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.
FIRST VACATION EVER
Is this what a real vacation feels like? Last week I was in London filling myself with every piece of culture I could. This week I am in North Carolina at a beach called Sunset Beach. I basically grew up here in the summers and we would rent a house for two weeks in July with other family friends. To this day, I consider this beach to be the best beach I have ever been on. I know that beaches in Europe, on the west coast and even in Tel Aviv are amazing but nothing compares to the water and sand that Sunset Beach has. The sound the waves make is pure heaven. The way the moonlight dances across the water is nature's sparkle at its best. It's all families that vacation here so there's none of that crazy spring break vibe. I could go on forever trying to describe the perfection of this place but it just wouldn't do it justice.
What I do want to touch on is my "ah ha" moment, as Oprah would call it, while I sit on my deck and listen and watch the ocean move endlessly back and forth against the sand. The ocean never stops moving, the water never stops flowing, the current is constantly pushing and pulling. Even at night it seems as though there is a stillness to the vast open pool of water and underneath it all, the ocean world is at play, the waves are building and the light shines through. Dancing is like the ocean. You can be constantly moving, seamlessly to the naked eye, pushing and pulling and always with a natural sparkle.
I highly recommend sitting by the ocean and just watching and listening to the rhythm and peace it can bring to your entire being. And even when it seems like there's not much going on, something is brewing underneath that will show its fury soon enough, i.e. rip currents, sharks, and jelly fish. If only I lived close enough to this place that I could visit anytime I wanted. I never once closed my windows or the door to my deck because the sound of the waves is too beautiful. I was also lucky enough to experience a full moon over the ocean. I'm not that good of a writer to explain that moment but just know it took my breath away.
All I want to say is think of your dancing like the ocean. Never stop moving, create a different wave every time you lift your arm, every time you raise your leg. That creates a current of energy that is sent out to the audience and you want it to move and sing to them as if they are watching the ocean's sparkle at night. Play onstage as if you are the moonlight dancing on the ocean's waves and ripples. Be near still for moments but the current inside you should never stop.
I hope you all are having great summer. I am back to the New York this weekend to start dancing and creating again. My trips have flown by so fast. I look forward to the time I able to come back here and have the sand under my feet with the sound of pure heaven all around me.
See you next week.
Check out last week's video blog here.
You can find Sara Mearns on twitter here: @nycbstar2b.