Chapter 10, Matthew Dibble: Back to Basics

Updated: Nov 15, 2020

Répétiteur, Twyla Tharp

When I think back to over twenty years ago the things that have stuck with me the most are my early years at the Royal Ballet School. Stepping into the studio at age eleven at one of the world's most prestigious institutions was incredibly intimidating but it didn't take long for me to realize that I would just be one of many to go through the school. It became a comforting thought after a while.

The early years in this privileged position really set me up to pursue a career in dance, ranging from a purely classic company (Royal Ballet) to modern dance and my transition to Broadway. My early training gave me the technique and discipline as well as the knowledge to work every day on my craft, allowing me to slowly improve daily like that of a building with its strong foundations that last a lifetime.

Things are different now with the use of social media and the exposure that it can give to an artist at a young age, I believe that this has to be treated carefully and taken with a pinch of salt (not too seriously!) as it could perhaps give a false sense of one's perception. Though momentarily pleasing unless backed up with proper technique and discipline it can be damaging if your aim is to become a professional dancer. In no way am I putting down social media, it's good to reflect but be cautious of popularity and competitions, after all, you do it for yourself and not for anyone else.

Without sounding cliché the best moments are usually not always the glory of opening nights or the million-dollar Broadway shows, it’s sometimes the simplicity of working alone in the studio when no one is watching and you have only yourself to concentrate on.

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