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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. 🙂 

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. 

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.

🙂

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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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Give Your Dreams a Spark (aka: saying them out loud)

Remember this…

Uncaging Secrets

Okay, so upon thinking about it overnight I realise that this isn’t really that deep or dark a secret. And I may have even mentioned it here before, but I am admitting it super duperly, no-turning-back, loud and clear now… 

I wanna know want it feels like to dance en pointe. 

In other words… I WANT TO DANCE EN POINTE! 
In other, other words: I want to slide my feet into pointe shoes, strap those baby’s on and take a tour of the dance floor. 
There. I said it. I mean, it’s obviously not really that much of a secret, but I haven’t gone all out with it before because I feel like such a dick when I say it. Like, I want to crawl under a table when I say it. 
I may, or may not be crawling under a table right now. 
I still have people in my real life finding out that I do ballet from my deck in the bush, and some are overwhelmingly positive about it and others don’t get it. Although I still feel very uncomfortable when people want to talk about it (especially when they don’t get it but want to keep talking about it), I have learned to remind myself that it may seem silly to other people, but to me it was either ballet or a therapist, medication and some pretty dark shit. 
So to choose ballet seems like the most un-silly thing in the world — to me. 
My point is that I’m getting better at not crawling under the table when people say they heard about my ballet (I think about the table but I don’t go there) 😉 
But if I think about allowing myself to want pointe work? ….. 
Damn the underside of this table is cosy. 😉 
Okay, so I have been thinking hypothetically for a while about this and I want to start thinking literally. 
Could I literally do this? I feel like there are so many factors involved. Like how do you learn pointe work if you can only get to an in person class every few months? How do you know you’re ready? How do you even know you have the right shoes without your teacher seeing you dance in them again and again? How do remain safe? What if you snap your ankle? 
Why am I thinking about crazy things like pointe shoes? Where has my table gone? 
But hang on a sec. Take a breath and calm a little down. Okay, calm a lot down! Is it possible that a sensible person could do an absolute beginner pointe class, or record a private absolute beginner pointe class, and then just keep repeating that at home? And then learn more at their next class, and go home and repeat and practice that — and just repeat that again and again? And I’m not talking about starting turns en pointe. I’ve seen how intense pointe classes are, I ain’t stupid. 
I’m just thinking about starting with the prep work and then the barre work. 
Is it possible? 
So, here’s the thing, I don’t know if it’s possible or not, but it is a desire that is growing inside me. It’s getting closer and closer to the surface. I’m sure you all remember taking your first ballet class as an adult? I’m sure you remember the build up to that class, the moment you decided it had to stop being an idea and start being real? 
That’s what this feels like. I am terrified that I will be terrible at it, my feet will break and I will be mortified by the whole experience — but despite all those fears, I am feeling more and more pull towards having a go. 
I want to add that experience to my ballet journey. I would love to know when I would be ready for it. In any case, it’s a huge thing for me to be letting this secret out of the vault. So I’m gonna just let it hang around with me. Let it be present with me and allow it to exist and breathe for a while. 
Well, thanks for listening. Here’s to uncaging secrets. Here’s to these feet possibly being in pointe shoes some day! “

  

I was thinking, almost boringly, about how I need to order a new pair of pointe shoes soon, when it dawned on me that just a few months ago I was sweating with fear about going into a bloch shop and asking to be fitted for my first pair of pointes.

And I remembered this post. And as I reread through it I could tangibly feel my desire to try pointe work. And as I felt the memories of those feelings and desires I started feeling pretty darn proud. 

I did it!

I took the leap of faith. I refused to let the doubt keep me imprisoned. 

I felt the fear and did it anyway.

I was safe. Overly cautious. And completely aware of everything that could go wrong. 

But I took itty bitty steps. And slowly eased myself into this dream. 

Then I eased my feet into those point shoes.

Then I stood up en pointe in those pointe shoes.

I did it! 

And how did it feel to finally do it?

The emotional and mental feelings were all jumbled and mixed up during this process, and are a bit of a blur. 

But one thing I remember crystal clearly is how my feet felt. Because it was so striking to me. I thought they were going to scream at me, but they didn’t. In fact, I’m pretty sure I heard them say…

“Thank you for bringing us home.”

That’s what it felt like. Like my feet were home. Finally home.

So odd. Completely unexpected. And NOT AT ALL how I expect them to be feeling after an actually pointe class. 🙂

Isn’t it amazing what we can do when we allow ourselves to want it? thats the thing I really wanted to write about today. 

Dreams, be them big or small, all need a start. If I hadn’t ever allowed myself to want to dance en pointe, if I had never let the secret out of the vault, it never would have happened.

I have found that the most important part of achieving your dreams is daring to say you want them in the first place. You’ve gotta let those babies out. 

It’s almost like, if you keep them inside you, even you can’t see them clearly. So how can they get started?

It’s really scary but for your dreams to light up, they need a spark. Saying them out loud is the spark. If you don’t want to speak them then start by writing them down. But let them out.

Give them the spark they need to get started.

I have loved looking back at this post today. It’s helped me to see what my own courage and determination can lead to. Something I never thought would happen did happen.

Can’t wait to see what’s next!

P.S: just so you know, my comments section is a safe haven for dream sparks. 🙂

   

   

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Uncaging Secrets

Okay, so upon thinking about it overnight I realise that this isn’t really that deep or dark a secret. And I may have even mentioned it here before, but I am admitting it super duperly, no-turning-back, loud and clear now…

I wanna know want it feels like to dance en pointe.

In other words…

I WANT TO DANCE EN POINTE!

In other, other words: I want to slide my feet into pointe shoes, strap those baby’s on and take a tour of the dance floor.

There. I said it.

I mean, it’s obviously not really that much of a secret, but I haven’t gone all out with it before because I feel like such a dick when I say it. Like, I want to crawl under a table when I say it. I may, or may not be crawling under a table right now.

I still have people in my real life finding out that I do ballet from my deck in the bush, and some are overwhelmingly positive about it and others don’t get it. Although I still feel very uncomfortable when people want to talk about it (especially when they don’t get it but want to keep talking about it), I have learned to remind myself that it may seem silly to other people, but to me it was either ballet or a therapist, medication and some pretty dark shit. So to choose ballet seems like the most un-silly thing in the world — to me. My point is that I’m getting better at not crawling under the table when people say they heard about my ballet (I think about the table but I don’t go there) 😉

But if I think about allowing myself to want pointe work? ….. Damn the underside of this table is cosy. 😉

Okay, so I have been thinking hypothetically for a while about this and I want to start thinking literally.

Could I literally do this?

I feel like there are so many factors involved. Like how do you learn pointe work if you can only get to an in person class every few months? How do you know you’re ready? How do you even know you have the right shoes without your teacher seeing you dance in them again and again? How do remain safe? What if you snap your ankle? Why am I thinking about crazy things like pointe shoes? Where has my table gone?

But hang on a sec. Take a breath and calm a little down. Okay, calm a lot down!

Is it possible that a sensible person could do an absolute beginner pointe class, or record a private absolute beginner pointe class, and then just keep repeating that at home? And then learn more at their next class, and go home and repeat and practice that — and just repeat that again and again?

And I’m not talking about starting turns en pointe. I’ve seen how intense pointe classes are, I ain’t stupid. I’m just thinking about starting with the prep work and then the barre work.

Is it possible?

So, here’s the thing, I don’t know if it’s possible or not, but it is a desire that is growing inside me. It’s getting closer and closer to the surface. I’m sure you all remember taking your first ballet class as an adult? I’m sure you remember the build up to that class, the moment you decided it had to stop being an idea and start being real? That’s what this feels like. I am terrified that I will be terrible at it, my feet will break and I will be mortified by the whole experience — but despite all those fears, I am feeling more and more pull towards having a go. I want to add that experience to my ballet journey. I would love to know when I would be ready for it.

In any case, it’s a huge thing for me to be letting this secret out of the vault. So I’m gonna just let it hang around with me. Let it be present with me and allow it to exist and breathe for a while.

And in the meantime, while I ruminate on whether it is actually something I can arrange at some point, I would like to know when you all started to learn pointe work. I know we have discussed this a little before but if you’d humour me, that’d be great!

So stuff like…

1) how long into ballet classes did you start pointe work?

2) did you need to be able to achieve a certain move like extended rise or strong releve before you could move into pointe?

3) were your early pointe classes particularly tricky, technically? Or just hard work?

4) did you have great balance when you started pointe work?

Anything else you would like to add? 🙂

Well, thanks for listening. Here’s to uncaging secrets. Here’s to these feet possibly being in pointe shoes some day!

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Zoë

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Bush Ballerina Goes to Sydney!

Well, it looks like my end of 2013 blessings are continuing into 2014, as just one week into the new year, I’m heading to Sydney!

I’m actually piggy-backing onto the back of my husband’s trip to Sydney for business, which was meant to be later in January but was brought forward — and is why it is so sudden.

I had hoped to catch a ballet class at Studio Tibor while I was in Sydney later in January, but now that we are going to be there earlier, and regular classes won’t be back on then, I’m in a bit of a Tibor-ballet-class-pickle. Tibor’s wonderful assistant has been in touch with me and I can say that there is a small chance I may get a private class with Tibor. But I’m just not getting my hopes too high for this. Everyone is time pressured and I don’t want to be a hassle to anyone.

So the ballet class is a maybe. BUT going to a real-life Bloch store is a definite!

Yep, while I’m in Sydney I will be going to the York St Bloch store. It is the largest store in Australia and is always fully stocked in their whole range! How do I know this? Because I asked them. Yes, yes I did. Like a true ballet geek, and after suffering from multiple online shopping dramas with Bloch, I emailed them to check that this was the right store to go to — that they would more than likely have the shoes I’m looking for, that fit me correctly. I couldn’t think of anything worse than getting all that way and then not being able to purchase the gear I need.

I received a lovely email back from the manager, confirming that they are always fully stocked. Wahoo! She also asked, in the email, if I was wanting to be fitted for pointe shoes, because they would arrange for a professional fitter to be available for me if I was. Ahh, while I read this, I felt my heart swell with blissful desire. How amazing would that be? I wanted to scream “Yes, yes! Let’s fit me for pointe shoes!!!” Hahaha. Luckily reality was right by my side in that moment, and helped me to come crashing back down to earth. BUT a thought that remains with me is that this might some day, maybe, sorta, kinda, somehow … be a question that I can answer with a big fat “Yes!”

The night before I read that email, I had a dream that I was dancing en pointe. I seem to be having more en pointe dreams. And in each one I get more comfortable in the pointe shoes. This most recent one felt beautiful. I’m sure those dreams are more about me feeling more comfortable in my ballet skin, but still, it’s nice to see my mind opening up to pointe possibilities.

So, next week I will be going here…

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I look forward to keeping the blog updated with our trip happenings as we go.

BB

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What Does En Pointe Feel Like?

I wonder what pointe shoes feel like on your feet, when you try to stand en pointe?

I don’t often let myself think about en pointe stuff because I don’t know if I’ll ever get there, so I don’t want to set that as a goal and end up disappointed.

So apart from when I dream (literally) about being en pointe, I don’t think about it too much. But I was thinking about this yesterday. What do pointe shoes feel like from the inside while you’re en pointe? Apart from painful!

I wonder if they’re hard, like timber? Cold? Sweaty? How do your feet not slide around in them? Is there any support for your feet? Is that what the shank is for? I’m such a beginner.