Thursday, February 12, 2015

Down But Never Out

Hurray, my knees are so swollen! I ate nothing but carrots last week and gained 4 pounds right around my middle that are going to look amazing in my new leotard! Whoo, I’m going to be all bloated and have world class cramps right before ballet camp!!

-       said no adult ballet dancer EVER.

Experience and planning can help us to minimize problems and set backs but nothing can prevent life from happening. Green juice, vitamins, and staying hydrated can help keep me healthy, but I’ll still get sick sometimes. So how do we deal?

Step 1: Acknowledge reality and just be bummed. Believe it or not accepting the stink gives you a platform on which to get over it faster.

Step 2: Now get out of bummerville. Find the lesson and learn it. Most challenges have something right there ready to be learned. Learn how to prevent an injury or strengthen a weak spot. Learn how to fend off cravings and keep that extra weight off. Learn how to relax and get some much needed rest.

Step 3: Let it go. Keep the knowledge but let the setback go – let it go!  Stop tweeting it, texting it, instagraming it. Don’t check in at your setback and stay there. It’s done. Time to move on.

Step 4: Re-focus. Set a new goal. Goals aren’t always just about the end result; goals give us guides to get back up and get back on to it. Goals are the road signs on our journey.

Step 5: Get back to work. There is always some work that we can do to move forward. Even when life/challenges/setbacks keep us from class, there are things we can do – read books, watch videos, practice using imagery, watch classes, find alternative ways to work out (water aerobics, floor barre, pilates).

Down but not out!!

*Seek out inspiration. Our inspiration for dance can come from music, museums, nature, hobbies… do something other than dance. Dive in and discover more.

* Relax. Stress is contraindicated to healing, in direct conflict in fact. Meditate, take a hot bath, take a yoga nidra class, talk to a friend. Calm down, breathe, all will be well.

*If you have an injury, have it looked at. See a doctor, acupuncturist, physical therapist, nurse practitioner. Self-diagnosis is like trying to give yourself class. Heal well and fully.

*Be happy with what you have and focus on what you can do. We have a tendency to obsess about what we don’t have and can’t do.  Shift your point of view. You can always do something and you’ve got so much to give, remember that!!

*Rest is part of the process. Too often we think of rest as lost time. It isn’t. We need to recover. Even when we are in good shape and killing it, we still need rest. Build in down time and enjoy it.

*Its the little things. Eat well, drink lots of water, stretch, strengthen, play, watch dance, be inspired. Ballet doesn’t involve a lot of equipment, instruments, or accessories. Dancing is about you. Take care of your whole self. Take your whole self to class. Dance with your whole self.


  1. We should really practice discipline when it comes to these things. Let's look for ballet lessons Phoenix.

  2. I’ve been dancing ballet since I was six years old, and I can’t agree with you more. Dancing is equal parts mental and physical, and taking a proactive stance to the limitations of your body, which is older now, can actually make you dance better. The worst thing you can do is strain yourself too much, because an injury now is much more serious than when we were younger.

    Stephine @ Donita Ballet

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  5. Are you still dancing? I took up ballet at the very youthful age of 40 <3 I had just started a Flamenco class too when the Pandemic turned hte world upside down. Now I am at home researching building a barre and found your blog. I how you are well!