15 Inspiring Female Creatives in Toronto
Photo by Karolina Kuras courtesy of The National Ballet of Canada
A native of Toronto, Sonia Rodriguez studied dance in Madrid with Pedro de la Cruz and at the Princess Grace Academy in Monaco. She joined The National Ballet of Canada in 1990 and was promoted to Principal Dancer in 2000. Praised for her artistic expression, dramatic range and impeccable technique and poise onstage, Sonia is an acclaimed artist of pure elegance. Sonia has performed virtually every leading role in the classical repertoire including Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Manon, La Fille mal gardée, The Merry Widow and Marguerite and Armand.
A piece of advice I would give to my younger creative self would be…. “I am having a hard time thinking of what kind of warning or advice I could give my younger self that would make my journey any different or necessarily better to the one I’ve had. It’s not to say that I always had everything figured out or that I do not feel like I have made some bad choices in the past, I have. On the contrary, it is the discovery, the trials and errors, the disappointments and insecurities and the learning from each experience that has made me who I am and brought me to where I stand today. I don’t think I would want to change that, I feel too grateful and appreciative for my life to want to take the gamble and to alter that in any way. But, I am being confronted with the task of giving a piece of advice, and knowing that the chances of this ever reaching my younger self and altering my life, you could say, are improbable. Here goes a suggestion.
Take the time to take it all in, especially the little things. Write things down, memory is fickle and unreliable at best, and it is hard to hold on to your life experiences. I have had countless conversations with friends where they recount a shared moment that I seem to have no recollection of, confronting me with the unsettling reality that so much of my life I will never be able to relive again.
I recently took on the project of sorting pictures and memorabilia of my life, personal and professional, and it was unnerving to realize how fast time goes by and how hard it is to hold on to it. When I was younger, I was constantly moving into the next thing, busy with what was to come, learning, evolving and discovering who I was and who I wanted to become. Too busy with what was ahead of me to fully appreciate what was happening right then. I worry I may have fast forwarded though my life at times when I should have pressed pause and enjoyed it.
As I’ve gotten older, I have learned to be more aware and enjoy each moment, to slow down and be more appreciative of what is right in front of me, and I feel as though my life has become richer for this lesson. But it is a lesson I had to learn at my own pace and by living through it to fully understand. So, in short, my advice is to slow down, take the time to look around and fully appreciate where you are and be more present. But would my younger self listen and benefit from this little insight from her older self? Probably not. She is not ready yet, she needs to discover those things for herself, so how could I blame her.”