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My front facing camera broke on my phone, making my already limited picture taking even MORE limited. Have a throw back from last spring. I have a blog post in the works. Life has been kinda nutty, my laptop *also* bit the dirt, and things have been kind of overwhelming. Y’all are always on my mind, though! You’ll be hearing from me soon. 💕
Classes yesterday brought to you in part by @leakycon (I don’t usually dress up for costume week, but i do try and incorporate Harry Potter to some degree 🤷🏼‍♀️)
New blog post, link in bio!
My friend Bailey and her company @companythreesixty made this and I have no more words to add. It’s perfect. #Repost @catchingbreaths with @get_repost ・・・ Why didn’t I report? I didn’t report because I thought that if I’m in a relationship with someone, it meant it was equally my fault. I thought the years of unhealthy feelings towards myself which ensued, were still invalid since it could have been worse. I thought I shouldn’t tell my Momma until a couple of years later on a beautiful mountain walk together, and even then, I softened the story from shame for how I’d appear to the person I love the most. I didn’t report because we live in a world where men use sentences like “it can always be worse” as psychological shrapnel. A world that tells us we should have done more to stop it. A world that, even when I remember the attempts to push away as clearly as consciousness cinema, I was scared to push too hard because I didn’t want to make someone mad. A world that makes me worry at sharing, because I have young students and ‘should be a role-model’: with a role model being pure, respectable, elite, undamaged. Now, a mother, wife, champion, boss... I still worry to report as innocuously as through a #WhyIDidntReport hashtag, lest I somehow appear less for having shared. But as someone who’s survived a darkness far worse than that described, and Shawshanked her way to a life of light- save for second glances over shoulders- I can say that the hardest person to report to is actually... yourself. It’s the you that you had once hoped to be. The you that you’ll never be again. The you that you wish you could go back and protect. The you you wish you had been (louder, less in shock, less weak). The you that once was but was taken. To all the Yous you once were reading this (and the You in me who still feels cemented by shame)... this should never have happened. It doesn’t matter how loud, quiet, forceful... how well you knew them.... You didn’t deserve to lose You because your body wasn’t left as yours. None of us do. None of us ever will. There is no good way to end this bit of writing, because the truth is: it hasn’t ended. A perfect sentence will not wrap this up. Y
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Teaching on my birthday is my favorite thing. Hi, I’m 30, and I gave full sized cupcakes to three year olds and I’m sure their parents hate me

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Break Through

Jilissa told us a story yesterday about when she was in dance class.
(I don’t know what part of her training this was during, but that fact is irrelevant.)

She had us doing a combination across the floor while making sound effects for each of the moves in the combination. She wanted us to think about the expression we use while dancing. She pointed out that you can have all the technique in the world, but if you don’t have expression, the audience won’t be impressed. She told us that she is more of a technical dancer than an expressive one, but that when she started expressing more, and trying harder and focusing on that rather than just technique, that was when she started getting compliments.

How did she finally get to that point?
She told us a story of a time when she was required to do a 10 minute improve.
I couldn’t do a 3 minute improve, let alone 10 minutes, but it was part of the class. Everyone had to do it, she was part of the “everyone.”
She told us how nervous she was at the thought of it, afraid of failing. Is there really a way to fail during improve? Not exactly, but she was afraid anyway. What if she wasn’t good enough? What if it wasn’t what they wanted? What if it was too repetitive? She told us how she was so afraid that they were going to judge her and she wasn’t going to measure up.

But so what if it’s repetitive? So what if they didn’t like it? It’s improve: I’m pretty sure what they want is to see you through movement.

She pointed out that most ballet dancers have control issues. We want so desperately to be perfect, but we never can be.
No matter how hard you try, you’ll never have perfect technique.
It’s physically impossible.
So we strive to get as close to perfection as possible, and try to cover up the flukes and flaws best we can.
She made a good point, “We have to get to the place where we aren’t insecure anymore, where we don’t care what we look like or how funny we feel or what other people’s opinions may be. If we’re constantly concerned about that, we’re only going to hinder ourselves. There has to be a point where we stop obsessing over technique, let our body do what we’ve trained it to do, and just dance.”

So, she faced that fear.
She didn’t have a choice.
But there’s something funny about facing a creative block like that.
You’re forced to find a way to break through it.
There’s no excuses.
It’s either face it, or give up.
And Lord knows we aren’t quitters.

It broke through that wall for Jilissa and opened her up to growing as a dancer in ways that weren’t possible before.
And we have to find the same thing for ourselves.

So what if you look ridiculous?
Chances are there’s another girl in class afraid of the same thing,
But if she sees that you are throwing caution to the wind, she’ll feel more confident to as well.

Remind yourself why you dance, let that show.

The end.

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