As dancers, we fight for control in so many ways. Constantly. Ceaselessly. Unforgivingly.
- Control over the way our bodies look
- Control over the way our bodies move
- Control over what the audience thinks of us
- Control over what our teachers think of us
- Control over how our peers see us
- Control over what roles we get
- Control over what contracts we are offered
- Control over our pirouettes, adagio, extensions, balances, petit allegro, etc.
But, of course we can't control these things all the time, if ever. And, even if we can control some aspects, our standards of perfection are so high and unrealistic that we set ourselves up for disappointment before we even begin trying.
Then, what happens when in our pursuit to feel "good enough," to feed our egos and earn recognition that we are special, we fall short of our perfectionistic expectations time and time again?
Answer: we wind up feeling completely out of control and worthless - Well, you failed at that again. You'll never be pretty enough / smart enough / successful enough / a good enough dancer.
And so starts an endless downward spiral. What do we do to get out of that spiral? We turn to things we can control inside our unrealistic expectations. We use eating disorders, addictions, self-mutilation, overworking, compulsive behaviors and such as a way to escape reality and this overwhelming feeling of lack in ourselves.
While these harmful habits and behaviors might give you a temporary escape and sense of control over your life and worth, in the long run they only take you further from what will really fulfill you. They distract you from dealing with the things that will ultimately help you grow and find self-worth. They dull your shine and artistry. Far from building your self-esteem, these control mechanisms end up detracting from it. These harmful behaviors have you chasing something that doesn't exist, whether it is the perfect body, perfect dance career, or perfect life. The mental demons that accompany these behaviors keep you searching for something outside your Self for fulfillment and happiness:
Just work a little harder, then you'll be worthy.
Just do 1000 more crunches, and you'll earn that treat.
Just one more drink, and you'll numb the pain.
Just get that soloist role, then you can love yourself.
Just lose a few more pounds, then you'll be pretty.
Just get through this variation with no mistakes, and you'll be a good dancer.
These whispers keep you occupied and distracted. They give you a false sense of control. You "achieve" these little goals your demons give you every day and feel like you are improving, like you are building a better life. But, it's a game you can never win...because it will never be enough. And in reality, these control mechanisms cut you off from the very thing that has the power to bring you fulfillment and happiness, the only thing that has the power to transform your life in a healthy way - self-love.
Real control over your life comes from loving your Self so much that you want to change...not hating your Self so much that you need to change. Having tools to transform your body out of self-love, where you can see actual physical improvements as well as feel differences in your dance technique are priceless. They give you hope. Because if you can see physical changes occur in your body, you'll feel your power swelling to make changes to other aspects of your life as well. The more changes you make, the more power you'll feel in your body and in your life. It's an upward spiral.
It's time to take your power back. Start transforming your body and your ballet through healthy methods of control. Bulletproof Ballerina workouts start by enhancing your physical body but ultimately develop your strength within. They give you a system that teaches you how to appreciate and take care of your most precious tool as a dancer, your unique body. As you walk this path of body-mastery, you soon find yourself on a larger journey towards self-mastery. Wherever you are on your path, cultivating self-love is essential for your happiness and fulfillment. These are not new-age-y, hippie words here...these are the larger concepts that will be the most important to you when you are 159 years old on your deathbed. Start walking your path now, and find your power.