Once the youngest ever principal ballerina for The Royal Ballet (now The Royal Ballet’s President) and current expert and judge for BBC Young Dancer and Strictly Come Dancing, Darcey Bussell remembers at one time “hiding in a cupboard…avoiding the relentless struggle of lessons at primary school.”
“I had once been told my ability to read would only reach that of a ten-year-old, but I was determined to achieve more.” That she did.
From a recent interview, “As a child Darcey found ways to avoid tasks that felt ‘impossible’ to deal with: ‘If we were asked to write a story about something and illustrate it with a picture, the writing part was the most horrible challenge for me..So I would work on the illustration for an hour and a half and then write three lines for the story, making sure there was ‘no time’ to finish it.”
Although it’s unclear that Darcey recognizes the positives that come with dyslexia, Darcey concluded it was ultimately a blessing because “it helped me find my strength and directed me towards what I really wanted to do.”
Dyslexia is actually quite common among many professional dancers – and dance at its highest levels would seem to require a great deal in terms of M- and N- Strengths (spatial and storytelling abilities). There is a nice interview with Darcie in the video, but she doesn’t speak specifically about dyslexia in it.