Wednesday, 14 February 2018

From The Heart: Love Yourself This Valentine's Day


"The most important relationship in your life is relationship you have with yourself. Because no matter what happens, you will always be with yourself." ~ Diane Von Furstenberg

     It doesn't matter how much we care about and love the people in our lives unless we are our whole authentic ourselves, we will keep filling the absence in our life through relationships. Some of us, like myself, unconsciously place expectations on others what I would like to have filled in for myself. This is not healthy as it may become an emotional burden to others and create some destructive behavioral patterns. Here are five thought provoking and insightful questions to think about when it comes to self-love.

1. We must first be happy with ourselves in order to make others happy.
     Some people say that entering a relationship can help elevate our mood and get us out of an emotional rut, but that is, unfortunately not true. Sure, the high we get from entering a new relationship can get us out of a rut, but that is only a temporary fix.. That high we get when entering a new relationship is not real happiness, it’s oxytocin (aka the love hormone). And that high we get that drives us to do sweet things for our partner is not going to last unless we are truly happy with ourselves.

Now ask yourselves these questions:
     - Am I happy with myself?
     - Am I able to independently make myself happy? 
       - If not, what do you feel is missing? 

2. We can only give what we have in ourselves.
     One important lesson I’ve learned over the past year is that I can only give out what I have, like a vending machine, so to speak. If me, the vending machine is out of something, it can't give it out to people who need it. Because of this we need to feel whole and complete as much as we can. This can come from learning what our Shadow Self is, what Soul Loss is, and finally how to Retrieve ones' Soul. Finally understanding the three phenomenons linked above have helped me learn to see that unless the person I’m interested in is whole and happy with himself, that person will not be able to give back the kind of love that is whole and happy after the love hormone has run out.
     We can only give love, if we have love within ourselves. We can only give compassion, if we have compassion for ourselves. We can only be understanding towards others, if we have understanding towards ourselves. We can only accept others, if we have accepted ourselves.

3. We see the world through the person that we are.
“We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.” ~ Anaïs Nin

     We see the world through the lens that we wear. When I say that, I mean we see the world through the lens we are through our faith, mindset, attitude, morals, and personality traits. We must understand that people are different and others may see things differently than us depending on how they grew up.
      For example, my mum grew up in India where a womans monthly cycle, sex etc is a very taboo topic while for me, growing up in America and in a different century, talking about your period or sex seems like casual conversation. Because of how those topics were viewed when she grew up, it made her very uncomfortable to talk to me about those things.
     It's still natural for us to see things as we are. As a result, we attract what we are. So if you want to change whom you attract, you must first change yourself.

4. We attract what we are.
Continuing on with the point above, we attract what we are. So before you go through your list of must-have qualities in a partner, first ask yourself whether you harbor the traits yourself.

     - Do you expect your partner to be fit and active, but you yourself are a slob?
     - Do you expect your partner to be hard-working, but you yourself are lazy?
     - Do you expect your partner to be happy and positive, but deep down you’re actually a bitter and
       negative person?

      Sure, some traits may be complementary as too much of one same trait could backfire. Traits that compliment your own can create balance and support one another in a harmonious way
For the longest time, I was attracted to people with mental illnesses, the past three serious relationships I've been in, the one main thing we had in common was mental illness. I wasn't attracted to people with mental illness in a fetish way - it just happened that I was looking for company with people who understand me. I guess the old psychology saying, "Misery loves company" comes into play here. But now that I'm older and single for the time being, I know now that, yes, I do want someone who understands my struggles with mental health but I do not want to date someone who has the same problem as I do because we could potentially be triggers for each other (as I found out with a long time friend of mine).
But, before you go looking for a relationship, it’s important to ask ourselves whether we’re ready to become a good partner before asking for one.

Ask yourself these questions:
    - Are you ready to become a good partner? 
    - Do you have in you what you expect to receive? 
    - Are you ready to give in order to get? 

5. To attract love that is whole, we must first heal our wounds.
     We all have ideals and dreams for the kind of love that we want in our lives. But the idea of our perfect love is never perfect because no one is perfect (except for our Lord, Jesus Christ). We all grew up wounded in some ways, some of us have more emotional baggage than others. Some people have taken the time to look inward and do some inner work to heal themselves while some have jumped from one love to another only to realize you have been attracted to the same kind of wounded souls (I'm very guilty of the latter).
     At one point in your life, you will become tired of it; tired of being attracted to the same kind of wounded souls. Stories that end in a similar way. You may find yourself internally asking, "what is wrong with me?" If you ask yourself that question more times than not, you might realize that the wound the person you’re attracted to has is similar to your own deep wound. That’s why you keep being drawn to it.
     In order for us to stop stepping into the same pattern, walking the same old role, we must find the fork in the road and choose the road less traveled. This will help us recognize the pattern and break it when we feel ourselves entering the same path we are naturally drawn too. We must first look inward and become conscious of the unconscious. We must ask ourselves deep questions that are not pleasant to ask or think about.

Here are some deep and slightly painful questions to ask yourself:
     - What is my childhood pain? 
     - How is my childhood pain making an unconscious effect in my day-to-day decision and
       attraction in life? 
     - How does being with someone with the same childhood pain comfort me? 
     - Has this person with the same pain healed their wound and become happy and whole? If not,
       how is this person’s childhood pain affecting their relationship with themselves, others, and their
       romantic partner?

     Taking a look at your partner’s and ex-partner’s wound might help you recognize something in yourself.

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.“ ~ Carl Jung

     If you enjoyed this post don't forget to give it a +1 on Google+, follow me on all my social media sites, and let me know what you would like to hear about next. I apologize if this post sounded like another "life lesson" but it was a) the perfect time to post it and b) it was something that needed to be addressed. I love you all. See you next month!

~Poodle
Previous Post: Dancing Through Life's Lessons: Slay Your Day
The Me Time Tag
The Chronic Illness Tag
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Thursday, 1 February 2018

Dancing Through Life's Lessons: Slay Your Day!

     Hello everyone. Can you believe it's already February? This year is slowly starting to pick up speed...and damn this semester is crazy. Due to mobility issues living in a house was very difficult for me since I am primarily always in my wheelchair on campus so I was able to move into one of the on campus apartments. I had a meeting about it on a Wednesday and I was moving in by that Friday which is absolutely nuts. It was so overwhelming, sudden, sad and stressful but I honestly felt so much better about it once I got everything settled. I might film an apartment tour sometime in the future.
     Anyways, there are a few things I wanted to talk to you all about. First of all, you may or may not have noticed that I'm only posting every other week. That is because I really need to focus on my academics, especially since I declared a minor in theatre (finally!) approximately four days before the semester began. I, of course, will continue to vlog and make traditional YT videos every week, as it's much easier for me to sit and talk in front of a camera, quickly edit and upload it, than it is for me to brainstorm, research, write, edit, proofread, add pictures etc for my blog post. Secondly, my "life lessons" series is taking a different turn. I will still write about important life lessons to learn every so often, but this series will primarily be the "lifestyle" portion of my blog. Which brings me to today's post. How to Slay Your Day.
     This post is kind of going along the lines of the Carpe Diem! post I did a while back as well as the post I did last month on how to look like you've got your shit together. This post are my top essential tips on how to make your morning rock. And in making your day start off right, even if the rest of your day goes downhill due to life, at least you had a good morning and hopefully a good morning will help you keep your head held high when life tries to bring you down. So let's get right into it.

1. Make Your Bed
It's said in psychology that if you make your bed first thing in the morning, you are more likely to be productively throughout the day. So go on...make your bed. And don't be lazy and make it by just throw the sheets and the comforter over your pillows. Make your bed properly and make it look nice, it'll guarantee to put a smile on your face later in the day.

2. Take a Shower
Taking a shower first thing in the morning will wake you up, especially if you're not a morning person. The heat of the water is invigorating and using a nice smelling body wash will wake you up and entice your senses. I recommend any citrus or fruity body wash. Herbal Essence has some great options.

3. Put lotion on
Again, waking up your senses is the perfect way thing to do in the morning. Your body needs moisture and putting on a thick lotion (preferably one that matches or goes well with your body wash). Trust me, your body will thank you for it later.

4. Get dressed
Wear something that makes you feel confident and comfortable. If you like dressing "up" every day, by all means, do it. I highly discourage you to wear just sweats and a random t-shirt. You'll feel lazy, you'll look lazy and people will treat you as such. If you want to slay your day and be treated better by people, dress up.

5. Drink 8oz of room temp water
Water wakes up the body. It revives all your internal systems and cells that were working so hard to heal you and keep you alive during the night. Plus hydration is important and hydration means clear skin.

6. Eat a nutritious breakfast
Just as hydration is important so is eating a nutritious breakfast. Food is fuel for your body and if you really want to slay your day, you must eat food. It can be as simple as yogurt, granola and fresh fruit. Even half a grapefruit and a cooked egg is good.

7. Skip the coffee
Your body produces the hormone cortisol which is one of the hormones that helps you sleep. Until about 9:30am, your body is still producing this hormone and downing a cup of coffee will definitely wake you up but it'll put your hormone levels out of balance and you'll have a caffeine crash later in the day. The optimal times to have coffee are between 9:30am - 3:00pm.

8. Remove social media
Social media takes up all of our time so don't get on the grindstone when you first wake up. Do all the things I talked about first before you check social media, it's not going anywhere, I promise.




I hope these tips helped you. If they did don't forget to give this post a +1 on Google+, like, share and comment and follow me on all my social media sites. See you all in two weeks!

~Poodle
Previous Post: Flexibility Series: Splits and Extensions
Surprise Vlog: 24 Hours In My Life
Getting my First Tattoo
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Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Flexibility Series: Splits and Extensions

     Hello, my pretties. I hope you all are doing well. It is currently 4am the day before this post goes live. I got really sick this past weekend with RSV/Influenza which always turns into bronchitis so I've spent a ton of time sleeping. And now, because of the meds I'm on, my stomach has been a mess. That's why I'm up so early today. And I thought it would make sense to write a blog post before I have to get ready for class.
     Today's post is about something that I personally have been working on for the past year or so and let me tell you, I have definitely gotten more flexible than I was before. I do have my limitations with my back injury from 2013 and having gHSD (Generalised Hypermobility-Spectrum Disorder).
 I hope this post definitely helps you fellow dancers become more flexible. Enjoy!

Hamstring Stretch
5 sets on each leg

     Begin lying flat on your back legs straight out. Bring your left leg to your chest and use your right hand to grab on to your heel/arch and extend your knee. Hold for 10 seconds. Bend the knee for 1- second and extend your knee again.

Back Leg Bent Against Wall
3 sets on each leg

     Begin with your back towards the wall with your right foot and leg against the wall. Arch forward (in a lung type position) feeling a stretch in your right hip flexor. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds on each side.

Back Leg Bent Against Wall
3 sets on each leg

     Begin with your back towards the wall with your left foot and leg against the wall. Arch forward (in a lung type position) and slowly slide into the splits. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds on each side.

Splits With A Bent Back Leg
3 sets on each leg

     Begin in a right leg front split. Bend the back leg and grab your foot with your left hand. Hold for 15 seconds and then release. This time bend the back leg and grab your foot with your right hand. Hold for 15 seconds and then release.

Reverse Pigeon
3 sets on each leg

     Begin standing and slide into a left leg front split with the right leg slightly bent. Keeping your hips square lean forward so your chest touches your left leg. Hold for 30 seconds.

Circle Split
Repeat 10 times

     Begin sitting with your legs in front of you and slide into the center splits. Lean forward and extend your arms sliding the legs behind you. Return to the beginning position. Rotate to a split on the right side, back to center and then to your left side. Return to center.

Spiderman
Repeat 3 times

     Begin in second position. Squat to a grande plie in second with your hands on your knees. Rotate your torso to the left and then to the right. Slide into a front facing lunge on the left side and then to the right side. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat the lunges 2 times before returning to center. Lift your hands over your head, engaging your abdominal muscles as you straighten your legs.

Bent Legged Splits
3 sets on each leg

     Begin in a right leg front split. Slowly bend the front leg while keeping the sole of your foot on the floor. Bend the back leg by flexing your foot. Lean back and hold for 10 seconds and then return to the splits.

Spider Splits
Repeat 10 times

     Start in a center split, point your feet and engage your abs. Bend you knees until your feet are flat on the floor. Stretch as far forward as possible while keeping the back flat and hold for ten seconds. Return to the starting position.

Roll Back Splits
3 sets on each leg.

     Start in a left leg front split with your toes pointed. Cambre back and hold for 10 seconds. Rotate you torso towards the leg in front and hold for 15 seconds.

     I hope you all enjoyed this post. If you did don't forget to give it a +1 on Google Plus and let me know in the comments below if you have any other tips on flexibility for splits and extensions. See you all in two weeks!

Photo Credit: Google Images

Kisses!
~Poodle
Previous Post: Dancing Through Life's Lessons: Look Put Together
January 6-7th Vlog: Moving Back to University
January 15th-16th Vlog: My New Life At University
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Monday, 1 January 2018

Dancing Through Life's Lessons: How Too Always Look Put Together

     Happy New Year everyone. I hope 2017 was better for you than it was for me. The only think I kissed at midnight was 2017 goodbye (and good riddance). When comparing 2016 to 2017, 2017 made the Red Wedding in Game of Thrones look like a pillow fight. That's how bad 2017 was for me. But it's all finally in the past so I can just go on living my life.
     Before I get into today's post there is a very important thing I'm going to address. I will not be blogging as much as I used to in 2018. I've put a lot of time and energy in this blog and I don't see it going in the direction I want it too so I'm going to take a step back for a while. Instead of a post every week, you'll be getting a post every other week. That allows me to focus on school more and gives me more time to make sure that each post I put out, reaches my standards. I will still be doing YouTube every week so keep a look out for that. I finally surpassed 100 subscribers so if you want to find my channel here's my permalink - Forever Rose.
     One comment I get from people is how I always look like I have my shit together (believe me, there are many-a-days where I don't). So today I'm going to share with you my tips for looking like you've got your shit together. Enjoy!

The Top Four Keys
These four keys apply to basically everyone who might be reading this. If you want to look like you've got your shit together, these four things alone are enough. Everything else listed are just random things that give off the "appearance" of looking like you've got everything all sorted out.

1. Fashion
     Learn what your body shape is and how to accentuate that. Some body shapes are, pear, hourglass, banana, or apple. For example, girls with smaller boobs look better when their top has ruffles in that area. It makes smaller boobs look bigger.
     Also learn what your skin tone is and what colors look best on you. As a redhead with a warm skin tone, dark blues, purples, and greens look best on me.
     Make sure your clothing reflects your own personal style and taste, that you're comfortable wearing whatever you want as well as making sure that your clothing smells good and that there aren't any holes or stains. My personal style is edgy with a girly twist. I love big floral print with a black background and because of my short height, I always wear heels (even in a wheelchair).

2. Hair
Similar to your body shape, your face also has a shape. When it comes to you hair, find the best haircut you like for your face shape. I have a diamond face shape and for me I look best with bangs and collarbone length straight/wavy hair. You shouldn't have to change the texture of your hair though because that is expensive, damaging and unnecessary.
Always keep your hair looking clean (if you're busy try shampoo and hair oil will become your best friends) with no split ends. How you style your hair (down, up, half up etc) is totally up to you. I tend to always do a half pony because it looks best with bangs.

3. Makeup
Guess what, your eyes also have a shape and the makeup you do can either make your eyes look smaller or bigger. Naturally you want your eye makeup to accentuate your eye shape and make them look bigger. I have downturned hooded eyes so when I do makeup I want to add depth to my crease and make my eyes look upturned via a cat eye.
Make sure you take very good care of your skin by removing makeup every night, moisturizing daily,  wearing sun screen, exfoliating weekly and doing a face mask at least twice a week according to your skin type (dry, oily, acne prone, combination etc).

4. Physical appearance
You want to always be in good health. That means eating clean, drinking lots of water, showering, working out, moisturizing your body etc. Stay away from tanning beds because that's a recipe for skin cancer; but if you want to look tan mix a bit of a tanning lotion with your daily moisturizer.

Everything else
Everything else listed are just random things that I have in my life that have given people the impression that I have my shit together.

5. Carry a travel coffee cup with yo
Even if you don't drink coffee, having one of these will really give off the "I've got my shit together" illusion. You can put water or tea in it because, it's not like anyone else besides yourself will know.

6. During breaks from school or works go on a "retreat". 
That could mean any number of things such as going to the beach, or even just staying alone at home.  If you do go on trips, save some pictures to post on social media for when you say you're going on a "retreat" but you'r really not

7. PJ sets
PJ sets always give off the look of having everything together. Plus PJ sets are super cute and affordable.

8. Host or attend dinner parties
If you have a small circle of friends, take turns hosting weekly or monthly dinner parties. If you do it monthly, you could even turn it into a book club. Book clubs are a fantastic way to increase your intellectual and social wellness.

9. Have a planner
This is essential for students but can apply to anyone. Having a planner with a weekly schedule will not only help you prioritize your time but it will also give off the illusion of having a busy life. If anyone asks you if you have plans and you either don't want to go or are unsure about it the statement, "I'll have to check my planner and I'll get back to you on that" should be your default.

10. Don't hide medical problems
If you have to take medication, don't be ashamed of it. You'd be surprised how many people take medication for a physical or mental illness. And if you can, be an advocate for whatever conditions you have. Raising awareness and doing volunteer work at walks/fundraising events will definitely help.

11. Have opinions and share them on social media
This is where my blog and YT channel come in handy. They are my platforms to share my knowledge and opinions with whoever might be reading this. Having a specific uploading schedule of when videos/blog posts go up are also important in growing this platform as well as showing people you've got your life together.

12. Have an idea about what you want to do with your life
Whenever people ask me about my future plans, I always have an answer. That's because I've know what field I've wanted to go into my whole life. The medical field. It was the what part of the medical field I never really knew until I began college. But now I have a fully articulated answer with reasons to back it up as to why I am majoring in psychology, minoring in dance and wanting to become a rehabilitation counselor (aka a psychotherapist who specifically works with newly disabled people). And when they hear my answer I always get some comment saying, "Well, it seems like you've got your life sorted out." (Sometimes in my head I laugh and say something like, the power of illusion because most days I don't even know why I chose psychology. Only God will tell me why He wants me in this field, in His timing.

13. Travel regularly
Even if traveling means going 45 minutes away to a beach or a National Park. And make sure to take pictures of your travels to share on social media. And as an added bonus, having friends in other parts of the world makes you seem more worldly. Now speaking of social media...

14. Social media
Be on every SM outlet you can and be as active as you can on all three. There's a way on Instagram to instantly share every thing you post to Facebook and Twitter. Being active on Sm, especially the "stories" section of Snapchat and Instagram. Show people how awesome your life is but don't be afraid to be raw and real on SM at times.

15. Have opinions on the new music, movies and restaurants that come out
This shows you that you're open minded to things and that you have "spare time" to do these things. Even when it comes to movies, reading summaries of the movies, watching clips etc can give you opinions on the movies even if you haven't seen them.

16. Subscribe to magazines
Having an extensive magazine collection is definitely a way to seem that you have your life together. Some magazines to have are Seventeen, Vogue, Allure, Elle, etc. These magazines are gems, especially for the avid fashion, heath and beauty person.

17. Own and wear a watch
People who wear a watch always seem to look put together. The watch could be as cheap as the $15 one I have from Target. It looks way more expensive than it actually was but that's kinda the whole point.

18. Wear active gear often, even if you don't go to the gym
Those who are fully in charge of their lives go to the gym or take classes a gym in their area offers. So next time you're going grocery shopping, don't be afraid to go in clear active gear. This immediately gives you the look of "Who's that girl that everybody watches when she walks by. She's got it all together and she's not shy." (Lyrics from L.I.F.E. by The Saddle Club

19. Be prepared for anything
In your handbag you should always have a mini first-aid kit with items such as baby wipes, pads, liners, tampons, bandaids, cause pads, gauze rolls, gum, a mini sewing kit, a nail filer, pepper spray etc.

I hope you all enjoyed this post. If you did don't forget to give it a +1 on Google Plus and let me know if you have any other tips for making it seem like you've got your shit together. See you all in two weeks!


Kisses!
~Poodle
Previous Post: Conversations with Felicity: Christmas Q&A
Vlogsmas Week 4: What I got for Christmas
Struggles with a leg cast + tips
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Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Conversations with Felicity: Christmas Q&A



Hey everyone. Finals are finally over and I can put my focus into my blog and into my YouTube channel. I thought I would do a Christmas Q&A for you all. I hope you enjoy!

1. Favorite Christmas Movie?
The Christmas Candle. It has a beautiful message about faith, prayer and not being selfish. It came out in 2015 and you can watch it on Netflix. 

2. Are you on the Naughty list or the Nice list?
I think Santa would put me on both lists. I'm definitely 50% nice and 50% naughty. 

3. Have you ever had a White Christmas?
I think I did a few times when I was a child but I really don't remember.

4. If you could be in any Christmas movie what would it be?
I would definitely love to voice Hero Girl in the Polar Express. I would love to get the chance to sing When Christmas Comes to Town even though I'm not the best singer.

5. When does your family put up your Christmas tree and who decorates it?
We put up our tree the weekend after thanksgiving which is when the Boy Scouts have their tree sale. My mum puts up the lights and my dad hangs up the heavy ornaments. The rest is left up for me to do when I come home to visit for a weekend. My brother has never been into decorating the tree.

6. Is your Christmas tree real or fake?
Real. Always real. 

7. Peeking at gifts or be surprised?
I used to peek at gifts as a kid and sometimes I still do...but only if it's in a bag so it's easy to hide that fact that I peeked. 

8. If you could be under the mistletoe with anyone who would it be?
I would be under the mistletoe with my crush at school. And no, I'm not gonna say who it is because there's a pretty good chance he might read this.

9. Does your family have a special holiday recipe you like to help make?
I love making the mashed potatoes. It's always been a good stress reliever for me to destroy the baked potatoes. 

10. Are you a pro-present wrapper, or do you fail miserably?
I used to fail miserably but I've gotten to the pro status now. The trick is to let the paper go where it wants to instead of forcing it to go somewhere.

11. Have you ever gone Christmas caroling?
When I was homeschooled, I went Christmas caroling with my voice class at a nursing home. It was a lot of fun. I would love to have gone caroling around campus with my housemates.

12. Do you make New Years Resolutions? Do you stick to them?
The first blog post of the new year is always my NYR. I try to stick to it the best that I can but I always leave room for flexibility and to grow as a person.

13. You have been granted one Christmas wish…what will it be?
A cure for all the illnesses I have. This broken body really irritates me. The only thing I wouldn't take away is my need for the wheelchair because it's granted me so much freedom and it's a huge part of who I am. 

I hope you all enjoyed this post. If you did please don't forget to give this post a +1 on Google+, share it with all your dance friends and teachers who need to know about hyper-extension. I will see you all in December.

~Poodle
Previous Post: Your Best Body: Dealing with Criticism
Vlogsmas Week 3: December 13-17th: Getting a cast (again) + lunch with friends
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Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Ballet Series: Parles Vous Ballet?

     Bonjour mes amis! Comment ca-va? Ca va bien! (Translation: Hello, my friends. How are you. I am very good). I hope you all are having a good week.
     Today we’ve got a ballet talk post. I will be defining the top ten ballet moves, the top ten greatest ballets of all times.

Top Ten Ballet Moves
01. Plie - half
02. Tendu - to stretch
03. Dégagé - to disengage
04. Frappe - to strike
05. Fouette - to whip
06. Developpe - to unfold
07. Assemble - to assemble
08. Arabesque - in a straight line
09. Pirouette en Dehors - outward turn
10. Pirouette en dedans - inward turn
There are, of course, so many more ballet terms to know. The app Ballet Lite is very helpful. It's literally a ballet dictionary and I used it so often when I taught ballet.

Top Ten Classical Ballets
01. Swan Lake 
02. Romeo and Juliet
03. Giselle
04. The Nutcracker
05. La Bayadere 
06. The Rite of Spring
07. A Midsummer Night's Dream
08. Sleeping Beauty
09. Don Quixote
10. Cinderella

I know this post isn't super exciting but I do hope you at least learned a little bit from it. If you liked this post, don't forget to give this post a +1 if you have a Google+ account, follow me on all my social media accounts and share it with your friends.

~Poodle
Previous Post: Your Best Body Dealing with Criticism
Vlogsmas Week 3: 
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Saturday, 9 December 2017

Your Best Body: Dealing with Criticism

     Imagine being asked if you were blind because you weren't in a perfect line with all the other girls. Doesn't feel too good huh? Next, imagine getting a role you worked SO hard for, only to find out a month later that you really suck at dancing and you're being replaced. Now, imagine that all the critiques your dance instructor gives you are directed at you, personally and not at your dancing.

     Doesn't sound like fun, does it? Every dancer deals with a super mean instructor (I know I have). So what do you do when the criticism is either too personal, or just plain over the top? Read on for the scoop about dealing with criticism. (credit for this article goes to dancespirit.com)

1. Remember the Reason Why
     You go to dance class because you want to get better, correct?  Linda Hamilton, a dance psychologist points out, “to improve in anything, we need feedback to know what is working and what isn’t.”
     Try not to take criticism personally, especially when it relates directly to your technique. Getting negative feedback doesn’t mean you aren’t talented—even professionals get criticized. The key, says San Francisco Ballet principal Vanessa Zahorian, is to remember that your teacher or coach is on your side. “Sometimes you look at a video and think, ‘I wish someone had told me to turn out!’ Coaches use pointers to make you look the best you can before you get onstage,” she says.

2. Consider the Source
     If you’re feeling bombarded by criticism, take a moment to prioritize. A technique-related comment from a teacher usually carries more weight than a note from a peer or a parent. Similarly, if you’re in rehearsal for a specific piece, the choreographer probably has the final word on how steps are performed.
     Technique or performance-related comments are different from remarks about your body, the latter will probably hurt more, even if they’re intended to help you. So, how do you know when to take body-related comments seriously? That’s where delivery matters. If your teacher speaks to you in private and respectfully suggests cross-training, that’s worth listening to more than a peer, parent or overzealous costume mistress commenting that you must have really enjoyed your birthday cake last week.
     Although your teacher or company director is in charge, don’t automatically discount advice that comes from other sources. “If you’re in class with a leading dancer who happens to notice something and takes you aside, that’s useful, too,” Hamilton says. For example, if a fellow dancer shares how she overcame a similar technical problem, it might give you a new angle from which you can attack your issue. However, if a note from a peer runs counter to something you’re working on with your teacher, speak to your teacher before making the change.

3. Learn when to let go
     Your first instinct after getting in-class criticism might be to practice a problematic move again and again. But sometimes, no matter how hard you try to incorporate the correction into your body, it isn’t going to happen that day. And that’s okay! Sleep on it, and look at the issue through fresh eyes later. Though your technical issue may be the result of something you can’t necessarily fix—short Achilles tendons or tight hip sockets, for example—odds are your body just needs time to adjust.
Taking a break to problem-solve isn’t the same as giving up. “Think about why something isn’t working,” Hamilton advises. “Maybe there’s a learning curve, and you need to give yourself time to pick it up. Maybe there’s a weakness that could be corrected with cross-training. Or maybe it’s just an off day, in which case, leave it alone and go back to it later.”
     Also, remember that being a dancer isn’t always about pleasing others. During her run on “So You Think You Can Dance,” after several weeks of tough criticism from the judges, Karla Garcia got a much-needed reminder of why she was there. “The week I was kicked off,” she says, “Desmond Richardson was performing. Before I went on to dance my solo, I was disheartened and asked him, ‘What do I do? Everyone’s watching.’ Desmond said, ‘You’re a performer. You have to block all that out. They don’t exist. This time is about you taking the stage.’ I went on after that and gave the best performance [of my time on the show]. I wish I had thought about just enjoying being onstage from the very beginning!” 

4. Be Kind to Yourself
     Handling criticism with maturity and positivity requires inner strength. You have to try to love yourself as you are and forgive yourself when something isn’t progressing as fast as you’d hoped. Easier said than done, right? But think of it this way: As a dancer, you’re never done learning. Once you overcome one challenge, you’ll discover another.
“It’s important to use the drive for perfection in a productive way,” Hamilton says. “Excessive self-criticism can sabotage your goals by making you push through pain or hate everything you do. After a while, this often leads to depression and injuries.” Instead of becoming frustrated, reframe the issue by learning to work within your body’s limitations. Hamilton recommends asking your physician for an orthopedic screening to learn how your body can perform to its best potential.
     As you progress in your training, remember that you are your most important critic. “Stay humble, but know that what you think of yourself is the thing that matters most,” Garcia says. “That has helped me develop a tough skin throughout my career. People have different tastes, and there will always be someone with something negative to say. Just be your best dancer—and your best person—and enjoy taking the stage.”

     That about wraps up all the knowledge I have on dealing with criticism. It's a hard thing to deal with and we're all our own worst critique so always take criticism with a grain of salt, especially if you're sensitive to things along those lines (like I am). I hate it when people criticize me and it always makes me feel like a horrible person, especially if said person's critiques are correct (such as sometimes I can be self-centered). To deal with that, look at the context of who and why this person gave you criticism. If you're close with them and you trust them then get their help to change your behavior. But if their personally attacking you, being extremely rude and saying things that aren't true then by all means, don't listen to what they say. Above all, believe that you are an amazing person and remind yourself of that.
    I hope you all enjoyed it and found it helpful and informative. If you did please don't forget to give this post a +1 on Google+, share it with all your dance friends and teachers who need to know about hyper-extension. I will see you all in December.

~Poodle
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