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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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When the Repressed Rise

‘Why do gay people need to display their sexuality? Why can’t they just keep it quiet? Why do they need to make a big deal about it?’

I keep hearing this, and other versions of this, regarding other sections of society that have been repressed and are attempting to step forward and be accepted as equals.

I’ve heard it about the Black Lives Matter campaign, that some feel should be ‘all lives matter.’

I’ve heard it in relation to feminism as well.

‘Why do women have to rave on and on about how they were treated in the past? Or ‘pull the woman card?’

So, here’s my attempt at an explanation.

There’s a genie in a bottle story — I’m fuzzy on the details but my version goes like this…

If you take a genie and you put it in a bottle and leave it there for 2 weeks, then let it out, it’s going to be relieved to be out of the bottle, it’s going to be relieved to be able to move around and to feel free again. It may even thank you for letting it out.

If you leave the genie in the bottle for 6 months, then you let it out, it’s gonna be relieved to be out and to have its freedom, but it’s also gonna be a little pissed at you for squeezing it into the bottle in the first place and leaving it there for so long.

If you leave the genie in the bottle for 2 years, it’s gonna come out and primarily be pissed at you for leaving it in there so long. It’s gonna be angry, upset and hurt. Maybe even confused as to why you did this to it.

If you leave the genie in the bottle for 10 years, it’s gonna come out mad as hell. It just lost 10 years of its life. A decade of feeling like no one gives a shit about it. A decade of feeling like it isn’t important and of not being heard.

At this 10 year mark, before the genie decks you, it’s probably gonna scream every obscenity at you, and attempt to get you to understand how you’ve made it feel.

It will probably want you to acknowledge what you’ve done and maybe even want to get some kind of redemption or compensation for it.

Then it will never talk to you again. And it will only ever remember you as the arsehole who locked it in a bottle for ten years.

——–

Imagine, then, what the genie might feel and want to do if you left it in the bottle for thousands of years.

Thousands, of years.

The genie is not going to be mad as hell, it’s going to be explosive.

It’s going to be outraged.

It isn’t going to feel like the fight is over just because it’s out of the bottle. It’s going to want justice. It’s going to want you, the bottler, to be held accountable.

I can see, then, why some people might think it’d be easier not to let the genie out of the bottle now, after those thousands of years.

If you’ve left it in there for so long, and you know how outraged they may be if you let them out, then you know they may be so disruptive once let out.

Much less mess if we just keep the lid on it, right?

Well, for some, sure.

But when we shift our minds from the genie analogy to our very real social minorities, then it’s no longer just a story about a genie.

Now we are talking about humanity. And we should see it as a humanity — because we ARE talking about humans.

You cannot repress people for just being who they were born as — for just not being born, a man, or a heterosexual, or white. You can’t repress people for that, and then expect them to not fight back, get angry, want justice, make noise, and seek redemption and acknowledgement at some point.

At some point they’re going to rise. Come out of their metaphorical bottles.

And you can’t expect them to not dance in the streets and rejoice publicly when they make progress in their quest to be seen as equals.

So, the very act of wanting a once repressed person to repress their joy when they are no longer repressed, is ironic and nonsensical.

I hope, in moving forward, that I am witness to many more public displays of love and joy when the repressed rise, become seen, heard and accepted.

I look forward to seeing dancing, singing, hugging, kissing, confetti, and loads of loud and disruptive displays of celebration as each step of equality is taken.

With understanding and compassion to others, no matter how different they look from us, then we can change.

If we all do this, maybe anything is possible?

Zoe xxx

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This Time Around

This time round on my ballet journey, I have the power of knowledge alongside me. I am aware of my body’s strengths and weaknesses.

It’s funny because, although this time round I have many many more challenges, I am choosing to see those challenges as opportunities to do things the right way for me, and therefor achieve more of my dreams and goals.

Last time, I had hopes and dreams but was continuously failing. I was continuously feeling my body crumble when it didn’t seem like it should.

I was being told my body was perfect for ballet and “should” be able to make all these perfect ballet shapes if I tried hard enough.

I also had a strange fear of movement. I began to get over that fear while I was at the barre — in fact, Iearned to adore the feeling of movement at the barre, and I even started feeling a little more confident with some pirouettes.

But move me away from the barre and I completely froze up.

I remember during my first private class my teacher tried to teach me a very simply pas de bourree with a simple relaxed pirouette on the end.

But it was the strangest thing. It felt like I was learning to walk again. Like everything was foreign to me. Like I didn’t even know my left from my right. Like I didn’t even know my own name anymore.

I used to walk away from centre time feeling so deflated. I didn’t understand why my body felt so weak in the centre and I didn’t feel like it would ever end.

(I do have to add that my in-class teachers were wonderful. They would always say, ‘Just give it a try!’ They could see I was really struggling and didn’t make me feel worse for it. And I am incredibly grateful for that!)

Now, after having experienced such a massive physical breakdown, and doctors finally being forced to pay attention — and that attention leading to the right diagnoses’ and now treatment, has meant that I actually know now why my body was not ‘failing’ but struggling with certain elements and why I felt so awkward doing centre work. Yes, there are actual physiological reasons for it!

So many things make sense to me now.

I remember during my hardest days a few months ago, I would lie there, unable to speak properly, unable to stand up, unable to wash myself, pain searing through my body, and I would try to think of the good things in my life. I found them in my children and my hopes for better times some day. But it was bloody hard to find them. Some days I was too consumed by my suffering to find them and I just wished for the day to end. 

But I never thought I would one day look back at that time and see it as a vital part of my future success.

And that is what it is. (I am not ignorantly suggesting that this is how it is for all chronic illness sufferers. We all have our own journeys.)

There will be many ups and downs ahead. And my daily grind is still a pretty heavy grind.

But now I am armed with knowledge and am moving forward in an achievable way, giving my body all the support and understanding it needs, to get me where I want to go.

And understanding makes ALL the difference. I’m no longer confused. I no longer feel like a failure. I feel more confident that I can achieve my dreams than I have ever felt before — because I have adjusted my dreams and the ways I intend on achieving them.

I may have health issues that are making me see things in this new light, but I think it’s relatable to everyone who may start to feel that pressured feeling about what they’re trying to achieve.

I suggest we all stop comparing ourselves to others and start learning about our own bodies, how we work and don’t work and start working WITH ourselves rather than against ourselves. As that is how I see the greatest growth happening.

Zoe xxx

P.S remember, if you like it… share it! 🙂

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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