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Barre None: What Does Your Body Mean To You?

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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.

What Does Your Body Mean To You?

So you may ask, what is the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning, every five to ten minutes throughout the day, and the last thing I think about before I go to bed? The answer is: my body. How are my muscles feeling? What hurts? What doesn't? What needs to be stretched out? What needs to be massaged? The list is endless.

The life of a dancer is much like that of a professional athlete. Our bodies are our livelihood, our temple, and our expression of art and beauty. When that is broken or hurt, it feels like your whole world has crumbled. But just as ballet and dance have taught us to be disciplined and focused, we get right back up on the horse and start the road to recovery.

The village of people it takes to keep a dancer healthy and on stage includes physical therapists, chiropractors, massage therapists, acupuncturists, etc. They choose to stay behind the scenes, hidden away from the limelight, but their work is present in every single dancer. I wish there was a way to really thank them and let them know how much they are appreciated.

So with all of that said, this week you are going to follow me throughout my day, from ballet class to sewing my shoes, to stretching and warming up at the barre for rehearsal. I guess you could say this is the not-so-glam side of a ballerina, but it's the most important. I hope you see in my video why physical therapy, strengthening and stretching can help all sorts of people, not just ballerinas. I encourage all of you to seek out either barre classes at your gym or even go online to find workout and stretching methods because your health, mind and body, will benefit and it, in turn, will make you a happier human being. Hope you enjoy the day and let me know how stretching out like a ballerina may have helped you.

Check out last week's video blog here.

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