Uncategorized

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

Advertisements
Uncategorized

Rollin' Along

Finally got me a foam roller — woohoo! Can roll out those tight muscles. 

Feels gee-or-geous!

Here’s a pic of my new toy, and another pic from a photo I took on a bridge the other day (for anyone who isn’t following the fb page).

Hope everyone’s doing great!

🙂





Uncategorized

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

 

Uncategorized

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!

20140614-084146.jpg

Zoë

Uncategorized

Rewards for Feet?

Why do dancers roll a tennis ball under their feet? Is it to stretch muscles? Is it good as a warm-down or warm-up? How does doing this actually help the feet? Is it a good thing to do?

All my muscles often stay pretty tight so I am always conscious of that. I use magnesium and get massages to help them relax out. It’s mainly my legs usually, but I have been wondering about the stuff people do with their foot muscles. I just plain old don’t understand it yet.

I can see my feet becoming stronger, which is great. I’m not wanting to increase my foot flexibility or anything like that. I know that that will develop naturally for now. I am wondering, though, if there may be some way to reward my foot muscles after they have worked so hard?

Would love to hear any info others have on why people do the tennis ball thing, or other things that are done with feet to help those hard working muscles?

20140127-184548.jpg

BB

Uncategorized

Getting to the Point…

Ended the week yesterday with a breakthrough — I figured out what it feels like to point your foot with extension. Well, at least that is how I describe it.

Rather than scrunching my toes whilst pointing, I closed my eyes and tried to focus on my pointed foot. At first I just thought about what it felt like. I then imagined that rather than squeezing my toes together, I was sending them out and down to the floor. And I instantly felt the top of my foot work harder to extend more. Was a great feeling, to notice something new happening. 

Little pieces of progress. ❤

Uncategorized

Ballet is Everywhere…

You know those people who see Jesus on their toast? Apparently I am just like them, except instead of seeing Jesus on toast, I see pointed feet in bird poop.

Is it bad that I was jealous of the bird dropping for having a better pointe than I do?

Does this make me officially obsessed? Me thinks so.

Anyway, it prompted me to make this …

20130519-225006.jpg