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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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Ch ch ch ch changes

🎶 turn to face the strange ch ch changes! 🎶

Wowsers, just realised how old I feel, knowing that heaps of young readers probably won’t get the reference to those lyrics. Oh wells…

Just popped a new page link up in the “pages” area, that goes to another blog I am writing on.

As many of you know, my dance journey is full of stops and starts. And the stops just never seem to end. It feels like a decent flow of productive ballet practice, or just any practice, is hard to find.

That’s okay. I will continue to flow with whatever my body is capable of.

I am making my peace with that. It used to be torturous to not know what tomorrow would be like or next week. To not know if I would reach my goals.

So I’ve changed them. I’m shifting them now, to suit me better. And I’m learning to accept that that is okay.

Actually I don’t really have any ballet goal now other than to exercise and enjoy myself. So, I suppose those are sort-of goals!

My proper goals are about being kind to myself. Finding joyful and peaceful moments in amongst the chaos of reality.

I love blogging. I love the writing and connecting of it. I love that it encourages reflection. I love reflection.

I will be writing more ballet posts this year, despite thinking I would close it down last year. But I don’t want to write everything over here. There is so much more transpiring in my life and a much bigger conversation that I want to have about finding happiness and contentment in spite of our circumstances. Even if it is just in the little moments.

So I’ve created a space where I can write about what most of my life focus is on at the moment (and moving forward from here.). Called it Zoë Simms, which felt completely dicky, but I didn’t want to name after a particular topic because I just don’t want to be pegged in like that. I’ve done that during the past year and it hasn’t turned out great for that reason. The pegging in thing. I want freedom for it to take whatever shape it wants to take.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know. Since I have started writing over of the new blog I have remembered how much I loved writing to all my fellow ballet peeps and friends. I loved knowing, for the large part, who I was writing to. Always felt like writing a letter to family and loved ones.

I love that.

I also wanted to say that in a blinding flash of cognitive function, my memory kicked back in and I was like “OMG! I have some amazing, gorgeous interviews left that I was supposed to upload already!”

I apologise sincerely to those beautiful people who participated but didn’t see their interview online yet. I will be getting them up here shortly. I will email you when they are going up.

Okie dokes for realz now. That’s it. That’s all. I’m off. If you wanna check out my new pad you can by clicking on the “My Other Blog” page above.

🙂

xxx
Zoe/Bush

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BB Rises Again!

Yesterday I had this niggling worry in the back of my mind that as I was too sore to practice anything from the lesson, I was going to forget what Tibor had taught me. And feeling so far away from another intense lesson with him, I felt like the bush isolation taking over again.

But this morning, after some light stretching, I did this…

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Oh yes, baby, I rose to demi pointe! And it felt awesome! Sore, but amazing. I love that I am feeling all these new muscles. I never want to let them go. 🙂

Today we leave Sydney and head home. I will spend some of my travelling time writing notes from my lesson and some goals. Yes, I have goals!

Will update later.

Happy dancing…

BB

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Day Five — The Private Lesson!

There is a Facebook page called:

‘OMG! Are you okay!?!’
‘Yeah, I just had a private with Tibor’
‘Oh, okay’

I first saw that title a while ago and it made me laugh to think of what that might mean in real terms. I thought of it again today, and again I laughed, but today I laughed as I felt what that meant in real terms.

There isn’t a simple way to sum the class today up. It was splendid, nurturing, tough, complex, heavenly, painful, knowledgable, fun, impossible and empowering. Tibor is a kind, gentle person, with amazing knowledge and high standards. Which was the perfect combination for me.

We didn’t move away from the barre. Which is good, because seriously, I needed that barre!

We did pliés, port de bras positions and movements, tendús, jetés, coupés, retirés, a couple of combinations that I think are probably simple to other people but were difficult for me to catch on with, and really a whole lot of proper position alignment and work on my core. There was more, but I am still processing it all so I am sure there are things I’m forgetting. I learnt from all of it, but I think the posture and core stuff was the most valuable to me because I finally feel like I have an understanding of what a basis should be, what the foundation should be, that you then build on. And I can see that once you get that foundation strength right, other things can develop much quicker.

Tibor did things with my feet and turnout that I didn’t think were possible. It was like I was looking down at someone else’s feet. And toward the end of the class I noticed that when I stood in first position my turnout was MUCH better than it had been at the beginning of the class. I don’t even know how that happened. The same thing happened when doing the back archy thing. I had no idea I could go that far — not that I went “far” but still, I went further than I thought I could.

There were many corrections, lots of spaghetti arms, but also some lovely compliments. He sees potential, people! 🙂

I felt great during the class. I mean, I felt awkward, nervous and was sweating about 3 minutes in, but I didn’t feel awful or negative or unwell (thank you medicine!).

Something that Tibor mentioned during the lesson that I think might be a game changer for me, is that I am lacking confidence and how visible that is, and what impact that has on my ballet. It was a great moment of clarity and has given me a lot to think about. It’s something I have struggled with a lot, but it’s time to change that now. I’m so glad Tibor mentioned it in the moment, as it really helped me to make the connection.

I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to take a lesson with such a dedicated and nurturing teacher and I’m looking forward to getting home and adding all I have learnt to my daily ballet classes. I am also feeling inspired to get back down to more Tibor classes, whenever I can.

I am taking away a lot of brilliant information on ballet basics and how my body should be feeling when I am doing certain movements or holding positions. I am also taking away a new outlook on myself, my capabilities and how my confidence level directly effects what I am trying to achieve. I think those are amazing things to be taking away from one 1hr lesson!

I also feel very proud of myself. This is something I haven’t felt for a long time, but I am acutely aware of how many mental barriers I pushed through to get to and through this lesson, and I can feel it has opened my mind up to a lot of possibilities.

Here is a photo taken at the end of my lesson. Tibor, his dog (who was having a field day licking the sweat off my chest) and me…

It was an amazing experience for me, and it has me now hungry for more. Which is just awesome!

Thanks for all the kind messages of support this week. They have meant the world to me. 🙂

BB

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BB Goes to Sydney – Day Two

Day Two is a short post. I’m buggered and can’t do a long entry. But here is a little one. 🙂

Okay, so taking off from my last post, we woke up here this morning…

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I slept to the sound waves crashing gently against the shore, and I woke to the notification sound of an email from Tibor’s lovely assistant, letting me know that they had worked out a day that I could have a private ballet lesson with Tibor, while I’m in Sydney. I can’t think of a better way to sleep and wake!

My class will be this Thursday. Pretty darn excited!

Anyway, the rest of our Day Two was fairly non-eventful. Lots of driving. Lots of bush…

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We made such good time today that we drove right through to Sydney. The girls were pretty excited when they saw the sign telling us we were finally turning off the freeway…

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And we were all grateful to arrive at Sydney and at our campsite…

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We’re here! We did it!

I go to Bloch on York St tomorrow — looking forward to it. Hopefully will have some nice gear on Thursday, ready to be drenched with sweat! 😀

BB

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BB Goes to Sydney – Day One

Day one of my Sydney trip. Technically I am now onto day two, but I didn’t get time to update day one last night, so here it is…

We got going a little later than I would have liked. But we were on the road…

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Then we had a longer than expected stop off in Grafton. This got me feeling worried because I now knew we were going to get to our first night stay quite late. But despite that feeling, as we drove through Coffs Harbour, we couldn’t resist stopping off at The Big Banana and going for a dip in the ocean…

The Big Banana: I loved how willing my girls were to pose for this photo. We had just been standing normally, when I said to them “Okay, now into first position we go and plié, now right hand over head”, and they just ran with it! Great people, those two…

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Then off for a dip in the ocean…

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And some ballet walks along the sand to see what shape my lines take as I walk…

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After that, I was feeling pretty relaxed…

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And despite arriving late at night to our first stay over, it was perfect. These were our views, this morning, from the bus…

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A great Day One!

Day Two started with some pretty fabulous news. But I will update that tonight!

BB

P.S, I had wanted to strike a ballet pose at each place we stopped, but have found embarrassment taking hold a lot of the time. I will keep trying, though, as they make for really fun photos and add that BB touch!