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5 Ways Dancers Can Build Their Confidence

Like a scary shadow, self-doubt has haunted dancers of all ages and abilities. Ballet dancers, in particular, tend to grapple with feelings of inadequacy. But take heart. Whether you’re a seasoned professional, or absolute novice, there are things you can do to increase your self-esteem and enjoy dancing again. Consider five ways dancers can combat self-doubt and build their confidence.

  1. Give yourself more credit.

Think about it—you could be sitting on the couch, or engaging in some other activity that adds nothing to your life. At least you’re doing something healthy and productive for yourself! Every dancer has ups and downs, but when you’re at a low point, remember that you could be somewhere else. And if you can’t seem to bring yourself to do this, allow me to do it for you: kudos to you!

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  1. Set realistic goals.

Having trouble nailing those fouéttés? Maybe it’s because you can barely do a pirouette without falling off balance. Professional dancers are notorious workhorses, but even beginners can set the bar too high for themselves. Setting small, realistic goals for yourself will help you feel less overwhelmed. For instance, if you have trouble executing a double pirouette, why not learn to master a clean, single pirouette first? Even taking the time to do a proper warm-up can help you feel prepared for the demands of class.

  1. Focus on something positive about yourself.

We all have gifts. Maybe you have naturally stellar turnout, or picture-perfect arches. Instead of nit-picking all your perceived negative traits, focus on your positive attributes. Perhaps your strong points have nothing to do with your physical appearance. Can you get through allegro combinations without gasping for breath? Do you remember combinations with ease while your classmates struggle to retain instructions? The next time you’re feeling down, think about the one (or multiple) things about yourself that you love, or set you apart.

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  1. Don’t compare yourself to others.

The reality is, there will always be someone who can jump higher or turn faster. Depending on how far you go in your career, you will meet these individuals somewhere along the way. Instead of competing with others and fostering jealousy, focus solely on your own progress and develop good sportsmanship. Doing your part to promote healthy dynamics with your classmates will contribute to a positive learning environment that benefits everyone.

  1. Remember your reasons for dancing.

Do you dance for recreation? Fitness? Some dance because it’s their life’s calling. Remembering why you dance can increase your motivation and reignite your joy. Everyone feels a little insecure sometimes, but keeping in mind the factors that drew you to dance in the first place will help to mitigate the effects of self-doubt.

Don’t let self-doubt cast its dark shadow over your life. It can be easy to fall into a rut, focus on the negative, even question your right to be in the studio at all. Through consistent effort, and a good sense of humor, you can successfully shake that self-conscious monkey off your back.

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About the Author

Bethany Leger taught ballet for 7 years in Dallas, TX. She is the founder of Ballet For Adults, a site dedicated to educating adults about ballet at http://balletforadults.com/

The Official Hope: Indigo Ballet Series Book #2 Cover Reveal!

Hi Folks! Happy Tutu Tuesday to you! On this super–special ballet-ish day I’m so excited to share the cover for Hope: Indigo Ballet Series (book#2) with you! Also, I need to stop using so many exclamation points. But I am really, really excited, can you tell?

I’m positive most of you will agree that a stupendous cover makes is mondo important (don’t you agree?) and if you’re a visual person like I am it’s always the first thing you check when you’re considering a book.

This cover owes its life to the incredibly talented Fiona of Fiona Jayde Media. One of the best things about being an indie author is finding cool, creative people to work with and I totally lucked out when I met FIona. I asked for something pretty and ethereal and she made it so…using one of my photos (of the gorgeous cover Colette–you may remember her from book #1 of the series) and a scrumptious color palette.

So here it is, nice and big so you don’t have to strain anything to get a good look:

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Thanks so much for taking the time to pop over and check it out! I’d love to hear your thoughts. Remember, the official release day is Tuesday, April 26th!

 

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Want to Have More Fun? Here’s How

I was speaking with a friend the other day and after we finished sharing all the things that were keeping us busy I said, “What are you doing for fun?” There was a long pause. “I’m not really doing anything for fun right now,” she admitted.

This response bothered me. First, because I know my friend works really hard and is going through a challenging time right now, so she more than deserves a little fun in her life, but also because it struck a nerve in me. I was tired of feeling bogged down by all the have-tos life kept throwing my way and I’d been itching to find a way to up the fun quotient. An idea came to me just as I was falling asleep. What if we started out small…like in 5-minute chunks of time? No one can say they don’t have five minutes, right?

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Except this guy.

 

Thus was born the 5-minute challenge.

I was going to set aside five minutes for fun the next day. And the next. And so on. Also, this was an idea that begged to be shared with other people… which means you, dear reader. I decided my 5-minute challenge was going to be hula-hooping. I am embarrassed to admit that I have owned an incredibly cool, grown-up hula hoop for six years, and have only used it a handful of times, the last being more years than I can keep track of.

Hula-hooping can and should occur outside whenever possible. Thankfully I live in Northern California, where it is possible to hula-hoop even in the dead of winter. (Don’t feel too envious about this, however. It costs wads of money to live here so there’s nothing left to put toward the fun fund…thus perpetuating lack of fun). When I’m working I tend to forget that outside even exists, hence the mandatory out-of-doors requirement.

Here’s how DAY 1 went:

First, put on new boots. Fun is more likely to happen if you are wearing fun shoes (and/or glitter). This is a rule.

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Second, swept the area so that hula-hooping could occur. Grownup hula-hoops are quite large, so it’s far too easy to take out potted plants, pets and small children if one is not careful.

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Coco (my dog) says hi, by the way. Also she is quite frightened by the hula-hoop. Perhaps because of its menacing size.

Third, sent documentary photo to friend and officially invited her to join the 5-minute challenge. Haven’t heard back yet, although it’s been hours, so she’s either teaching or afraid (of my potential insanity, not hula-hoops…that’s Coco’s department).

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Fourth, proceeded with 5-minute fun challenge…realized I am terrible at hula-hooping. As in really, really bad. Pathetic. This is sad, but true. I remembered this has been true since I was a kid. Which might be a big part of the reason why the hula-hoop had fallen by the wayside in the first place. Apparently I either need to practice more or find a new method of fun if I plan on continuing the 5-minute challenge.

Maybe abwork. Although that’s not fun, so maybe not. Or abwork could be a different 5-minute challenge…

Now, who’s with me?

I hereby 5-minute-challenge you! Let me know how it goes….

 

How to Keep Your Resolutions

During the month of January most people set out to create new habits with the best intentions. However, recent University of Scranton research suggests that just 8% of people achieve their New Year’s goals. Oops. Talk about a dismal rate of return. Here’s how to make those new habits stick securely:

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1. Habits have greater sticking power when you make them routine. Practice your new habit at the same time every day.

2. Write down your goal and post it where you’ll see it first thing every day (Post-its on the bathroom mirror work wonders).

3. Have an accountability partner(s). It’s much harder to weasel out of doing something when you have to answer to someone else.

4. Keep track of your progress. Give yourself a gold star (available at your local office supply store) each time you stick with it.

5. Just do it!!!

Need a little extra nudge? There’s an app for that, apparently…

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