When You Can't Be A Ballerina

A common grief among adult ballet dancers is the loss of ever being able to be a ballerina — of ever being able to truly live the life of a ballerina, the whole 24/7 package.

I’m sure there are many parts of that lifestyle that we don’t fully understand. I’m sure all the blisters, injuries, pain, pressure and rejection are things we cannot fully wrap our tantalised minds around. But the great sense of injustice at finding ballet so late in our lives, that many of us feel, usually overshadows those real-life ballerina issues. Most of the time.

So then, what do you do, how do you fill the ballerina gap, when you can’t be a ballerina?

Well, you can start by celebrating the fact that you don’t have all that pressure on you. You don’t HAVE to keep dancing on that injury or risk losing your employment. You don’t HAVE to do anything in ballet.

For adult ballet dancers, it is all about what we WANT to do.

Sure, sometimes (often) in class our teachers might make us feel that we should be focusing on a million things that feel impossible, but that’s only what the teacher wants — again, we don’t HAVE to do anything we don’t WANT to do.

So, we can set our sights on almost anything! 

Triple pirouettes


Stronger feet

Feeling the music

Feeling like a ballerina

Laughing with friends


Port de bras

Anything. ANYthing! ANY THING! 

(Well, aside from the pro-ballerina thing)

Remember to believe in yourself. 

You are allowed to set goals, dream and achieve. 

You are allowed to want more. 

You are allowed to strive for the best you can be.

You are allowed to strike a fabulous ballet pose, and feel as proud of yourself as if you were that professional ballerina that you feel is inside you. 

Tiny tots starting their first ballet class, girls graduating senior ballet, boys navigating a seemingly feminine world of ballet, professional ballerinas, adult beginner ballet students, ballet teachers, advanced adult ballet students and audiences who love watching ballets on stage — we’re all part of the same thing. We’re all part of ballet.

So what can you do when you can’t be a pro ballerina?

Whatever the fuck else you can imagine. Whatever else you can dream up.

Go forth and conquer the moment. Your moment. 

Enjoy it. Revel in it. Own it.

And always remember…

You deserve to be in the room.

Zoe xxx 



Good News! (and a video of BB's pas de bourree)

This video was taken 3 days before my ribcage injuries and lung issues flared up. Remember my pas de bourree call for help? I got so many beautiful responses. People explaining it to me, one special soul even video’d herself doing it and sent it to me to learn from. I was so overwhelmed with warmth. Anyway, I had been working so hard on getting it right and I kinda sorta got it right and wanted to show you all so I filmed it (as well as a little something extra – bit embarrassing!)

Then as I said, 3 days later everything changed for me and I didn’t get around to uploading the video. Anyway hope you all enjoy — especial RO, I totally threw that last part in for you as I am pretty embarrassed by it 😉

Now for some good news: I spoke to an amazing physio yesterday who is experienced with my condition and it seems I have reason to believe I will be able to return to the barre! She can help me strengthen my weaker areas and figure out which parts of ballet might be aggravating for me. I can have Skype consults which means I get access to this amazing physio from the bush! Waahoooo! Happy dancin’! 😀 No absolutes yet, but I am feeling optimistic for the first time in a good decent while! 

Ahhhhh, feel like I can breathe! 

How amazing is it that I just wrote that “Can’t let go” post a couple of days ago and then I meet this physio on facebook! I find that astounding. Thank you universe! 

I feel so completely blessed. 🙂 🙂

Okay, here’s the video…