How Ballet Shaped Me

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Ballet has always been a huge part of my life, it has shaped me into the individual that I am today. I am so thankful for ballet. I wanted to share the important life lessons it has taught me throughout the years.

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I first started ballet at the age of 3. I trained in the Royal Academy of Dance Syllabus, the school of the Royal Ballet. I love the RAD method, it focuses on the importance of technique and foundation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left: My first Nutcracker ever, I was a Sugar Plum Fairy Attendant

Right: My good friend, Stephanie and I before our Grade 3 exam

Self-Discipline

Ballet has taught me how to be hardworking and self-motivated to achieve my goals. Ballet takes years and years of training in order to master the technique properly. I danced 6-7 days a week and remember times when I just wanted to quit and be done to have a “normal kid” experience. There were days I was so sore from the previous day but I knew the goals I wanted to achieve. Ballet is very self-disciplined, the teachers are not there to tell you how great you are doing. They are there to give you the tools for you to be the best dancer you can be. You have to apply their corrections in order to improve.

Left: Tiny Tots’ Beauty and the Beast, I was Belle and Stephanie was Maurice

Right: Tiny Tots’ Pinocchio, I was the Blue Fairy

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Nutcracker 2010: I was a Teenage Party Girl, my favourite role! The perfect combo of dancing and acting!
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Odette Variation from Swan Lake

 

The Importance of Taking Care of my Body

I credit dance to my love for health and fitness. Dancers know their bodies better than any other athlete, we know when we are off toe and know the slight change we need to make to fix it. We know how to listen to our bodies to know what they need. Dancers know the importance of eating healthy foods to fuel their bodies in order to perform their best. They know the importance of resting and taking care of their bodies in order to heal.

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Coppelia 2015: Prayer with Waltz of the Hours girls

Patience

Ballet training takes many, many years in order to master the technique it requires. Ballet requires lots of patience in order to achieve your goals. You will not be able to master a perfect pirouette on your first try, maybe not even your 100th. But after lots of long days in the studio, you will get there!

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My dear friend Julia and I in Serenade

Being Humble

When I was younger one of my ballet teachers told me how she loved how humble I was and people who were humble make the best ballet dancers. They get noticed for all of their hard work and determination without being in your face about it. I think this is an important trait as a future healthcare professional.1488232_669952866369503_14761566_n.jpg

Nutcracker 2013: On left Vincenza as Russian Trepak, middle Taylor as Chinese Tea, on right me as Mirliton

The Importance of Teamwork

When dancing in the corps, you must rely on your fellow dancers to be there for you. Corps work together in order to stay in perfect sync. If one girl is off, that can affect the entire corps. Ballet dancers must rely on each other to know when to do the next movement. Fellow dancers are so important in order to create beautiful ballets. Ballets like Swan Lake and Giselle have the corps playing a huge role throughout the entire ballet.

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Senior Performance of Coppelia

 

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Dancing in college has been very different but has been so much fun! I’ve learned so much about all different types of dance. I met my roomie and forever dance partner!

 

Lifelong Friendships

I have met my best friends through dance. They are truly the most amazing people and I am so grateful for these friendships. They share all of the long hours in the studio to the most beautiful moments on stage!

 

 

 

A Form of Self-Care

“Everything at the ballet was beautiful”, ballet is graceful, elegant, and tough. Despite all of the blood, sweat and tears it entails, ballet is a form of expression. It is a creative outlet I got to when I need to relax and destress. Just spending 5 minutes in the studio a day, can change my whole day.

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I’m so grateful for ballet. It has shaped me into the person that I am today. It makes me so happy to be apart of something so beautiful and historic. I know ballet will always be in my life.

 

xoxo

Self-Care Sunday: Yoga

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I have this hanging in my room as a reminder to breathe throughout the day.

Being a ballet dancer for many years, I have always loved be active! As flexibility was always an important aspect for a ballerina, we would do yoga as a form of cross training. Yoga is great for improving both strength and flexibility while also working on balance. Yoga is also a great way to lower stress levels and anxiety through the deep breathing and meditation. The yoga practice has been around for thousands of years, it was a way to achieve harmony between the heart and soul on the path to divine enlightenment.

My Favourite Yoga Poses

scm-yoga-muscle-triangle.jpgTrikonasana (or Triangle Pose)

This one is great for stretching the spine and hips! While it also strengthens the thighs, knees, and ankles, so important for a strong foundation! This pose is also good for relieving stress and improving your digestion. Try it out here!

 

 

bigkingdancer-56aa410c5f9b58b7d00342b0.jpgNatarajasana (or Dancer Pose)

Of course this is one of my favourites, after being a dancer for so many years! This pose is great for practicing your balance as well as stretching your thighs and shoulders. This pose can also be modified as well! Here is a video to get you started!

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Svarga Dvijasana (or Bird Of Paradise Pose)

This one took a lot of practice for me but I love it now! Standing on one leg will strengthen your calves, quadriceps, and glutes, as well as help you access and engage your core to keep you from losing your balance. Try it here!

 

 

 

 

Benefits of Practicing Yoga

Although there are numerous benefits of practicing yoga, here are the top 6:

  1. Decrease Stress and Anxiety
  2. Improves Quality of Life
  3. Reduces Chronic Pain
  4. Promotes Sleep Quality
  5. Improves Flexibility and Balance
  6. Promotes Healthy Eating Habits

Just because I love pictures that describe things, here is a picture of the benefits of yoga I found on Pinterest!

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Here is a great vinyasa flow that any level can do! What are your favourite yoga poses?

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Namaste Yogis

xoxo