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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-Physio Update

A few supine leg stretches. Feels great to be moving again.

Hope everyone is treating themselves fairly, cause you know, unfair treatment of yourself will likely lead you to a place you don’t want to visit.

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Capezio Review — 1

Dear readers,

I am so excited to be presenting you with a review of some lovely Capezio dance gear I have tried recently. Enjoy! 🙂

First up…

Leather Juliet Ballet Flats

Firstly, I know that some of you are big on how products are packaged and some of you are not so concerned with all that. I am usually not altered one way or another by packaging and I didn’t think I would be mentioning it in a review, but I have to say, I squealed a little when I saw the most gorgeous little Capezio boxes that these ballet flats come in. OMG. I think it actually did impact my immediate impressions. Speaking of which…

Immediate Impression:

Very nice.

Straight out of the packaging, the general feel of these ballet flats is SOFTNESS. Everywhere.

The outer is a light creamish pinkish coloured leather. And the leather is super soft.

Inside is lined with a soft brushed polyester/cotton fabric that creates, yes, more softness. They have heel and ball-of-foot pads on the inside as well that add to a shoe that was obviously designed and made for comfort. SOFT comfort!

Another important first impression  –>  PRE-SEWN ELASTICS! Loved this feature. Obviously that is not going be perfect for everyone as our elastic length needs all vary, but it worked for me.

How they fit and feel:

Taking all the above in consideration, it makes perfect sense that when I first slipped my feet into these flats it felt like my feet had slipped into really comfy slippers or socks. Not ballet slippers, just regular comfy, nurturing, relaxing slippers.

The heel comes up a little higher than other flats I have worn. This doesn’t really feel either here nor there for me. Doesn’t change the level of comfort  at all. It’s just something I noticed that was a little different.

A feature I particularly love about these shoes is their diamond gusset which makes the arch of the shoe hug the arch of your foot. Arch hugging is the bomb! It feels awesome when a shoe hugs your arch but more importantly you can see how much you are working your feet when you can see that arch clearly. So it’s really a wonderful tool.

So they feel great.

I fit their size 8.5 in length and their M (medium) width.

I have a very narrow foot and am always surprised when a ballet shoe fits my foot. So I was very surprised when I tried these shoes on. Especially seeing the only width choices were medium and wide. I was a bit worried about that but these fit like a glove.

How they look on (are they stylin’?):

Yes! I absolutely reckon they’re stylin’. I think the combination of the diamond gusset and the super soft fabrics they have used, create a really fabulous looking shoe. I mean anything that shows your foot off to its best ability will look good.

How they perform:

These shoes felt really good while working in them. There were no places that became irritated or sore. The soft and comfy theme continued. And I continued to love the arch hugging support.

I did notice that my feet became quite warm in them. Not hot. Just warmer than I am used to. I think this is due to the soft inner lining fabric. This wasn’t something that would stop me from wearing them, but I did notice it.

Do I recommend them?…

I highly recommend these shoes if you’re looking for a super comfy shoe that helps you feel what your feet are doing.

The only downside I can see to these shoes is that your teacher might really push your feet hard because they will be able to see exactly how hard you’re working them, and how much harder you could be working them. But then you will only improve, so that downside is really an upside.

The Capezio Leather Juliet …

You can find these ballet shoes here: Leather Juliet

Ultra Soft Transition Tights (style 1916)

Immediate impression:

Pink. Soft. Nice thick waistband. A generally nice first impression.

Seriously, they look really really pink when you first see them. Much pinker than my photo shows. But they don’t look that pink when you put them on.

How they fit and feel:

I have pretty long legs. I tried the long/extra long size and they covered my length just fine. They feel really comfortable on. Very soft. And the thick waistband doesn’t cut into you. I love this.

They fit and feel good on and as you would expect when purchasing ballet tights.

How they look on (are they stylin’?):

They look good on. They lose their very pink colour and become more of a white colour. The fabric doesn’t do anything weird as it stretches.

So I suppose, yes, these ballet tights are “stylin'” as much as any ballet tight can do.

How they perform:

I love it when I don’t notice anything about tights while I’m working. If I finish my class and I haven’t had to think at all about my tights, then that to me says they are good tights.

These are good tights. They didn’t itch, the crotch didn’t drop, they didn’t catch on themselves as I moved in and out of fifth position and my sweat didn’t show up.

Crotch drop and sweat? Damn, ballet tights are the height of glamour aren’t they?

Do I recommend them?…

Yes. Definitely recommend these tights. Nothing bad or wrong about them in my experience.

Capezio Ultra Soft Transition Tights…

You can find these tights here: Ultra Soft Tights

Camisole Leotard

Immediate impression:

Lovely! This leotard is black with a light pink trim. The black is a nice good quality dark black, rather than a faded black. It feels soft to the touch, has a moderate leg line, a full front lining and some lovely decorative detailing on the back.

How it fits and feels on:

I love the way this leotard feels on. It feels soft and smooth with plenty of stretch. The straps didn’t cut into me, nor did the leg line.

It fits the way you would want a leotard to fit. No awkward surprises. No straps falling off my shoulders. The length was appropriate.

Even though they call the leg line medium, this is the lowest leg line I have used so far and I really liked it. I’d like to go even lower as I really like the boy-cut/50’s fashion look.

I also found the double front lining very secure. I really liked that element.

How it looks on (is it stylin’?):

I love the look of this leotard. As I said above, I really like the leg line. I like the smaller straps too, and I LOVE the back — I like the lower line of the back as well as the decorative detail.

I also like the colours. The black and pink is a bit of a modern mix and I like that.

Yes, I believe this is a stylin’ leotard!

How it performs:

This leotard was great while working. It didn’t become lose. Nothing on it became irritating. The straps didn’t cut into me. The leg line didn’t ride up where it isn’t wanted. It coped with my load of sweat.

I really liked how soft the fabric felt on me while I was working. Ballet is such hard work, it’s nice to wear something soft and smooth while doing it.

Do I recommend it?…

Yes, absolutely. I definitely recommend this leotard.

The Capezio Camisole Leotard…

You can find this leotard here: Camisole Leotard

Hope you enjoyed reading this review as much as I have enjoyed these products.

xxx Zoë

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Seriously. Shake it Off.

YOU ARE AWESOME.

YOU ARE JUST RIGHT.

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

Don’t worry about what other people say. Just be you. ‘Cause that’s what the world needs. Just you being you.

And to back me up on this concept I’ve recruited my fan-girl-crush Taylor to share her awesome words of truth.

P.S – Check out the video. It’s the outtakes of Taylor with the ballerinas shooting her video and it’s fabulous. I especially love seeing the ballerinas at the end of the clip shaking it off. Such a gorgeous pick-me-up.

Advice from Taylor:

I stay up too late, got nothing in my brain
That’s what people say mmm, that’s what people say mm
I go on too many dates, but I can’t make ’em stay
At least that’s what people say mmm, that’s what people say mmm

But I keep cruising, can’t stop, won’t stop moving
It’s like I got this music in my body and it’s gonna be alright

‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off
Heartbreakers gonna break, break, break, break, break
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off

I’ll never miss a beat, I’m lightning on my feet
And that’s what they don’t see mmm, that’s what they don’t see mmm
I’m dancing on my own (dancing on my own), I’ll make the moves up as I go (moves up as I go)
And that’s what they don’t know mmm, that’s what they don’t know mmm

But I keep cruising, can’t stop, won’t stop grooving
It’s like I got this music in my body saying it’s gonna be alright

‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off
Heartbreakers gonna break, break, break, break, break
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off

I, I shake it off, I shake it off
I, I shake it off, I shake it off
I, I shake it off, I shake it off
I, I shake it off, I shake it off

Hey, hey, hey, just think while you’ve been getting down and out about the liars and dirty, dirty cheats in the world you could have been getting down to this sick beat

My ex-man brought his new girlfriend
She’s like “oh my God”, but I’m just gonna shake it
And to the fella over there with the hella good hair
Won’t you come on over, baby, we can shake, shake, shake

‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off
Heartbreakers gonna break, break, break, break, break
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off

I, I shake it off, I shake it off
I, I shake it off, I shake it off
I, I shake it off, I shake it off
I, I shake it off, I shake it off
I shake it off, I shake it off
I, I shake it off, I shake it off
I, I shake it off, I shake it off
I, I shake it off, I shake it off

Big thanks to Taylor for having a personality independent of what other people think of her and for just generally rocking.

Take care everyone.

Bush xxx

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Students En Pointe – A Video

Saw this posted on the Studio Tibor Facebook page last night. It’s a little video that the adult ballet students put together. Just a smidge advanced for me 😯 but so beautiful and cheeky. Looks like great fun.

xxx Zoë

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What Does En Pointe Feel Like?

I wonder what pointe shoes feel like on your feet, when you try to stand en pointe?

I don’t often let myself think about en pointe stuff because I don’t know if I’ll ever get there, so I don’t want to set that as a goal and end up disappointed.

So apart from when I dream (literally) about being en pointe, I don’t think about it too much. But I was thinking about this yesterday. What do pointe shoes feel like from the inside while you’re en pointe? Apart from painful!

I wonder if they’re hard, like timber? Cold? Sweaty? How do your feet not slide around in them? Is there any support for your feet? Is that what the shank is for? I’m such a beginner.

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I was en pointe and it was amazing!

I had another en pointe dream last night. I rose up out of a corner and smoothly tippy toed (en pointe) my way across the floor. It was such a beautiful feeling.

And I was dancing to the music I have posted on this page…

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=vGq3-Fi_zQY