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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 Books, DVD's and YouTube Videos?

One of our lovely adult ballet students is unable to get to classes at the moment, or even get the energy up to do much ballet and they would love to know of any good YouTube videos, books or DVD’s that show decent ballet instruction so they can keep up with ballet at home.

I’m putting the call out to all you wonderful students. Do you know any good DVD’s, books or YouTube videos that you like that you think would be of use?

If you have anything to contribute please pop it in the comments. It will be much appreciated.

Thanks.

xxx

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Found: One Left A La Seconde Arm!

Lookie lookie what I found today….

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What you’re supposed to be completely wowed by is my left a la seconde arm! Check out that elbow, I’m loving it!

It has taken me so long to try and get my elbows up. It feels completely weird to me, and takes a huge amount of strength to train my arms into that position. So I’m pretty happy to see this progress. 😀

Let’s not talk about that right elbow just yet. Or what all my fingers think they’re doing :/

BB

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When What-the-Fuck Arms Come to Town

Sometimes, ya just have to laugh. Honestly, laughity laughity laugh laugh, all the way to sane-ville. Today I had one of those moments.

During today’s ballet class, I noticed how much better my fifth (with arms above ?) was looking. I was just very easily moving my arms and hands into position and it wasn’t looking too shabby. My shoulders were nicely down and my head placement was even easier to find.

Everything just felt better and easier.

I thought that would make a good progress photo. So out came the hubster, to diligently take the photos for me at the end off my class, but it wasn’t going to be nearly as easy as it seemed. For some reason, in every single photo, my arms were completely wonky. Like not aligned, not even damned symmetrical. It looked AWFUL!

I kept turning to look at my reflection and, yes, my arms looked lovely, then I would turn back and pose and everything would fall apart. I was holding everything very tight, pulled up, chest closed, shoulders down, hands soft … awesome! So how we’re the photos turning out so crap? I didn’t understand it and I eventually had to stop trying. I just couldn’t get it right!

Then I looked back at the photos and I realised the problem. Before each photo was taken I was holding a lovely position, I was right about that, but then right before the photo was taken, I would turn my head a little to give it that little something extra, and it would throw my shoulders right out of alignment. Which in turn made my arms go totally bizarro.

So I need to practice turning my head without turning my shoulders A LOT more.

This photo is of me choosing to laugh instead of scream when I was looking at the reflection of my lovely position, after seeing a dozen crazy arm photos. I was all like “What the….?”

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Here’s to laughing!

BB

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Last Day on Sydney Trip – New Muscles, Lower Shoulders and Spiffy Notes

Good morning Last Day! 😀

I woke early today. As there weren’t many others up and about at 5am, and my calves were feeling better today, I decided to get some practice in. When my husband woke up he took some photos of me attempting a better second position with my arms.

There is much work to be done, but I can definitely see that my shoulders are lower now, which I am really happy about. Although they may be too far forward?

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I have been thinking of simpler ways of tracking progress so that I can easily see what needs more work. Maybe a photo or video journal of certain things I’m focusing on? Not sure yet, but I need to have visual feedback for myself to see in order to improve. There’s no point doing the same things again and again every day if it’s incorrect. Just allows you to form bad habits.

Speaking of forming things, I told hubby yesterday morning, half joking, that I thought I had grown an extra muscle in my thighs overnight. He and I both laughed it off at the time, but later on in the early evening I was doing some simple posture work – pulling my knees up and my thighs up and back, and the girls and hubby all freaked out at the muscles that came popping out of my thighs. So yeah, I literally grew some muscles overnight (or they just became extraordinarily more prominent). But damn, it was a hard workout so those muscles are well deserved! 😀

No. There is no photo of my new muscles. 😉

Yesterday I took some time to write up some notes about my lesson in Sydney. Some of them were illustrated with highly detailed stick figures of myself and others had technical descriptions like “You have to turn your head like you are trying to twist it right off your neck. When you feel like you can’t turn your head any further to the side, turn it some more and you might, maybe, be getting somewhere near the correct position.”

Note making…

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Will keep thinking today about how to incorporate what I have learned into my classes at home. And try to clarify some of my 2014 goals.

Next post will be from home.

BB

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Arms/Progress

I dragged myself off the lounge and decided to do a small ballet work out. It had to be small so I did arms and feet. And you know what? I actually feel a little better emotionally because of it! Who knew?!?

Just posting pics to compare progress down the line.

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