Hello everyone I’m back! It’s almost 2018! It’s been 2 years since my last post, which is a crazy realization for me. Time flies… Please bear in mind that my writing might not be perfect as I’m not a professional writer and I haven’t done this in a while.
Since my last post a lot has changed in my life, mostly for the better, with some up’s and down’s.
You all know after leaving Hong Kong I was training with Nadege Hottier at her school, Premier Division in NYC. It is a great program, especially if you are transitioning between jobs or just need to stay in shape and prepare for auditions. Life was going pretty well at the time or so I thought….
In 2015, around Thanksgiving, I was having lunch with my mom at a local deli that we frequent in Manhattan. Randomly I started to feel nauseas, dizzy and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I had no idea what was going on and I started to panic. My mom confused and thought I was being dramatic. She tried to console me and told me to relax and that everything is ok. I felt like this heavy pressure on my chest and I couldn’t seem to talk. I went into a full panic. We ended up leaving the restaurant and went over to my mother’s office, just down the street, with hopes that I would be able to relax in a familiar place. I thought I was having an asthma attack. I begged my mom to take me home. For the next week I couldn’t shake this feeling. I felt like I had no air in my lungs. I also couldn’t do simple common routines like going on the subway to ballet class, something I had been doing since I was 14. I finally decided I had to go see a doctor. After going to the doctor, we determined I was suffering from anxiety and I had a panic attack, probably brought on by stress from the looming ballet job auditions coming up. I determined later on that I was so stressed about not working, not being financially independent, not knowing what my future would be, etc…
At this time I was getting ready for auditions. I planned on auditioning with as many companies as possible but because of how I felt I didn’t even want to leave the house. There was a point where I felt that I should just quit dancing all together. The pressure was unreal and I was unhappy with my progress. For years everything was going so well for me and then bam, reality kicked in or maybe maturity to some extent and the pressure of being a ballet dancer hit me hard. The “what if’s” were too much for me. I was stuck.
Due to all the stress I only ended up auditioning for two companies in the USA. I knew I needed to get out and audition. I did do a couple of random auditions in Europe too but I decided I didn’t want to work in Europe at that time, so I stopped auditioning there. That being said, out of the two US auditions, I was lucky enough to obtain a contract with Ballet Memphis. It was another sign for me that I shouldn’t quit dancing and that there was more for me to achieve. The ballet world is extremely competitive and I knew girls that were technically and artistically amazing but that also couldn’t find jobs at the time. I let my worries, self-doubt, and lack of confidence consume my thoughts. How was I going to land a job when I wasn’t training as much and I felt like my ballet technique wasn’t up to par? I managed. After I accepted the contract, I did start to feel a little better, anxiety wise. I did struggle for the first couple of months in Memphis, adjusting and trying to find my way. Thankfully my anxiety eventually passed. I felt like I needed to share this because I know audition season is right around the corner and I know there are other girls out there who are probably having similar feelings and nervous emotions. I want you to know that it’s ok to feel these scary emotions. There is a stigma associated with anxiety and some people don’t accept that it’s a real issue. People may think you are being dramatic or lying but just know that you are not alone and that everything will be ok. Some routines that helped me get through the difficult time include taking deep breaths, activities such as yoga and regular gym sessions and quitting coffee. I haven’t had a cup of coffee in 2 years and I think it was one of the best lifestyle changes I made. I do miss it sometimes but I replaced it with hot coco, and if you know me, then you know I am obsessed with it haha. Anyway these activities still help me today, along with meditation. I would recommend the app Headspace, if you haven’t already discovered it. Meditation helps me get through, not only ballet struggles, but just daily life stress. It’s amazing what a little quiet, guided, mindfulness training can do. There are going to be up’s and down’s but whatever challenge you face, don’t give up! Today I feel incredibly lucky. I am so thankful and happy I didn’t give up on my dream to work as a ballet dancer. It is now 2 years later and I’m still dancing with Ballet Memphis. I now call Memphis, Tennessee home and I love every aspect of my life.
I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday. Stay tuned for my next blog post about my move to Memphis. If you have any questions or suggestions about what you would like me to discuss or focus on, feel free to message me. Xoxo
“Don’t let your mind bully your body into believing it must carry the burden of its worries.”
– Astrid Alauda