Anything is Possible

It’s taken me a really long time and many ups and downs to figure out what I want in life and make a game plan to achieve. I have suffered from a negative mindset, felt with naysayers and unsupportive people, and been surrounded with both people who have no ambition and people who thrive on ambition. The latter is the best kind of friends to have! Over the past year I’ve had som pretty low lows. With lacking self esteem and motivation toward both my dancing, my career, and my business. Through yoga, meditation and reading, I’ve uncovered a lot of ugly truth about myself and people around me. The difference now as I write this? I understand.

I’ve always been the girl with too many hobbies and interests, and I’ve had several people tell me I’m too busy and have too much going on. Like being multitalented is bad? Over the years I’ve developed more of these hobbies so I guess I am not going to get any better at limiting myself! The biggest thing, is something my Mom told me from the time of childhood: you are who you associate with. If you hang out with people who aren’t going anywhere, you won’t go anywhere. If you hang out with people with ambition and the nerds, you will be much better off. How does this relate to dance? For a while I didn’t have many people who understood why I dance. Since making friends in the ballet community, so much of this, including my crappy attitude toward myself, has changed. Losing weight and taking better care of myself has also helped. Being motivated to dream has been the pinnacle of it! If I go into ballet class with a bad attitude (pun intended) I have a bad class. If I go in telling myself I’m a great dancer and I belong here, even if I’m not perfect, I have a good class. It’s all in the mindset and I’ve seen it play out MANY times. Ballet, especially pointe, is very mental. I know I am strong enough, but fear holds me back. I started seeing this in my non-ballet life as well, that fear and anxiety is what always holds me back from so many things. Right now I’m learning pirouettes on pointe. If I don’t think about it, I can get up. If I sit there in my demi plié panicky about falling….well we know how that ends. In my life I’ve done this as well, but all of that is changing. The more I stick my mindset to “I’m going to try”, because it’s better to dream big and want everything and take huge risks that may involve failure, than to sit by and watch it pass by and do nothing. Doing something is better than doing nothing. Trying and failing is better than wasting the prime of your life on what if. In January I was unhappy with my body. I had hit my highest weight, 185, to date, and I’m not afraid to tell you all because I know I’ll never hit is again. I’m 5’7″ and muscular, with some booty and a D cup, and always have been even when I was at my ideal weight. However, my ideal weight hovers more around 150-155, where I can see my muscle tone that I work hard for. So I did something that I convinced myself for a long time I couldn’t do, I took control. I lost 18 lbs and counting since then, and am almost ready for bikini season! I did the Blogilates 28 day reset, cutting alcohol, sweets, gluten and dairy, and drank tons of water. Sure I craved, but I didn’t give in. Add in ballet and running and the weight came off! I still have about 12 lbs to go before I’m happy, and have no doubt I can do it. It’s all in the mindset.

A quote that’s been going through my mind lately: “A ship is safe in the harbor, but that’s not why ships were built.” Cheers to that!

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World Tutu Day 2018 | Adult Ballerina Blog

Who doesn’t love a good Tutu!? Well February 2 (2/2) is World Tutu Day so here are some of my favorite tutu pictures!

Happy Dancing!

Alicia

Ballet in 2018 | Goals | Pushing the limits

Starting 2018 my friend and I went up to Cambridge for a open house at the José Mato Ballet Theater. I haven’t danced in 3 weeks due to holiday and my car breaking down and needing to buy a new one. Deciding to take this class at the highest level offered was terrifying since I have a hard time with confidence taking anything but beginner class.

But this year I’m going to push myself. There’s no way I’ll ever get better and understand the steps that confuse me if I don’t do them repeatedly. In he higher level classes I feel vulnerable, scared, like instead of flying, I’m just flailing. There are a lot of steps I don’t know, and that scares me, but if I don’t ever try it, it will be impossible to ever learn it.

So I will keep going to classes, both in and out of my comfort zone. Keep pushing, learning and practicing. Because one day it will pay off and I will fly.

Practice Makes….Better

So I’ve (proudly!) been back to consistent ballet classes for 8 months straight! This has to be a personal record, and since no financially devastating events have happened to make classes unaffordable like has happened in the past, I’ve definitely seen progress. While I have been dancing since I was 22 (9 years) as an adult, until the past 4 years ago I was very inconsistent so progress, especially on pointe, would leave me back at square one frequently. My first year of college I was able to take multiple classes a week at the Boston Ballet which was a few minutes away from school and ballet/ contemporary and pointe at The Studio: A Dance Center for adults whenever I could.

I’ve always been that person to forget combos, and have to follow someone, which is probably still true if I took more intermediate classes (which I will do once I’m out of busy photography season) but right now I’m happy in my awesome beginner class where I’m feeling like I am progressing and re-learning the basics I never learned when I started because the studio I attended was more focused on performance. I still fear I will never be good at petit allegro, but it’s getting better!

I’ve always been told practice makes perfect. With being an artist, dancer, gymnast and learning an instrument, it is always practice! But I’ve come to determine that practice will NEVER make perfect. Why? Because perfection, and striving for perceived perfection, is unrealistic and will drive you completely mad reaching for something that is unlikely to be achieved!

Instead, I aim for better. Even if it is just one little thing I do better than at my previous class….a longer balance, better turn, remembering the combo…BETTER is better than driving myself mad over unrealistic goals. I still have that dream of being on stage someday, but for now I’ll just be over here working hard on my strength and getting back to 3 classes a week to improve!

AliciaAlicia_wm-27Alicia_wm-33Alicia_wm-67(thankfully I’m also a better photographer than when I did these as well!)

Pointe Shoe Chronicals | Adult Ballet Blog

To a dancer, the tools of the trade are especially focused on the feet and legs. Finding the perfect fitting shoe can be an endless struggle! I’ve had a hard time finding flat shoes that fit well and don’t cause a bump under the ball of the foot, and just when I think I’ve found the perfect pointe shoe, my feet seem to change and my shoe stops working for me. I’ve literally spend HOURS in the dance stores trying on shoe after shoe from every name out there. Having larger feet also doesn’t help because many shoes aren’t stocked in my size. So far my favorites have been Suffolk Solo and Stellar, Gaynor Minden, Bloch Balance European Strong and Bloch Eurostretch, which I just stared wearing. The Balance European was my go to shoe for years, but my last pair just didn’t seem supportive anymore in the regular shank, the strong shank seems to be doing ok. I went to the dance store a while back in hopes of trying the Bloch Eurostretch, and after trying them I ended up buying a Grishko Miracle, which ended up not working for my wide feet and desire for a large platform. As soon as my feet would swell, they would become obviously too small and narrow. Otherwise they were extremely comefortable and flat so I was sad that they couldn’t work for me. I’ve been dancing in a mix of a Suffolk Stellar and Bloch Balance euro for the past few years. My latest pair of the Bloch seemed so unsupportive by the 3rd class wearing them, and I felt they were allowing me to sickle and have to work extra hard not to. The strong shank worked much better so if I buy them again, strong will be the way to go! 


Thinking of how comefortable the Bloch Eurostretch was (that I didn’t buy 🙄) I ordered them online since our local stores lot their contract with Bloch and don’t carry them anymore, and sewed them last week. At first try I had a hard time getting over the box and felt held back on them, but determined to break them in and give it a go I sewed them and did some basic barre at home. After a few of these sessions (the instructions say just do barre to break them in, no de-shanking or beating them up) I think I am hooked. They felt to so good I even wore them to class tonight, and I’m always scared to wear a new shoe to class, because if it doesn’t work out there’s people to watch me fail. I’m the only person on pointe in my class so I always feel a little pressure to not be the one to make an ass of themselves! Since starting class on pointe again regularly, I feel a lot of strength (and maybe a little confidence) returning! Now if only I could get those one foot relevés up a little better I would be happy!

Anyway, right now I feel these could be my current shoe. I still have my Stellars in my bag, but I love the support and stretch of these Bloch Eurostretch! What are your favorite pointe shoes?

XX

Alicia

Here are a few photos from class tonight!

It’s Been a While…

Over the last few months a lot has happened causing change in my life, but also leaving me exhausted and unsure. I was dancing three times a week a few months ago. Progress was coming, though I was still behind most of my class and struggling with weight, but I looked forward to going to the studio after work and working hard. Then I got laid off. I was a contracted graphic designer with a one year contract that was cut in half. It may not seem like a big deal, but to me it was instant anxiety. Not only did it mean I had to give up my ballet classes, but how was I supposed to pay for well….life. I have a crushing amount of student debt racked up on credit cards that I had started to pay off and was actually making good progress on with my job. I was hoping that my position would go permanent, that someone would actually want me, that I’d finally be good enough to be a part of a team that meant something, and again I was wrong. I started to think about my life as a series of failures strung together with glimmers of hope in between that always become extinguished by failing. I know that negative thinking is not going to solve anything, but when nothing good or successful ever happens to you no matter how hard you work, how else are you supposed to think? Right know I feel broken, useless, untalented and like I will never be able to support myself because I’m only good enough to be a greeter at Wall Mart or something. I’ve been on a few great interviews since, one I even had 3 for, but it always ends the same: “We want to thank you for your time and interest in this position. At this time we have narrowed down our selected candidates to those that more closely fit our culture, and the experience and skills we were searching for. I am sorry to say we will not be progressing further with you as a candidate for this role.” Now what? I was sure I had it! Even though it would be a three month trial period (that I was sure I’d be fired from after) it gave me hope that I could finally fit somewhere and be valued. I’ve paid my dues, I’ve worked for years for free which cost me more credit card debt and a ton of mils on my car, I just crave that moment of success where someone sees me as talented enough to be paid a livable wage, have a secure job, and start my life. It just doesn’t seem like it will happen for me.

On a positive note, it does give me plenty of time to work on my photography business and hopefully be able to learn marketing and get noticed in that field, which is where my passion really lies besides dance. I’ve also had time to go to the gym daily, practice yoga, and even was available to sub some aerial classes (another job I wasn’t talented enough to keep and make a career out of, and that crushed my soul when I was replaced). And since I’m competing in pole fitness again I’ve been setting time aside to practice at home daily and get to the closest studio a few times a week to work on endurance and choreography.

Ballet got pushed to the side for a few months because I resented it for not being able to do it. I stopped working on my feet, I stopped doing arabesques at my kitchen counter, and my pointe shoes practically had cobwebs on them. When I went to the studio yesterday to work on my pole routine, I grabbed my dance bag and my camera thinking maybe I would be inspired. And I was right. After practicing pole for a couple hours I definitely needed a break. The lighting is always beautiful here, so I dug in my dance bag and found a leo, tutu, pointe shoes, and made a messy bun atop my head. Then a song came on, I danced for the first time in months (ok so wearing a tutu makes everything better anyway), and felt magnificent. This is what I love. This is what I crave. Maybe this is where I belong. I might need to do a re-shoot this week, since when I changed positions I forgot to take the focus lock off and so my depth of field is off  (oops!), but that just gives me another reason to go back. To create. To fly.

Last night I started re-watching Dance Academy, which opens with Tara, a simple farm girl who dreams of being a ballerina, wanting to fly. She says:

“I always knew in another life I could fly. That’s why in this life I dance”

Fly!

Alicia-1

I Started a Vlog????

So this is something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while. I’ve been inspired by fellow bloggers and vloggers (even though they are a lot more interesting than me) and I guess I have interesting things to do or talk about, but I feel kind of silly. Here’s the girl who was bullied in high school, college and everywhere in between, who the heck wants to watch and listen to me??? My boyfriends probably going to laugh at me and my moms probably going to think I have a few more screws loose in my head, but honestly, filming was a lot of fun! I’ve never seen myself talk on camera and it came pretty naturally. I’m making a lot of lifestyle changes with healthy eating, more yoga and meditation, ballet multiple times a week, cooking, and working in the real world about to be on my own. So some people might laugh at me, and I’m sure there will be a few trolls trying to bring down my positive vibes (seriously, get a life) but I feel like a fresh start, and I might as well join the social media Vlog community along with it. Maybe no one will watch, listen or care. But if I can be inspired by others, who are just regular people like me, then I hope I can inspire one person too. Maybe I’m not inspiring, I’ve struggled with self image for years now because I used to be confident and would be called a snobby stuck up bitch by people who didn’t even know me. Then they would start talking to me and be like “wow you’re actually really nice, I thought you were a bitch because of how you look” (ummmmm….what!? I didn’t know bitch had a look!?). So I always thought I’d put myself down before everyone else had the chance to. Well I’m not going to do that anymore, because people are going to be mean and judge and make you feel bad regardless of how you view yourself. We have to have to power and belief in ourselves to ignore them and continue to be happy and confident! So here we go!

Vlog # 1:

Enjoy!

Also, here are some of my yummy healthy eats from this week! 

  
Take beautiful photos,

Live a beautiful life ❤️

Alicia

http://www.aliciaannphoto.com

http://www.righthereatthebarre.com