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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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gwenyth Modern Classic Top + Tunic

Dearest Readers,

I’m excited to tell you about the Modern Classic Top + Tunic by gwenyth, a product I was asked to review, and fell in love with in the process.

This product is very versatile and acts as a supportive dance/workout top which converts to a tunic if you should so desire. It’s kind of like a singlet that’s had a NASA make-over, with thoughtful strap adjustments for better comfort, an extra back strap for more adjustments and two different styles of bra pads.

Firstly, this top came in packaging that knocked my socks off! I know, I know, I don’t even care about packaging, so why am I suddenly getting all distracted with it? I almost want to hold a competition for the best packaged product now. Just so I can see the pretty packages! I think I’ve turned. Packaging has seduced me. I’ve been pulled. I’m becoming a packaging addict! I need a support group and a program with steps. Somebody get me some steps!!

Immediate Impression:

Really nice. Beautifully soft, but not flimsy, fabric. Love the ‘ballet pink’ colour I got, it’s a light, almost neutral pink, which means you will be able to wear the top out to other places.

Within the box is the top/tunic, an extra back strap for added adjustments should you need it, bra pads for either shape and support or just for extra coverage and instructions about all these gorgeous gwenyth components.

As an added bonus, and in MacGyver-esque style, the extra back strap can also double as a headband. I have no photos of me wearing the headband as I haven’t enough hair yet, but I was reviewing it so I did put it on, and it is soft and doesn’t pull on my scalp like so many other headbands do. So if my hair is ever allowed to grow longer again, I will definitely use this headband.

How it fits and feels:

The gwenyth top feels VERY comfortable on. The soft fabric is gentle but supportive. Nothing twists around or rides up the waist.

It fits perfectly as it should for a ballet/dance top. Nice and snug to hold everything in place. It feels supportive in the bust without cutting into the shoulders and also feels comfortable around the torso.

I have quite wide shoulders compared to the rest of me and I often find cross over straps are uncomfortable on my shoulder blades as the proportions just aren’t right for my shape, but I found being able to adjust the straps on the gwenyth top eliminated that problem. So big tick from me on that one!

How it looks on (is it stylin’?):

I really like the look of the gwenyth top. I would wear it during a ballet class or going out. I would have no trouble going to lunch, movies or the gym in this top.

I might not wear this top during a Studio Tibor group class as I prefer to wear a leo in that class for the sake of formality, but in other classes I would be very comfortable in it.

Again, I love the colour. It’s unassuming, which I love as you can dress it up or down as you please.

The ties on the side for adjusting the length are neither here nor there for me, visually, but during a class I would tuck them under.

How it performs:

I honestly thought that this part might be the undoing of this gwenyth top. My two big concerns were about the sides of the top riding up during class and about the colour being so light during a sweaty workout — I was looking for that “Oh crap! You can see my everything!” moment. But I was pleasantly surprised when neither of those became an issue.

You all know from my previous reviews that my favourite items of dance gear are ones that I don’t notice I’m wearing. Well, this product hit a home run there.

I thought this top was going to ride up on the sides when doing port de bras but it didn’t. I didn’t once have to stop and adjust this top during class.

And what about that sweat? The gwenyth top wins again with this one. Firstly, I don’t know what they’re doing with their fabric, but it actually took a lot for the sweat to begin showing through this top, and my followers and dance buddies know how drenched I am during class. Also, the coverage bra pads would stop that worry about the lighter colour becoming see-through when drenched. (But I wanted to try it without just to see.)

This top also has a built-in “Sling Bra” which adds to its comfort and support during class.

My favourite things about this product… 

– The obvious quality that has gone into it.

– The support and comfort it gives.

– The ability to adjust the top to the length you want. (I really liked having this top down over my hips during class. Felt really comfortable and looked nice.)

The Tunic…

Okay so the other element of this product is that the top can be pulled down at the sides and become a tunic. This isn’t my usual style (so my tunic pics were a bit awkward) but I think this is a neat idea and it would look great on lots of people.

It would definitely be comfy to wear with tights on the way to the studio or gym.

Do I recommend it?…

Yes. I definitely recommend this product. The product itself is great quality and very comfortable, but I also love the company’s philosophy of trying to get one product perfect before moving on to new products. The gwenyth company is not putting quantity before quality and they really genuinely want to do right by their customers.

Hope you enjoyed this review. If you’re interested in checking gwenyth out, click on this link: gwenyth website. For anyone interested in making a purchase, gwenyth have kindly give Bush Ballerina readers a fabulous 20% discount. All you gotta do is use the code xoBushBallerina20 when making your purchase.

[I was given this product in return for an honest review. As per my agreement with companies requesting a product review, I will only actually write reviews about products that I like — because I just don’t want to spend time on stuff that doesn’t float my boat. Therefor this is an honest review. I genuinely love the product. I also have no affiliation with products bought or links clicked on.]

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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… 

“crazy-lady-from-the-bush-flies-to-Sydney-to-take-a-ballet-lesson”

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…

“crazy-lady-from-the-bush-crawls-back-onto-plane-to-fly-home-after-Sydney-ballet-lesson”

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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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