Learned Life Lessons as an Adult Ballerina

So, when you start running, even just barely a mile you can call yourself a runner. I’m guessing the same is true for ballet?

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Due to layers and layers of snow that have fallen in Virginia the past two weeks, dance class was cancelled -again- (but it is rescheduled for tomorrow!). Figured I’d share how dance class is affecting my life and teaching me “outside the barre” lessons:

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#1 Just Shut Up and Do It!

I blame my personality but I am a big dreamer. I think I enjoy the process of thinking about things more than I do about doing them. Seriously, I’m a great idea generator and I absolutely suck at the follow through. This tendency often leaves me watching the do-ers and being jealous of what they accomplish. 

A couple of weeks ago due to another teacher being sick my beginner class was combined with the Ballet V class. PHAHHAHA! The cool thing was that we got to use the fake barres, when normally we just balance with chairs. (I totally took advantage of this and posed afterwards for pictures…but only had my camera phone on me). Participating in this class was super intimidating! The moves were easy for them. I became easily overwhelmed because there were so many of us, and often and opposite directions, so I did always have any one I could focus on to model the moves on. I felt VERY discouraged after that class.

Then, I realized how many times I want what others have. I want the flatter stomach, I want their dance skills, I want their -whatever- forgetting all of the work that THEY were willing to do to get said -whatever-. It became apparent that I could either wish for better dance skills, or I could make it happen. Thus I began to practice short ballet routines daily. (And determined to do more, and wish/whine/complain less).



#2 When You Fall Off, Get Back on the Horse

I was feeling pretty confident walking into the following week’s class, I had been practicing on a regular basis, and I could feel myself getting stronger. (seriously, I was now coordinated enough to balance better when putting pants on/off one leg, it is epic!).

This class featured more complicated routines, that I simply couldn’t keep up with. I wanted to get frustrated, but I plugged through. Then we did some center work, doing a series of degages switching from left to right side. I was flabbergasted, I couldn’t move my body to do this at all. I stood there, slowly trying, not sure how to keep myself balanced but still move. Still I grin and bore it, mentally telling myself how good it was that I was discovering what I was bad at, so I could attack them an improve!

This attitude continued to some new leaps we were introduced to. I did okay on the right side, but the left, my brain just died and derped. I ended up landing on my foot wrong, heard a giant pop, and fought intense pain as I attempted to hobble to a chair. By can do plucky attitude had just about enough at this point. I tried not to cry as everyone asked how I was, not just due to the pain, but because I felt frustrated with my body.I sat for a bit, then finished off a couple more leaps gingerly. Surprising myself by holding back my tears. No way was I about to bawl in front of everyone!

Doesn’t mean I didn’t cry on the drive home, and in front of hubby. This was the most discouraged I’d ever felt about ballet. I wondered if I should try anymore, worried about my weak ankles, worried about hurting myself again. Honestly, there was a bit of a pity party. I wanted someone to be reasonable with me, look me square in the face, and bluntly say, “Honey, ballet is not for you, why don’t you try something else” Or to find a class to take with slower moving grandmothers.

Eventually, I worked through it. And resolved again. It was a testament to how much stronger my legs have already become after 5 classes that my ankle was no longer sore after 3 days. When I last hurt it rolling it while running, it had an ache that lasted for months after. Try, try, try again!



#3 Life is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

Okay, okay, I know this one, at least in theory. I’m often consumed with wanting things to happen now. I especially want to know more about how the rest of my life works out. I think I like to do things “now” if possible, knowing that my energy levels are often fleeting so that if I don’t attempt -thing- now I will likely never do it at all.

I’ve been watching some youtube clips of ballerinas for inspiration, the way their bodies movie, is beyond beautiful. I feel like I am daily getting stronger, but there is STILL such a long road ahead of me. With things like ballet, and others in life, I think we slowly accrue the skills over time. Its like an artist slowly chiseling away the stone. He slowly chips away at the outside, until the beautiful statue appears beneath.

I can’t get frustrated and impatient at the slower results, or else I’ll give up and never get to see the statue liberated. Likewise, growing as a Christian involves a LIFETIME of moment my moment disciplines lived out. It really is okay that I’m not perfect yet…God cares much more about me leaning on Him while He chisels away, rather than the underlying statue.

Honestly, I’m falling more in love with dance than I ever expected to do. I began this thing because some girly part of me just wanted to dance around gracefully in a tutu. As an adult, I relish how much stronger I’m becoming through each workout. Regardless of continuing classes, I hope that ballet is something that I’m at least able to keep as a workout routine for the rest of my life.

Everyone knows that Erin is a clutz. I fall downstairs, I trip over “thick air.” I fall over so much sometimes hubby doesn’t even notice, its that normal. For the first time in my life I’m doing something, moving my body artistically, in a way that can be considering beautiful and graceful. When I’m painting with my feet in my humble living room, it makes me feel like maybe I could be capable of so much more than I expected before.

Met Emily Miller at Lobby Day

Another year at Lobby day! It is neat to look back each year, because each one we get to introduce new friends to the importance of meeting with our elected representatives and holding them accountable. This year we stayed in Richmond for the night and did some touristy things, then went to the General Assembly Building the next morning.

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The goal in staying overnight is to get to the GA early…this never seems to happen and we were waiting in this horrendous line. That was until the police officer decided to open another line at the front of the building to let a few of us in.

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Seriously though, the signs are dusty because they only make a big deal out of this, this one day of the year. Should just open up all the doors and filter the traffic in smoother.

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Our first meeting of the day was with delegate Head. I was anxious to see how this meeting would go, since we have two newbies with us, and I wanted them to have a great experience.

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It was a perfect meeting! We all sat down (well I was the creepy girl playing with my new 28mm lens) and discussed various firearms legislation. It seems that delegate Head is very pro-gun and also dismissed some of the anti law attempts as silly. I.e. It should be up to the parents what age they teach their children safe gun handling, even if that could happen at age 4.

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One moment that I appreciated was husband walking him through the potential legislation of a “constitutional carry” bill (even though none existed in legislation this year). Delegate Head was uncertain of the usefulness of removing a concealed carry permit. Husband explained that it wouldn’t be removing the concealed carry permit (knowing that politicians need statistics), as there would be other benefits like state travel, or concealing in a bar, etc. Delegate Head was worried about losing the very valuable statistic of “no crime committed by concealed handgun permit holders.” :0)

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We have been able to speak to, and have good conversations with, Kathy Byron every year, but there was a cluster outside her hallway, so we decided to give her a break.

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We spoke with a few assistants.

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We did the usual…signing the guest book, and waiting, and entertaining ourselves.

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Hubby got one last delegate talk in, with Scott Garrett. Each year he asks him what he thinks of constitutional carry, and every year he tells us he has no idea what this thing is…

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Then, we went outside to enjoy some niceish weather! There was a pretty good group of us this year.

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I was just excited that there were MANY females in our group this year! Usually, its me and maybe one other.

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My spiffy Glock earrings from the National Firearms Museum gift store made an appearance.

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One of our main guests at the rally this year was Emily Miller. She known as the journalist that attempted to get a firearm in D.C., and realized all of the restrictions. It is really credit to her, that others began to pursue firearms legislation in D.C. This led to the Heller vs. District of Colombia verdict which stated that those in federal enclaves also had a constitutional right to firearms in their homes for personal protection. At the end of the rally they group everyone together for the picture, we attempted to huddle at the back, then I realized there wasn’t a huge crowd around Emily.

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So I did the unlike me thing and asked for her picture. Actually, I was being polite while the lady in front of me hunted for her camera, to ask, but then hubby just asked for me, and snuck me in real quick. It was really cool to meet an investigative journalist that we admire, who is fighting so intensely for firearms rights.

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One quote that struck me was her response to people who say that she should just move to Virginia, to have better firearms laws. But, she said she loves D.C. and she’s passionate to give them their freedoms as well. She commented on the recent rampage in Paris, against cartoonists, and the need for personal protection “clicked” with many of her friends in the media. She’s someone that we can all agree is ACTIVELY making a difference, and that is pretty awesome! (I mean views on marijuana legalization aside…)


Created A Vision Board {Blog Hop}

Last month I announced my word for the year: soar. I’m also apart of Ali Edwards’ One Little Word® Project, it is an awesome way to get monthly prompts and a community to help you interact with your word!

Speaking of our awesome community, Nikki arranged a blog hop for us. You can find out more details about me, if you are new. I blog about all of the random interests in my life, but crafty things have a special place in my heart.



Lindsay @ Funky Lindsay
Anke @ anke-art
Cheryl @ Scrapstorian

Our prompt this month was to create a vision board. Basically, we cut up magazines for words/pictures with what “speaks to us” and paste it together. This becomes a visual reminder of what we are seeking right now.

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Because of my hoarding behaviors I had tons of leftover free magazines so enter all the cutting and tearing. This was by far my favorite part. Simply the act of preparing for the project, day dreaming about possibilities was incredible!

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I finally approached the assembly part…after starting a completely unrelated art journal project: a title page for Scripture art journaling.

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Ugh my cut outs wouldn’t fit on my desk, so I had to move to the floor.

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Then, I was stuck, I had no idea where to start. I tried to group the words and pictures.

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I stared in frustration and then just decided to stop over thinking it, and just paste the things.

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I had almost finished what I thought might be the background, and I felt no connection to this board. I thought about giving up last night, but I wanted to have something to share with you today!

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So I picked up another stack of cuttings, more about specific goals versus just pictures of birds.

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Surprisingly, this one just came together. There was so many more quotes and pictures, but it didn’t seem right to force them together. So I focused on the less is more. And, I was really satisfied when I was done! (Pro tip, take a picture of your layout, so you don’t stress when it comes time to move everything to add the adhesive).

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There are so many more beautiful cuttings I want to use in future projects. Maybe I’ll make a separate board for each area of my goals, the sky is the limit. 🙂 I’ve fallen in love with a readily available medium to work with!

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Join in, and link your blog!