想過了。只要能繼續學習芭蕾舞,我已經心滿意足了。

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

A: Different schools of ballet represent different kinds of aesthetics. My wish is to travel around the world and study different kinds of techniques in various ballet academies, so I can broaden the scope of my knowledge in my beloved art form.

作爲成人舞者,談談你的芭蕾夢想或目標好嗎?

答:在不同派系的芭蕾舞中各有不同的美態,我想到世界各地的芭蕾舞學院學習芭蕾,學習不同的芭蕾舞技巧,增加自己對芭蕾的認識。

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