What it takes to make it in the dance world…
Many speak about making brave sacrifices to pursue their dreams; few actually follow through. This month’s featured dance artist is one who did not allow her passions and courageous ambitions in the dance world to be suffocated by fear and doubt. In 2017, Johanna Pellerin made the bold move to leave the comfort of her home and family in France and move to America at just 18 years old.
To maintain dedication and focus at such a young age in an overwhelming city like Manhattan is no easy task. Johanna worked tirelessly towards her goals by dedicating herself to the process of training. Thanks to the below programs, Johanna is fluent in the dance styles of ballet, Jazz, contemporary, Hip Hop, modern, improv, and belly dance.
Johanna’s impressive training and education…
- CRRBB Jazz/ Contemporary and COP program
- 2013-2017The Ailey School- Scholarship Program 2017-2020 – New York
- The Ailey Summer Intensive, Johnathan Lee – New York
- ArchCore40 Dance Intensive, Jennifer Archibald – New York
- Explosion showcase 2020 – Brice Mousset -New york
- Thierry Malandain summer intensive- Biarritz
When opportunity knocks…
The willingness to seize opportunities is vital to reaching one’s full potential even when those opportunities are a bit outside of the individual’s scope of expertise in the beginning. Johanna did just that – she did not shy away when presented with an opportunity to train and teach bachata alongside Patrick Mozo under the Sensual Movement umbrella. Johanna put forth admirable effort into her journey of mastering the dance style and is quickly rising in the bachata instructor community. She has already performed and taught alongside Patrick at notable festivals and congresses around America. Her contribution was so well received that she is getting booked for many of the elite forthcoming events in the Latin dance circles.
You can currently catch her teaching contemporary, lady’s styling classes, and bachata classes for Sensual Movement Studios in various dance establishments in NYC. We had the pleasure of recently sitting down with Johanna for an interview and we wanted to share some of her responses about her journey in the American professional dance culture as an international artist…
What has been the most challenging part of your dance journey in America thus far?
“It was to stay healthy both mentally and physically. I quickly realized how much of a factor money played in adhering to a healthy diet. It’s really hard to eat well when the ideal food can be quite expensive. The temptation and convenience of indulging in fast food also doesn’t help especially since it’s available on every corner. I also found that American cities, NYC specifically, as amazing as it is, can be very chaotic, loud, and noisy and that be very draining for your energy. Finding moments of rest in city life is not easy.”
If you can give some advice to an international dancer aspiring to relocate to a big city in America try and make a career of it here, what would you tell them?
“I think the best advice possible as an international dancer and a foreigner is always follow your instinct and stick to your principles an values. It’s about finding your path your way to your carreer. There is no right or wrong way as long as you are in controle of your path. Especially in a city like NYC it’s really hard to stay focus and not get distracted; to stay confident but you have to be strong enough and you really have to want to make it happen.”
What has been the favorite part of your dance journey in the states?
“Oddly enough, I would say it was my last couple of months after graduation. It happened to be the start of the pandemic and so I decided to head down to Miami to quarantine in a less ‘busy’ city. I soon realized that it was my first chance to actually relax and take a breath since coming to America. I spent time writing, studying, cooking, dancing, and had a lot of flexibility in my schedule. I also got to enjoy my favorite pastime…sleep! The flexibility of finishing out the program online was something I enjoyed more than I thought I would.”
What helps you keep your confidence in a field where rejection and hearing “no” far more often than “yes” is expected and is a normal route on the way to success?
“I know I have to continue to believe in myself no matter what. I have to ‘safeguard’ my confidence, knowing that I am good enough no matter what and having confidence in how hard I train and prepare for my chance at success. I continue to put in the work no matter what because really a ‘no’ somewhere doesn’t mean a ‘no’ everywhere.”
We wish Johanna great success and continued fulfilment in her artistic pursuits.
Did we also mention she’s an incredible singer?!? Check out the video below….