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Choices We CAN Make

Just wanted to say…

You are so worth every bit of luscious love and care you can muster up and give to yourself. You are you. And that is gorgeously right. πŸ™‚Β 

There are so many decisions that life makes for us, that we have no control over. So I think it is so important that we take the time to think about what satisfies us in life.

At some point our journeys are going to end. Not much we can do about that. But we can do quite a bit to create satisfaction while our journeys are still operational! Take the time to ask yourself if you are happy with how things are, and if you are not, then ask yourself if there is anything you can do to change that. There may be some tiny little moment in your day that you can tweak that will make all the difference. Or you may realise that you want to make drastic changes.Β 

Make sure you are giving yourself the best chance at happiness. Make sure you are choosing for you.

I don’t mean this in a fluffy, life can be perfect if you just think positively enough, kind of way. But I do believe we are all making choices every single day that have results one way of the other.

Whether they are small or big, they are still our own choices to make and they still have outcomes that you create.

P.S: Obviously I know like throws upon us, different challenges, some seemingly impossible ones. This message was just about the choices we CAN make.

πŸ™‚

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Dear Dream Seekers

Dear Dream Seekers,

You are wonderful. You are inspiration. You are life being lived.

I love seeing so many adult ballerinas emerging currently. Particularly on Instagram, it’s like watching these beautiful buds of hidden desires start opening their dare-to-dream petals and blossom into the most beautiful, soulful dancers.

Something I have noticed is that there seems to be an ever persistent pressure flowing from within many of the adult ballet students I see.

Inner pressure to be good at something we love is not a new thing. It is natural to want to progress.

And I am no stranger to that inner pressure. I felt it. I breathed it in and out, day and night. And it happily went and killed my love of ballet (for a while.)

And so I feel a little sad when I see people putting huge amounts of pressure on themselves to be better at something they love.

I mean, if you love it, then you should be doing it for love.

Let’s repeat that: If you love it, you should be doing it for love.

I know that you want progress. And I know that the ballet studio is a pretty intense place regarding your progress — indeed, it can sometimes feel like a comparison festival is happening in each class.

Everything you want is a valid desire. Improvement, enjoyment, strength, musicality, memories, flexibilities. It’s up to you what you want to aim for. It’s your life. Your choice. No-one else can, or has the right to, choose them for you.

But please be sure to think about it first. Think about you and what you really want because of how those things make YOU feel.

Don’t look at what someone else is doing and just follow along. God knows, you might wake up ten years from now able to do the splits but not able to dance in the centre. You might then shake your fists in the air and scream at yourself for following the splits trend only because it was what others were doing — and you missed getting your teacher to help you learn some amazing mini-solo piece that feels like heaven to dance.

Don’t set yourself up to one day wreak of regret.

So, with that in mind, what I do hope you do is sit with yourself a while. Ask yourself what you feel in this moment you want to do — like actually do right now — because you never know what amazing idea might have been waiting to flow through you but just hasn’t had the window opened to it before.

Then, ask yourself what you think you might regret NOT doing in twenty years time. I usually get my deepest inspirations flowing from this one.

Then lovingly think about all the things you, your body and mind, are good at doing. Really appreciate those things. If ballet is your thing, maybe you’re really musical and your body just naturally flows with the music, maybe you have lovely hand expressions, maybe you have a sparkly passion, maybe you have strong muscles, maybe you can smile during class (harder for some than others!), maybe you understand combinations, maybe you are flexible, or have lovely feet, or maybe you feel your soul fill up during ballet class.

These are all wonderful elements of what you do and of how you feel. I feel it’s important to fully embrace them. Soak yourself in the things about you and your passion, that you love.

When thinking about what goals to set yourself, or what path to set off on, I think it’s really important to take stock first, of all the wonderful parts of yourself that already exist within your passion.

I would look at what you love doing now, look at what you would regret not doing, and set your path accordingly.

If achieving the splits for ballet is part of that path then set your goals and go for it. If it’s smiling more during class, or learning a combination, or performing — then set your goals and go for them.

But be sure to start your intentional path with the full acceptance of how incredible you already are.

Be sure that you don’t discount all of your gloriousness and just focus on what you cannot yet do. If you do that you will be starting your journey with a destructive cycle of focusing on your downfalls. You should be real about yourself. But leave the negativity at the door. If negative self-worth is already an issue for you then I would suggest adding that to your goals — “Learn to love myself for all that I am.” That, and if neccesary, see a therapist, because honestly, that bullshit will become a serious obstacle to you fully realising your dreams.

So, in summary…

1) Align your goals with what YOU enjoy doing and what you feel you will regret not doing.

2) Make sure to begin your path to your goals/dreams/passions swimming in self-appreciation for all the wonder you already are.

Always remember why you’re doing it.

Always respect yourself for doing it.

Always hold your head high.

Remember,

You deserve to be in the room.

Zoe xxx

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How-To — Stretching For Adult Ballerinas

OMG! My first how-to post! I’m so excited!

Firstly, remind yourself while you attempt these stretches that you’re only human.

Some people say there is a right and wrong way of doing stretches.

I tend to think it’s all a bit open to interpretation.

Okay, so here are the stretches I want to show you today. Enjoy! πŸ™‚

1) The FloorΒ Has Never Felt So Fucking Far Away

This stretch is to release the hamstrings. You want to gently reach down to the floor.

It helps if you stretch your fingers out really wide and express all your pain with your face.

Visualization has been proven to be a powerful tool. Being able to see yourself reaching further may help your progress. So hallucinogenic fungi might be helpful for this one.

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2) The Crotch CrampΒ 

In this stretch you want to place your foot on the barre and gently reach for it. If you feel your crotch starting to cramp up, you’re probably on the right track.

It’s important to aim for straight legs and back in this stretch. But most important is that you fully express how badly you want to reach your foot.

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3) The Crotch Cramp — With Port De Bras and Happy Face.Β 

When you are feeling confident with your execution of The Crotch Cramp stretch, it is probably time to add some delicate ballet arms and ballet face to the pose.

When doing this, you simply want to do the same as the previous stretch, but add some lovely fifth position arms and turn toward the camera/audience/teacher and express your best, delicate, in control, poised ballet smile.

Again, it’s important to hold straight legs and back. But more importantly, your smile should hide the pain you and your crotch are in.

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4) The Barre Hang

This stretch is important for developing your front splits. It’s mainly just important that you look really proud of yourself and that you hold on really tight so that you don’t fall onto the floor and break your vagina.

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5) The Barre Hang — With Port De Bras

This stretch is fairly self explanatory. You are simply adding some lovely port-de-bras to the previous stretch. We do this because adding another level of complexity to our exercises always helps us progress so much more (as you can see in the photo demonstration.)

It’s really important to relax into this stretch.

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I hope you have found this how-to tutorial helpful. If you would like to see any other how-to tutorials from me, let me know in the comments or on one of the social media gatherings.

Zoe xxx

****DISCLAIMER****

This is a joke.

This is not real instruction.

Don’t do these stretches like this.

Don’t stretch without being really warm first, and I don’t mean warm in front of a fire, I mean having warm muscles.

Don’t stretch without instruction from someone.

Don’t pull those faces.

Don’t be stupid.

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Pirouetting News!

Haha, okay I’ll start with a laugh, because this is kind of funny and it did make me laugh at myself.

SoΒ it turns out (pardon the pun) that you are supposed to retire during pirouette. I mean, I always new that your leg went somewhere like a retire position, but I realise now that you are supposed to do a complete proper retire!

I was practicing an exercise Tibor had taught me. It had a lot of going up into retire quickly. And I remembered him saying: “I’m getting you ready for pirouettes.” And all of a sudden I was like…

BOOM!!!!

I’m totally supposed to go full retire! Toes fully touching knee!

And it has made a huge difference! So much more stability and control. I know a lot of things go into stability, but for me, this one has had the most impact on my pirouettes.

So here’s a clip of me in tonight’s lesson, using full retire…

Enjoy! πŸ™‚

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Happiness is a Ballet Barre

So loving my ballet barre. Aside from the birth of my eldest daughter, this barre has been the best Christmas present I have ever received. It is making a major difference in my classes — how much and how often — and how I am feeling while doing my classes.

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A Ballet Barre for Christmas!

Darling hubby made this ballet barre for me today. Feels so different to stand at a barre and do ballet than at a chair or a lounge. It’s outside on our deck, which means the floor is flatter than my old lounge room studio floor was. Hubby just needs to plane the floorboards back and it will be lovely and smooth.

We decided not to get a timber barre for now as we have some studio plans for the new year and will be putting a turned timber barre in then.

I also managed to do some exercises today which felt amazing! It is such an important thing to be able to slide your foot through the floor and it’s something I’ve been lacking. (I’m feeling quite good at the moment. Hoping the new medication is helping my energy and stamina. πŸ™‚ )

Love my new studio and barre! The pics below are awful (apologies for my messy backyard!) as it had been a hectic day and was getting dark before we got time to take some photos. But I wanted to show it off anyway πŸ™‚

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