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10 Reasons Improvisation Should Be An Integral Part of All Vocational Ballet Training

After watching the first day of the Prix de Lausanne livestream yesterday, I have to admit, something that the Prix’s artistic director, Amanda… Read More

Handling the exposure of critiques and reviews

Reviews, critiques, constructive feedback, pointers, tips, honest opinions… Most performers are familiar with the edge of fear that comes up when your work… Read More

Emotions and the body – Part 1: Dance is emotion in motion

Feelings are a big part of performing as a dancer. Think of the most memorable performances you’ve seen, what made them memorable? Isn’t… Read More

12 Tips to Survive Nutcracker Season [with Printable Countdown]

It’s that time of year again… Nutcracker season (cue imaginary Overture playing its merry little tune in your head).

It’s the time of year when Ballet companies stocking-stuff their schedules as full as is humanly possible with this wonderfully magical ballet. Nutcracker is an almost universal holiday staple, punctuating the ballet year, strung like fairy lights all across the December calendar.

Right now, right the way around this globe of ours, Spanish, Chinese and Arabian roles are being rehearsed. Studios are wafting with dancing candy canes, waltzing flowers and spinning sugar plums.

[pullquote position=”right”]Like an unofficial rite of passage, Nutcracker season initiates new company members into the heart of life as a dancer.[/pullquote]

 

…Perhaps this is your first year and you are spending the best part of the silly season sitting on the sidelines, learning the places of 5 different snow flakes and your heart might just melt if you could be on stage yourself in this beautiful ballet…

…Perhaps you are a seasoned Nutcracker-er, juggling so many different roles in so many different casts that you can’t even remember if you’re dancing the Rat King or the Snow Queen tonight…

…Or maybe, you have cracked one-too-many a nut and have had all the magic drained out, so that it just feels like you’re going through the motions evening after matinee, day after day, year after year…

So how do you keep on keeping on in the relentless repetition of Nutcracker season?

I’m so glad you asked 😉

Here are 12 tips to help get you through!

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What the ballet world really needs [on World Ballet Day]

Today is the first ever World Ballet Day!

Today, five of the worlds top ballet companies are taking the world behind-the-scenes for a live-streamed window into their studios and the work of their brilliant dancers and staff.

I’m looking forward to the glimpses I’ll get of that rare blend of focus, fun and fragility in these beautiful people, the similarities and differences in the ballet world the world over and the stirring of the memories and stories and experiences I hold in my own heart being part of this world of ballet.

In my work now as a counsellor and performance psychology teacher, I get to see another very personal side of the behind-the-scenes dancer. I have the very humbling privilege of walking with dancers in their real-life-streaming realities – sometimes tears stream, sometimes it’s untapped thoughts and feelings, at other times life begins to stream again after burnout, injury and loss.

In holding the hopes and hearts of these precious dancers closely, here are my three biggest dreams for the Ballet World today…

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Confessions of a Recovering Perfectionist

 

For so many years I danced before so many mirrors and really thought that the size of my thighs was the hardest thing to look at.

But all this talk of perfectionism on the blog here is revealing all this stuff in ME that I’d prefer not to look at. Writing about perfectionism is the hardest mirror to look in. Ever.

Here I am trying to help you dancers overcome the darker side of perfectionism, but as I do so, the mirror flips back at me, and I see how I still get trapped, how I still forget to listen to my own advice and trust what I know deep down.

So, as hard to admit as it is, I’m still a perfectionist.

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