Today, I was deeply humbled and reminded of a few things… But first we have to start at the beginning of my day… In the mornings I enjoy turning on the news, reading emails and having my cup of coffee, it is a ritual of rituals, and is probably a ritual that a lot of people partake in. So, as I was answering tons of emails, I was thinking of what to doodle… And then, this morning I was planning to post my pride ballerina and then woke up to the horrible news. 50 dead and 50 wounded in the worst mass shooting in modern US history… This is not my time to talk politics, but I was deeply saddened, as the world makes me extremely sad, and I become depressed quite often about the world around me… This morning I had every intention of putting on my short shorts, and sheer oversized tank top, putting on my Prada sunglasses and sunscreen and hitting up Los Angeles Pride… But, it was so disturbing and I became so depressed, that instead Edgar and I decided to go to Korean BBQ. Thus it lead me to draw this new PROUD doodle… in which I turned to tank top because of popular request. I avoided social media today, mostly because I didn’t want to hear about the bodies in the club still with their cell phones ringing…. Disturbing I know… Then I started receiving tons of emails from France, the UK, and over Facebook messenger with parents asking me about their kids, kids asking about careers and so on… Then a good friend wrote me about how she was guesting at a small ballet company and was in a dressing room and kids were talking about my blog, with excitement. Then I realized that over the past two days my blog has reached over 40,000 people…. and on Facebook I reached over183,000 people… Then I was humbled and reminded about some things… That these people who say I am not credible or that my work is unprofessional and biased… that you shouldn’t take weight in what I am saying is trivial as hundreds of thousands still come to my blog… I was reminded that it is a profound opportunity to effect and reach so many aspiring dancers out there in the world… and that there is a chance, a slight chance, that I am impacting a child’s life, creating a conversation about ballet, or encouraging someone to try to go the distance… Then it cheered me up from my awful feeling day.
So, I wanted to remind everyone that this blog is just my personal opinion that is developed from reading, dancing professionally, choreographing, teaching and coaching… and sure… I might not be on faculty at Boston Ballet School or Orlando Ballet school, but my blog and reputation was built on my writings and drawings…. the job was not handed to me because I retired from that company…. (No shade or anything… but seriously… if you are going to slam my blog on your Facebook, you probably shouldn’t link it back to the blog…. because then I can see it)… I also started this blog out of frustration, I never really thought it would turn into what it is today…. I also wasn’t handed my dance career as I wasn’t born with a gifted body… I had to work extremely hard to change my body, muscles shape and feet…. Seriously I am like 2 inches from a biscuit… and my feet naturally sickle, so I have to wing that crap out of my feet…. Not to mention the way my calves are shaped can look super bulky if I am not fully rotated at all times… Like definitely… for reals… not a naturally gifted body… Had doors slammed in my face, was told I was chunky and didn’t have the right proportions, and someone from National Ballet of Canada told me that I should probably quit ballet because I was smart in school and focus on attending an IVY. To which… I did both… ballet and an IVY- he could suck my big toe at the moment. But not to sound bitter, but seriously though. If he didn’t tell me that, I wouldn’t have killed myself or pushed even harder… I also didn’t land magically at the YAGP because I have a Russian name, or come from Bolshoi, and I didn’t land choreographing because I was at a major company and started working with company mates… And yes, I created this blog on a whim, but have worked extremely hard to make it a successful business, while working full time and running a PR, Fashion and Aesthetics firm and magazine.
So yes, this humble journey does mean a lot to me… and while some might be at these elite schools teaching… only because that is the only job they could really transition into, or they didn’t know anything else… I want to say, thank you to you as well, because it fuels my fire to keep doing what I am doing, and build a career in ballet that isn’t traditional, that isn’t dancing, that is truly based on everything I know, and don’t know. So thank you. Your negativity, constructive criticism and blatant slander inspires me and reminds me… It is pride month…
So be proud of who you are… not just your sexuality, but your individual identity, your individual story, owning up to who you are and what you want out of life… Be proud of what you have accomplished, of what you dream of, and the pursuit of being a better person. Don’t hate, celebrate. Happy Pride.
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