Intimidated or Inspired, Your Choice

This week I finally met one of my Amazing Ballet Teacher’s new hires. He has been doing really well and hired two additional teachers!  Most excellent. The photo on the website is a performance photo so I didn’t recognize her at all going into class. She was just another girl taking class. Remember that I take class in West Hollywood so tall, thin, beautiful ballerina-girls is the order of the day in my hood. And, yes, sometimes it’s still hard to take class with all the models from American Apparel but listen, we all have to learn to make the most of what we have and be happy there. I sacrificed my body for a while to reach some important goals in my life and now I’ve got the time to work on achieving some goals on my body – so it’s all good.

Anyway… we start as all ballet classes start with simple tendus and warming up and I look over and think to myself – wow, that girl has gorgeous feet. Moving along with more exercises at the barre, starting to sweat, having a good time. Then we get to a combination with developpes and I almost break my neck as I turn in utter utter disbelief at the height and the PERFECTION of this girl’s developpes! Sweet Baby Jesus! Now let me say that there are some uber limber American Apparel models who are practically able to swing their limbs ALL THE WAY AROUND like a helicopter propeller – EVERYONE in Los Angeles (but me) takes yoga and pilates, it’s our LA religion. I still get confused with happy baby, hungry child, and downface dog dumplings. Whatever, no one should eat dogs even if you have hungry children – I dunno know.  But back to developpe girl… it’s not the height, which was magnificent, it was the perfection – beautiful, flowing, strong, and powerful. Really, I could have spent the rest of barre watching her do the exercises. I did occasionally eyeball her throughout the rest of class, it was amazing.

Turns out, magnificent developpe girl is the new teacher. Awesome! Bring on some of that! But I heard some of the other girls talking after class and they found it intimidating to stand at the barre next to her – they were comparing and coming up short. Listen, don’t compare – ever – to anyone! It’s a whole other thing if we were a bunch of dancers competing for a role but we are a bunch of dancers learning how not to fall down! I found her inspiring. I don’t really know how high my developpe will ever get. It doesn’t really matter because I want to work on having the most lovely developpe I can achieve in each and every class. And not just the developpe, everything, every step, every movement. It’s about my personal best and always trying to achieve better – my better, not someone else’s better.

In the end, guys, I think it’s a choice – to see beauty and be intimidated or to witness beauty and be inspired. I think choosing to be intimidated pushes us toward failure and despair but choosing to be inspired motivates us toward our own achievement of beauty. I hope you will always, always choose beauty.

~Let’s dance.

18 thoughts on “Intimidated or Inspired, Your Choice

  1. Great post! Inspiration is my big thing right now. Instead of feeling “oh, I’ll never be able to do that” or “they’re so much better than me”… it’s great to channel that energy into being inspired by others’ dedication, to do the best that I can do. Then you feel proud of your own progress!

    • Thanks, Jeff! We really can be self-defeating when we have a negative attitude about ourselves. It’s so important to feel proud of ourselves, this is no small feat that we are attempting!

  2. I like your attitude…I find that I perform better in class when there are more experienced or impressive dancers around me. It inspires me yes, but it also gives me that ‘what have I got to lose’ vibe which is very liberating!

    • Yes! It is freeing to just go for it! Not only are more experienced dancers inspirational but we can really learn a lot from them – we dancers should stick together and help each other out as much as we can. I love it when I get good tips from the better dancers! Thanks!

  3. Agree 100%. When I see people who are able to do things like that, in that beautiful way, I think how blessed we are to live in a world with such beauty in it and how blessed I am to be able to have witnessed it.

  4. Loved this post! You sound so immersed in ballet, I just love it. I wish I knew how to do turns. I find it all very frustrating and my periodic vertigo doesn’t help the dizziness after attempting pirouettes. I hope you get a wonderful, inspiring new ballet teacher. 🙂

    • I’m sorry to hear about your vertigo! I’m not a natural turner so I understand your frustration. On days when my turning sucks, I have to remind myself that what I couldn’t do today, I may be able to do tomorrow, and I will be able to do someday soon. It’s a process. But I do hope you find ways to deal with the dizziness! I LOVE my regular teacher and I look forward to the new teachers because I know that he would only hired really qualified people who were also really good people! Thanks for reading and sharing 😀

  5. Ah intimidation vs. inspiration – this is such familiar territory. While I tend to err on the side of inspiration like you, a do sometimes have to remind myself not compare. Sounds like a fantastic new teacher though. Will you get to work with her?

    • It’s natural to be tempted to be jealous. I have my moments when I start to feel bad about myself or my dancing but I always try to pull myself out of that as quickly as I can because it will not be to my benefit to wallow in something that I can’t do anything about anyway! I think what really makes a difference for me is always going back to my love for dance – there is nothing else on this planet that would get me into a leotard in a room full of mirrors and surrounded by a bunch of tall, skinny beautiful 20 years olds otherwise! The new teacher mostly teaches the lower beginning levels but she occasionally subs and she will be teaching pointe in the fall – which I am really excited about and hoping to be ready for, if not this fall, then soon!!! 😀

  6. You are really lucky to be able to let all this go and feel inspired!
    I wish I could do it, but I just can’t force myself to feel a certain way. It didn’t use to bother me before, but now… I think: I want to be able to do it like this. Now.
    Maybe it’s a self-confidence and maturity thing?

    • Trust me – it’s not that a little green jealousy doesn’t sneak in there along with some impatience and frustration, it’s that I refuse to let that derail me. We are all going to feel frustrated at some point but frustration and impatience are negative feelings, those are the things that weigh you down and no ballerina wants to be weighed down! We want to fly! Letting go isn’t luck, it’s a process of learning. I’m not letting go of my goals and dreams, I’m learning to let go of the things that stand between me and my goals. Sometimes people align the idea of letting go with giving up or not caring as much but it isn’t that at all. It’s about having the discipline to say, I will NOT let someone else’s success or talents take my focus away from my work, instead I WILL appreciate how beautiful ballet is and I WILL dance beautifully every day. Let your impatience drive you to work hard and work well but not to carry around any negative thoughts and you will feel all the better for it! Promise! xo

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