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Puberty has benefits?! [A response to Misty Copeland’s story]

First of all, sorry for the big gap between blog posts! 
I have been busy getting started at the Australian Ballet School, 
teaching some performance psychology classes and working with 
dancers one on one… but I certainly haven’t forgotten you, 
blog readers! Hello again!

 

Since Fat-Talk-Free month in February, I have been thinking a fair bit about the issue of “fatness” among dancers. Many dancers feel fat (regardless of whether they are or not) and body image plays a big role in our art-form, yet many find it a hard topic to talk about plainly in a helpful way.

So, when I read Misty Copeland’s incredibly powerful article on her journey toward body-confidence last month, I was struck by how clearly her story not only portrayed the issues so many dancers face… but also beautifully outlined the ingredients that have made her transformation such an inspiring “success story”.

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Food – friend or foe? Part 2

So, here it is, Part 2 on Food – friend or foe? (The friendly part)
For those who missed it, Part 1 is over here!

 

Now, I’m not a nutritionist, so you won’t be hearing me say to go out and eat bucket loads of kale (although I do hear its good for you!). I am a counsellor, so instead I’ll be talking about the mindsets & attitudes toward food & eating that can help it remain (or become!) a relaxed, healthy part of life.

Food as friend = Freedom

To start with, a healthy relationship with food needs to be based on freedom not control… so how do you define freedom with food?

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Food – friend or foe? Part 1

Sorry it’s been awhile between posts – 
I’ve been busy growing a baby and surviving the silly season!
I’ve also found myself with gestational diabetes… :-(
Fortunately for me, it’s very mild and only lasts during pregnancy, but it 
has meant having a diet plan and monitoring my carb & sugar intake, which 
takes me back to that familiar place of focusing on food that I remember 
only too well from my dancing days. 
Hence the subject of today’s post (and my next one): Food – Friend or Foe? 
Enjoy!

 

I’ve always said that every dancer has a unique relationship with food.

As dancers, your body is your instrument and so how your body looks can easily affect how you feel about yourself (your self-confidence) and how others perceive you – including your teachers & directors.

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6 Steps to Pre-Performance Calm

Dance studios all over the place are currently preparing for their Christmas performances and showcase displays… it can be a stressful time, and especially on performance day itself, the jittery nerves can easily get the better of you.

Ever happen to you?

  • You are doing really fine until you suddenly think about your mum or your boyfriend or your director sitting in the audience watching you, and suddenly you fall to pieces…
  • While the dance before yours in going on, you stand side of stage, with legs that have turned to jelly, hands that are cold and sweaty and you feel more like running to the bathroom than on stage…
  • You make it on stage but then you go completely blank, you’re in the front line looking like a deer in headlights…
  • You have to hold a pose on stage for awhile and you get that nervous twitch in your smile and you can’t make it stop …

All of these things are common in stage-fright. Nerves and adrenalin are part of performing but you don’t want to let them get the better of you. Here are some things you can do to help you keep cool, calm and collected.

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The Female Athlete Triad

This week is National Body Image and Eating Disorders Awareness Week so today’s post focuses on a critical but little known trilogy of problems known as the “Female Athlete Triad”.

In a recent study of ‘exercising women’ in Australia, only 10% of participants could identify the 3 elements of the Female Athlete Triad.

Have you heard of it?  …Most dancers haven’t. Yet, with our very active dance schedules, perfectionist tendencies and desire to fit into the industry’s slender mould, dancers are all at risk of this serious combination of problems, and need to be aware of it.

OK, enough suspense: What is the Female Athlete Triad?

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