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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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Ballet-Physio Update

A few supine leg stretches. Feels great to be moving again.

Hope everyone is treating themselves fairly, cause you know, unfair treatment of yourself will likely lead you to a place you don’t want to visit.

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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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Ballet Books, DVD's and YouTube Videos?

One of our lovely adult ballet students is unable to get to classes at the moment, or even get the energy up to do much ballet and they would love to know of any good YouTube videos, books or DVD’s that show decent ballet instruction so they can keep up with ballet at home.

I’m putting the call out to all you wonderful students. Do you know any good DVD’s, books or YouTube videos that you like that you think would be of use?

If you have anything to contribute please pop it in the comments. It will be much appreciated.

Thanks.

xxx

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First Ballet Class — A Goldilocks Perfect Fit

Okay, okay, okay, so what happened with the real life ballet class???????

It was lovely. It was fun. It was perfect.Β 

Our teacher was great. He gave loads of examples and descriptions of the shapes we should be trying to achieve. I loved that he stopped to chat about ways we could improve and what shapes should look like — when achieved properly. This helped me a lot.

It was pretty low-key by comparison to what I was doing in my classes by myself, but at the same time, I was sweating profusely after the first two exercises. I knew this was a good sign. I actually loved how simple it was. It wasn’t too easy for me, but it wasn’t so hard that I felt overwhelmed. It was a Goldilocks perfect fit. πŸ˜€

Every now and then I would think about how amazing it is that I am in a real life ballet class. And the best moment for me was when the teacher was explaining some ballet speak that I hadn’t learnt before and I heard myself thinking “Oh my god! I have a real life teacher, teaching me real life ballet!” It was so hard not to giggle out loud when I realised what was going through my mind.

Physically, by the end of the class I was knackered. And starting to get a couple of pre-syncope moments, so I knew I had pushed myself enough. I absolutely held back on a few things for my hip and knees’ sakes, but this was a class where that was okay.

I even did a little port de bras in the centre. OMG, do you know how long I have fantasized about doing port de bras in the centre! Yay! LOL

My daughter absolutely LOVED the class. She was a champion and put in a lot of effort and did great. She had to sit down several times to recover, but she kept getting back up again and continuing. She was very pale towards the end, which freaked me out, and I almost did the “embarrassing mum” thing of checking her pulse, but she gave me the “I will never speak to you again” glare and so I resisted my pulse taking urge. (In truth, I only resisted because I knew the class was nearly over.) Hubby and I have decided that daughter will have to come to a compromise, with her wearing a heart rate monitor during the class, so she can check it without “embarrassing mum” heading for her with the stethoscope!

Kidding. I only take the stethoscope out for really special occasions.Β 

Anyway, was a great class and we are sore today, but it’s the okay kind of sore. It’s the healthy sore.Β 

The teacher did ask me at the end if daughter and I had been working at a certain grade of ballet, because the class seemed to come easily to us. Grade? Um, no. I said I had just been reading and watching videos, and that daughter had only ever done a term of ballet many years ago. I must admit I kind of walked away feeling like maybe we weren’t beginner enough, in his mind? I’m certainly beginner enough in my mind. As I said, the class was a real workout for me. But I thought maybe he was thinking something different? I was a little unsettled by this for a while. Perhaps he was just sizing us up. I’m sure it’ll be fine. Just telling it all as I experienced it, because someone else might read this in years to come and it might help them.

We will definitely go back to class next week. And doing this class has helped me feel more excited about the classes with Studio Tibor in Sydney.Β 

P.S, The part about the stethoscope/special occasions was to distract the weirdo’s away from All-round Girl’s Blog on her feet in point shoes. πŸ˜‰

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Ballet Class — This Thursday!

Guess what I found last week? πŸ˜€

Yes! A real life ballet class, for adults, in the town we go to for our shopping, on the day that we do our shopping! Unbelievable.

I went for a sneak peak last Thursday and it looks great. It’s an adult beginner class. Very gentle. Not fast paced. And looks like a good level to be starting proper classes at.

I know that when I started my ballet journey I had visions of going to classes some day and being capable of doing a whole lot of fancy stuff. But I’m not capable of fancy stuff yet, so for where I am right now, this class seems perfect. Funny how things work out like that, isn’t it?

My beautiful gorgeous darling daughter is going to go to the class too! I am so excited for her, and she is excited which is wonderful. She hasn’t done any activities in a couple of years, as it’s hard to find a class that will let her go at her own pace, and let her come and go as her health allows, but this ballet teacher was fine with that. I can even put a chair next to her so she can sit whenever she needs to.

I feel very blessed to have found such a perfect fitting class for both myself and my darling. And that if at any point, I can’t do the class for a while, it will be there for whenever I can.

Hope everyone else is loving their ballet at the moment!

BB

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Australian Ballet — Adult Classes!

How strange to have just seen two posts from completely different sources, but both on adult ballet classes! I can’t tell you how excited I get when I see another wonderful person giving adults the chance to experience ballet.Β 

I will say it again and again, I think the adult beginner ballet movement is only just taking it’s first breaths — I am so excited to see how it comes to life!

For Aussie ballet adults, the Australian Ballet is holding classes in July/August in Melbourne. What a great opportunity! Obviously I cannot get there but in case someone else reads this — get on down there and feel the burn! πŸ˜€

Oh, yeah … here’s the link:Β https://www.australianballet.com.au/whats_on/event_detail?noloc=true&prodid=5087