I hesitated for a while about making my blog more public. It’s never really been a private thing, being that it is on the Internet, but I never really told many people about it either. Somehow, word started picking up, or google searches happened, or something, and I started noticing an uptick in views. People from different places all over the world were coming to read my words.
Why? What do I have to say that other people would actually care to read? I’m sure much of it is long, drawn out, and boring. Heck, most of the views may have just been from spam sites or something.
But then I started getting comments. People were pausing to take time to tell me their thoughts or their stories.
I decided to take the next step and give it a .com. The name inspired by a shirt I found, I transferred over here to WordPress, made an Instagram and Facebook page, and just let the interwebz do its thing.
Now I’m not internet famous or anything, but I do get hits on the site. Some for more than I’d ever imagine. I hardly know how to navigate this new domain like I did my old one, but it doesn’t seem to hold it back much. I’ve had a few posts that blew up like the time I went to So You Think You Can Dance?’s tour or the time I got to go again. Or even the time I won a pointe shoe fitting through Capezio. These are interesting topics, though, and therefore cause wide interest. A few of my Swan Lake posts garnered a bit of attention, which really meant a lot to me.
I started hearing from these people I’ve never met who had followed my story and cheered me on. And even as recent as my most recent post, one I didn’t think would matter much, one I almost didn’t even post, I’ve had positive feedback and encouragement. One from a favorite dance mom from our studio offering advice on how to find solutions to my pointe shoe problems, another from an instagram friend doing the same, both helping lead me in a direction that looks hopeful in helping me find answers to my problems and knowing where to go from here.
I took a risk making this blog so public. I sacrificed the security in anonymity and the safety in being to fully express like I used to. But what I’ve found is a sense of camaraderie I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I’ve found myself in a community of people just like me, willing to stand beside me and help me chase this dream of mine. I’ve found friendship and people who won’t let me give up when all seems lost and impossible.
And that is a gift that is priceless.
(And now I have a buddy to take class with whenever I can get up to seeing my best friend in Dallas! How cool is that? This introvert is extremely grateful.)
We’ll see where things go from here.
My Dad, sister, and I head to Kansas tomorrow for my cousins wedding this weekend. Hoping to get to go by the Eleve Dancewear store in Kansas City while we’re there. Doing things like this always makes me a bit nervous as I feel I’m judged for not being a “typical dancer type.” I’ve gotten quite a bit of backlash in the past and found myself with an underlying fear of it. Still, I need to be a swan, not a chicken, and just go for it. Screw the haters and prove I’m just as capable. And give myself room for learning. I may not be where I want to be, but I’m quite farther than where I started.
Give yourself a break, Emilee. Progress takes time.
4 thoughts on “Community. ”
Losing anonymity is hard. I just didn’t see how I could keep it completely up on Instagram when you kind of need to see the direction of the head–where are the eyes? the chin? Not to mention that being able to see how hair, eye, and skin color look with a leotard color can help other people decide if it will work for them or not. I’m happy for the community because I can be seriously introverted. It took me forever to become friendly with people at my home studio, and they are all kind and warm people.
It also gave me a little bit of anxiety. When I moved back to Chicago (where I hadn’t yet warmed up to the people at all) I realized that some people might recognize me even if they don’t follow me on IG. I worried that they would see me in class and think that I’m some delusional person who thought she was all that, which is part of why I’m posting more videos that clearly show the myriad things I need to work on along with notes that demonstrate that I understand at least some of the things that I need to correct. For most adult starters (and even returners!) we don’t just automatically go from nothing to perfection or even decency in a couple of months or even years. Ballet just doesn’t work that way for most people, even children.
Screw the haters and enjoy your visit to Elevé!
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EXACTLY. I have this way of nervous talking. If I’m anxious in a new surrounding I almost talk too much. And it’s funny to see how that translated into starting ballet. I made friends, and then when new people would come in id talk to them (to kinda soothe my own anxiety of a new person) and everyone thought I knew them already. But I didn’t. We even convinced the entire studio me and another girl were cousins. (Some still believe it) so it’s helpful but at the same time I feel like a complete idiot. I’ve gotten quieter here lately. Which is the real me. And I’ve had some adults in our studio find my blog then find out its me, which is really weird and cool at the same time. (A good weird?) because I have no clue who they are and here they’ve been reading my posts and now we’ve met and it’s like, none of that would have happened had our paths not crossed online. It blows my mind.
And how many problems I’d still have if I didn’t say anything! I’d probably have given up on pointe already. It’s been such a struggle!
I hope to get more videos and hopefully from less awkward angles. They also help me see what is really going on versus what I think is happening. (I can’t always see my feet in the mirror) sometimes it helps me see it’s not as bad as I think, and sometimes it’s a slap of reality in the face.
Screw then haters! I’ll look freaking cute in my Eleve, especially with how their sizing favors my weird measurements. Swan not a chicken!
I was scared to post photos and write my blog too. As an overweight adult, terrified was actually more like it! I would watch beautiful young aspiring dancers post practice videos on YouTube, and see snearing, rude and just plain evil comments from prissy hoity toity dancers saying awful things like “you’re fat, you should quit” or “your turn out sucks you’re awful!” As someone who has been bullied my whole life, starting a blog and posting photos on Instagram was like noooooo. But then I realized I didn’t care, I do this for me and to chart and express my progress and feelings. I don’t have many friends, definitely none that understand dance, and no one to vent to or talk about things with, so sometimes blogging and the online adult ballet community is my savior! ❤
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I’m so glad I’m not alone in this. It’s so so so difficult to be vulnerable. And I don’t think those people who make comments realize it. That even confident people face a daily battle over this kind of stuff.
I’m so glad you didn’t let them silence your voice! It is an encouragement to me to read and see your progress!
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