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Your Beautiful Glorious Self

You may think you need to be better.

But you don’t.

You may think you need to be more like someone else. 

But you don’t.

You might feel inadequate in so many areas of your being that you feel you will never be enough for anyone.

But you aren’t. And you are.

You may feel like you’ll never measure up.

But you already do.

You might look around you and only see others doing it better.

But that’s not the truth.

You may feel like you’re falling short. Losing face. 

But you’re not.

You may feel like everyone around you, everywhere you look, are on incredible trajectories towards imminent success while you’re still trying to figure out whether you’re an over or under person when it comes to your toilet paper.

But they’re probably not. And it’s okay if you’re either or both! 😉

Those who have seen my health issues know that things have been really tough for me. 

I could easily think of myself as having a harder time than others. I could easily choose to feel that others have been dealt fantastic hands while I’ve not even been  dealt one full hand. But firstly, thinking that way serves me no purpose. It doesn’t help me at all. And secondly, it’s all relative: there are others who are facing much harder challenges than I am.

You see, I have learnt that comparison is poison. It only creates anger, contempt, jealousy and a whole lot of other negative emotions. And it’s completely unnecessary. So we can opt out.

We can opt out.

I want to hug the world right now. I want to tell you all, whatever your battles, whatever your goals, to please stop believing that other people have it miraculously easier than others.

I want to especially tell the world that your self-worth does not lie in where you measure up against the people around you. 

Your self-worth is measured purely on the value you give yourself. 

The only person who gets to decide what you’re worth is you.

Do you hear me?

YOU GET TO CHOOSE!

You! No one else. Just you.

And the true beauty of it all is that no assessment is needed.

You’re worth the fucking world, because you were born. You deserve love, because you were born. You deserve respect, because you were born.

Don’t start assessing yourself. That’s being an arsehole to yourself. Don’t do that. 

Seriously, no assessment needed. You’re awesome. Just as you are. You’re doing what you do, aiming for goals, attempting this thing called life, in your way, how you see fit. 

You can do life, the way it feels right for you. 

Because living life by someone else’s rule book sucks a bag, and is completely unnecessary.

If you start doubting your ability to just be you, remember…

Your beauty lies in your flaws. 

Your true self can only shine in your vulnerability.

You are accessible through your mistakes.

Absolutely. Every. Single. Person. On. The. Fucking. Planet. Fucks. Up. All. The. Fucking. Time.

Most people are just scrambling hard to hide their mistakes.

But they’re making them. Oh, boy, are they making them!

It’s impossible to not make mistakes, to not have flaws, to not be imperfect.

So, world, take a breath. 

Give yourself permission to be you. 

No comparisons needed.

No comparisons wanted. 

Just be your beautiful, glorious, unique self. 

xxx

P.S: photo of me, being me…

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Have a Go

Most people struggle to start following a passion/dream/unlikely goal.

For some it’s a hobbling start and once they get going they pick up their stride and the rest flows smoothly.

But for others (and from what I have gathered, for many), it is less of a struggle and more of a petrified feeling inside them. One that usually stems from breaking out of the norm.

Society perpetually tells us that we shouldn’t be starting to follow passions or dreams or unlikely goals passed a certain age. It also tells us that security is more important than passion.

But when we find ourselves being pulled towards a passion, it is usually pretty strong, and usually feels more important than security or whatever social norm is banging on at us.

So we can end up pretty confused. We want deeply to following this sense of duty to our soul, yet we don’t want to seem ‘abnormal’ or silly to people. We don’t want the judgement or ridicule that usually comes with following a different path either.

So here’s my advice. Just give it a go. Have a try. Dip your foot in the waters of passion and see how you feel.

If you feel good, but still worry about external judgement, then keep going. 

Because all those people who judge you? They are insignificant compared to what you will gain or lose if you follow or abandon your passions.

If someone is judging you then they aren’t worth your time. Seriously. Nuff said. They. Aren’t. Worth. Your. Precious. Passion. Following. Time.

So let them go.

Let it all go. All the judgement. All the criticism. 

Let it all go — and just have a go. And keep having a go.

It’s the ONLY way for you to not have regrets.

Peace + love xxx

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This Time Around

This time round on my ballet journey, I have the power of knowledge alongside me. I am aware of my body’s strengths and weaknesses.

It’s funny because, although this time round I have many many more challenges, I am choosing to see those challenges as opportunities to do things the right way for me, and therefor achieve more of my dreams and goals.

Last time, I had hopes and dreams but was continuously failing. I was continuously feeling my body crumble when it didn’t seem like it should.

I was being told my body was perfect for ballet and “should” be able to make all these perfect ballet shapes if I tried hard enough.

I also had a strange fear of movement. I began to get over that fear while I was at the barre — in fact, Iearned to adore the feeling of movement at the barre, and I even started feeling a little more confident with some pirouettes.

But move me away from the barre and I completely froze up.

I remember during my first private class my teacher tried to teach me a very simply pas de bourree with a simple relaxed pirouette on the end.

But it was the strangest thing. It felt like I was learning to walk again. Like everything was foreign to me. Like I didn’t even know my left from my right. Like I didn’t even know my own name anymore.

I used to walk away from centre time feeling so deflated. I didn’t understand why my body felt so weak in the centre and I didn’t feel like it would ever end.

(I do have to add that my in-class teachers were wonderful. They would always say, ‘Just give it a try!’ They could see I was really struggling and didn’t make me feel worse for it. And I am incredibly grateful for that!)

Now, after having experienced such a massive physical breakdown, and doctors finally being forced to pay attention — and that attention leading to the right diagnoses’ and now treatment, has meant that I actually know now why my body was not ‘failing’ but struggling with certain elements and why I felt so awkward doing centre work. Yes, there are actual physiological reasons for it!

So many things make sense to me now.

I remember during my hardest days a few months ago, I would lie there, unable to speak properly, unable to stand up, unable to wash myself, pain searing through my body, and I would try to think of the good things in my life. I found them in my children and my hopes for better times some day. But it was bloody hard to find them. Some days I was too consumed by my suffering to find them and I just wished for the day to end. 

But I never thought I would one day look back at that time and see it as a vital part of my future success.

And that is what it is. (I am not ignorantly suggesting that this is how it is for all chronic illness sufferers. We all have our own journeys.)

There will be many ups and downs ahead. And my daily grind is still a pretty heavy grind.

But now I am armed with knowledge and am moving forward in an achievable way, giving my body all the support and understanding it needs, to get me where I want to go.

And understanding makes ALL the difference. I’m no longer confused. I no longer feel like a failure. I feel more confident that I can achieve my dreams than I have ever felt before — because I have adjusted my dreams and the ways I intend on achieving them.

I may have health issues that are making me see things in this new light, but I think it’s relatable to everyone who may start to feel that pressured feeling about what they’re trying to achieve.

I suggest we all stop comparing ourselves to others and start learning about our own bodies, how we work and don’t work and start working WITH ourselves rather than against ourselves. As that is how I see the greatest growth happening.

Zoe xxx

P.S remember, if you like it… share it! 🙂

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Capezio Review — 2

Okay then, dearest readers, it’s time to let you all know what I think of some more Capezio dance gear products I’ve tried recently.

Canvas Juliet Ballet Flats

Immediate impression:

“Ooooh, lovely!” That’s what I thought when I first saw these shoes. I really love their very light creamy colour. They feel soft to the touch on the outside and have the same brushed cotton/polyester inner lining that the leather Juliets have, so they  also feel very smooth.

They also have pre-sewn elastics which are a bonus for me.

How they fit and feel on:

These shoes feel really good on my feet. Like the leather Capezio Juliet flats these shoes also have a comfy slipper or sock feeling to them thanks to the soft lining.

They fit my narrow and long foot and the shape is just generally a very comfy one. The canvas material doesn’t feel harsh at all. They also have the slightly higher heel coverage which, again, didn’t sway me one way or the other. I suppose if your flats normally slide off your heel, these would be a nice change.

They have the diamond gusset which hugs the arch of your foot and that feels immediately nice, even before you get to work.

How they look on (are they stylin’?):

Yes! They are totally stylin’! I LOVE the look of these flats. They kind of just blend in with everything else. Which I love. Then of course you have that flattering arch hug which compliments your feet well.

How they perform:

These flats performed really well for me. My two favourite aspects are the way the diamond gusset feels on my arch and how much I really can feel my feet working in them.

They stay on my foot, don’t twist around on my foot and my feet didn’t feel heated up in them.

I really liked these shoes when working in them.

Do I recommend them?…

Yes. Definitely recommend these flats. Of course, everyone’s different, but they feel great for me.

I think these shoes are just going to get better and better with time and work, too. And I can’t wait for that. Can’t wait to wear them in more.

The Capezio Canvas Juliet Flats…

You can find this product here: Canvas Juliets

Classic Knits 18″ Stirrup Leg Warmers

Immediate impression:

Cute. Warm. Soft. Lovely.

The colour of these lovelies is called plum and it reminds me of a lovely dusty purple colour.

How they fit and feel on:

These legwarmers feel beautiful on. They fit my legs fine. No itchy-scratchy. They do their job without adding massive weight as they are super light. You kind of don’t really feel them on, your ankles and calves just feel warmer. Which is really exactly what you want.

How they look on (are they stylin’?):

I love the look of these legwarmers. They are definitely a simple design, rather than a fancy one and their shape and lovely soft colour make them very pretty. They can hug the calf or fold around the ankle.

I think they’re really pretty and, yes, stylin’ muchly. 🙂

How they perform:

Great! As I said above, I didn’t notice these legwarmers being on my legs while I was working, which is a good thing. They stay up where you tell them to stay and they just kept my ankles and calves nice and warm.

Do I recommend them?…

I’m a big fan of leg warmers. I often find myself wearing them before and after class too as my ankles and calves like to be kept warm. And these leg warmers are definitely on my recommend list.

The Capezio Classic Knits 18″ Leg Warmers…

You can find this product here: Leg Warmers

Classic Knits Wrap Sweater

Immediate impression:

Cuuuuuuute! 🙂

Lovely colour. The same plum as the leg warmers. Nice shape. Very warm and good quality, which is what you would expect from a company like Capezio.

I particularly liked the gorgeous little crocheted detail on the edge of the wrists. Not sure if they’re still selling this wrap in this colour anymore, but I love it.

How it fits and feels on:

This wrap feels nice on. It is warm and would be a great wrap for cool/cold weather. It fits my body well without any bunching up anywhere. The arms are a little short for me, but that is more of an issue with my arms being extra long rather than a product issue.

How it looks on (is it stylin’?):

Oh, I think this wrap is so cute and totally stylin’. Yes. Yes. Yes.

How it performs:

It performs well. Feels comfortable and doesn’t twist around on me while I’m working. It does its job well.

Do I recommend it?…

Yes. Absolutely. This is such a cute wrap. Would be a comfortable, pretty, addition to the dance wardrobe.

The Capezio Classic Knits Wrap Sweater …

You can find this product here: Classic Knits Wrap Sweater

Hope you all enjoyed this review. I am really loving all these products.

Zoë xxx

 

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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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Urban Dance Just Blew My Mind

So, if I had a mini crush on Ski Ballet, then I have fallen head-over-heels, love-at-first-sight, in love with Urban Dance!

Firstly, let’s get one thing straight. This is about as street dance as I get. (The street dance part is me rocking the hoodie)

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So, I’m clearly no expert. Everything I am writing on this post is just my opinion about this group of dancers.

I had NO idea what was coming when I typed “Urban Dance” into YouTube. A little while couple of hours later, and I’m all like “Get me to Germany, man! No I can’t dance, but damn, I wanna go and watch and absorb!”

These dancers are ah-maze-ing! They are a bunch of dance artists who perform on their own and together, and they put on these incredible Urban Dance Camp workshops each year — in a different country each year (this year they are meeting in Germany!). They are focused on studio styles and street styles. I think this means they basically include everything? From what I gather, studio styles are choreographed when perhaps the street styles aren’t? I’m not 100% clear on this though, and there does seem to be routines that are choreographed but contain many different styles.

They use popping, crunching, hip hop, jazz, contemporary, dubstep (no, I didn’t just make that up), and a whole lot of types of street dance that I don’t know the names of — I tried to find out what they were, I really did!

Some of the routines contain a huge amount of classy swagger, like these two. I LOVE these routines. CANNOT get enough.

This one is danced by Keone and Mariel Madrid, and it makes my heart sway…

And this one is danced by Hilty and Bosch and man have they got some swagger!

Some performances use great costumes, adding to the characters in the dance. This surprised me. I wasn’t expecting characters or a story in these dances at all. It makes them so much more enjoyable to watch and gives them a lot more depth.

They use fantastic music, which they match with their fantastic musicality. They are just all round incredible dancers. Technically great and original.

Are you feeling the love yet? No? Need more convincing? Okay, here ya go then…

Keone and Mariel Madrid again but in a sexy street/contemporary (streetemporary?) dance…

And last but oh so not least, the first Urban Dance video I ever watched. The one that started it all. A performance by Nonstop (Marquese Scott) and Poppin’ John. You’re welcome 🙂 …

You can find many more awesome videos of these dancers on YouTube. And I will be adding these videos to a new “Dance Inspiration” page for future reference.

I hope some day I can delve further into these guys and gals. I’d love to know how and why they all started. And how Urban Dance Camp came into being. And I would really love to attend a workshop to just watch and absorb. So inspired!

I would love to hear from everyone, what other forms of dance you have tried, outside of ballet? Or are you a ballet purist?

I’d sign off by saying, “Now go crunch and pop something”, but just in case any of you see that and think of eating crisps and popcorn, I will sign off with…

So, go fall into the dance form that you love, disappear, and then find yourself. 🙂

Bush