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Barre None: Returning to the Stage...Ready or Not

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BARRE NONE SARA MEARNS
AP

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.

Returning to the Stage...Ready or Not

On May 4, 2012, the pain was so severe that I had to leave the stage mid-performance and not return. As ballet dancers, much like professional athletes, we push our bodies hard. I mean, really hard. So for me not to return to the stage, it was that kind of crippling pain that is just unimaginable. It was my body shutting down on me. Now, after an eight-month hiatus from performing, I returned to the stage in Serenade, which is the first original ballet George Balanchine created in America and is one of the signature works of New York City Ballet's repertory. I've missed the stage -- my home -- with all my being.

The past several months have been a roller coaster ride emotionally, physically, and psychologically. Some days, I could barely get out of bed. Some days, I did not want to get out of bed. However, I believe those moments or lapses in time have to happen. They happen for a reason that only the universe understands. The time off gave me a much-needed break from the non-stop life I was leading, making me take a breath and enjoy the blessed life I have been given. I was able to find myself without dance and in turn, I am a happier dancer than I ever have been. A new chapter has begun for me and I've created a new life. I would not wish on anyone the pain or struggle of recovery that I endured to get to this place but I do hope everyone can find the space or time to hit the reset button and turn unpleasant happenings into beautiful, happier experiences. So take a look at this special day as I prepared to re-enter my world of ballet.