Liam Berg: Lessons I've learnt

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Studied: Academy of Music and Performing Arts, Sydney
Presently: freelance 

Liam Berg performing his own choreography, 'Closet Case'. Photo: Wenny Tan.
Liam Berg performing his own choreography, 'Closet Case'. Photo: Wenny Tan.

What is the best lesson you've learnt?

Before starting at AMPA, I had been away from the dance world for several years to take care of my mental and physical health. Coming back into an educational setting, I had a lot of fear and anxiety about how would I cope with the workload as well as whether I would have the mental and physical stamina required for undertaking a full-time dance course.

During my studies two things became very clear to me. The first was that the simple act of showing up is half the battle. I realised that if I could commit to turning up with a willingness to learn and work hard, I was already halfway to achieving my goals of graduating and developing my artistry.

Having a morning practice is imperative for me to have a productive day so, I strove to maintain a morning routine and consistent attendance was a crucial part of my self-discipline.

Secondly, I came to learn that progress is far more important than perfection. Coming from a strong background in ballet, I was constantly focusing on perfect lines and positions. When I allowed myself to just exist and be comfortable with my own progression rate, I found that my technique especially in contemporary developed far quicker than before. I began to have fun with my training and instead of taking it over seriously all the time, bringing the joy back into my dance training. When I let the perfectionism go and stopped comparing my dancing to others, my ability to create and make work was incomparable. As corny as it sounds, I didn’t have to be the best in the room, I just had to strive for my best.

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