Nova Dawn Johnstone

Dublin • Ireland

Story

I started ballet when I was 8 but wanted to be a ballerina long before then . After my very first class my teacher told my parents to keep me in ballet as I could have a career . By age 11 I was moving away from home to attend the professional training program at The Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and the following year the National Ballet a School of Canada . At 13 I was diagnosed with Adrenal Cancer , given a 30% chance of survival . Between treatments and surgery I would go to the studio . I was too weak to stand so I worked on my port de bras ! After surviving I continued dancing until my early 20's where they found another tumor ! This time not cancerous but causing paralysis - the worst news for someone who depends on movement for their career . After a major spinal surgery where my hip bone was fused into my spine I took up loads of physio to rehabilitate . I now have the pleasure of passing on my passion to many talented ballet students who have a career in mind . I also teach them to feed their passion through hard work and commitment and eventually that passion will feed you !

I specifically speak about ballet because that's my true passion . I love how there's no cheating in ballet . It really is right or wrong , no room for error . That being said you are challenged daily in your technique and presentation as we are human and do make mistakes . Every time I place my hand on the barre I feel at home and am ready to connect with my body , mind and soul to push myself to the limits and see what I can accomplish . Each day presents something different .

Other dancers need to hear to listen to their intuition . If their passion is calling , there's a reason why , if they think there could be an injury or health issue , listen . Be intuitive about your body , connect with what works and take care of it . Fuel it with good food , sleep well and be kind to yourself . When in trouble your body will then take care of you and have you back dancing in no time !