Magazine article Pointe

Desmond Richardson: Answers Your Questions

Magazine article Pointe

Desmond Richardson: Answers Your Questions

Article excerpt

I'm a student at the Alabama School of Fine Arts in Birmingham. My major at ASFA is music, but I really want to be a professional dancer. Do you think I should switch majors or just take ballet class outside of school?

I would not advise switching your major. I would continue your music education and take as many dance classes on the outside as you can, because later on you may need your background in music to supplement your dance career. That way you will have two areas of expertise to fall back on later.

You 're an awesome dancer and a role model to so many male dancers. Did you ever have a time in your dance training that you felt you just didn 't have what it takes and you didn 't want to do it anymore? Did you ever get down?

Yes, I have felt down. As artists, we all have low periods; one cannot stay on top all the time. One must have humility and look elsewhere for inspiration. I often look to other artistic media such as music, film or other artists for inspiration, and it is imperative to do so even when you're not feeling down. But I have never felt so down as to want to quit dancing, because that is the passion in my life and you cannot go against that.

What would be the biggest tip you could give a younger dancer about auditioning for the first time?

Be yourself. Be individual. That comes across more than getting the steps or the movement. It is important to infuse yourself within the choreography, because as an emerging artist, one must breathe life into the dance. That's what the choreographers are looking for. …

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