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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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Gotta get back to Hogwarts Gotta get back to school Gotta get myself to Hogwarts Where everything is magicooooool
Mischief Managed.

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I had a conversation with a dear friend of mine that started with informing her of the success of the harder shanks in the pointe shoes.

And honestly, now I have a seemingly new-found perspective, as well as a figurative weight off my shoulders.

Which is silly, because I kinda knew all this before.
It just put it all back into focus for me and really made me realize something.
Mainly, that she was right.

She was right about me needing a harder shank, even when I’m told by others that having a harder shank is a cop-out for people with weak feet.
She was right about my alignment being a little funky and was able to guide me in how to correct it.
She was right about how to use teaching styles that are effective. (The proof is in the pudding.)
So many other things that all have the same connecting factor;
She was right.

So if her track record is one of being right, then I know that she’s right in what our conversation held today.
Which is more than I’m going to divulge here, but what I really take away is this:

I am my own person. I am the product of the hard work and effort I put into to my technique. I can choose to either learn from people offering to help make me a better dancer, or I can throw it all out the window. I can choose to ask questions and learn, or I can putz through in fear. I am not the studio or company I dance for. I am not any lesser or any better because of roles I do or do not get.

And no matter what things look like now, nothing is guaranteed to stay the same.
I don’t know what my life holds for me next year. I don’t know what decisions people around me are going to make that are going to affect me. I can’t count on that. I have to make decisions for myself and what is best for me. I need to keep an open mind and realize that if something isn’t working out, I have the power to change it. One way or another.

So yeah, Swan Lake sucks right now. It’s hard and it leaves me crying every weekend because there is just so much that doesn’t make sense. But there’s parts I can change and parts I can’t. And the parts I can are up to me. I can make the most of what I’ve been given and get through the best I am able. Or I can complain about the things I can’t change, sit around and pout or be bitter or not work hard because it’s “not fair.” Okay, it may not be fair. But that’s something I can’t change. I fear I’ve done all I can do, and that isn’t something I fear for myself, but for the whole.
But I am more than Swan Lake. Even if it puts an unfair amount of strain on me. Even if it leaves me completely frustrated and embarrassed. Even if it leaves me with commitments difficult to keep because of how the “cards fell.” Whatever. Gotta just deal with it and keep trucking, and evaluate things and make decisions from there.
For me.

In the mean time, I can utilize every second given to me in that studio to become a better dancer. I can be so good they can’t ignore me–not necessarily in the sense of being compared to others, but compared to myself. Think about it; if someone is a mediocre dancer in class, and all of a sudden they start caring and trying and working hard, the teacher can’t help but notice.

I want to be that.

What they do with it is up to them.

And from that, I decide what to do with my life; with my art; with my career; with my story.

And that is completely up to me.

I shouldn’t set my goals with such a narrow depth of field. I shouldn’t set them in things that are out of my control. I should set my goals and dreams in things that I can handle and things that I can logically work for. If not, I’ll just continuously get let down time and time again, and for what? It’s not that I wasn’t capable or this or that or the other. Who knows why? I sure don’t. But the point is, it’s out of my hands.
Now my goals are going to be with me in mind. They’re going to be something tangible. They’re going to be logical.

  • I want to be able to consistently do doubles. In flat shoes, and eventually in pointe shoes.
  • I want my jetes to actually, ya know, get off the ground.
  • I want to master chaines.
  • I want to learn the different names for all the placements–arms, hips,  everything.
  • I want my arabesque to be above 90 degrees when I’m not trying.
  • I want to figure out how to beat my jumps, even though jumping is bad for my knees…
  • I want to learn these new, complex moves.
  • I want to continuously improve, blowing my old records out of the water.
  • I want to leave class knowing I was the best version of myself.

I know this isn’t something I can make a career out of. I’m twenty-seven. This will be nothing more than just for the hell of it. And I should try my best. But I have to realize that there are limitations simply because I’m not in high school, or my back is jacked up, or politics, or whatever.

But I shouldn’t let that keep me from doing what I love for as long as I want to and am able to do it.

My wish is that things would improve to where injustices aren’t a thing anymore. But judging by track record, that doesn’t seem to be logical.

And I can’t let that hold me back.

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