Thursday, July 30, 2009


My name is Rebecca, but my friends call me "Becca." And I would like to welcome you to the view from my world. I have been a ballet pianist for 7 years and what an adventure it has been.

I started dancing at 5 with the Royal Academy of Dance in Hong Kong when it was still under the British Government. I also started taking piano lessons when I was 7 with the Royal School of Music. The dance/piano aspect has been a parallel in my life since then. I've always had a passion for music and dance, and to me, they go hand in hand. Without music, there is no dance; without dance, there is no music. It sounds cliché, but when people hear a tune, their bodies will react to it in both positive and negative ways.

Growing up in a sad little town surrounded by raisins, I jumped ship the first chance I got. I ended up going to a Baptist college on a partial scholarship, and to be quite honest, I was not happy there. Because of their no-dancing policy, I started taking classes as an "escape" at the local community college. The moment I graduated, the community college hired me as a dance musician knowing I danced. Music for modern came easier to me because I was active in my high school colorguard and marching band. I often heard rhythms in my head, and just banged away on a djembe. Ballet on the other hand, even with a knowledge of how a ballet class is structured, to knowing the French terminology, playing was a whole other animal! I was challenged in a way I've never been before. My dance and my music, that has walked side by side with me finally collided. Perhaps it's because I have ADD. But to play music and have a teacher hollering at the students as they danced across the studio was so exciting to me. There were so many things going on, I have found my calling!

There were things about the dance world that I learned very quickly. I learned to fend for myself because not all teachers can convey what they want, and some teachers really don't know what they want, and some teachers automatically assume I know what they want. I also learned early on, that the music world is small, and the dance world is even smaller. In so many words, I learned not to piss people off. I learned to never argue with the teacher, even if you disagree, the teacher is ALWAYS right. I also discovered if I wanted to pursue a career as a dance musician, I needed to catch up to the rest of the other working dance musicians who already had over 20 years of experience under their belts. I quickly got into graduate school and got my master's degree in piano performance with an interdisciplinary in ballet music literature. (Oooo...fancy!!)

Seven years later, and I still love what I do. Like every job, it has its moments. But I find myself laughing every day, whether it was something the teacher said, or because I tripped on a note. I decided to start this blog, so people can see my world, through my eyes, from the piano. Sometimes it'll be funny, and sometimes I'll be upset at the petty things that tend to happen. But my view of "Ballet from the Piano" is quite interesting. I find myself doing the exercises with the teacher as they demonstrate it, but because I'm constricted to the piano, I feel like I'm in a bird cage. However, even in a bird cage, I love the view, and I love the people in it!