What does it take to become an international superstar? Carlos Acosta might have a few ideas.
At the Oxford Literary Festival earlier this month, the BBC sat down with Acosta to ask for his life lessons. His answers—which he says he will pass on to his kids one day—give incredible insight into how he's become such a beloved worldwide success.
1. Keep Challenging Yourself
Acosta choreographing his Don Quixote on The Royal Ballet. Photo courtesy Royal Opera House
Acosta explains how dangerous it is to get comfortable. Because once you're complacent, you don't push yourself to grow. You just stay where you are, missing out on all the fun of taking your career to the next level.
2. Never Fear Failure
Carlos Acosta, photo by Angela Taylor
Acosta doesn't actually believe that there is such a thing as "failing." Instead, he sees life as a constant learning process. If you aren't willing to let yourself fail, you aren't going to let yourself grow and improve.
3. Keep Evolving
Never put yourself in a box. Photo by Kristie Kahns
As he adorably points out that he's getting some grey hairs, Acosta states that change is not only inevitable, it's a good thing. He says he once attempted to pick up singing—and that it was a terrible idea. Then he mentions his first stabs at writing—and how he ended up selling two books. Don't ever get stuck with just one idea of yourself.
His latest evolution? Director of his own company in his native Cuba: Acosta Danza. Catch the American debut of the full troupe at New York City Center next week.