Well the Autumn term is well and truly underway. I feel I am a little behind as I had a little later start to the beginning of it due to adventures abroad, but this time of year is an opportunity for a fresh start, and I was eagerly looking forward to getting back into a routine. I once again put this down to my dancer training, and a large dollop of my Type A personality. I freakin’ love structure.
It’s also been time to get back to the barre. As those of you who have been following me this past year or more, you will remember it has taken me an age to heal my diastasis recti. This has made me pretty reluctant to doing anything other than yoga, Pilates or the gym in since my son was born. He has just turned 3, and by heck fire, it’s been a long time.
It also gave me the real-life experience to start the online class programme to help other parents at risk of isolation combat this.
Over the summer, although I was more emphasis on the ‘Mama’ and less on the ‘Dance’, I was able to get to yoga regularly at my local studios with #yogamama and all-round super-star, Jade Carey (shout out to Red Hot Yoga) and strengthen my mind, body and spirit in the unique way yoga can. Then, as school has started, I hitched on the Spanx, took a deep breath and headed back to class with my fellow #dancemama Jane Caldwell at We Love to Dance in Surrey . You can see by the utter joy on my face I was very happy to be ‘back at it’.
I remember writing a post on returning to ballet on my old Dance Mama site when I first went back after I had my daughter. Again, it took an age to build up the confidence and strength. Logistically getting to the gym/studio can be super-hard if you don’t have family nearby, like me. Back then I was lucky to have a close friend who looked after her in the car seat whilst I could take class. This has never been forgotten as a wonderful act of true friendship. It also gave me the real-life experience to start the online class programme to help other parents at risk of isolation combat this.
It has quickly risen to the ‘next level’ as I am currently working on a project at the Royal Opera House which is affording me access to their staff ballet session. Crikey. No pressure on yourself there Luce, ha ha. So Friday, I stood outside the Fonteyn Studio, like a kid in a candy store, staring at all the amazing exhibition of photos of said ballet icon and Nureyev. My inner 8-year old going wild with excitement at imagining who has been inside that space and who would be rehearsing there today. I totally geeked-out.
Yes, it took me until today to feel my thighs again, but what an utter treat. Sometimes in dance we put a high value on the ‘judgement’ of what our peers, teachers, rehearsal directors or choreographers may put on us whilst we do class, but my most happiest of times in the studio is when I get back in touch with my younger self and dance for my own happiness.
So in this week which celebrates #worldmentalhealthday I highly recommend that whatever you enjoy, go do it and do it some more!