Sunday Staff Special: Emma McDonnell
When I first learned the meaning of Diakosmos and the story of The Goddess, I immediately associated that with my own Ballet journey. The way the Goddess adorns herself and places order on chaos until there is an explosion followed by the calm really encapsulates those high energy moments, whether it be a concert, exam, achieving a goal, or when you just nail a step one day and your classmates or your teacher actually see it happen. There is so much satisfaction in these events; finally doing what you have worked towards, the rush and adrenaline of being on stage or performing in front of others, and being caught in that chaos backstage. It really is a wonder how we, as performers, compose ourselves and make our everything look effortless. There are many times I have found myself in disarray under a mountain of costumes, and let me tell you, that glitter stays on you for weeks.
It is inspiring to see our Kindred Spirits at Diakosmos on their individual rollercoaster, I believe these ups and downs create challenges that are overcome with resilience. When we strive for our next performance project, we are able to celebrate achievements, embrace all abilities and every journey that is embarked upon, while dancing from the heart both in class and onstage or on camera. The experience of building up to these concert projects, as well as exams, comps and community performances, students are able to feel the rise and fall in their journey. It is important to learn the life skills and resilience to support yourself during both the rise and the fall. The rise involves a lot of hard work, intention, goal setting and passion to ensure you make it to the peak. That peak is thrilling and exciting and incredibly rewarding that you made it to this point. After this peak is indeed the fall, a valuable step in the process that we at Diakosmos promote in our Aspire Program; the adrenaline and excitement continues, which is when we commence our next project. However what is less spoken about, but important for young performers to learn is sometimes there are other emotions involved, maybe a feeling or disappointment that something has ended or where the adrenaline levels drop. In these moments students are encouraged to remember that at the end of this downward part of the rollercoaster is another uphill rise that you are invited to continue into and improve upon and develop further. This is not the time to give up, this is the time to start the next project with momentum.