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Anti-Bunhead Mindset

Avoiding the Dark Side of Ballet

Pursuing a passion like ballet is an amazing journey that can lead to undeniable fulfillment, growth, and self-expression. It can be a way for you to leave your legacy behind. It can give you purpose and motivation to constantly be a better version of yourself and to squeeze as much knowledge and experience out of this lifetime as possible.

But, pursuing a passion like ballet can also have the opposite effect. The minute your passion turns into an obsession, you're in trouble. Instead of adding to your life, it detracts from it. You start sacrificing too much to find success in your art:

  • You turn down friends and social engagements. 
  • You disrespect your body, treating it as if it were a dispensable object. 
  • You forego pleasure and endure pain. 
  • You narrow your focus and attention to only your obsession, missing out on the life happening all around you. 
  • You turn off certain emotions that could get in the way of your hard-driving success. 

Your life becomes robotic, desensitized, monotonous, colorless, miserable. But hey, at least you will know that you are doing everything you can to achieve success as a ballet dancer. That has to count for something, right?


Even if you achieve your dance goals by following this path of obsession, do you think you will magically find fulfillment and happiness at the end of the rainbow? This path will always leave you wanting more from yourself. You will never be satisfied. And, you will always be waiting to "live":

  • When I am good enough at ballet, then I can enjoy food and friends.
  • When I am good enough at ballet, then I can relax a little and take care of my body.
  • When I am good enough at ballet, then I can take vacations and explore the world.
  • When I am good enough at ballet, then I can love myself. 
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What if there was a way to have all these pleasures even as you are pursuing a meteoric rise in your dance career? There are mindset shifts and training modalities that can allow you to find happiness and fulfillment in your life right now. You just have to be willing to train and think a little differently than your normal bunhead standards allow.

Sure, pursuing any goal requires sacrifice. But, when that sacrifice starts to eat away at your soul and outweigh your quality of life, you need to find another way to pursue that goal. Otherwise, you are just wasting your time living out a soul-crushing existence. My apologies for the harshness, but I only wish someone had told me this sooner so that I didn't miss out on so many opportunities to live life how it is meant to be lived.

It's necessary to want to improve and level up. That's a crucial part of being human. But, finding a way to do that without sacrificing your body, your enjoyment in life, & the time you have on this planet is key to your happiness and fulfillment.