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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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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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Embracing Desperate.

Dear Readers,

I have a real-life, fully-experiencing-this-myself, amazegasmic realisation I have to share.

If you have enough determination, your tough journey, your shitty situation, your crazy no good fucked up current position, could become the keys to your greatest transformations.

Because determination will lead to innovation and innovation will lead to beautiful, glorious transformations.

No matter how big or small. Productive changes are all awesome.

My innovative moment of awareness…

I am working on getting back into the Sydney studio soon, but for now, if I can’t get this Bush Ballerina to Studio Tibor, then I’m going to bring Studio Tibor to the Bush Ballerina!

We’re upgrading the studio with the use of a stereo system that we had lying around and my laptop. So that now I will be able to see and hear my recorded private classes as though I were in the studio.

I will be able to do the exercises to the same music/timing and hear the corrections. Awesomeness abounds in this. It really does.

Might be a little bit strange to hear the teacher’s voice as though he were in the room with me, or it might just be a little bit wonderful.

Innovation. I love it. It’s coming from a desperate place. And transforming into a magical place.

Desperation –> innovation –> transformation.

How gobsmackingly cool is that! So amazing to see it happen in front of me.

So embrace desperate. Let yourself feel the pain of it. Then let it fuel yourself to get creative about how you might change it. Become determined. Open your mind and your heart. You’re fully equipped to get creative and innovative. Let it happen.

So I’m gonna be in my “studio” but I’m gonna feel like I’m in this studio…

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Not bad. Not bad at all.

xxx Bush

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The 2014 Wrap — A Pretty Amazing Year, Really!

2014, what a hurricane of a year! Feels like I have swirled from pillar to post in one of the most tumultuous years of my life.

I remember feeling, on several occasions, that I wouldn’t be able to continue ballet. Either for health reasons or just because of my isolation.

But I’m still here. I’m not going anywhere. And I have gained some clarity around my ballet journey and health issues that I know will help me continue to follow my heart.

After all, following my heart is what this whole journey has been about. Following my heart is the thing that interests me the most. It’s such a mind-blowingly powerful thing when you feel it.

I remember on one of my trips to Studio Tibor in Sydney this year, I had a moment where I looked around and felt my heart radiating with joy. And I thought about how I had followed my heart here, to this moment, and how perfectly alive, in-sync, and at home I felt.

It staggered me to think that my heart knew exactly what I wanted, before my mind or body did — and they were just catching up.

In preparation for this 2014 wrap post I have collected photos from my year, and I have to say, it has been a most uplifting experience.

This year was really scary sometimes. Like REALLY scary. And those scary times kind of linger in the background and can make it difficult to move on.

But move on we must.

And moving on I am.

So, let’s have a little looksee back at 2014 (or at least some of it) …

The first thing I did in 2014, like within the first week of 2014, was to meet Tibor Horvath in person for the first time — AND have my first lesson from him.

It was a private lesson in his big beautiful studio, chandeliers and all. It was incredible!

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It was a great start to the year.

There’s a line in the movie Annie about it being a bitter sweet thing to get a taste of something you can’t get any more of. And I felt exactly that bitter sweetness after that first lesson.

As we hit the road for home, I felt like my heart was being ripped out of my chest more and more as every kilometer passed. I had now had a taste of Studio Tibor life — and I didn’t want to leave it.

As we drove, I cried silently, and nursed my aching heart with the promise that I would return to that glorious studio again.

And I did. 🙂

The following month I jumped on a plane…

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… and flew to Sydney for a class and a private with Tibor. It was glorious again.

A few months of health issues made my ballet journey a bit up and down.

Then in August I flew back down again. This time I had a private with Tibor and took my first class with Vadym. I loved, loved, loved that day! Amazing!

10613034_289293094591349_8669965332334805771_nAnd I was determined enough to get my derriere back down again in September. I did the same private with Tibor and class with Vadym. This combination was proving to be absolutely amazing for me and my ballet. It’s the most heavenly combo ever! 🙂

The beautiful Tibor. Ballet, in every manifest, flows through this guy’s veins. He walks into the room and you go, “Oh, ballet just arrived.”

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The beautiful Tricia. This lady is one of my adult ballet inspirations. She’s so beautiful to watch that sometimes when we’re in a class together I want to stop what I’m doing and just watch her dance. She has the attitude that Tibor wants me to have. And I can see why.

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Snapshot 1 (28-12-2014 11-25 AM)

Snapshot 2 (28-12-2014 11-29 AM)

I was weaker during this trip. I wasn’t fully aware at the time, but in hindsight we know that my body was going down a little, and it affected my physical ability during this session and Vadym’s class afterwards. I was shakier, and my leg muscles were just collapsing.

BUT it was still a beautiful day. One of the best actually. Funny how that happens.

I got meself my first pair of point shoes!

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And then I got my second pair…

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I kicked up my toes with some celebratory ballet at the river…

10685592_299268130260512_3872335899897530088_nFell in love with these…

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Built a mini studio in the bedroom.

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Made up some new moves…

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Started getting my strength back…

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And became Giselle…

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Wowsers! Turns out I did a whole bunch of awesome stuff this year! I really made stuff happen.

I achieved things I never would have thought possible before.

I challenged my self-beliefs.

I followed my heart, in spite of the fear.

And I felt the magic moment of arrival. The moment you arrive at your heart’s destination. Bathing in it. Soaking it up.

Following my heart was my favourite part of this year. I really just went for it.

This coming 2015 I hope to continue going for it, but I will be aiming for more consistency.

I will be following my heart, but remaining aware of what my body and mind need in order to keep following my heart.

2015 will be full of heart-following, loving, dancing, Studio Tibor, QLD Ballet, my beautiful little family, travelling, writing, dreaming, studio building, laughing with friends and body maintenance.

I wish everyone a wonderful end to 2014 and happy, glowing dreams of contentment and good moments for 2015.

Thanks for being part of my 2014 ride!

Bush xxx

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The Reluctant Self Promoter

I must start this post by saying how utterly embarrassed I am about what I am about to write. Not the ballet part and not the crazy-lady-from-the-bush-flies-to-Sydney-to-take-a-ballet-lesson part. No, those all fall within my relative level of normal.

But the self-promotional part? Oh, it’s agony! Why is that? I don’t know. (Well, okay, maybe I know a little bit, but lets not turn all psycho-babble.) I wish I didn’t have such an issue with promoting myself or my work/art/ideas. I see other people being loud and proud about themselves and I’m so darn jealous. It’s something I MUST work through, and apparently there is no time like the present. I’m not sure about that statement, but I’ll have a go anyway.

So there are only two days until… 

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Yep, I will be heading to Sydney for my next Sydney class at Studio Tibor. And honestly, I’m so excited.

I am now having two lessons on the same day. I am having a regular beginner class in the morning and a private with Tibor in the afternoon. Yikes…

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I can’t wait. It’s going to be awesome! I’m going to love every ounce of pain, because it is all completely worth the feeling of having wonderful real-life ballet lessons. 🙂

There is, though, a downside to my Sydney lessons, and that is that they are going to be over before I know it. And I want more! This is my thing. I need it. I love it.

And I am determined to find a way to afford more classes, without taking from our family finances too much. After thinking about this for a while, I decided to launch an online shop. I have started with a fairly small collection of designs on t-shirts, badges, hoodies, drink bottles and mugs, and I have also stocked some items without any designs for those who like wearing unbranded gear.

I will be expanding my design options and item range as I go and I am open to any feedback or suggestions anyone has. And I will be ordering the products myself and will demonstrate the gorgeousness of them one by one! Even the guys’ items. 🙂

All the funds raised from the shop will go to the costs of me getting to more ballet classes. And of course, I will happily let you all know how I go with that effort! So feel free to have a look-see if you wish. No pressure though. It’s just there if people want to shop from there rather than somewhere else! 😀

You can find the shop by clicking on the “My Shop” page at the top of this blog. Or you can also just click on this link —> Bush Shopping!

Below are close up images of the designs on the products. (It is a little hard to see the @bushballerina on the shop website).

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And there are different coloured “Believe & Become” designs for different coloured t-shirts. But they are the same text and layout.

I hope you enjoy the shop — even if you don’t buy anything. I have been having a lot of fun coming up with designs.

It would be so fabulous if gorgeous dancers from dance companies and adult dance classes alike, decided to purchase one, just for the fun of it? Ballerinas, ballerinos and adult dance students, wearing a bush-tee? How incredible. Ah, a girl can dream, right? 😉

Bush xxx

P.S, I’d really appreciate if anyone can share this post via whatever medium you have at hand, be it twitter or facebook or pigeon carrier. That would be awesome!

P.P.S, If you do the pigeon carrier thing, be sure to film it, that’d make a great post! 🙂

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Dancing with Bears

It’s somewhere around 4.30am when I start to notice something different. But it’s just a slight niggling feeling. I roll over in bed and try to ignore it.

About 15 minutes later the niggling feeling is now more of a scratching and gnawing feeling. I’m tired from not getting to sleep until 2am. I need this rest.

But it doesn’t go away. It gets louder. I can no longer ignore it.

It’s now 5am.

The digging. Scratching. Gnawing, are all now ever present. They have engulfed me. I am forced to wake up. And that’s when I see it.

There’s a big old scary grizzly bear right there in my bedroom. Before I’ve had a chance to jump out of bed, the bear is right up in my face. I can’t move. I can’t run. I am stuck. Frozen.

The only thing that moves in the room now is the swirling and twisting in my head. The churning, gnawing, digging in my stomach. And the rapidly increasing beat of my heart. It feels like it’s going to explode out of my chest. Or maybe just stop altogether.

I’m sure I wouldn’t be the first person to ever go into cardiac arrest from being attacked by a bear? Right?

The bear stares me down.

I feel powerless. I can’t possibly win against this beast.

At least that’s what it feels like. But my life experiences have taught me that I will actually survive this bear attack. By about 5.30am this knowledge creeps into my awareness and I decide to break my freeze.

My head keeps swirling. I feel sick, clammy, dizzy. My thoughts are cloudy. Clarity is a ways away. But I chase clear thoughts all the same, even though I know I can’t get there yet.

I make a cup of tea. I don’t offer the bear any. I’m a shitty host to arseholes. He can get his own fucking tea.

Now I start to do what I do in these moments. My strategies. After a while, the bear starts to back down.

And … breathe.

Anxiety sucks. And when it visits, I get exhausted.

I have been exhausted for more than a week now.

I’m lucky these days that my anxiety and/or depression comes and goes and is no longer a permanent state. Now it usually visits me if I have slipped up on my management of it. Or when I am confronting something or trying to change some crappy internal dialogue that I have run into.

Change is a pot stirrer, that’s for sure.

I am processing some very old crap at the moment. It seems the closer I get to my next Sydney trip, the louder that old crap becomes — the more the bear comes knocking. I’m not at all worried about my classes with Tibor. There is something else at play.

I have read that a lot of people who try to change major negative self-beliefs, aren’t successful because they can’t hold onto the belief that they deserve to change, long enough to break the cycle. I think a lot also depends on what your self-beliefs are, how long you have had them and where they are coming from.

I don’t want this to be a pity post. No, not at all. I will bounce back. I will dance. I will laugh. I will continue. But I want to remain honest about my journey. Remember that is how I started out. An honest account of what I am trying to do. Learning ballet from nowhereville. Healing my body and mind along the way. I never wanted to gloss over the sticky bits.

I’ve gotta dance with the bear. That’s just my reality and that’s okay. Granted, it doesn’t feel “okay” when panic sets in at 5am. But hey, it could be a lot worse. Like, a LOT a lot worse! And If I can get through the mud, then maybe my journey might help someone else to believe they can too.

There are many different ways to choreograph the dance with the bear. Some people medicate. Some people try to face it, and be at one with it. Others manage it with lifestyle. And I am sure some people try it all. I think you have to do whatever suits you and works for you.

For many people, these things don’t just disappear. They are constantly managing the state of their rise and fall. Making sure the dance steps are as smooth as possible. It’s a never ending dance piece.

Realising you have these issues is only one part of the whole story. But it seems to be the only part we ever see portrayed in the media or hear being talked about.

I wish more attention was brought to the everydayness of these issues.

And speaking of that…

I recently started listening to Osher Günsberg’s podcasts. His interviews make you feel like you’re a fly on the wall, listening to a great, relaxed conversation between two interesting people. He also talks about his journey with anxiety and depression in a more realistic, every-day way. Like, hey, it’s here. It’s part of me. And I work hard every day to keep on top of it. It’s only a smidgen of what he talks about. It’s not his whole gig or anything like that. But hearing his open and acknowledging approach to the issue was so refreshing to me. I hope he continues to be open about it in the public arena, as I am sure it will help other people not feel like they have to be so silent about their struggles.

I wanted to link here to Osher’s podcast site because they are seriously great listening. I’ve seen people tweet that they listen to the podcasts while cooking dinner. What a great idea! If I didn’t have a 12yr old child, I would definitely do that. But some of the content is a little sensitive for the kiddo’s ears. You can download any of the interviews you want to. The last one is pretty great. You can find them all here —> Osher Günsberg Podcasts

So back to the bear. Well, it may be more present over the next 10 days, but I will do what I do. And it will be okay. Seriously, the next 10 days can’t come fast enough! Hurry up already!

I’m looking forward to Sydney Day and getting through whatever it is that is surfacing.

Just my thoughts.

BB

P.S Apologies if the poorly chosen metaphor “dancing with bears” in any way conjured up images of those poor chained up dancing bears!

P.P.S Apologies if you hadn’t thought of those poor dancing bears until my previous P.S! :/ Maybe you could YouTube cute kittens or people doing stupid things?

P.P.P.S Don’t YouTube both of those together.

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19 DAYS UNTIL MAGIC TIME!!!!

OMG you guys! Do you see what I see??? ————->

My nifty countdown calendar over there says there are only 19 days until my next Sydney class at Studio Tibor!!!!!

I’m excited and nervous at the same time. Every now and then I think about what others in the class might think of me FLYING down to a ballet class — will they think it’s stupid, crazy or pathetic? I don’t know. It does make me a little nervous as I don’t really want the trip to be about anything more than learning ballet. Don’t get me wrong, I will enjoy meeting other students, but for the price I am paying in time and money, I really want to get the most learning out of the class that I can.

Second thing I’m a tad nervous about is that I am going into a beginner class. At the studio they have absolute beginner then absolute beginner/beginner then beginner, and then something up from there (out of the “beginners”). And Tibor feels I would suit the beginner class. Obviously I would still learn from the AB and the AB/B classes, but it seems I will cope with the B one too.

I was all set to go into the AB class so when I heard this and I was a little thrown. I actually thought Tibor had made a mistake at first (Sorry Tibor) and it took me a few days to realise he hadn’t.

I can see that the beginner class could be great if it is within my reach but enough of a challenge to keep me progressing. I would love that! But I don’t want it to be so challenging that I come home and quickly lose everything I learned while there. I also think that because I am not familiar with all the ballet terms, I am worried I will get lost in the lesson and struggle too much with just following instruction.

But it’s ALL OKAY! 🙂 I will have my handy note-taking book at the ready for more highly technical notes, like these here: highly technical notes And I will have plenty of time at the airport and flight home to write those notes while still fresh in my head and aching muscles!

I am more excited than nervous! 😀

BB