Sunday, 28 February 2016

Q&A With Tara Neill

When I first came across Tara's blog I instantly knew I wanted her to take part in my Q&A series because I simply wanted to know more about this amazing girl, and I'm so thankful she agreed to take part with this post :) Her blog is called and consists of posts about her thoughts, what she's been up to lately, and her passion for dance. I truly think that everyone will enjoy her blog, so please check her out if you haven't already!

Here's the gorgeous girl herself! 

1.  What first inspired you to share your thoughts and start a blog?

            I started my blog in 2013. That was one of the most important years of my dance career thus far because that’s when I started dancing at a pre-professional ballet school. Lots of the information I learnt that year, wasn’t on the web, and I wanted to share my knowledge with more than just my dance mates and friends I made at performances.
            The other inspiration was my friend Maddie, who is also a blogger. Her blog gave her a huge name around the school we went to and I was hoping that starting a blog would do the same for me in the dance world.

2. At what age did you first gain a passion for dance, or have you always known it would be a huge part of your life?

            Dance has always been a part of my life. When I was a toddler I was always moving and dancing around so when I was 5, my mum decided to put me in lessons. After a few years, it was very apparent to people that I had a passion and a God-given talent for dance. I started dancing only ballet when I was eight but I didn’t take ballet super seriously until I was fourteen. I started doing dance competitions that year as well as professional performances, which is what elevated my love for ballet. I started reading books on ballet, watching movies about it, bought lots of ballet performance DVDs and studied them etc.

3. Do you have a favourite quote, and what does it mean to you?

            My friends know me as the crazy quote girl. I have too many to single out one as my fave. My top two are, “If you don’t look for light in the darkest of places without stopping even when it seems impossible you will never succeed.” ~ Dr. Amelia Shepherd (Grey’s Anatomy).
I know that seems harsh but it’s a reminder to me to always look for the silver lining in the dark points of my life.
            The quote that is really personal to me is, “I may be small but I’ve got giant plans. To shine as brightly as the sun.” ~ Astonishing by Louise Dearman.
This quote (and song in general) means so much to me. I am small for my age (18 and only 5ft) and I have giant plans that will help me shine as brightly as the sun. I want to help save lives in the form of being a psychotherapist. I know that my help may not be as direct as a surgeon, but if I can help a client not commit suicide, then my life goal is completed.

4. I know there may be many, but what has been your absolute highlight in your dancing career?

            Again, I can’t choose just one. I probably would have to say winning 1st overall at four national dance competitions was a huge highlight for me. I never ever expected to be the best dancer in my division, and it was a huge honor to have one that award, not once, but FOUR times.
            My other major highlight was originating the role as the Mother Nature Fairy in the original ballet, Fairy Garden. It’s not a world-know ballet but it was super well known where I live because the director of this ballet has done variations of this story a few times before and everyone absolutely loved the shows.
            The part of getting this role that means so much to me is that I didn’t dance at the studio the director is from. She could have chosen any one of her students to dance the lead, but yet she choose me instead.

5. Has someone ever told you some "wise words" that have really stuck with you?

            The words that have stuck with me for years, is “Don’t think. Just do.” My old dance teacher, Justine, told me that during a solo practice once day. I tend to over think everything, from dance combinations to problems in my life. This quote reminds me to not think so much. Just do and be present.

6. Who is your biggest inspiration, and what would you say if you ever got the chance to meet them?

            My biggest inspiration is my aunt Sunayana. She was so strong, positive and courageous during her battle with leukemia and even though she is not longer with us, her strength will aways stay with me.
            As stupid as this may sound, my other inspiration is Amelia Shepherd on Grey’s Anatomy. Her strength during a hardship she had on the show is what got me through my grief when I went through a very similar hardship in 2014.
            I don’t really know what I would tell her, if she were real, other than, “Thank you for being so strong during your time of grief. It helped me stay strong too.”

7.  If someone told you 5 years ago that you would be where you are today, would you believe them?

            If someone had told me, by the time you graduate high school, you will be a four time national dance champion, an inspiration to dancers and people alike, have originated the lead in a ballet and a psychology major I would have told the person, “You’re nuts” because back then I had no interest in psychology, let alone medicine. I was completely focused on ballet and joining a professional company right out of high school (which is what you have to do if you want to dance professionally because professional dance careers last 10-15 years. Dancers who join a company typically retire in their early thirties…then they go off to teach or start college).
            I am very pleased with where I am right now, even though I still would have loved to join a professional company, or at least have done a summer intensive at one.

8. Let's face it, we all have songs that are our guilty pleasures, what are yours?

            The majority of all the music I listen to is either Avril Lavigne or Broadway soundtracks. My guilty pleasure songs would have to be the Frozen soundtrack. I know people say that Frozen is stupid and overrated but I will always believe it as one of the best Disney Princess movies ever. I love the message it has about family and that you don’t need a man to save you. Very empowering for women, in my opinion.

9. Is there a specific goal you want to have achieved by the end of 2016, or are you gonna let this year surprise you? 

            My two main goals are to a) get my driver’s license  b) hopefully get accepted into a private college to transfer to Spring of 2017 c) overcome my anxiety and d) become closer to the Lord.
            Other than that, I will get 2016 take me where it wants to go.

10. What message are you trying to get across with your blog?

            I’ve never really thought about that before. I try to show my personality through my blog in terms of what I choose to write about and how I write each post. I don’t write about something, just for the heck of it. Each post is meaningful to me in some way. The Life Lesson’s series hopefully will teach my readers some valuable lessons. I hope that the technique tips in my Ballet Series help people with specific moves in ballet. I hope that my Essential Eats series will help dancers and non-dancers alike make good choices about their food.
            I also hope that, if for some reason, I stop blogging in the future, that it will stay online so  one day my children can read my posts and learn about their mother through something she passionately did for however long she had her blog.

I personally really enjoyed reading Tara's answers because they were so interesting and she's clearly experienced a lot. I love that you can tell she's such a determined person. Thank you so much for taking part Tara, it was honestly an honor having you on my blog, and thank you so much to anyone who's reading this.

Izzy K xxx