When I Grow Up: On stage is where Sydney Haefs can be herself

Rebecca Crockett
April 14, 2019 - 8:52 pm
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Kansas City, MO - Sydney Haefs is a ballet dancer, training with Kansas City Ballet Second Company. The day in day out of her job includes a full day of classes and rehearsals. The journey to get here started when she was just three years old, but somewhere along the way she lost interest in dancing, viewing it as more of a fun time to be with her friends.

All that changed, however, when Haefs attended a summer intensive dance camp in her early teens. She says something just clicked, and it renewed her passion for the art. 

Haefs faced challenges as a dancer, often comparing herself to others, wrestling with self doubt. That was something she had to overcome to push herself to the next level. 

"What's interesting about dancers, or artists in general, is that they strive for what they want," explains Haefs. "They keep going, even if their path changes."

She danced her way through high school and college, receiving her BFA in ballet at the University of Utah. She auditioned for several companies, including Kansas City Ballet multiple times. When she was finally excepted, Haefs says she was full of excitement. 



 

"As a dancer you keep working and working until you get to these pivotal moments in your career, so when I got the offer, I knew in the back of my head, this is what I want to do," says Haefs.

But just because she was living her dream, didn't mean the hard work was over. Haefs says it was exciting because she was able to be in the same room with professionals, but scary because she was actually working with high level dancers. 

An important lesson she learned along the way is that you don't always get exactly what you want, and sometimes that made her feel like she wasn't good enough. Haefs says you cant let others get you down. She had to take a step back from comparing herself to everyone else in the room. 

"As dancers, we all bring something different to the table. It would be boring if everyone looked the same and danced the same." Haefs goes on to explain that it took her a long time to get to that point. "You have to feel blessed that your body can do what it can, and just push it to the limits."

She says it's important to be thankful for what you do have, and the things that you're not so gifted at, Haefs says,"That's the fun part, to try to work on it and to continue to strive to be better." 

Haefs says even though she feels out of place sometimes, the stage is where she can express herself in a way that she's not always comfortable doing off stage. According to Haefs, communication isn't her strong suit, but when she's on stage, she feels like she can be herself. 

She says dancing is everything she dreamed it would be. "I've always loved performing," explains Haefs, "Just being on stage and walking out there, the lights, the costumes, and the whole atmosphere... It's a very lovely thing to experience and I'm blessed I get to do it everyday." 

 

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