I want to say a little something that I keep thinking about.
Ballet, being such a visual-perfection artform, is bound to have a lot of focus on body shapes.
And for ballerinas, at the moment, those qualities are necessary (I hope that changes one day.)
But our beautiful adult ballet community doesn’t need that kind of perception.
Yes, we will all still be wanting to hit the best positions we can, and we want to achieve beautiful ‘ballet lines.’
A lot of people talk about my lovely ballet feet, or my lines. And don’t get me wrong, I will never tire of hearing that my ballet poses look nice (so feel free to keep those coming 😉), but I want to be sure everyone is seeijg this through a healthy perspective.
Let’s also be honest about how those positions and lines come about.
I hit the genetic jackpot regarding those lines and those feet. I lucked out. I then take what I was born with and apply over the top of that what my wonderful teachers teach me, and I end up with the images and lines that you see.
I did NOT always know how to strike a proper fifth in releve, for instance. My teachers could (and still do) place my feet or other body parts in the right positions to show me how it ‘should’ look. Then I practice it over and over.
So being born with my shape, doesn’t mean I easily knew how to create the shapes properly. My teachers will be testament to that. 😉 I’ve had lots of ‘why is your arm doing that weird thing, Zoe?’comments.
I don’t like placing a lot of focus on striking the perfect pose. And although I thoroughly enjoy Instagram pics, both my own and other dancers’ pics, I worry when I see so much focus being put on getting the perfect positions and flexibility.
I feel it’s helpful to own up to things we were naturally born with and things we have worked really hard to get to. Otherwise I think we set each other up to feel like we’re failing when we see some people doing things, seemingly easily, whilst we struggle immensely with them.
My pointed foot, whilst I work really hard at it, is like 80% just genetics.
Flexibility, in the other hand is not a strong point for me, mostly. Well, not in the ballet related ways at least.
In the same way, I see women who dance with amazing grace and musicality, that I can only dream about, and I get totally jealous of them. In the past I felt inadequate and as if I would never attain their level of actual dance ability. I’m still not a very good dancer, I still crave being able to move like those dancers, but I don’t think it’s something wrong with me any more.
Now, I just know that I admire that about those dancers. That I long to be able to do that. That I will work hard to be able to get there.
But I grant myself the permission to acknowledge that I was not born just naturally being able to move gracefully like that. That part takes huge effort for me.
We’re all different. I think it’s best if we love what we do and appreciate how hard we are working to achieve our goals. And stop looking at other people’s photos and belittling ourselves because we don’t match up to it perfectly, or even at all!
You’re all beautiful. Feel it. Be it.