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.
TAKING CREDIT WHEN IT'S DUE
So I have recently gotten close to someone who, for the first time, made me feel like I can be proud of my press and accomplishments and want to share them. This can be a very hard thing to combat when you've grown up and been surrounded by criticism from a very early age. Let me be clear, though, that most of the criticism has and still does come from me. Of course there are people you encounter who secretly plot for you to fail or critics who can't get over something in your dancing or there may even be a dressing room mate who never speaks to you most of the time. However, up until I met this person, I was too shy to share my accomplishments.
Sometimes, it only takes that one angel to say "I love reading about you. I think this is fantastic! Please always share."
I guess what I'm trying to say is: Never be ashamed of your success. Never think it's selfish or rude to be excited about what you have accomplished. What's it all worth if you're not happy about it? If someone else cannot handle or accept your excitement or happiness then it's their issue, not yours, and it's definitely not your job to be their therapist. I am not saying to go around and parade but there is a humble way of showing your success to the world and being proud of it.
I've had pieces come out about me in the Times three weekends in a row plus a magazine piece come out about me today, and yes, it is overwhelming sometimes the amount of press I'm getting. But you know what? I have worked my butt off for it and I don't want to hide it. The recent magazine piece really gets my point across that I want to make ballet cool again and if that means stepping into the limelight and showing how awesome a ballerina can be--and that it's not all ballet buns and pointe shoes--then so be it. But you have to own that position and face it head on. Never back down from what you are passionate about until you see it through completely, no matter what it may be.
I have a good friend who has his own TV show currently on MTV and he is going through a phase of wanting to help this generation do good with its lives. He has so many amazing ideas and his passion is infectious especially when I get him going talking about it. I know one day very soon, you will see and witness a huge movement of some kind in this young generation and it will be because of him. I feel so lucky to have surrounded myself with people like this and friends that keep me strong and are proud of who I am and what I want to do. I encourage you to go out there and do the same. Surround yourself with the power to make a difference in this world, even if it only involves your community. It's the impact you make on the person next to you that matters--whether it's through the New York Times or in the monthly community newsletter. Every bit counts. And never be ashamed.
Check out my Artizia profile here.
See you in London next week!
Check out last week's video blog here.
You can find Sara Mearns on twitter here: @nycbstar2b.