Blog Posts on Mindset for Dancers

Exploiting Pain for Personal Gain

It has been a while since I’ve written anything here. I have to say, I’ve really enjoyed not sitting in front of my computer, and I think this is something I’m going to be doing more often. Maybe you’d like to try it, too? In fact I’ve...

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7 Rules For a Highly Effective Movement Practice

Once a week I get to work with the dancers of a post-secondary dance academy here in Toronto. The official class name is “conditioning”, but only because I didn’t come up with a name for the class fast enough when they asked me for one. If I had been on the ball, I...

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Defining “Success” in Dance

“I don’t have time in my schedule to include cross-training and self-care.” Is this something you find yourself saying? Do you prioritize getting ahead in your dance training over taking care of yourself? Are these two things mutually exclusive? Or...

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When Our Bodies Can’t be Trusted

This isn’t a story relating directly to dancing, but it does relate to being a human, and since you’re one of those, too, I think you’ll find there’s something in this story for you. This is a story of a lady that I feel I failed, and my six weeks working with...

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The ¨Perfect¨ Ballet Body

I am no stranger to feeling badly about my body. I have struggled with low self-esteem and eating disorders. I once believed that to be successful in dance I needed to be thin, and spent more than 10 years hating my body, wishing I could change it. I thought I could...

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More Information Won’t Change The Way We Dance

The Dance Training Project blog has evolved over the years I’ve been writing it. This blog started as a means to teach myself when I had no teachers. I started working as a personal trainer the day I finished university. I didn’t know what I was doing, but...

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Zen in the Art of HardStyle Swings

If you recall THIS blog post from a few months ago, then you are aware that I’ve been taking a break from “exercise”. This break from exercise was to re-evaluate my relationship with it by choosing only to do what felt like “movement”, or...

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Movement vs. Exercise: What is the Distinction?

In writing this blog post today I am procrastinating the completion of a massive piece of editing. I’ve created a monster. I’ve been assigned the rewarding task of creating a resource paper for Healthy Dancer Canada. “Write two pages”, they said....

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Restoring Your Movement Map

If you’re soaked in sweat by the end of the first plie exercise, you’re doing it wrong. I used to think it was “correct” to be working so hard that what should be an easy warm-up becomes a heart-pounding, sweaty ordeal. So too we see this trend in fitness,...

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Dance Heals, Dance Hurts

What once hurt us must also heal us… This can be difficult to believe, but one side of the coin cannot exist without the other. Heads and tails are a package deal. We can get stuck in this mindset that if something hurts us, then it must be bad, and that we...

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A Reassuring Pain

My friend gave me a flower one morning. I kept it on my bicycle, and by the time I’d arrived at my destination, through 20 minutes of  heavy Chiang Mai traffic, it was, as expected, more withered, but still beautiful. In Buddhism, flowers are placed on the...

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Dancing with Limiting Conditions

When we put conditions on things, we limit them. The condition of age: “I am too old to play” The condition of time: “I’ll love you forever” The condition of knowledge (or lack thereof): “I don’t know enough about ____ to do _____”. The condition of appearance:...

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Applying Polyvagal Theory to Enhancing Physical Performance

So, what’s up with me lately? I’ve become obsessed with the teachings of Dr. Stephen Porges and his brain-child, polyvagal theory.  Polyvagal theory brings clarity to our understanding of the autonomic nervous system, and in the world of dance training, we...

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Let’s Change How We Speak to Dancers About Injury Prevention

I’ll start by stating the obvious: Dancers get injured. A lot. Studies show us that the injury rate in dance is similar to that of collision sports and, while each study presents a different statistic, the injury rate is often somewhere between 60-100%. Not to...

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3 Mindset Changes You Must Adopt to Succeed in Dance

Through dance we learn a lot about ourselves and how to use our bodies. We learn to express ourselves physically where we’ve failed to do so with words and this helps us become stronger people, physically and mentally. There is, however, a point of diminishing...

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10 Rights I Wish I Knew I Had as a Dancer

If I’d grown a pair when I was 13, I may have avoided some serious set-backs in my dance career. Fortunately, I’ve grown up, and learned some things, and consider myself an expert in dance career mistakes. Some lessons, I suppose, are best learned the hard...

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So You Think Your Dance Degree is Worthless?

PLEASE NOTE: You will see I used some naughty words in this post (the lesser of the naughty words, relax). I choose not to edit them because it keeps my original sentiment more “real”. Sorry if you don’t approve. It’s my blog and I’ll do...

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Why I Don’t Do Yoga

The other day I was just sitting around kind of bored at the Thai massage place where I work. It was a slow day and I was on call, so to pass the time I decided to write something. If you’re like me, you have hundreds of random notes in your phone. Lists,...

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How Much Cardio Should You be Doing?

This is less a post about prescribing the perfect amount of cardio, and more a plea for tuning in to one’s own needs. Dancers are known perfectionists.  Many of us have type-A personalities, making us exceptionally susceptible to fads in exercise, diet, and...

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