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And so it begins...


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I was a member here about two years ago but gave up ballet due to a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (I'm 28). But, after a few years, I'm back and preparing to start ballet again. After having gotten married only one month ago, it's a bit overwhelming but I really feel like now is the time if I am ever going to do it. How do you all balance home lives, work, etc.? It's rough. Looking forward to getting to know you all! :wacko:



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Having just returned to ballet this year, I still haven't figured out how to balance it all. I am only taking one class a week (and I teach a jazz class as well). Even with this small amount, I often have to explain to my husband of 3 years that it isn't a lot of dancing. I also find myself wishing I worked fewer hours so that I could take more classes. I look forward to seeing what others say. Have fun mermaid. :(

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I think mothers have the hardest time of all. Kids are a major weight when it comes to activities outside the house or job.


Being male, I can’t really speak for them, so what I’m going to say is really only for people who aren’t mothers of young children.


As an older person, I can look back and say that throughout my life I have been involved in substantial non-job related and non-family related activities all of my adult life. How have I been able to do that? Well, I do have a very understanding wife, who has never known me another way. But if she were not understanding, I’d probably not be still married. Call me selfish if you want, but that’s just my fundamental nature. One good benefit of being older is that you accept yourself as you really are—both the good and not so good.


So my thinking is that if something really is a priority for you, you will find a way to do it. No matter what the obstacles are, you will find a way to do what you want IF you want it bad enough.


I think one problem that our modern society has is that we have too many choices. We want it all. But that desire works against our having anything of much value I think. As soon as we encounter difficulty, we jump to something else. I’ve looked at people in certain sports who have done very very very well and one interesting thing is that often they come from backgrounds that are economically not so great. I think one reason they have had success is because for them there were no alternatives. It was succeed or nothing. Others who have as much talent never really made it because when it got tough, they had other alternatives, and they took them. I’d be willing to bet the same is true for dance.


I only mention the above because I think how you think about what you do influences how you approach life outside of home and job.

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Hi Marisa --


Welcome back! I think it's great that you're dancing again, and working

on balancing your body and your life after all these changes. I've been

flying a lot lately for work, and so I guess I'm thinking of airplane metaphors

as a result, but my advice would first be to do as the flight attendants tell

you, and "put on your own oxygen mask first before assisting others." So,

if dance is that kind of activity for you -- a sustaining, energizing presence

in your life, then make time for it first. Likewise for other things that sustain your

physical health. Once that part of you is balanced, the rest (relationships, career,

family, etc) will be easier. (That's a lesson that I keep re-learning in ballet class, too).


The second aviation metaphor that I'd offer is to remember that the leading

edge of an airplane wing (the front part which slices through the air) is where the

aerodynamic lifting force for the plane begins. It's the part of the wing which

is under the most stress, where there is the most turbulence/change in airflow,

but those stresses and changes have to happen for the plane to fly. I'm thinking

that it is the same in our lives -- those leading-edge times of rapid change and turbulence

are necessary for our own growth, but they are often the most stressful. I keep

working on accepting this, in what I hope is an ongoing process of gaining altitude!

(But I've had plenty of crash-landings too... :( )


Good luck with all of your new combinations...

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Guest prokofiev



There are two newlywed women in one of my technique classes... seems to be a trend... Congratulations!


Balancing is never easy, but I find that routine helps me a great deal. I try to keep a regimented schedule (with copious to-do lists) as much as possible so that everything gets done. And when it doesn't, I'm learning to let go, shift priorities, and take things in stride. I have a crazy schedule and a patchwork-quilt of a work life, so it's a real tightrope.


How we do it: DH joined a gym near my ballet school, so we use that time wisely 'together'. Weekends are sacrosanct, with the few hours' exception of his yard-mowing and my rehearsals/gigs. We let ourselves be a little sloppy at home during the week, :ermm: but have designated clean-up/laundry/cooking times where we catch up and try to get ahead. The housework is definitely divvied up by our strengths and efficiency! We also don't have a TV (we're serious addicts B) and got rid of it a few years ago) so that gives us a LOT more time in the evenings!


I can sympathize with your auto-immune disease; I was diagnosed a few years back with serious hypothyroidism, and ballet has been one of the things that turned my life back around. Talk to your doctor of course (I'm NOT giving any advice here - this is just anecdotal!) but mine told me that for auto-immune diseases (including fibromyalgia and RA), the right kinds of regular physical activity can lessen pain and help you manage better. My DH knows how important ballet is for my well-being on every level and so we do whatever we need to (time-wise and financially) to keep it going.


We also are not able to have children, and ballet is therapeutic for me. After years of putting my life on hold because my body wouldn't cooperate, I said, "Enough!" and now in ballet my body has to do what I tell it to do. I also find solace in the fact that as Garyecht pointed out, I get to do a lot that mothers don't, and while I didn't want this freedom, I have it, so I owe it to myself to put it to good use!


Dread Pirate Roberts and Garyecht are so right: once you find the thing in life that keeps you physically, mentally, and emotionally together, it's worth rearranging other things to fit that priority. The older I get, the more I realize that putting yourself first in that regard is not selfish - it's what enables me to give more to others!! :thumbsup:


Keep us posted on how it goes!



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Thank you to everyone for the kind welcome words and wonderful advice. And especially thank you to Prokofiev for sharing- you made me feel much more encouraged about beginning this new journey, especially with arthritis. Thank you for your support. :ermm:

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We also don't have a TV

Bwahaha-I do have one, but I watch it about once a month--that and cooking dinner are what ballet class crowded out.

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Mermaid, it certainly will help to have a good organisation of your week. Once you have declared certain day(s) per week as "ballet days", I am sure that you husband will understand. Maybe you can go to ballet class directly from work? Once you are in the routine doing more classes you will find it easier to fit ballet into your daily schedule :)

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