“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” ~John Wooden
For many people, a new year means a clean slate. It provides countless opportunities to try new things and improve one’s skills and daily habits. More often than not, people vow to eat healthier, exercise more and live a generally healthier lifestyle. Unfortunately, this type of resolution is usually easier said than done which leads many to give up within only a few months. With this in mind, what can be done to ensure that we stick to our New Year resolutions? As dancers, especially, we hold ourselves to a scheduled routine and tend to be hard on ourselves when we break the flow of it. It’s a given, then, that we’re just as hard on ourselves when we break our resolutions.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Roll your eyes if you must but, it’s applicable to our topic. So many people disillusion themselves into thinking that they can change all habits without any difficulty or relapse. Try to keep in mind how active and health conscious you already are on a day-to-day basis. You can’t expect yourself to go from 0 to 60 in the matter of one day. Step back and take a look at what you can honestly achieve right now. It may not be as amazing as your goals for the long run but, it’ll help you get there. Being realistic is one of the most important things about setting goals because it will provide you with a better chance of accomplishing tasks.
One Step at a Time
Trying to take on your new goals can, sometimes, be daunting and even discouraging. This is why so many people end up giving up on theirs. For any large tasks in life, breaking it down into smaller steps can help a person actually accomplish more with less stress. By breaking your goals down into smaller steps, your goals are much easier to tackle. Lay out the plan for your goal from the easiest steps to the hardest and tackle them individually. Did you finish that first task? Okay, great! On to the next one! Each step you take will improve your skills or the habits you’re trying to develop.
But, what does all of this have to do with dancers in particular?
Dancers Are Athletes
Anyone who disagrees with the above statement is free to leave.
What’s one thing you’re guaranteed to hear from a dancer at least once in life? “I can’t. I have practice.” Why do athletes have to practice? Why does anyone practice anything? To get better. Unless you’re superhuman or a comic book character, it’s impossible to wake up one day with perfect abilities in whatever you want to do. Practice is necessary if you want to be good at anything. Scholars read, they study to pass all of the exams that they possibly can. Writers start out writing terrible stories and work their way up to writing better ones. Painters paint until they’ve created the artwork they’ve always dreamed of. Basketball players practice so that they can be as quick and swift as possible on the court come game time. Dancer rehearse so that they can be the best at their craft as they can be. So that one day, they might get the day in the spotlight taking on an iconic role.
So, stop and think. What are your goals for 2018? What do you want to have accomplished by the end of it and what can you do to get there? Set an easy pace, make a practical list of steps to get you there, and step to it. You have full control of what you can and cannot do. Make this year your year of can do.
Passion ~ Dedication ~ Artistry
Around this time of the year, most dance studios/academy’s finishing up with their final performances of the season, about to give their final performance, or have already started their short break before the new year begins. In light of that, today’s post is all about keeping yourself in shape during your break. But, first…
Congratulations. You’ve shown a lot of hard work, dedication and focus to your art. You know the phrase “hard work pays off”, don’t you? Well, let’s reflect on that for a moment. After all of that time and energy spent on your performances, what do you have left? Are you given any kind of award or prize for it? Usually not. Are you rewarded with any special titles? Probably not. So, what do you have to show for it?
At the beginning of the training process, did you have all of the choreography perfectly memorized right away? Of course not! That’s what the rehearsal process is for! You spent day after day and class after class learning the dances and getting better. Everything that you’ve learned is what you have to show for yourself. Everything that you’ve given into your performance is what you have to show for yourself. Your passion, your energy and your hard work is your prize. Please, be proud of yourself. Enjoy your well-deserved break!
A Healthy & Delicious Holiday
Thanksgiving isn’t the only holiday where people get over zealous about filling their stomachs to the brink. The holidays are full of tempting sweets that are perfectly fine in moderation. But, don’t go too crazy! Why don’t we pick out a few holiday dishes that are always a hit and won’t leave you feeling guilty afterwards.
An Easy Veggie Tree!
Probably the simplest recipe on this small list, this veggie tree will be a massive hit amongst the appetizers. You can decorate it however you want and with whichever veggies you want, too! A veggie or fruit platter will always go over well at any holiday party. And it’s a nice change of pace from all of the heavier food of the season.
The main reasons to bring this dish:
- It gives you a fall-back snack when you’ve had enough indulgences.
- Your health conscious friends and family will thank you for bringing something THEY CAN ACTUALLY EAT!
Squash Cranberry and Feta
Is your mouth watering yet? This simple, three-ingredient dish makes for an amazing side dish that’s packed with flavor! This is yet another simple and quick recipe that takes a minimal amount of ingredients and remains a party hit year after year. The combination of the sweetness of the cranberries with the savory flavors of the feta and the squash is unexpectedly fantastic. Here are a few fun tips!
- Use dried cranberries for the sweetest flavor!
- Try drizzling the honey after the dish has been baked to keep some of it’s naturally nutritious properties.
- If there will be any vegans at your party, the feta cheese can easily be swapped out for another vegan cheese!
For the recipe, click on the image!
Dark Chocolate Dipped Oranges with Sea Salt
If you’ve volunteered to add to the dessert table, this is the ultimate good-and-good-for-you dish. Are oranges delicious? Yes. Is dark chocolate a bittersweet delight? You bet! Does sea salt make the best hint of zing to any dessert? Duh! So, put them together! Use a dipping chocolate, dip the oranges completely or half-way. Sprinkle a small bit of sea salt and let them settle. There you go! All set!
Of course, the full recipe will be available to you by clicking on the image.
This is guaranteed to be the first thing to run out amongst the desserts. It’s the perfect combination of sweet, from the fruit and the chocolate, and savory, from the sea salt and the chocolate (again)!
Make sure that you’re staying limber while you’re on break. There’s nothing worse than coming back to class after a vacation and not being able to move the way you used to. So, make sure that you’re stretching whenever you get a chance to.
Reading a book? You can stretch, too! Watching a movie? You can stretch, too! Folding laundry? You can stretch, too!
Basically, all downtime should have a stretching regiment implemented in.
Just as important as eating well, indulging in moderation, keeping up with your stretching… Make sure that you take some of this time off to relax, recuperate and be proud of all of the hard work you’ve put into your season. We, here at Plainfield Dance Academy, hope you enjoy your break. You deserve it.
Passion ~ Dedication ~ Artistry
As we, here at Plainfield Dance Academy, prepare in our last few days for the 2017 performance of The Nutcracker, one thing that’s been a continuing topic of conversation has been ORGANIZATION. Since most of our performances are off-site theaters and auditoriums, with the exception of small in-house showcases, there is a lot of transportation of set-pieces, props, costumes and everything else that goes into the production of a ballet. So, it’s very easy to lose track of smaller items and find the area that you use to prepare an absolute mess. We’re here today to prevent that! Today, we’ve gathered some quick, easy and inexpensive tricks to keeping your things organized backstage.
Make a Check List!
Before you even begin getting your things together, sit down and make a list of everything you’ll need throughout the run of the show. This makes it so much easier to confidently pack what you need without doubt of forgetting something. If it’s easier for you, break down the list into smaller subsections like hair, makeup, costumes, first-aid, personal, etc. Once you’ve written out one section of the list, move on to the next and the next until you’ve finished.
Check the list once or twice (like Santa Claus!) and make sure that you didn’t leave anything out. Now that your list is finished, you can move on to actually packing up for the show, following the list and know that you’ll have everything you need! Trust me, it’s much easier to pack, check the list and see what you still need to pack, rather than wracking your brain for 30 minutes trying to remember that thing you forgot to pack. Take the easy road, write a check list.
So, what’s the best way to organize your things? Well, that usually depends on the dancer. So, there are two options to be presented here…
Option 1: The Bento Organizer
Okay so, this technically isn’t a bento box because a bento is smaller, only has two to three section and is used for food. But, that’s the best way to describe this organizer. Basically, if you go to any crafts supply store, hardware store, even the dollar store, you can find these boxes which are usually used to hold tools or craft supplies. If you work more efficiently when you’ve got a small organizer in your possession, then using this will be your best choice.
With this, you can separate your items into individual sections. Not only does this keep things in their place and easier to find but, it’s been known that having an aesthetically clean area or environment helps ease the mind and reduce stress. So, doing this will help you in more ways than you might’ve expected!
When picking out your own box at the store, keep in mind the items that you plan on storing in it. Make sure that the box is big enough, there are enough sections and that the sections themselves are big enough for your items. If this organization plan works for you, let us know by sending your pictures to us on Facebook!
Option 2: The Hanging Organizer
Hanging organization is perfect if your venue has very limited backstage space or if your cast is too big for the venue. Basically, these have the same organization system as the box expect that it hangs rather than being stored somewhere.
One of the pros to using the hanger is that there are some versions of this on the market that have a space on the opposite side upon which you can hang your clothing/costumes. That will come in handy for those who provide their own costumes or need to have costume pieces or props in their possession. For some, a standing organizer is easy to keep clean and provides a more open view of your items when backstage.
If you’re provided with a makeup table/vanity space, you can hang this on the back of your chair to keep your tabletop clean and lay it across the tabletop when you’re getting ready. They’re very mobile, which makes using it backstage extremely easy.
And if you’ve got too many things to keep track of and you’re going to take part in a long-running show, go ahead and use both! Organize ALL THE THINGS!
If you’re in need of a small container to hold those easy-to-lose hair items, these diys/hacks are going to be your saving grace.
For storing bobbi pins, you can use a Tic Tac container to hold all of them. The first bonus with this trick is that the container will always smell amazing (make sure to pick your favorite flavor!). Second, this container is great because it’s got the snap-shut type of lid. So, you won’t have to worry about it falling open and scattering all over the place! If you feel like going the extra mile, you can even decorate it!
To hold your hair bands/hair ties/elastics/whatever you call them, just grab a utility clasp and pile them on! It’s as simple as that! Keep all of them in one place and if you need another one, you know where you can find them!
Don’t Forget These!
Short and simple- these items may save your life:
- Top Coat nail polish for runs in your tights.
- A lighter (with parental or adult supervision) for frayed ribbons.
- Bag/Shoe Deodorizer. Your cast-mates will thank you.
And our final tip is to make sure that you have extras of everything possible. It’s much better to be prepared for an accident that might never happen than to be unprepared for one that does.
See you backstage!!!
Passion ~ Dedication ~ Artistry
For a while now, we’ve been talking about keeping warm in this cold weather. Today, we’re going to focus on the feet. I mean, that’s what dancers dance on, right? So, since they take such a beating with each rehearsal and performance, we’ve decided to dedicate a full blog post to healing and caring for your talented little tootsies!
Here we go!
As usual, it’s extremely important to stretch properly before and after dancing. When it’s cold out, the cool air makes the muscles more tense and tighter, which makes rigorous activity all the more challenging. In order for your body to work properly, it much be warmed up properly. Stretching out your arches and pointing your toes is always going to be a crowd favourite. And for good reason! That kind of exercise stretches out the muscles both on the bottoms of your feet and on the tops of your feet. And aside from the usual stretches, here’s one of our personal favorites:
Using a tennis ball on the bottom of your foot is an amazing way to work out any kinks and warm up your muscles.This is an incredible warm up because it’s the least strenuous exercise for your muscles yet it’ll give you some of the best relief. Rolling a tennis ball under your foot massages your muscles in a variety of different directions. But, what does this have to do with keeping your feet warm? Well, massaging the muscles helps to improve blood circulation. And when you’ve got a healthy flow of blood in your feet, the warmer they’ll be! This is one that we definitely recommend for before and after dancing.
A Warm Foot Soak
Three words: Apple. Cider. Vinegar.
Soaking your feet in a warm tub of water with a splash of apple cider vinegar is going to change your life. 1.) It warms your muscles, which leaves you feeling more flexible. 2.) It softens your skin, which is a great first step to removing the dead skin from your feet. 3.) The warmth of the water improves the circulation in your feet, which leaves your feet feeling warmer longer! 4.) Apple Cider Vinegar is amazing at killing bacteria, which is just another way to keep your feet healthy!
There’s a market for everyone, especially athletes. Especially ESPECIALLY dancers! So, of course, we’re going to take advantage of the world of online shopping and DIY’s to find the best techniques for maintaining warm and healthy feet.
You have GOT to try this! It’s extremely common for the skin on your feet to dry out during the colder months. So, this little trick will be a life saver!
All you need is some extra hydrating lotion, plastic wrap (don’t run away just yet) and some warm fuzzy socks.
Apply a generous amount of the lotion to your feet and then wrap them in the plastic wrap to keep the moisture locked in. Once you’ve finished wrapping your feet, you can put your fuzzy socks on over them. Not only are you hydrating your dry feet but, you’re also keeping your feet nice and toasty while doing it!
And when you remove those socks, you’re left with the softest and most rejuvenated feet you could wish for!
Welcome to heaven! If you’ve yet to venture into the world of compression socks, you’ve seriously been missing out. Made specifically for athletes, compression socks are built in a way that helps promote healthy blood circulation and prevent injury to the feet; namely the arch of the foot.
As we’ve stated many, many times, blood flow is crucial to your overall health and keeps your body warm. Personally, I’d recommend wearing compression socks whenever possible to prevent any injury to your feet.
There about a million other short-term tricks to keeping your feet warm and healthy during cold weather. Wearing socks fresh out of the dryer, put some hand warmers in your socks, and on and on…
What are your favorite tricks and have you tried any of the ones we mentioned here today? Let us know!
Passion ~ Dedication ~ Artistry
When the body feels a chill, your neck, back and shoulders tense up and tighten. With enough exposure to colder weather, your body can start feeling tired and sore. This can cause some serious problems for your body in the long run. Seeing as this is a blog dedicated to the betterment of the dancer’s life and the love of all things ballet, we’re going to discuss some of the best stretches and exercises to help relieve tension from your muscles this autumn/winter. Shall we begin?
Foam Rollers & Tennis Balls
Foam rollers are best, in our opinion, for loosening up your back after coming in from the cold and warming up. Loosening up your muscles will help relieve any tension you feel after being out in the cold. It’s best, when using a foam roller, to relax your muscles. Not only would the foam roller have no positive effect on flexed muscles but, it can also cause minor bruising, much like receiving a vaccine with a tense arm.
Tennis balls are best used to target small, specific problem areas. It may be that your back, overall, feels fine except for one small knot in the upper left side of your back. Rolling that spot on the tennis ball on the floor is an amazing way to work out that kind of kink. The same goes for other areas like the neck, lower back, legs, even hands!
Aside from working out the kinks, let’s see what else can be done to fix yourself after that cold weather!
Yoga, Yoga & More Yoga!
Like I said before, the cold weather effects the way your muscles respond to the temperatures. Your neck will most likely stiffen, your shoulders tend to raise and all of this wears out your back. So, doing these stretches/poses will help you to loosen up your stiff and tense areas. But what’s so bad about stiffness? Well, down the line, it can cause problems like osteoporosis, severe knots, even (in some BAD cases) minor nerve damage.
In all honesty, these are stretches that should be done ALL year around, not just in the winter. But, the winter will definitely be the most effective time to do it. Just make sure that you’re not over doing it. The last thing you want to do is cause further damage by over extending yourself. Listen to what your body is telling you. If it’s in pain, figure out what you can do to fix it. If you need to work it out, work it out! If you need to take it easy, take it easy!
No matter the case, take care of yourself and enjoy the seasons.
THERE’S SO MUCH HAPPENING!!!
Well, friends, Winter is upon us and there are so many things going on here at Plainfield Dance Academy. Like what? Well, I’ll tell you!
First of all, we’re in the heat of rehearsals for the 2017 production of The Nutcracker, which will be at the Plainfield South High School Auditorium on December 10th. With more and more people getting involved, things have started getting busy, busy busy! And while we’re talking about The Nutcracker, let’s talk parent volunteers.
We’re still looking for parent volunteers to help out during the dress rehearsal and at the performance on December 10th. Parents will still be able to see the show from their seats in their reserved area in the theater. So, don’t worry! You won’t have to miss a thing! Let us know if you’re available to help out. You know the P.D.A. phone number, it’s (815)230-5893, remember?!
You know what else we’re excited about? Our partnership with Butter-Braid for a fundraiser! This fundraiser will help us raise money for new costumes for our dancers! That’s something we can ALL get excited about, right? And who can resist the amazing food from Butter-Braid? We get to sell 7 incredible breads like the Apple, Cinnamon, Cream Cheese, Raspberry, Caramel Rolls Strawberry & Cream Cheese, and the 4 Cheese and Herb! YUM YUM YUM!!!!! All orders are to be turned in by November 28th to the P.D.A. front desk.
The P.D.A. Nutcracker So-Called “Class”.
We’ve created a “class” in the Jackrabbit system for those participating in the Wheatland Dance Theater/Plainfield Dance Academy Nutcracker as a way of keeping track of those involved and communicating to the entire cast and crew more efficiently. So, don’t panic if you’ve seen a class added to your schedule! DON’T PANIC!!
New Tap Classes!
If you haven’t seen the new sign on the front door, Plainfield Dance Academy is now offering a Tap class for Ages 7+ on Wednesdays at 5:30PM until 6PM! We’re also going to introduce a brand new Adult Tap class: Beginning Adult Tap for ages 18+ on Wednesdays at 6pm until 6:30PM! If you’ve had enough of your kids having all the fun, it’s time to have some fun for yourself! See the front desk for more information!
The “Shupa Lounge”!
Who’s seen the brand new dressing room and third studio space here at Plainfield Dance?
One of the most popular stories involving this word comes from the streets of Paris in the earliest days of ballet. Most people would perform in the streets as a way of earning extra money or because they were unable to afford time in one of the few theaters of the city. During these public performances, passersby and viewers would shout “Merde!” as a way to warn the performer not to step in the… merde of an animal. As this continued, this became a strange tradition and inside-joke with the dance community and a way of wishing someone good luck. There’s your fun fact for the day! Maybe we’ll expand on this in the next blog post!
We’ll be posting photos of the studio on Facebook and our other social media outlets once we’ve put on all of the finishing touches. But for now, we think you’ve gotten pretty caught up on the goings-on of the studio.
Passion ~ Dedication ~ Artistry
It’s important to keep your dance bag packed and well-stocked all throughout the year. Your dance bag is going to be your holy grail item to have with you in rehearsals. This is where you keep your must-have items to help you stay in shape and adequately prepared for your class/workout. The usual list for a dance bag is as follows:
- water bottle
- bobby pins
- sweat towel
- hair ties
- dance shoes
- phone charger
- lip balm/chapstick
- personal hygiene products
Of course, every dance bag varies depending on the dancer. So, the list above is really a very basic idea of what should be in a dancer’s rehearsal bag.
As the weather change and becomes dryer and colder, your day-to-day necessities are going to change, too. And the things you keep in your bag are going to change a bit. Let’s take a look at what you should add to your checklist for your dance bag, shall we?
- hand lotion/body lotion
- Colder weather tends to dry out a person’s skin. So, keeping your skin well moisturized will help you to continue to move effortlessly.
- Remember our last post? Leg -warmers are a dancer’s best friend during fall and winter. So, stock up!
- Stop giggling, you goof. I’m talking about those little boots that you wear outside of rehearsal to keep your feet warm!
- This one doesn’t really need explaining but, here it goes anyway. Regardless of how much you sweat during your class, you’re still going to have to keep your body warm. So, do it.
- With fall and winter comes the sniffles. The cold and flu viruses run rampant around this time and it’s best to be well-stocked with the necessities.
- cough drops
- Do you happen to remember what we said in the last post about sore throats? Keeping your throat healthy is a MAJOR factor in keeping yourself healthy altogether.
Is there anything else we need to add to our list? What do YOU keep in your dance bag? Leave your suggestions in the comments!
It’s been mentioned on this blog before, the importance of taking care of your body as the weather changes. Well, with the temps dropping somewhat rapidly at P.D.A., we’d like to reiterate the significance of bundling up!
Did You Know…
That it’s much harder for your body to fight viruses if it isn’t at the appropriate temperature? Basically, if you’re colder, it’s a lot harder for your body to fight off the cold and other illnesses. Though it’s yet to be confirmed in the medical field, many studies on this very topic have, indeed, proven this to be true.
What Should You Do?
Layer up! Wearing multiple layers makes it harder for the cold air to get trapped within the fabric of your clothing. The more layers, the more your body has protecting it to store it’s natural heat. More clothing = a warmer body = a healthier you! Now take a look at today’s title. Leg-warmers, hats and scarves are the holy trinity of keeping warm and that’s what we’re going to focus on today.
Did You Know…
That nearly 53% of people in the U.S. complain about having cold feet? And we’re not just talking about wedding jitters!
The lower parts of your body actually harbors more heat than you might give it credit for. Obviously, when the weather changes, it’s a good idea to throw on some cozy boots but, going the extra mile won’t do you any harm! Sometimes, wearing warm shoes just isn’t enough and that heat from your feet still finds a way to escape, leaving you feeling cold anyway! By throwing on some leg-warmers, you’re giving your legs a chance to trap that feet heat and give you one less thing to worry about.
Did You Know…
That a large portion, nearly 40%, of your body heat is lost through your head?
That’s why it is so imperative that hats need to be worn once the weather starts changing. Not only will you be preventing body-heat loss but, hats (when worn properly) are a great way to protect your ears from the harsh, cold winds. When your ears are exposed to winds below 40 degrees, the chances of ear-aches and migraines rise significantly. So, do yourself a favor. Go to the mall, pick out a few nice but function-able hats and do your thing!
Did you Know…
Everyone carries the cold and flu viruses but, those who keep their noses and throats warm are less likely to show symptoms? It’s true!
Do scarves have the ability to be insanely fashionable? Of course! But, they can be so much more! Right now, the weather isn’t so severe that you need to cover your nose. So, we’ll focus on the throat for a moment. Keeping your throat warm will help you prevent injury to your vocal chords. And while this isn’t a singing blog, it is important to keep your throat healthy regardless. Sore throats and voice- loss are caused by stretching cold muscles. Keeping your throat warm will prevent this type of injury and prevent some of those cold viruses from taking hold!
When the weather turns even colder, covering your nose will not only keep you warmer, longer but it will also keep you from inhaling more of those nasty seasonal viruses. It also makes for a helpful shield should someone nearby cough or sneeze!
What does all of this medical jargon have to do with being a dancer? Well, your body is your instrument. And you want to keep yourself in the best shape possible, don’t you? So, keep yourself nice and bundled up!
Ladies and Gentlemen, if you’d like to get to know the dancers who embody the attitude of Plainfield Dance Academy, let’s begin with Miro Pljevaljcic!
Miro’s been a student with Plainfield Dance Academy since December of 2015 and he’s quite the Renaissance man when it comes to the types of dance he practices! Not only does he study ballet but he’s also enrolled in Contemporary, Ballroom and Character, too! He’s also in the student choir at his school! Does this guy love to perform or what?! He’s always early to arrive for class and he walks out of each class having clearly given it all of his energy.
Every time he comes to the studio, he’s ready to greet you with a smile, a hello, and a small story about his day so far. It’s rare to find him in any mood other than cheery. If there’s anything he’s unsure about, whether it’s the schedule, a technique or where an absent student might be, Miro always has a question to ask. He’s extremely outgoing, friendly and is constantly on the hunt to learn as much as he can about… well, everything!
But, other than the obvious positivity he brings to the studio, why are we focusing today’s Student Spotlight on him?
On Sunday, October 22nd, Plainfield Dance Academy held an Open House event in which Parents, friends and the general public were invited to check out our facilities, see the debut of our BRAND NEW 3RD STUDIO and see a special performance by our Plainfield Dance Academy Company dancers! After the performance and still during the event, one our moms saw a wonderful candid moment and shared the sweet moment with us.
In the brand new studio, Miro was teaching another student’s little brother, Liam, some techniques that’s he’s learned. Miro was very patient with Liam and helped him learn how to stand, foot placement and other techniques. The two laughed as Liam tried to follow Miro’s easy instruction. In that moment, Miro displayed the three pillars of our mission at P.D.A. Passion– Miro shows others his love of dance not only by performing but, by sharing that passion through teaching others. Dedication– He dedicates all of his attention in class by asking questions when he needs help and using his time before class to prepare for his lesson that day. Artistry– Through his various creative outlets, Miro uses dance as a form of expression, a way of entertaining others and a way of connecting with others like Liam.
Thanks for showing others what P.D.A. is all about, Miro! Way to go!
Why do we dance? Is it because we’re expected to? Is it because we’re told we have to?
We dance because we love it. Dance is a form of self-expression for which only a select few posses a talent. When your craft is fueled by passion, the combination is virtually unstoppable. Sometimes, it’s easy to loose sight of the initial passion you have for the art when you’re constantly on the go with rehearsals, competitions, classes and so on. So, let’s take a moment today to think about why we dance.
Why did we start?
When we were little, most likely, we saw ballerinas as perfect and beautiful. We wanted to be just like them. They were beautiful and graceful and everyone loved them. Once we started our first ballet class, we wanted to show what we could do to everyone we knew. Our parents, aunts, uncles and other adults praised us for behaving so well in class, working hard and for doing such a lovely job. We loved that attention and all of the positive reinforcement.
Going to class was a treat. Not only did we get to dance, but we got to dress in the most lovely “ballerina outfits”, see our ballet friends and our favorite teachers ever! Class was always a blast because we were learning to do a special dance for our first ever dance recital.
When it came time for the first dance recital, that spotlight was the greatest thing we’d ever seen and we wanted MORE. Being on stage in front of an audience was the greatest thrill we’d ever known. If this was what being a ballerina was like, then that was the life for us!
Do you remember being that little girl? Which feelings come back to you when you think about those days? Sometimes, going back to the beginning can help you remember why you started. How long has it been since you were that little girl? What about you has changed? How much have you learned in all that time?
How the Time Flies…
If you could go back and let your little self see all that you’ve learned in your ballet career, do you think she’d be proud of you? She would be. She would because you’re what she envisions for her future. She wants to grow up and as much as she can about ballet along the way. Have you been doing that? Yes? Good. She wants to stay focused and perform in front of many more audiences at many more recitals. Have you done this, too? You have? Wonderful. She wants to become a ballerina that the little ones like her aspire to be. Are you doing that for the little girls around you? You are? Beautiful.
The hardest part about following your dreams is that we don’t have the chance to see into the future and know how things will turn out. I’m sure we’d all love a chance to revisit our younger selves. But, having a passion doesn’t means 100% assurance that you’re doing things perfectly. It’s about loving the art that you’ve chosen and doing your best to present it in the most thrilling, thought provoking and stunning ways possible.
When you feel like you haven’t done enough or you’re questioning why you’re still dancing, remember that little girl. Remember how much the art of ballet meant to her. And then show her that you haven’t let her down. Keep working, keep learning and keep your sights set on your dreams. Dreams are only dreams until you make them come true.