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The Pleasure in Pursuing Excellence

“The pleasure of pursuing ballet is the art of taking something that seems impossible and making it possible. And then working so hard on it that it seems effortless.”

- Danni Venter

“Excellence in any field is won by diligent training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but rather we have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.”

- Aristotle

For better or worse, the people we interact with from day to day can influence us. Danni Venter immediately leaves a lasting impression with her bright friendly eyes, cheerful countenance, and endearing personality. Apart from the many hours Danni devotes to her dance training 6 days a week, Danni avidly pursues her passion for baking exquisite pastries for her friends and family. To know Danni is to taste one of her homemade cupcakes, to experience her fun humor, and to hear her caring heart for people. All her passions and beliefs have helped to make Danni into a well-rounded, confident young woman. With all of her dreams and passions and a supportive community of friends and family boosting her onwards, Danni endeavors to be the best she can be at the Elite College of Excellence in each ballet, modern, contemporary, and Pilates class that she participates. Why does she spend all these hours meticulously training to try and perfect every plie, tendu andpirouette when she enjoys other things that take up far less time and diligent training?

When Danni was asked why she spends so much time and energy dancing, she shared that her main goal is to inspire and bring joy and light through her dancing.

“Since the beginning, I have always been passionate about dance. You push yourself everyday constantly trying to better yourself. You strive for perfection, but can never achieve it. But somehow it's all worth it. It is the art of taking something that seems impossible and making it possible. And then working so hard on it that it seems effortless. I love the feeling of stepping onto stage and performing with my heart and soul. Taking the hard work and God-given talent, and being able to express it all. And then the next day you are standing at the barre, back at the beginning, ready for the next challenge.

Danni knows all that she has comes from God and confidently shares her inspiration from Colossians 3:23 which says,“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” “I dance, ultimately to bring glory to God,” Danni says.

Through her hard work and pursuit of excellence in dance training at Elite, 16-year-old ballet dancer Danni Venter received an amazing dance opportunity through her participation in SAIBC 2018 to spend two weeks in a summer school at the State German Ballet School in Berlin. When asked how Elite prepared her for the intense training with the German school Danni had much to say.

“When I arrived for my first day, I was excited but also nervous, not sure what to expect and if I would be up to standard with the international school. During the classes I found that many of the principles and techniques taught in Berlin were ones that we train with in the Elite methodology. This gave me confidence in the classes and an assurance that the Elite method and technique are on par with international standards. At the end of my two weeks the school offered for me to come back and further my training with them in Berlin. I am so grateful for the teachers at Elite and their passion. They strive for excellence in dance and are willing to push boundaries and be open minded in their pursuit of it.”

Danni’s favourite thing about training at Elite is the constant exploration of new ideas, while maintaining focus on the goal at hand . . . Excellence! Danni shares, ”I am infinitely grateful for the incredible teachers and all their hard work and effort. They always find a way to explain something so that you can understand it. They are focused on helping each individual reach their full potential. They push the dancers and aren't afraid to work hard and push boundaries, but are encouraging and build confidence, rather than tear down. Karen Beukes and Ken Yeatman have both had incredibly inspiring careers in dance. I always love hearing their experiences in the world of dance and being able to learn from them. They are a true inspiration to me.”

We all want to achieve excellence in whatever we do. Danni demonstrates the focus and life balance that allows her to keep pursuing this along with dependence on God and the people He has put around her to support and encourage her. Danni expressed that Elite works together like a strong family encouraging one another to be the best they can be.

After fulfilling her dream of becoming a principle dancer in a professional ballet company, Danni hopes to continue her career as a ballet teacher inspiring others the way she has been inspired.

Elite is honoured to have Danni apart of their school and hopes the strong example of commitment, hard work and balanced focus continues to serve her in the direction she aims to go. Her generous, bubby personality always leaves a positive effect on anyone who meets her!

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