Young Mothers As Artists
An Insight Into Mersadies Sterran-Morgan's Career.
Pursuing the world of arts whilst embracing motherhood has often carried stigmas within society. The prejudice surrounding young mothers as artists can become overwhelming and conflicting for women and their professional careers. But, why are they often made to choose between them? Why can’t women have the best of both? To be both a mother and an artist - a power that only females can obtain. It is important to remember that women are just as entitled to pursue their dreams as men are. Motherhood should never restrict a woman’s artistic desires.
Flexus Dance Collective is a female-driven organisation, involving a group of powerful and influential women that are flourishing in the arts world. The drive and determination that permanently lingers within this the company, portrays a significant message that women are still able to thrive in the arts industry - no matter what obstacles they are forced to overcome throughout their careers.
Inevitably, the dance industry welcomes young artists, but not without heavy demands and intense competitiveness, and for women, that is maximised. However, that hasn’t stopped the females of Flexus from flourishing in both their personal and professional development. In fact, those who are young female artists, as well as mothers, within Flexus have demonstrated a high standard of professionalism, as they prosper in the creative world.
As a member of Flexus Alumni, I have had the pleasure of watching Mersadies grow into an incredible, inspiring and beautiful woman and artist, so I couldn’t wait to talk to her more about her personal journey as a young female artist and a mother.
Mersadies Sterran-Morgan has been a committed member of Flexus Dance Collective for 10 passion-filled years. Idolised by her mother, Katy Sterran, Mersadies was massively influenced by her mother’s overpowering passion for dance and wished to be equally aspirational – which has been validated by her successful career.
Mersadies kicked off her career with Flexus in what was previously known as, ‘Fidget Dance Company’, where she began her professional journey as a female artist. Two years later, Mersadies was offered a place with the Touring Company and completed 6 tours with the company as a principal dancer. Mersadies felt extremely determined to thrive in the industry as a young female artist, and being part of the Touring Company, ‘lit the fire’.
Now a valued employee of the organisation, undertaking the role of Directive Assistant and Well-being and Support for Sterran Touring, Mersadies’ passion evolved. Although, it didn’t stop there, as Mersadies continued to be a dancer for the professional strand, whilst also being responsible for education outreach, all of which has heightened her love for the arts.
After accepting an offer from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Mersadies fell pregnant and decided to embark on an exciting, yet scary path of becoming a mother. She retracted her offer from NSCD. With her dance career becoming unpredictable, Mersadies’ concerns heightened, as she entered an unknown world, uncertain of how her professional dance career would continue. Yet, something sparked inside of Mersadies and she decided that choosing between the two was not an option. Dance is her forte and she has grown up being immersed in the industry, so why should she wave goodbye to something she is deeply passionate about, because she will now have more responsibility?
Refusing to release her devotion for dance, Mersadies continued her training and completed an intense tour whilst 4 months pregnant – one of her greatest achievements. Mersadies believed this was one of her most special tours: “what made it so special, was knowing my daughter was growing inside of me, whilst I completed what I loved most”. Although it was one of her most difficult tours, whilst suffering morning sickness, tiredness and heightened emotions, it is a tour that Mersadies will never forget and a story she can share with her daughter in the near future.
Mersadies fearless mentality is what drove her to never give up and ultimately, succeed. But that doesn’t mean she hasn’t faced hurdles as both a mother and an artist on her journey. Having to step away from something she dearly loved, whilst acknowledging the changes in her body was unfamiliar territory for Mersadies. Everything she had known was in the arts, but now was the time to welcome her beautiful baby girl into her world.
However, once Mersadies returned to her passion, her confidence sadly began to deteriorate, as she had the added pressures of rediscovering her body and settling back into the intensive nature of training. As well as this, Mersadies had the demands of balancing a dance career, whilst looking after her daughter, a life she has never known and one she quickly had to get used to.
Yet, having a daughter hasn’t held Mersadies back from achieving her dreams. Although her career plans may have had a slight delay, preferring to stay close to her family; Mersadies is still thriving and succeeding as a female artist. The bravery and courage that is within Mersadies shines brightly and through everything she does. She is an independent woman and one that inspires everyone around her. Her strong and powerful mindset has guided her to a pathway of success and her daughter hasn’t stopped her career but motivated it. Mersadies desired future is still possible and instead of embarking on this journey alone, she is able to share her love, making dance far more special.
“Everything I want to do with my dance career is still possible with my daughter”
As someone that has witnessed Mersadies grow as both a mother and an artist, it has been utterly inspiring and on a personal level, I have never felt prouder. Mersadies is a powerful, strong and influential woman that has continued to flourish in the arts world, going against all those who told her otherwise. Her dedication to dance has remained and will forever continue. Motherhood hasn’t restricted her artistic desires, instead, it has made Mersadies far more determined, as now she is not only dancing for herself, but for her daughter too.
Mersadies offers her advice for young female artists who may be in the same position:
“For anyone who may be in the same situation as me, I’d just say follow your heart and believe in yourself. The journey I have gone down was scary and it was the unknown for me, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. If you want it and fight for it, you can achieve it, whatever situation you are in and don’t let anyone question what you do or want. Always be proud of what you achieve, with my little one next to me I know she will be proud of everything and everything I do is for her”
Women who are in the arts industry whilst also tackling motherhood, go unrecognised. It is time that society praises young mothers as female artists and celebrate all they have achieved.
A message from Flexus Dance Collective:
Being a subject that Flexus Director, Katy Sterran feels very passionate about, we send our respect, support and love to every young female and woman pursuing their careers and dreams as part of their motherhood journey.
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