Huffpost Arts
Sara Mearns Headshot

Barre None: After The Dream

Posted: Updated:

Welcome to Barre None, my new video blog exclusively on Huffington Post. I'm Sara Mearns and I hope to be your tour guide into the world of classical ballet. You might ask yourself, "Why a video blog that goes behind the scenes of a classical ballet dancer's daily life?" Because what you see on the stage does not begin to capture what ballet or our lives are all about. You see the performance, but what you don't see -- the rehearsals, the costume designs, the frazzled nerves, the learning of a new ballet, the constant travels around the world, the injuries and the oftentimes long, painful road to recovery that lead us to wonder if this is the injury that can end a career -- it's all a part of what we do and who we are.

I'm only one dancer, but I hope that by giving you a window into my life as a principal ballerina at New York City Ballet, a door will be opened to more interest, curiosity, and enthusiasm for this artform that I, and so many others, love and work so hard for. So come on in, pull up a seat, and join me every Friday. You'll have a great time. I promise. Barre None.

After The Dream

What happens after your dream becomes a reality and it has to end? I am currently in the process of trying to figure that out. Why do I feel like part of my heart has been taken away from me? I poured so much of my being into "A Dancer's Dream" that I feel sort of empty right now. I am trying to use the memories of the incredible experience and channel it into my next tour but I am not succeeding. I miss the cast, the crew and the orchestra with every fiber of my being because they truly did become my family. They saw me through the best and the worst and they were compassionate and hysterically funny at the same time. They gave me the chance to become the emotionally passionate child I've always wanted to be on stage. They gave me a story to create all on my own and to carry and deliver it to the audience every night. I was able to look into the eyes of the best musicians in the world every night and say thank you. They cried and laughed with me. I became the music they played off their instruments. I became one with the orchestra.

If there is any advice I can give you to carry throughout your career, it's this: Become the music you are dancing to. Let it be the driving force behind any emotion and movement you make.

Every night, I got to sit next to the concert master on stage at the beginning of the performance. Every night he looked at me and smiled as if to say the notes are yours, let's make something beautiful. I will never forget it.

On a lighter note, many of you have asked about my diet and if there are any restrictions on what I eat. I have been through many ups and downs with my body image. At the end of the day, if you stick to eating healthy protein, vegetables, nuts, fruits and drink lots of water, you will be fine. I allow myself once or twice a week to splurge on carbs or fried food. I love Greek yogurt and nuts for snacks and bananas and mangos are also great. Drink lots of water and even coconut water to keep the potassium in your muscles. My weakness is my sweet tooth so I do allow myself to have a little something sweet every night but I make it small. I like to eat lots of fish and I am obsessed with sushi! But I always ask for less rice so I am getting more protein intake. I have to admit, I stay away from bread most of the time because it just fills you up and has no vitamins or substance. Eat lots of greens and don't cover them in butter. Olive oil is the best to cook in. My other weakness is cheese and crackers--not the healthiest thing--but there are some things I can't live without and that is one of them. But don't over do it. Ok, that's all I got, hope this helps. One last thing: I don't weigh myself ever. I look in the mirror and ask if I look strong enough but also lean? Everyone is different and you should never ever look like a stick figure.

See you next week!

Check out last week's video blog here.

You can find Sara Mearns on twitter here: @nycbstar2b.