Refreshed and Ready!

I just came back from a weekend vacation and I am PUMPED to get back to dancing. I wanted to take a few days off from everything that included life (which therefore included dance) in order to de-stress and be refreshed for this next part of the year. I didn’t worry about eating healthy, stretching, strengthening exercises, or practicing anything at all. Instead I just focussed on having a wonderful break.  It was honestly one of the best weekends I have EVER had in Australia. Regardless, I found myself thinking about dance in one capacity or another the entire weekend and couldn’t wait to get back into the swing of things.

I haven’t posted this on my blog yet, but I entered into the biggest dance competition in Australia!! It’s called Showcase and regionals takes place at the end of September. I’ve entered two solos in two different styles of dance. The reason I did this was to keep myself on track and motivated and have something to work towards this year. It will also give me some performance experience under pressure, something I need a lot of practice in! This term will serve as preparation towards the competition and I will continue to work on certain goals that I want to achieve prior to the competition.

Some of those goals are:

1) Increased flexibility in my splits, hips, and back.

2) Paying more attention to details (like pointing my toes)

3) Consistent triple and quadruple turns

4) Consistent fouette (spelling?) turns in a series

5) Aerial on a non-gymnastics floor

My dance classes are also changing a little this term. I’m still finalizing them and such, but it will be great to have a schedule that is more consistent than last term. The classes I will be taking are contemporary, jazz, lyrical, ballet, Pilates and possibly JFH and neo-classical if I decide I want to do it. I’ve also been having trouble finding private lessons, but hopefully that will start ASAP this term. Additionally, I have a stretch program I will be doing 3x a week.

It’s been really great working towards my dream and I am really looking forward to seeing how much I grow as a dancer during the next term! Keep reading my blog for more updates on my progress this term!

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What is Inspiration Anyway?

I know I haven’t written a post in a while. I suppose I’m having trouble finding the right words to express what I want to say. Since I’ve started this blog and shared my story people have told me that this journey I’m on to pursue my dream with dance is inspirational. They tell me things like “You’re so inspiring!” or “I wish I had the courage to do what you are doing!”  

The reason why I have the courage in the first place to “go for it” is because I have a solid understanding of who I am. It wasn’t always like this; actually it wasn’t until recently that I started becoming comfortable with who I am. I am a circle and society is a square and it took me a LOONNNGGG time to come to grips with this concept. No matter how hard I try to fit my circle-self into the mold of this world it is not going to work. Once I realized that I felt freedom. 

I started thinking of what am I doing that is inspiring to people and why are they inspired? There are few people in the world that have the courage to drop everything and follow their dream. They are few people that admit that they don’t fit into society, yet they are trying to squeeze themselves into a place that wasn’t made for them. Little do they know that if they just had to courage to follow their heart they would find a perfect mold made especially for them.

But then the questions come…

“What if I don’t make it?”  “What if I fail?”

I would say this is the major reason why people don’t follow their dreams. It’s obvious in my previous blog posts that this has been a big issue of mine as well. It got to the point in my life that if someone asked me what’s the one thing I wanted to do in life the answer “performing” would pop in my head.  I wouldn’t answer the truth though out of fear of what people would say. They might say things like “you can’t make a living out of that!” or  “what happened to coaching gymnastics?” (my go-to answer in an attempt to bypass this whole conversation). If I didn’t tell people my dream then I wouldn’t have to worry about it not coming true and being a failure. But, I came to the realization that I’m forcing myself to purposely ignore something that was on my heart for fear of failure. I’ve already failed if I don’t try.

“What about my future? What about my finances?” 

This is another major thing that comes up and obviously one must be wise enough to know that this is a factor when choosing to pursue a dream. It comes down to sacrifice. It will be a financial sacrifice to follow your dream, but how much are you willing to give up in order to do what you love. I am very upfront with my employer about my dreams and my passion for dance and they are supportive. My commitments at work are my priority and there are sacrifices I have to make for dance because of work, but because my employer is supportive they give me the flexibility I need, where it is possible, to schedule dance around work.   

Yes, there is a HUGE financial sacrifice I make. I could be saving a lot more money, but instead I pay for dance classes, physical therapy, private lessons, dance shoes, gym memberships, flexibility programs, and all of the things that will take me closer to achieving my dream. 

I’m not the type of person to believe that money = success. To me happiness = success. I want to look back on my life knowing that I have no regrets and that I gave it my all. With that being said,  dancing professionally does not equal success to me because I do not want to put myself in a situation where I feel like I failed if I don’t make it. But I know that regardless of what comes of me following my heart I don’t regret that sacrifices I’m making one bit.  If I wasn’t willing to make the financial sacrifices then I don’t think I would be as serious about following my dream as I thought. 

“There’s people who have been doing this their whole life! I can’t keep up!” 

Again, if someone was 100% serious about following their dream then I believe their dedication and motivation would be enough to get them over this point. Obviously this is something I am dealing with. I’ll am vying for a spot in an audition against people who have been dancing their whole life with their own dream of dancing professionally. I’ve been at this for…not that long. This is where hard work comes in. I knew before going into this that I was going to have to work harder than others. I would have to be more dedicated than those people and I would have to not let them psych me out. It’s been a struggle, but over the past few weeks I’ve seen that my hard work has been paying off and I see an improvement in my dancing. Who cares if they’ve been dancing their whole life? I have the passion, I have the dedication, and I’m working my butt off. So whatever. 

 

Perhaps that is why people have called me inspirational, because I took these questions and stuffed them. Maybe people see my journey, know they are supposed to do something similar, yet they haven’t admitted to themselves that they too are a circle and not a square. Maybe it isn’t the fact that I, myself, am inspirational, but my courage is sparking something inside others that makes them think “hey, maybe I can do this too”, or “It’s time for me to admit to myself that I am not happy with how life is going and I need to do something about it.” 

I believe that if something is truly your dream, and you are 100% following your heart, then you will have enough passion to go through all of the negative parts, bypass all of the wishy washy bullcrap you say to yourself, or others say about you, and give it your all.