• Natasha Connell

Thanksgiving Reverence

Or How Ballet Helps me Feel Thankful and Grateful Everyday!

As the year draws to a close, it is normal to begin reflecting on what we have accomplished, and what we are grateful and thankful for, as well as the things we might regret. Personally, 2019 has been an extremely breakthrough year for me! My heart is fuller than ever with gratitude. Here is a short, not all inclusive list of why!

* I am thankful I finally gained the clarity to admit to myself that ballet is, in one way or another, my life purpose, and that as long as I am involved in ballet during a large part of the meaningful working hours of my life, I can consider myself to be succeeding.

* I am grateful that I have met amazing people in the dance scene in Columbus, GA, that have taken me in and accepted me in their dance family, and have given me the chance to teach, and to have a place to dance. Thank you, Company C Dance Academy!

* I am thankful for my family, especially my husband, that understands that dance life entails evenings away from home, and money spent on pointe shoes and other things that might seem trivial to the untrained eye. And that sometimes I need to forego a social commitment because I need to be alone at home, and stretch, or make up choreography. He always reads me so well, and never resents when I need that creative alone time. At the same time, he is always supportive in so many ways. I thanks the Universe for bringing us together.

* I am grateful to Columbus State University, where I work at the Kinesiology and Health Science department, for having a Dance Minor that any students or faculty can take, regardless of their dance background. I begin in the spring, and I could not be more excited.

* I am thankful for Walden University, the institution where I am pursuing my Health Psychology Ph.D., for being so receptive to my research interests: the benefits of dance for adults. My dissertation is coming together nicely, and the faculty has guided me properly to make my project into a significant social change contribution.

* I am grateful for the gentrification efforts in the Mill District of Columbus Georgia, that allow me to live in a fantastic industrial loft that was formerly a textile mill, and not only provides me with endless photoshoot spots, but with the joy to live in a building that is extraordinary, and part of American history.

* I am thankful for the Russian Pointe brand, for creating the Rubin Radiance pointe shoe, and to Stephanie from Grit and Grace Dance wear for recommending it to me. This shoe turned my pointe training around big time, allowing me to actually start to be able to dance on pointe and haver proper lines. Pointe shoe fit is such a fickle thing. For a long time I stayed away from Russian Pointe because the shoe feels very hard and unforgiving when you first put it on, but things change once you start to move in it. I am glad I took the time and effort to do it, and this is also such a great metaphor for life itself!

*I am grateful for all the possibilities allowed to us by the internet. This year alone, I launched my adult ballet website, an adult ballet YouTube Channel, and grew my Instagram following to almost 1500 by focusing on the adult ballet community.And I am getting ready to launch an online course that will help adult ballet dancers get going and keep going!

* I am extremely thankful for the Adult Ballet Community itself, which is the most supportive, inspiring, and amazing global group of people. I was lucky to be featured on the Adult Ballet Collective site as international adult ballet teacher for the month of October, 2019. and endorsed by the Danceclass.com .website. Besides these accolades, I have had amazing interactions with many members of the adult ballet community on my Instagram account @ Transcendnormal.

* I am the most grateful of all, for the future. Everyday that we wake up, we are given a brand new chance to shape it. In the coming months, I intend to focus my efforts on delivering high quality online ballet training for adults, in person adult ballet workshops, and to develop myself as a dancer and teacher by attending the CSU dance minor classes, and other adult ballet classes that are within driving distance for me, as well as teacher workshops to enhance my knowledge. I will start with the Progressive Ballet Technique Teachers Workshop, on February 08, 2020.

I hope all of you dancers also have a lot to be grateful and thankful for! I am sure you do, if you think about it. No matter how much or how little time you get to dance, thats something to be grateful for. And besides dance, every smile, every snuggle with a person or pet, every time you see something beautiful while driving or walking about, is something to be thankful for. Don't take it for granted, because this life we have is short1

We take so much for granted when we just go trough the motions of life. Ballet dance is great because it helps us break out of this habit (you cannot take anything for granted! point your feet, work your turn out, lock out your knees, keep your face pleasant, shoulders down, watch the port de bra, keep bracing your abs, make sure your bun is tidy!....you get the point!) Ballet gives you, over time, the ability to think about all the things that you must be doing, and to execute them while looking effortless. This pursuit might take a lifetime, but it is truly worth it, and I am thankful and grateful to be on this path with the rest of the adult ballet community!

This is my list, and like I said, this is the short version. I am thankful and full of gratitude for so many more things every day.

If you enjoyed reading this, please share! Also, tell me, what are you thankful/ grateful for since you started adult ballet? your insights are priceless to the community! so don't hesitate to share them! You might just give someone exactly what they need to begin their journey1

Keep dancing, and keep transcending!


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