Lingokids: Growin' Up! —Discover dream jobs!

How to Become a Dancer

September 09, 2022 Host: Emily Calandrelli. Guest: Patric Palkens. Script: Sabrina Walasek. Sound Design: Juan Delgado. Season 1 Episode 3
Lingokids: Growin' Up! —Discover dream jobs!
How to Become a Dancer
Show Notes Transcript

So you want to be a dancer? 🩰 Let's put on our dancing shoes! In this episode, we learn how dancers remember all the steps and all about different dance styles, from samba to Asian folk. Join us as our host Emily Calandrelli chats with Patric Palkens, a soloist with the Boston Ballet.
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***** Parents, in the Lingokids app, we have plenty of interactive activities, games, songs, and more that blend educational subjects and modern life skills to help get your kids ready for today's changing world! From math to making friends, reading to resilience, collaboration, creativity, and so much more, spark curiosity, imagination, and success with Lingokids! 💙 *****

Speaker: When I grow up I want to be a dancer.

Speaker: What does being a dancer mean to you?

Speaker: They have fun and do ballet.

Speaker: They dance. They do sport. People clap to them.


Speaker: When I grow up.

Speaker: I want to be a pilot with a uniform white, always flying high up in the sky.

Speaker: When I grow up.

Speaker: I want to be a firefighter putting out flames, or maybe a police officer keeping people safe. It's so fun to learn what you can be growing up. Growing up.

Speaker: When I grow up.

Speaker: I want to be an artist that paints portraits. I want to be a scientist that does experiments. Oh so many people you will meet. Growing up, growing up.

Speaker: Growing up.

Speaker: Growing up.

Speaker: Hi, and welcome to Growing Up with Emily, a Lingokids podcast helping amazing kids to grow up and be even more amazing. Emily, it's me. As a kid, I was always asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up? I wanted to be so many things. Does that sound familiar? Then I am glad you are listening because you are going to find out what it takes to be anything you want. Are you ready to make dancing your superpower?

Speaker: Growing up, growing up. Growing up. Lingokids.

Speaker: Last episode we met Lily Bartlam, a real actress. Today we're shining a spotlight on another cool grown up in the theater, a dancer. Have you ever seen a dance performance? If you've dreamed of being a dancer when you grow up, you don't want to miss this episode. Today we're going to meet a real dancer. Before we meet him, let's explore what it means to dance.

Speaker: Growing up. Growing up.

Speaker: Did you know that dancing has been around for several thousand years? People from all parts of the world used dance to express feelings or to tell a story.

Speaker: Oh.

Speaker: Dancing isn't a sport, but a dancer does train like an athlete. To dance on stage and a group takes practice, practice, practice. We have heard this before, right? There are thousands of ways to move your body. Let's explore just a few. There's classical European like ballet, where a dancer moves in a way that makes him or her appear to be as like as a feather. Or, how about lively ballroom dancing like Brazilian samba, where partners swivel their hips and move their feet to the rhythm of drums and other percussion instruments?

Asian folk dances like the fan dance of China, Korea or Vietnam share cultural stories. Dancers move to together with giant colorful fans to create scenes of beauty and grace. I'm a huge fan of the fan dance. Some dance moves come from the streets. The most popular free style dance in the world is hip hop. With high energy and quick movements, dancers move in unusual ways known as breaking, popping, and locking. Popping and locking. If you've got ants in your pants and you need to dance there is a move for every groove.


Before we meet the dancers, let's take a peak at the actors on stage. The set looks like a living room. What's going on? It's quiet. Everyone is hiding behind the furniture. Oh, someone is about to open the door. Oh, hi, Frankie. Come in.

Speaker: Surprise.

Speaker: Oh, wow.

Speaker: I bet you know that tune. This scene must be a surprise birthday party. Here comes someone with a big cake. Let's sing happy birthday to Frankie.

Speakers: Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Frankie, happy birthday to you.


Speaker: While the guests eat cake, Frankie is opening gifts. Let's go back stage to see the dancers warming up. Whoa, watch out for flying feet. Hey, that reminds me. Why should you never dance with horses? Because they have two left feet. [chuckles] Get it. Someone who can't dance is said to have two left feet and horses, they've the two left feet. Let's interview the lead. Are you ready to meet a real dancer?

Speaker: Can't wait.

Speaker: Can't wait.

Speaker: The name on the door says Patrick Paul Kims soloist with Boston ballet.

Speaker: Hi, Patrick.

Speaker: Hi, Patrick.

Speaker: It's Emily here, and I'm with Lingokids. We want to find out what it takes to be a dancer. Can we ask some questions?

Speaker: Absolutely

Speaker: Great. We've read that you are a soloist in the Boston ballet. What does that actually mean?

Speaker: A soloist is one of the ranks that we have in most classical ballet companies. It does say that the dancers that have achieved that rank they'll do more solos. They'll dance more often, and what they will dance will be more difficult.

Speaker: What would you say are three things all dancers need?

Speaker: For classical ballet dancers, three things that all of them need. One thing you need is a strong understanding of classical ballet. Two, you need to have a strong body, and as well, you need to have a creative and expressive mind and face, because a lot of these ballets, they're technical. You're doing athletic things but you also have to be a character. You have to show emotion to the audience. Those three things I would say. You need classical ballet technique. You need a strong durable body, and you need to be emotional and expressive in your dancing.

Speaker: Very interesting. Maybe you can give us some tips at the end on how our listeners can start learning all of this. We also receive some excellent questions from our Lingokids listeners.

Speaker: Are all dancers tall and thin.

Speaker: Absolutely not. Not all dancers are just one body type. Anybody can dance. If you're short, if you're tall, all body types can come into ballet and can show and express their emotions and can be a part of what ballet is. It's not just about how tall you are. It's for everybody.

Speaker: How do you remember all of the dance moves?

Speaker: Oh, that's a really good question. I wish I had a really solid answer, but after a little while, it's a skill just like anything else. Once you do it long enough, you get really good at it. Your body begins to remember things that you don't have to think about all the time. Sometimes they call it muscle memory and it's just a skill just like anything else like riding a bike that you have to practice and practice and practice. Eventually you just get really good at.

Speaker: What do you like best about being a dancer?

Speaker: Oh, wow. That is a hard hitting question. I don't know if I could say it's any one thing, but I really do enjoy getting to be myself on stage because that's the best part I think. I get to do-- Yes, someone else created the steps. Someone else told me where I should go or what I should do, but at the end, in the show, it's me.

I get to go out and I get to just be me on stage performing these things. When I get to dance and perform in front of an audience, I just get to be me for whatever long I'm on stage. Then the audience, hopefully, if I do a good enough job, gets to celebrate just me showing them who I am on the inside with that dancing. That's the best part for me.


Speaker: Do you get to travel a lot as a ballet dancer?

Speaker: Before the pandemic, yes I did. I got to travel quite a lot. I've gotten to go to competitions as well all over the planet. That's one of the best parts about this job is that it's-- I don't just do it in my backyard. I get to go all over the globe doing it. That travel part has been really fun.

Speaker: How old were you when you decided you wanted to be a dancer?

Speaker: Wow. I was really young. I was fortunate enough. My mother owns a jazz studio, so I was dancing at a very young age because it was a family thing for us. I didn't really decide that I wanted to be a dancer probably until I was in my teens, probably 16 or 17 years old was when I decided, "Hey, this is fun. I could do this for a living." There is this idea that you have to start when you're eight and you have to dance crazy hard. You just have to be dedicated. Even if you start when you're 16 or if you start when you're 20, or if you start when you're 5.


Speaker: What do you think that kids can do now while they're still growing up to become a dancer?

Speaker: Dance. Just dance wherever you are. Go and dance. I learned a lot of things from jazz and from tap and from hip hop that I apply to my ballet dancing. If you want to be a ballet dancer, that's great, but you can't just do ballet. You have to do all kinds of dance. Just move. Wherever you are, just find that music, and if it makes you want to move, then move. Just dance, wiggle around, find a dance class. Watch something on TV or on YouTube.

Speaker: Sounds easy. Let's give it a try. I'm going to clap along.

Speaker: I'm going to stomp and all try clapping.


Speaker: We hope you enjoyed this episode of the Growing Up podcast. Go ahead, put on your favorite music and put your best foot forward, and remember you're growing up each and every day. Tune in next time when we meet a musician who will make you laugh, and cry.

Speaker: To live a full interactive learning adventure, check out our Lingokids app with tones of games and activities for endless fun.

Speaker: Growing up, growing up, so come and join us, growing up, come everyone so we can learn while having lots of fun because it's so fun to learn what you can be. Yes it's so fun to learn what you can be. Growing up, growing up. Growing up. Lingokids.

[00:13:24] [END OF AUDIO]