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Lessons for Babies and Ballet Dancers

A chance for me to make a blog post in the midst of baby-brain 
(and an excuse to show off some proud-mama pics of my gorgeous 
girl Noemi!). Here are some lessons I'm learning, perhaps you 
can learn from them too?

1)   Do not despise small beginnings, remember them and be astounded at how much you can grow

My little one was a wee 2.6kg (5lb 11oz) when she was born. The doctors were prepared for her to have all sorts of problems. But, she. is. just. fine. And so will you be.

If you are at the beginning of a big goal, starting back after an injury or just feeling really frustrated and wanting to be sooo much more of a dancer than you are right now… take a deep breath (maybe take a photo?) and remember this small beginning. As you work hard everyday and persistently chip away at getting to where you want to go (…see lesson 2), you can look back on this moment, see where you started and celebrate how far you’ve come!

2)   Little and often – regularity and consistency are the keys

Baby Feeding (c) Christoph Ziegenhardt

Babies need to feed “little and often”… while for me that may mean waking for night-feeds, for you dancers, it’s an equally good mindset to have. It’s the things that you do a little, and often, that over time make the biggest difference.

Because the once-off, big splurges of inspiration and activity (like doing 1000 sit-ups one weekend, but never again!) are just random acts – they won’t produce long-term results.

As you learn not to despise the small beginnings, don’t underestimate the small continuings. Regularity and consistency are the keys to progress. It’s the seemingly small but everyday effort that pays off in the long run.

3)   Every person is unique and has their own way… Find yours, don’t try to squeeze into someone else’s mould

With the birth of my baby, I received lots of beautiful gifts and well-wishes. I have also been bombarded with all sorts of people telling me how to feed, wrap, bath, burp & parent my newborn infant… But what works for others may not work for me and my baby girl.

Unfortunately, for most things in life, there is not ONE way that is always right for everyone. You may really want to improve your pirouettes and every dancer or teacher around you seems to have a “trick”… It may not work for you. In fact, it may put you right off balance!

Because we are all unique, our bodies are unique, our way of understanding, interpreting and applying things is unique.  Some people are visual, some technical, some sensitive, some just throw themselves into things… but each of us has our own way and you will learn to find yours, if you trust yourself, listen and get to know your own body.

4)   Look after your body – rest is just as important as activity

My baby sleeps a LOT! But somehow that doesn’t guarantee that I am always perky and well-rested! I can choose to run around doing things while the baby sleeps, but at some point in the day I inevitably crash.

I am learning that rest is good!

I am also learning to notice when I need to rest and having the wisdom to act on that knowledge by putting myself down for a nap when I need one. The most surprising thing for me, is realizing that when I listen to my body and rest, I have a lot more energy the rest of the time…

Do you notice when you need to rest? Do you listen to your body? How much more active could you be if you listened to your body when you needed to rest? What are some things that get in the way of resting (any voices in your head saying, “I should really…” “I don’t deserve to rest yet because…”?).

And our final lesson for today…

5)   Be inspiring!

…any contemporary choreographers out there needing some inspiration, check this out! 😉

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