It can feel like the people at the top, the people who made it, the "exceptional," are a different breed than you. Your demons will tell you that those kind of achievements are way out of your league. You don't belong at that level. You can't have those things. But the reality is that many of your mentors & idols dealt with -- and still deal with -- the same insecurities and demons you do. The difference is they just did the work anyway to get them to where they are.
"Exceptional" isn't the things you have or status you achieve. It's the things you do to overcome the barriers holding you back.
Let me say that again -- confidence, success, fulfillment don't come from getting. They come from DOING.
That's what my Bulletproof Ballerina training did for me. It provided a path to BUILD confidence in my body. And not in the forceful, obsessive, destructive way most dancers are used to...but through understanding, nurturing, and overcoming.
I knew I could never have the lines to get into ABT. I knew my hip structure would never allow me to have the extensions of my dreams. I knew I would never look like the long-limbed, gazelle-like dancers I envied. I could just never have a body like that...no matter how hard I tried & how much I destroyed myself in the process (and believe me, I tried!).
But what I could do was make my body my own. Learn it from the inside out. Become a master of manipulation & control. Enhance its uniqueness. It was this crucial mindset shift combined with the right kind of physical work that allowed me to transform my body into something I feel confident to put on stage. This is also what has allowed me to continue performing in my art at a professional level long past the typical expiration date for dancers.
I say this not to brag...but to give you something to relate to. The truth is, I still face those demons every day that tell me I don't deserve to be here. That I'm a fraud. That I'll never be good enough. And every day I have the choice to hide, give up, play small...or to do the work to overcome those insecurities trying to hold me back. I choose to fight. Every. Single. Day.
At some point you have to get over not being a thoroughbred. Not being the best. Not getting the status, or the roles, or the contracts you think you need to make you feel good enough. And you need to start focusing on what you are doing -- everyday -- to build a better version of you. That's the stuff that's going to matter. At the end of your life, you're not going to care about the achievements or status. The real value is going to come from what you pushed through to overcome. That you didn't give up. That you didn't play small because you felt unworthy. That you did the work to grow, despite the barriers & demons you faced.
Am I ABT level? Nope. Will I ever be? Nope. But I still bulldozed my way into this realm where my demons tell me I don't belong, where I get to practice my passion every day. And that is where my value & success come from. I think there are a lot of you who need to hear this...who need help recognizing the exceptional in YOU. You fear you can never be good enough or worthy if you don't reach a certain level or get a certain amount of acclaim in your dance career. But in reality, it's the simple act of pushing to do what you love that matters. That makes you a success.
Success is not status. It's saying to yourself, "I'll never be the best at this," and still trying anyway...because there's something inside you that would never let you live it down if you stopped and gave up. It's about pushing for more -- in a way that builds you up versus breaks you down. It's not about getting...it's about doing.
If you're in NYC, come join me Monday, March 15 at 12:30pm to get a taste of this mindset and workout style. We can do the work together to get into our bodies, tame our demons, and build this sense of power and fulfillment in life.
Dance Conditioning Class
LIVE in NYC
12:30pm Monday March 15
Open Jar Studios - 1601 Broadway, 11th Floor
1 hour class with strengthening exercises (in the Bulletproof Ballerina style) to promote full-body coordination & awareness, along with mild stretching and mobility work.
(optional Yoga mat or towel for comfort)
Due to COVID restrictions, spots must be reserved in advance:
$20 Paid in advance - Venmo @Tanya-Trombly
$30 Cash at the door - just be sure to let me know you are coming beforehand to save your spot
Out-of-Towners: The class will be recorded. If you'd like a copy of the recording to do the workout on your own time:
Venmo $10 (@Tanya-Trombly)
To reserve your spot, email me below: