Just Keep Going.

Today was my first two-classes-a-week class.
I’ve been looking forward to it since the first class this week, and am so excited to get to be going more than once…
Plus, Saturdays tend to be a little easier, so it always has a way of boosting my confidence.
We had two new girls who had never taken a dance class before.
These girls always hold a special place in my heart, because I struggled so much at the beginning. (and still do sometimes.)
The last combination we did involved soutenu turns.
I tend to not be so awesome at these…
Our dance teacher told the new girls to make sure they went in a group of experienced girls so they could watch. We were going in groups of 3.
There was one group that ended up being short, so it ended up just being me and one of the new girls.
We made it through the right side. I got super dizzy… of course. I really need to work on my spotting.
I briefed the girl with me about how to do the left side, since she was just used to the right. We went over it really quickly and then went for it.  My soutenu turns weren’t as bad on the left side, for some reason… and when we finished I wasn’t as dizzy. I tried encouraging the new girl when Jilissa started speaking.
“Look at you! You’ve become the example to follow. I’m proud of you, Emilee.”

Me? Wait, what did I just do?
Wasn’t I just the one that looked the fool, stumbling all over my feet the whole time?
The one who would get so overwhelmed that I’d cry?
And now, I’ve become the example to follow, and Jilissa said she was proud of me.
This was quite the moment for me.

I really wish I could dedicate everything to dance. More time, more practice, more classes.
I’m hoping that this is putting me on track to get on pointe before 25.
I have a year and a month.
Annabelle is getting her shoes next month, so hopefully I can work hard and get there soon, too 🙂
I know Jilissa liked seeing me in a second class.
I loved being there.

But if I would have given up when things got hard, I wouldn’t be where I am.
Sure, I still have a very long way to go. Being hyperextended sucks and complicates things. Plus, I’m built funny.
But I know I can keep trying and keep going and not give up, and I’ll get there.

First Step.

I had a hard time when I started dance out for the first time again.
I had a lot of things working against me, but I couldn’t let that be my excuse.
It was a lot of mind over matter…

But what I had to realize was that everything my dance teacher was telling me was true.
I have to start where I am. Do my best, and don’t give up.
Still, I had a hard time believing a lot of it. I had a lot of stuff telling me I wasn’t gonna be able to make it. That I was failing, that I wasn’t trying hard enough–all this stuff.

First Step: Believe you are a dancer.
A dancer isn’t just someone who excels in every single bit of technique; or someone who is flawless.
A dancer is someone who simply does one thing: dances.
If you take a dance class, congratulations! You’re a dancer! No matter if you have virtually no turn out, if 16 releves kill your calves, If you don’t know what a sisone is yet, or if a day of practice makes you cry.

You’re a dancer.
And if you remember that, if you accept yourself where you are, if you believe that with practice and dedication you will improve, then you will do just that.

Take the first step. Start where you are. And keep going. Don’t give up, no matter how impossible it seems. No matter if your brain can’t seem to register the seemingly simple step everyone else seems to master, or if you leave practice crying more times than not.
Keep trying.
You’ll get there, I swear.
You are a dancer. Believe it, and watch yourself grow.

Do Hard Things.

This was our conversation in dance class today with our teacher, Jilissa.

Jilissa: Ballet isn’t normal. For some reason, King Louis xiv made people learn it and do it. I think he was a little crazy… anyway, does anyone know why he had them do it? Or really, why we dance ballet? Why do we do it?
Me: Because we’re crazy?
Jilissa: Well… yes, but why do we do it?
Sarah: Because it’s pretty
Jilissa: Yes, that too… but think about it. It’s a challenge. And I really think we do it for the challenge. Because if it was easy, there wouldn’t be anything in it for us. What would be the fun of it? I think we, as people, like something that’s gonna challenge us.

Here we go folks.
If life was easy, what would be the point in it?
If everything was given to us, what would we even accomplish?
Accomplish would be a pointless word… There would kinda be no such thing.
We need the challenge. We need to strive for things. We need to have life smack us in the face, sometimes. To be unsure, to experience fear and look it right in the eye and tell it, “you don’t own me.”
It’s liberating. It’s empowering.
If we were giving everything, we’d never feel the need to change the world. We’d never feel capable of success. Because we wouldn’t need it.

Face hardships head on.
It won’t last forever
But it makes victory worth it.
Work hard now so when you dance, it’s beautiful.

(and if you feel a little crazy, it’s normal 😉 )

Take 5

We’ve been on a 2 week break from dance class
And I fear I will go crazy.

It’s amazing the difference it has in my deeper life, rather than just the boost it gives me with movement.
It’s as if there is this little person that lives inside of me. And it’s full of thoughts and ideas and commentary for everything I do (recently, it’s resembled the Olympic commentators…) and it constantly feeding my brain. This little minion in my head can be wonderful and encouraging or it can turn on me in an instant and reduce me to tears and worthlessness.
Dance puts him in place.
It challenges his ideas, exposes his lies, and seems to give him kinder things to throw in my head.

The difference 2 weeks can make is astounding.
But I’ve been able to notice and–on good days–separate the truth from lies.
Honestly, I didn’t expect that.

Starting next week, I’ll be taking two classes a week instead of just one.
My dance teacher said that to even be considered for pointe, this is what I need to do. So I took a big step and put my foot down at work and told them it was something I had to do.
I’m really excited.
I know my schedule is gonna be insane, but I’m excited to be able to do this.
I love my studio.
I love my teacher.
I love my classmates.
I love knowing that I’m going to get to do twice as much as I have before. And will, ultimately, be learning and solidifying things twice as fast.

🙂

New Steps

So, I personally have 5 or so blogs on here already…
Each one has their own topic and point.
Some I still keep up with
Others I could technically delete, but see, I’m weird about that… and I know that anything that has been written could never be written the same again, and that every word is a part of me.
Why start another one?
Well, because I have found myself learning so many deep, insightful lessons in my dance class. More than I can just tack on to any other blog.
So, here’s a new one.
I’ll be posting things I learn in dance class.
Things that I am more than grateful for.
My goal is to fulfill my dream of getting on pointe.
But even if I never accomplish that, the things I learn are worth more than I could have ever imagined. Or dreamed. Or thought. Or hoped. Or expected.
Some will be new experiences, some will be older ones.
Some may be candid. Who knows.

🙂