person in ballet shoes

Fighting the Good Fight.

Is it just me or is there nothing to watch on tv anymore? No good movies, no believable plots and no authentic characters. I find myself watching something that starts well before ultimately leaving me feeling completely flat and annoyed that I’ve just wasted time that I can never get back! I don’t watch much television, with 2 small children, a full time job, practice, emails, running a nonprofit, laundry, cooking, cleaning, life… It’s so rock’n’roll around here that I’m lucky if I make it to 10pm! Perhaps I’m just too involved by my own reality right now to allow myself the luxury of total brain relaxation…

However, I did get sucked into a documentary recently about Ballet. I’m totally in love with dance and in a different universe I would’ve have done more of it. The documentary followed the lives of 6 dancers from all over the world who are training at the American Ballet School in NYC. It was a small insight into the level of discipline involved in pushing yourself to the very highest of levels. It was about an uncomfortable truth, that in order to be successful and achieve anything, we must constantly continue learning about ourselves and always accept that personal growth is often a painful process.

It has taken me a long time to understand that it is in my most uncomfortable moments that I have grown the most. I have a particularly painful memory of standing at London Bridge train station crying after a very difficult violin lesson, thinking that I never wanted to play the violin ever again! It was a life altering moment for me, it felt like the ground was shifting beneath my feet. I was at a crossroads and in that moment I released I had a choice to make, moving forward meant painfully changing the way I communicated with myself. I had to ask the question, how honest was I really being with myself?

When I first started playing the violin, I loved the feeling of someone telling me how well I played, I suppose in all honesty I became addicted to the applause. Now, I realize that if I only heard the words ‘well done’ every day, I’m not sure there would be any point to it all. Striving, failing and persevering is all part of this epic journey that music is, that life is. I have now learnt to live with the huge amounts of criticism I place on myself and thrive in the process. I even try to relish in it and accept that I can always do better, be better and grow in a way that will be the change I want see in the world.

In these difficult times where so many live concerts have been suspended, we are doing everything we can to soldier on. At times it feels like everywhere we look are big neon flashing signs saying, ‘no entry this way’! But again, we persist and try to find new ways to reach people. I am convinced that the human spirit needs music now more than ever before. We must strive to give live music that will reach into people’s hearts, unite us and give us a reason to fight the good fight.

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