Dear Artists, Ballet Lovers, Academics, Friends, and Just Everyone The Whole World Over:
I see so many adult ballet students talking critically about themselves.
Don’t get me wrong, self-critique and the desire to improve ourselves is not only important in ballet, but also in life.
I get it. We all want to be better.
But I’m talking about the ratio of self-love:self criticism. There’s way more self criticism happening than self love.
It seems like a virus that’s spreading across our whole society. I see it so much in teens and pre-teens now, too.
As an example, there seems to be so many pictures posted on Instagram with a massive side order of what needs to be improved. And I gotta say, most people don’t have much, if anything, positive to say about themselves.
So guys, I just wanted to say, I reckon you’re all amazing. You’re getting up, having a go, attempting to get something of what you love into your life.
I’m so proud of every adult ballet student because it’s hard as fuck to even enter a studio the first time, let alone trudge along searching for a hint of progress.
And the same to those who’s heartlight is something other than ballet — I admire you for leaping.
But I don’t want any of you to burnout emotionally or physically because you kept ripping yourself apart with criticism without adding a healthy balancing dose of self-appreciation.
Please, take it from someone who at one point was facing the loss of multiple bodily functions, you DO want to appreciate your body for all that it is doing right now. You DO want to give your body credit for being great. You DO want to acknowledge all the beauty that makes you who you are. And you DO want to hug yourself and shower yourself in love.
You might not realise that you want to do all those things, but if you could talk to your future self, your aged self or your possibly unwell self, that version of you would tell you to take advantage of the now you have and love all that makes you you.
So, yes, strive to progress, have high standards for yourself. That is awesome. But please try to keep it balanced with your own appreciation of yourself.
Keep dreaming, dancing, daring … but keep loving self.