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Low Self-Confidence — What's the Point?

Low self-confidence. What’s the point?

I’ve struggled with low self-confidence a lot in my life. Crushingly low at times. It seems to have been one of the big lessons I have had to explore on my journey. And it’s a tricky one at that.

An important thing I have learned about low self-confidence is that there’s really no point to it. It doesn’t take you anywhere. It doesn’t help you grow or feel good about yourself.

It usually immobilizes you, stopping you from moving forward in the direction you want to go by creating the “I can’t” internal dialog.

And the irony is that you NEED to be saying “I can” in order to move forward.

You don’t need to know what you’re doing all the time. But you DO need to be able to move forward. You need to be unlocked and free to have a go.

Be confident that you can learn. You can step forward.

You can.

Low self-confidence gets in the way of that forward movement. It has no productive purpose. There is no point to it.

None. Nada. Zip.

So let it go.

Let. It. Go

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Capezio Review — 1

Dear readers,

I am so excited to be presenting you with a review of some lovely Capezio dance gear I have tried recently. Enjoy! 🙂

First up…

Leather Juliet Ballet Flats

Firstly, I know that some of you are big on how products are packaged and some of you are not so concerned with all that. I am usually not altered one way or another by packaging and I didn’t think I would be mentioning it in a review, but I have to say, I squealed a little when I saw the most gorgeous little Capezio boxes that these ballet flats come in. OMG. I think it actually did impact my immediate impressions. Speaking of which…

Immediate Impression:

Very nice.

Straight out of the packaging, the general feel of these ballet flats is SOFTNESS. Everywhere.

The outer is a light creamish pinkish coloured leather. And the leather is super soft.

Inside is lined with a soft brushed polyester/cotton fabric that creates, yes, more softness. They have heel and ball-of-foot pads on the inside as well that add to a shoe that was obviously designed and made for comfort. SOFT comfort!

Another important first impression  –>  PRE-SEWN ELASTICS! Loved this feature. Obviously that is not going be perfect for everyone as our elastic length needs all vary, but it worked for me.

How they fit and feel:

Taking all the above in consideration, it makes perfect sense that when I first slipped my feet into these flats it felt like my feet had slipped into really comfy slippers or socks. Not ballet slippers, just regular comfy, nurturing, relaxing slippers.

The heel comes up a little higher than other flats I have worn. This doesn’t really feel either here nor there for me. Doesn’t change the level of comfort  at all. It’s just something I noticed that was a little different.

A feature I particularly love about these shoes is their diamond gusset which makes the arch of the shoe hug the arch of your foot. Arch hugging is the bomb! It feels awesome when a shoe hugs your arch but more importantly you can see how much you are working your feet when you can see that arch clearly. So it’s really a wonderful tool.

So they feel great.

I fit their size 8.5 in length and their M (medium) width.

I have a very narrow foot and am always surprised when a ballet shoe fits my foot. So I was very surprised when I tried these shoes on. Especially seeing the only width choices were medium and wide. I was a bit worried about that but these fit like a glove.

How they look on (are they stylin’?):

Yes! I absolutely reckon they’re stylin’. I think the combination of the diamond gusset and the super soft fabrics they have used, create a really fabulous looking shoe. I mean anything that shows your foot off to its best ability will look good.

How they perform:

These shoes felt really good while working in them. There were no places that became irritated or sore. The soft and comfy theme continued. And I continued to love the arch hugging support.

I did notice that my feet became quite warm in them. Not hot. Just warmer than I am used to. I think this is due to the soft inner lining fabric. This wasn’t something that would stop me from wearing them, but I did notice it.

Do I recommend them?…

I highly recommend these shoes if you’re looking for a super comfy shoe that helps you feel what your feet are doing.

The only downside I can see to these shoes is that your teacher might really push your feet hard because they will be able to see exactly how hard you’re working them, and how much harder you could be working them. But then you will only improve, so that downside is really an upside.

The Capezio Leather Juliet …

You can find these ballet shoes here: Leather Juliet

Ultra Soft Transition Tights (style 1916)

Immediate impression:

Pink. Soft. Nice thick waistband. A generally nice first impression.

Seriously, they look really really pink when you first see them. Much pinker than my photo shows. But they don’t look that pink when you put them on.

How they fit and feel:

I have pretty long legs. I tried the long/extra long size and they covered my length just fine. They feel really comfortable on. Very soft. And the thick waistband doesn’t cut into you. I love this.

They fit and feel good on and as you would expect when purchasing ballet tights.

How they look on (are they stylin’?):

They look good on. They lose their very pink colour and become more of a white colour. The fabric doesn’t do anything weird as it stretches.

So I suppose, yes, these ballet tights are “stylin'” as much as any ballet tight can do.

How they perform:

I love it when I don’t notice anything about tights while I’m working. If I finish my class and I haven’t had to think at all about my tights, then that to me says they are good tights.

These are good tights. They didn’t itch, the crotch didn’t drop, they didn’t catch on themselves as I moved in and out of fifth position and my sweat didn’t show up.

Crotch drop and sweat? Damn, ballet tights are the height of glamour aren’t they?

Do I recommend them?…

Yes. Definitely recommend these tights. Nothing bad or wrong about them in my experience.

Capezio Ultra Soft Transition Tights…

You can find these tights here: Ultra Soft Tights

Camisole Leotard

Immediate impression:

Lovely! This leotard is black with a light pink trim. The black is a nice good quality dark black, rather than a faded black. It feels soft to the touch, has a moderate leg line, a full front lining and some lovely decorative detailing on the back.

How it fits and feels on:

I love the way this leotard feels on. It feels soft and smooth with plenty of stretch. The straps didn’t cut into me, nor did the leg line.

It fits the way you would want a leotard to fit. No awkward surprises. No straps falling off my shoulders. The length was appropriate.

Even though they call the leg line medium, this is the lowest leg line I have used so far and I really liked it. I’d like to go even lower as I really like the boy-cut/50’s fashion look.

I also found the double front lining very secure. I really liked that element.

How it looks on (is it stylin’?):

I love the look of this leotard. As I said above, I really like the leg line. I like the smaller straps too, and I LOVE the back — I like the lower line of the back as well as the decorative detail.

I also like the colours. The black and pink is a bit of a modern mix and I like that.

Yes, I believe this is a stylin’ leotard!

How it performs:

This leotard was great while working. It didn’t become lose. Nothing on it became irritating. The straps didn’t cut into me. The leg line didn’t ride up where it isn’t wanted. It coped with my load of sweat.

I really liked how soft the fabric felt on me while I was working. Ballet is such hard work, it’s nice to wear something soft and smooth while doing it.

Do I recommend it?…

Yes, absolutely. I definitely recommend this leotard.

The Capezio Camisole Leotard…

You can find this leotard here: Camisole Leotard

Hope you enjoyed reading this review as much as I have enjoyed these products.

xxx Zoë

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Seriously. Shake it Off.

YOU ARE AWESOME.

YOU ARE JUST RIGHT.

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

Don’t worry about what other people say. Just be you. ‘Cause that’s what the world needs. Just you being you.

And to back me up on this concept I’ve recruited my fan-girl-crush Taylor to share her awesome words of truth.

P.S – Check out the video. It’s the outtakes of Taylor with the ballerinas shooting her video and it’s fabulous. I especially love seeing the ballerinas at the end of the clip shaking it off. Such a gorgeous pick-me-up.

Advice from Taylor:

I stay up too late, got nothing in my brain
That’s what people say mmm, that’s what people say mm
I go on too many dates, but I can’t make ’em stay
At least that’s what people say mmm, that’s what people say mmm

But I keep cruising, can’t stop, won’t stop moving
It’s like I got this music in my body and it’s gonna be alright

‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off
Heartbreakers gonna break, break, break, break, break
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off

I’ll never miss a beat, I’m lightning on my feet
And that’s what they don’t see mmm, that’s what they don’t see mmm
I’m dancing on my own (dancing on my own), I’ll make the moves up as I go (moves up as I go)
And that’s what they don’t know mmm, that’s what they don’t know mmm

But I keep cruising, can’t stop, won’t stop grooving
It’s like I got this music in my body saying it’s gonna be alright

‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off
Heartbreakers gonna break, break, break, break, break
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off

I, I shake it off, I shake it off
I, I shake it off, I shake it off
I, I shake it off, I shake it off
I, I shake it off, I shake it off

Hey, hey, hey, just think while you’ve been getting down and out about the liars and dirty, dirty cheats in the world you could have been getting down to this sick beat

My ex-man brought his new girlfriend
She’s like “oh my God”, but I’m just gonna shake it
And to the fella over there with the hella good hair
Won’t you come on over, baby, we can shake, shake, shake

‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off
Heartbreakers gonna break, break, break, break, break
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off

I, I shake it off, I shake it off
I, I shake it off, I shake it off
I, I shake it off, I shake it off
I, I shake it off, I shake it off
I shake it off, I shake it off
I, I shake it off, I shake it off
I, I shake it off, I shake it off
I, I shake it off, I shake it off

Big thanks to Taylor for having a personality independent of what other people think of her and for just generally rocking.

Take care everyone.

Bush xxx

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Meet Rael!

Dear readers,

It is my delight to introduce you to one of adult ballet’s finest, Rael Oudshoorn.

Rael was a huge support and inspiration to me when I first started ballet, as I am sure she was to many others. She is a gorgeous, funny, caring chick so let’s get to it!

It’s time to meet Rael…

Rael Oudshoorn

Why did you take up ballet as an adult?

I did ballet when I was younger, and I really enjoyed it. Unfortunately, there came a time in which I had to choose between ballet and horse riding, and I chose horse riding. I couldn’t do both because I had a brother and a sister that also cost money due to their study and other hobbies. In the end I got back to dancing when I was around 12, but that was street dance and I didn’t really like it because it didn’t feel graceful AT ALL.
Once So You Think You Can Dance first aired in The Netherlands I was hooked. I couldn’t stop thinking; what if I started dancing again? It seemed so weird, going back to dancing, alone. W
hen I told people that I wanted to get back to ballet they looked at me like I had two heads. Seriously? Ballet, as an adult? Well.. yeah!
I finally found the courage to sign myself up for a test class. I was so freaking nervous!! I didn’t know what to expect and I didn’t know what to wear, I felt like everything would make me look like a complete fool!
In the end I know I started dancing again because I just couldn’t live without dance in my life, one way or another.

What do you love most about ballet classes?

The structure, the predictability but also the fact that I have to focus. I really have to watch my technique and that makes it something I can really work with. I have to be challenged, no matter what sport it is I do. I do consider ballet as a sport, I never would have thought that it would be so difficult! When I was younger, everything was so easy breezy.. Now I really have to work my butt off to compete with other dancers in my class and I love it. Also, it makes me feel feminine and soft, whereas in normal life I am everything but!

Has ballet had a big effect on your life? If yes, in what way?

I think so. It made me more aware of my body, with all its flaws but also with all its strengths. It also made me have an outlet for my musicality and for my restlessness. Nowadays, I am addicted to watching ballet videos, I dance around the house and I have a whole new appreciation for music. I don’t see it solely as a thing to listen to and to shut off my thoughts, I even choreograph tiny little dances in my mind!
I don’t think this ballet addiction will ever cease to exist, that is why I firmly believe that ballet has changed my life.

What has your experience of adult ballet teachers been?

I have only had two teachers for classical ballet. One was great and the other still is great. They both had different styles of teaching that made it very nice to be in their class. If I had questions for one teacher and that teacher didn’t have a way of explaining it to me that I could grasp, the other would be able to cut it into little pieces that I could understand.
They are both really supportive, and they can be strict when they need to. I think I like that, actually!
T
he guest teachers I have had were all very lovely. They know that you are an adult so they take it a bit slower than they would with younger dancers, but still they manage to challenge you!

Is there anything you would like adult ballet teachers to do more or less of? (You can give a joke answer like “less frappes”, as well as your serious answer, if you like.)

I would like it if adult ballet teachers would allow more room for personal interpretation. I know I said that I love the structure of a ballet class, but it is also the feeling that dancing gives me that I really love. I would like to do some more improvisation in class, that would be really, really awesome. When you do improv you have a chance to find your inner dancer, your own style. I think it is also a way to become more comfortable in class, with the people you dance with. (And yes, I would love it if teachers would stop with the frappes already!!)

Most embarrassing ballet class moment?

I think that has to be my fall(s) – yes, plural. I fell two times in class, but hey, our floor is slippery! Both times I fell were during diagonal exercises, we had to do a waltz combination across the floor and I tried to do a double pirouette… I tried, and, well, I failed! The only thing you can do is dust yourself off and try again.

If you could see any ballet anywhere in the world, which ballet would you see and where would you see it?

I would love to go to Russia to see a ballet of the Mariinsky company or the Bolshoi. Both are fine, really!! I saw Diana Vishneva in The Netherlands in Giselle and I still dream about that. It was so amazing! I think nothing beats Russian ballerinas! Svetlana Zakharova, anyone?!

If you could be taught by any teacher, either alive today or from the past, who would it be and why? (This can include your current teacher.)

I would love to be taught by Margot Fonteyn. Nureyev and Fonteyn were such a dream couple, even though they are not alive today they are a phenomenon. I still watch their videos and I think that Margot could really teach me about putting feeling into my dancing and overcoming physical problems (like technique, bad feet, flexibility) with performance!

If you could dance a pas de deux with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?

Well, not totally relevant to my previous question but it would be Mikhail Baryshnikov. I think he is such a good looking man, he aged so well.. and his technique and jumps, they are so amazing. He is certainly a candidate to be my partner (if only he wanted to!!)

Have you received either negative judgement or positive support about starting ballet as an adult? How did the positive support make you feel? And how did you deal with the negative stuff?

The weird thing is, everybody I knew looked at me weird when I told them I wanted to start dancing again. Only now that I’m actually dancing again, they are all super supportive. My boyfriend has to suffer my ballet-o-mania but he is really cool about it. He comes to my recitals and he enjoys watching me dance. My sister is a really big fan too! I love having positive people around me in this manner. All the people I met through ballet are very cool too. Negative judgement hasn’t happened to me, everybody is full of curiosity when I tell them about my hobby.

Thank you so much, Rael, for participating. I learned a lot from your perspective. I especially love the idea of learning more about our inner dancer and our unique style.

Hope everyone else enjoyed this as much as I did.

Comments are open if you wish to let us know what you loved most about this interview.

Thanks for reading!

Bush xxx

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Please Don't Believe in Me

… because seriously, it would be so much easier that way.

The drums of negative self-belief could keep beating.

My heart could stay caged.

The comfort zone of all I have ever seen could remain securely in my surrounds.

I wouldn’t have to step even a toe through that grating, uncomfortable barrier that has been gripping me so tightly.

I could continue to avoid confronting what has kept me here…

…in this place of “I can’t” and “I don’t deserve”.

I can dodge the pain that comes with asking “Why?”

I could continue to feel as though all is right.

I could avoid the fight.

But ya know, I can’t do any of that, when you take my hand and walk me to the land of believing.

When you gently and magically clear the dust and show me what could be.

When you matter-of-factly show me what I could do. How I could feel. What Ideserve.

When you tell me you think I can.

These notions fill my mind with crazy ideas of…

Hope.

Belief.

Pride.

OMG. Wait, what? “Pride?”

That is the strangest damn sensation I’ve ever experienced.

How about..

Confidence?

Strength?

Capability?

I have only started feeling these things since starting ballet. And more intensely since going to Studio Tibor and getting such amazing ballet /therapy from Tibor and Vadym.

My first class at QLD Ballet moved things around in me also — and I’m not talking about pie!

(Because despite being an activity that requires much correction, it is somehow a nurturing expansive experience in which you cannot help but progress in some way.)

And now, as I stare down the barrel of more and more ballet, with more and more confronting of internal beliefs, this crap just gets louder and louder.

I know I have to move through them all. And I will. And it will be a sublime day when I reach the other side.

I want to thank my teachers for being such a huge inspiration.

And I want all you wonderful amazing adult dancers out there to know that I am so intensely inspired by each of you. Whether you relate to my self-belief journey or not, doesn’t matter to me.

I read your stories and hear your journeys and they fill me up with such admiration. You give me a sense of tangible possibility.

“If they can, I can!”

I can live my belief vicariously through you all. And I do. 😉

But for now, I was thinking, maybe we could substitute “I believe in you” with something else, you know, like so as to avoid direct contact with the big “B”? Maybe something like…

“Those apples are lovely.” Or…

“The weather’s looking good.” Or…

“Your arse looks great in those jeans.”

I was thinking, you know, if I throw a nice developpe or pirouette, I could handle a little “Those apples are lovely” waaaaaaaay easier than a direct compliment on my dancing.

Yeah! Let’s do that!

If someone says any of the above to me I’m just going to go ‘Oh, cool!’

No freak out. No need to run to the nearest corner and take to the fetal position.

I wanted to share this with others now because of the vague possibility that it might help someone else. I don’t want others to feel they are alone in feeling self-doubt or that you will never get to where want to be.

You are not alone. We can move forward together.

You will be awesome!

But for now — please don’t tell me you believe in me.

Just tell me the weather’s looking good. 😉

P.S — Your arse looks great in those jeans.

2*Disclaimer: This post was an emotional overflow. Probably no harm will come to those who use the “B” word. 😉

Bush xxx

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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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New Video…

Hey darlings,

Here is a video from a couple of weeks back. I am trying to focus on holding my elbows up while turning and getting into a nice high releve. Also focusing on balance and core stuff.

🙂