Achieving your goals with Yasmine Naghdi
Along with the entrance of the year 2022 comes the feeling of a fresh start. The brand-new year marks the start of defining brand-new goals, and what better way is there to learn brand-new techniques to achieve your brand-new goals? Well, learning brand-new techniques from your favorite Prima ballerina, that is!
Prima invites Yasmine Naghdi to Prima Club to read everybody’s entries for their new goals this year. From the tips that have helped her to tricks she has learned along the way, Ms. Naghdi will be sharing everything to help the members of the Prima Club.
But before the event officially started, the members excitedly shared stories about their vacations. It was heartwarming to see the members from different parts of the globe be connected through similar interests and traditions.
Prima has also prepared a few games for the members to fully break the ice and keep the energy going.
1st Game: Pose like a Prima
Prize: Nutcracker-inspired Hair Care Collection Valentines Edition
The event starts with a game of ‘Stop Dance’ but with a twist. A couple of ballet poses were presented on the screen for the members to mimic once the music stops, and to hold up until the music plays once again. However, the members showed off their great finesse and easily held their poses, avoiding eliminations. In the end, the StageRitual Team had to decide on a singular winner based on their performance and declared Ms. Davelyn Abraham for the first game.
2nd Game: Spell and Dance
Prize: Cooling Collection Valentines Edition
For the next game, instead of ballet poses, presented on the screen were names of ballet dance steps. But before the members could perform these steps, they would have to guess first, because the words are jumbled! After five rounds, the member who emerged as the winner was Ms. Yu Han Lim.
The two winners will be receiving special editions of Prima’s first and second collections! Any ideas as to what this special edition could be? Maybe you can find out through the hints on Prima’s official Instagram account.
And now for the highlight of Prima’s first event this 2022, Ms. Naghdi’s visit to the Prima Club Lounge!
Prima Ballerina Yasmine Naghdi’s visit to the Prima Club Lounge
The first advice Ms. Naghdi gave was for a member who wanted to improve their techniques. They always say consistency is key, and Ms. Naghdi thinks so, too. “Have a goal to focus on one specific point of your body for every ballet class,” she starts, “this technique is a broad spectrum, so many layers, so if you can focus on a different part of your body every day and strengthen it, it will help you.”
Sometimes, the result you want cannot be achieved after a single practice, and even after multiple practices, it cannot always achieve the results you want. Like what Ms. Naghdi has said, sometimes all you need is to take things apart and work on them bit by bit. Perfect your footwork today, then perfect your turnout tomorrow, until you can piece everything together and show off your beautiful lines.
For a member who hopes to get out of their comfort zone and work on their jumps, Ms. Naghdi advises them to work on the strength of their glutes with various exercises, clam opening and bridging exercises being some examples she has stated. Your breathing during jumps is to be noted as well, whether you breathe in or out for every jump, the visualization helps as a positive affirmation for your body that will hopefully help you master your jumps.
Next is for a member who wanted to be consistent with their pirouettes, to which Ms. Naghdi says: “It’s about coordination, spot, and center.” Preparation is the key to pirouettes to pull off a wonderful execution. “Have a little bit more weight on your front foot than your back, because your back foot is the leg that you’re taking off into the retiré for the turn.”
As you go during the turn, Ms. Naghdi also says to use the pressure of the back foot to pop and get to your position as soon as possible. Taking time while turning would make your body adjust its balance while taking your leg up to your knee, so it has to be quick and on its position by the first quarter. Noting all the tiny details is important for your pirouettes to be consistent. “I like to think of it like it’s a checklist,” Ms. Naghdi says, “like what a pilot does before they take off, in the cockpit, turning on all the switches.”
From the weight on your front leg, activating the back foot when you press off with the turn, mouse-and-cat with the arms, focusing on your spot, lifting up at the end of the turn, and securing it all the way down, Ms. Naghdi wishes that this checklist can help everyone achieve consistent pirouettes.
Moving on to a member who wants to work on their overall technique, since their right-side flexibility is better than their left, Ms. Naghdi says that knowing your weaknesses is a strength. “With any weak side is all about practice and the repetition,” She advises. “Not only is it about the repetition of practice, but also the repetition of sending affirmations to your body, sending positive messages of ‘I will get my left side as strong as my right.’” Ms. Naghdi compliments the member’s love for other dance forms as well, as it makes a dancer more versatile, a quality most people look for during company auditions.
Feeling frustrated because of your failures is a common thing we all experience as individuals who continuously progress and learn, and for frustrations, Ms. Naghdi reminds the Prima Club members that they are not robots to not feel that emotion. “You have to allow yourself those days that you feel a bit down and you feel like it hasn’t gone your way,” she reassures, “because accepting that is being kind to yourself and your body responds in a more positive way.”
The desire to perfect everything is normal and is even amplified for dancers according to Ms. Naghdi. It is wanting for the best results, for the best version of yourself, for the best stage to show your audience. But beating yourself for the smallest of mistakes would only cause you to spiral down, and that negative energy drains your body more. As Ms. Naghdi says, if you feel like that day is not going the way you want it to, always remember that you can take a break because tomorrow is a fresh start.
The event finishes off with Ms. Naghdi sharing her advice for the younger generation who might feel a little lost and unable to find their passion. She says: “You must never compare yourself because everyone is different, just step away and think ‘I really admire that.’” Everybody has different bodies, environments, techniques, layers and layers of qualities that make up combinations that are never the same for every dancer. “To understand how your body works, understand where you might have been lacking, acknowledging that is a great starting point,” she follows.
Starting with little things is also good when you are undecided, tiny goals you can check off on your list in just a day to keep you motivated. It could be focusing on one part of your body that needs work or trying something you have seen from another dancer that you would love to add to your technique. Embrace those small achievements and embody positivity to eventually reach your bigger goals.
Lastly, she advises focusing on one’s recovery. Understanding your body also means that you should know what to feed it so it can provide the fuel and nutrition you will need to work on your goals. Being kind to yourself with your thoughts and your actions benefits you in the long run, so always toss the negative energy away and remember that nothing that’s ever worth achieving is achieved quickly.
With that, Ms. Naghdi bids goodbye to the Prima Club members and wishes them all the luck for the new year.
Having someone guide and support you during your journey to becoming your own prima is a nice and comforting thing to have. Like how Prima Club members continue to support our many events, Prima continues to bring everyone closer to their peers as well as prominent figures in the industry to give you the support you may need as you progress further. Let’s continue to spread kindness and love this year—to your family, to the world, and to all dancers.
Written by: Grace Iglesias