So, you took a summer vacation. You gave yourself a break from the barre. You spent time out in nature rather than cooped up in the studio. You let yourself explore things other than dance. You gave your body a rest from it's daily grind. Good for you! Congrats on breaking the rules and taking this risk. I know it sounds ironic, but it can be incredibly difficult and scary to deviate from your usual routine and fitness regimen to let yourself rest and be "lazy" (believe me, I know!).
But, you've heard that the rest is good for you. You know you need it to avoid burnout and insanity from your unrelenting drive to be better. And, you have this secret, suppressed desire to experience life outside of ballet - whether that's time spent with your family and friends, vacationing to unexplored places, challenging your body with new activities or play, feeding passions seemingly unrelated to dance. And so, you took a month, or two, or three to let yourself break your rules and live free.
Except, now that September is here, you find yourself in a panic, regretting the break you took and wondering how you are going to be "in shape" by the time you hit the studios for your first rehearsals of the season. You start berating yourself for taking time off: Why were you so lazy? Why did you not take class every day? What were you thinking taking that vacation/enjoying that food/having fun? You're going to be a mess when you enter the studio! Everyone will see how lazy you've been/how much weight you've gained/how much technique you've lost! Sound familiar?
I hear you. I struggle with similar mental demons. After a 3-month hiatus from the studio (I maybe took 7 or 8 ballet classes total during that time!), including several vacations where I ate, drank, and played as much as I desired, I'm a little nervous about starting up with 3 companies this week. But, this same cycle happens to me every year around this time. Here's what I've learned and the outline I use to coach myself through this short, uncomfortable period of transition.
How Bad Girl Ballerinas Transition into a New Season:
Hopefully these tips help give you comfort and confidence as you approach your new season. Whether you are a returning professional with expectations to uphold, or a new company member with the hopes of making a good first impression and working your way up the ranks, remember that finding the confidence in yourself and knowing that you have a unique art to share are vital to your success and fulfillment in your dance career.
Happy Fall Season 2017! Let's make this year explode with creativity, vulnerability, and passion for your art!
I'd love to hear your thoughts, fears, and techniques for transitioning into your dance season after a restful summer or vacation. Share your story below!
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