Atomic Habits

It’s the middle of February, and six weeks into 2021. How is your year going so far? Did you pledge to make a change or two on January 1st? Now is the perfect time to assess your progress. Making changes is not easy- in fact, it’s really, really hard. But in the words of Coach Jimmy in the movie A League of Their Own, “It’s supposed to be hard.  If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it.  The hard is what makes it great.” Coach Jimmy was talking about baseball, but I think it applies here too. When the hard parts becoming the best version of myself aren’t feeling so great, I go back and review the most impactful book I’ve ever read about change, Atomic Habits by James Clear.

The main idea of the book is that it’s the teeny-tiny atom-sized habits, added together over time, that stack up to build your life- for better or for worse. Clear says habits are the compound interest of self-improvement. Habits are not goals- they’re systems for attaining goals, and systems are my love language!  At EDC we focus on creating systems all the time. Systems maximize efficiency, output and results, while minimizing wasted resources like time, money and energy. When you think of new habits as systems, they make more sense. Simply work the system to achieve your goal!  

So if you’re not yet making the change you desire, then perhaps what you’re lacking is a great system. Clear suggests “habit stacking” as a way to make your new habit easier to systemize. So you’re used to brushing your teeth morning and night, but now you want to make flossing a habit? Well, stack them together. Make a rule for yourself that you’re only allowed to brush your teeth in the morning AFTER you’ve flossed. In other words, stack the two habits into one. Leave the floss out next to your toothbrush to make it easier on yourself in the morning, and voila! You’ve got a system in place, and suddenly flossing is a no-brainer. 

Clear says, “time magnifies the margin between success and failure. It will multiply whatever you feed it. Good habits make time your ally. Bad habits make time your enemy.” For example, let’s say you want to lose 20 pounds, and you’ve been really good all week, but the scale hasn’t budged an ounce. Where’s the reward for your hard work? It’s frustrating, you’re annoyed, and you’re wondering if it even matters or not if you blow off today’s workout. Clear has a system for that too: focus on who you want to become, not what you’re trying to achieve. Losing 20 pounds means you are a fit person. That’s who you want to become. So, when deciding whether or not to skip that workout, you need to cast your vote with an action. Will you “vote” in favor of the woman who skips workouts and needs to lose 20 pounds by not hitting the gym today? Or will you “vote” for the fittest version of yourself by showing up even when it’s unappealing? These tiny daily votes are what create our trajectory in life. According to Clear, “you should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results.” In essence, what we do repeatedly over time is who we become. So ask yourself, is your current trajectory taking you closer to who you want to become? 

And lastly, my favorite idea in this book is about the Plateau of Latent Potential. Most of us understand that progress is not linear. However, we still most often quit the new habit we’re trying on because we’ve failed to see a tangible result… yet. It’s the YET, that matters, and the reason why we should keep chipping away. There’s a quote by Jacob Riis that always comes to mind when I find myself hanging out in a plateau: “When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it — but all that had gone before.” Clear says, when you finally break through, people will call you an overnight success. So if you find yourself struggling to reach your goal, remember it is not because you have lost your ability to improve. It is most often because you have not yet crossed the Plateau of Latent Potential. Your “overnight success” could be just a day away. Keep calm and keep chipping away! 

              

My Tribe of Mentors Responses, Part III

After reading the book Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss, I decided to answer his questions for myself. Below are my answers to his final five. How would you respond to these same questions? We’d love to hear your answers!

In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?

In the last several years I have begun the practice writing of a new year’s reflection on the past year. I am a big believer in goals, and I always spend time during New Year’s Day thinking about where I want my life to go and what I want to do with my next 365 days. However, I only recently began the practice of writing a reflection while looking back on my calendar and goals for the previous year. This has really helped me see my progress in life. It’s easy to take a quick look at what’s still on the goals list and say, “Well, I didn’t hit that target!”  But, when you sit down and pay attention to all of the things you DID do, it is invigorating and breeds motivation for what’s to come.

What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world?” What advice should they ignore?

A dear friend once gave me great advice about raising children, and I think it applies here too. He said, “The best advice I can give you about raising your children is to politely listen to everyone else’s advice, and then do whatever you want to do anyway.” Advice is never in short supply. I would also add, “Don’t give a second thought to the advice of people who aren’t where you want to be in life.” If you want to make money and travel the world, then don’t listen to the advice of Broke Uncle Joe Who Never Left Town. Seek mentors and advisors who not only have your best interests at heart, but who are also out there living the dream. And finally, go with your gut. Your intuition is a power tool and should not be ignored.

What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

“Never give up.” I think that’s a romantic, archaic notion. I do believe you have to fight for your dreams and go after what you want in life, but sticking around just so you won’t be called a quitter is not necessarily a best practice. Sometimes you need to quit things- jobs, relationships, environments… the list goes on. I think the secret lies in knowing WHEN to quit something and when to persevere, but the idea of “never giving up-” that’s a bad plan.

In the last five years, what have you become better at saying no to (distractions, invitations, etc.)? What new realizations and/or approaches helped? Any other tips?

I had a major a-ha moment when I read Shauna Niequist’s book Present Over Perfect, and she said, “I’ve realized one thing that makes it hard for me to disappoint people is my tendency to overestimate how close I am to someone, and then how imperative it is that I don’t disappoint this dear, dear friend.” This is me to a tee. First of all, I hate to disappoint. Secondly, I want to be liked. People often ask me for help because they know I am reliable, creative and a generally great teammate. Sometimes I’m asked to run a race. Other times it’s volunteering for something at my kids’ school. However I’ve learned that with every yes I give, it has an equal and opposite no to something else. By saying yes to the school function I’m being asked to plan, I might be saying no to time with my kids and husband. It used to feel weird to say no to something when I didn’t really have a calendar conflict. I mean, my schedule is open. Why can’t I help? But, I’m learning to cherish the empty space on my calendar, because that seems to be where the magic happens. Niequist goes on to say, ” Picture your relationships like concentric circles: the inner circle is your spouse, your children, your very best friends. Then the next circle out is your extended family and good friends. Then people you know, but not well, colleagues, and so on, to the outer edge. Aim to disappoint the people at the center as rarely as possible.”  That last sentence brought me so much clarity and has become my compass. I will always disappoint people when I give them a no, but now I aim to disappoint the people at my center as little as possible. With this simple tool, life is better and much less complicated for me.

When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do? (If helpful: What questions do you ask yourself?)

I make lists. Often I brain-dump a list and then I will re-write the list in a more organized fashion. Many times I will fold a paper into four quadrants and organize the larger list into four separate mini-lists with the titles: urgent/important, urgent/less important, not urgent/still important and not urgent/not important. When I do this, I realize that the things I’m overwhelmed about are often down on the not urgent/not important list. I turn my focus to the urgent/important list and let the things on the other lists marinate a bit. I won’t forget them now because they’re on the list, but I don’t need to spend any mental energy on them just yet. This almost always eases my mind and brings me back to prioritizing what needs my attention most. It’s an excessive amount of list-making for sure, but the simple act of writing my mental clutter down in an organized way instantly calms my stress.

My Tribe of Mentors Responses, Part II

After reading the book Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss, I decided to answer his questions for myself. Below are my answers to the second three. How would you respond to these same questions? We’d love to hear your answers!

If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it- metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions- what would it say and why?

Never miss a chance to dance.

This message is so powerful to me both literally and figuratively, and I’ve made it the motto of my dance school because of it. Literally speaking, we have so many opportunities to dance in our lives. Dancing is a 100 year skill, and we will be faced with dancing moments time and time again. In those moments you are going to need to ask yourself, do I want to be the person who gets out there and joins the party, or am I going to be the one who stands on the wall and watches? And figuratively the same questions apply. We will be face with decisions in every aspect of our life where we will need to call on our confidence, courage and optimism to step out of our comfort zone and make a move. The billboard still applies, and it’s a fabulously easy reminder. Never miss a chance to dance!

What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? (Could be an investment of money, time, energy, etc.)

In my current stage of life, I am a mother and a dance school owner. I have also recently spent time working in my husband’s office. I do not need a degree for any of these jobs. However, the best investment I’ve ever made is probably my education. I have both a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree. My education has afforded me many jobs and experiences that have been instrumental in my journey to becoming who and what I am today. Even though I don’t need either of my degrees for what I do now, I don’t think I would have arrived to this place without my college experience. Albert Einstein said, “Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.” My education is where I fell in love with the process of thinking and learning. Lifelong learning is what allows me to continue to evolve and grow, so I will forever be grateful for my education whether or not I “use” the documents I received at my graduations.

What is an unusual habit or absurd thing that you love?

I am a huge sucker for office supplies- especially pretty or colorful ones. When I was a little girl I never left home without my backpack full of school supplies- even though I wasn’t in school yet. I also LOVE reading Spanish textbooks, self-help books and business/leadership books. It turns out not everybody does that…

My Tribe of Mentors Responses, Part I

A dear friend gave me Tim Ferriss’ book Tribe of Mentors for my birthday. The book is the fruit of Ferriss’ midlife crisis, which prompts him to ask over 100 super successful people some very specific questions. After reading the book, I decided to answer his questions for myself. Below are my answers to the first three. How would you respond to these same questions? Share your thoughts in the comments- we’d love to hear your answers!
 
1. What is the book or books you’ve given most as a gift, and why? Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life?
Each of the following books is a book I’ve read over and over again, and they’re also the books that immediately came to mind.
  • The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz
    • Not my favorite book in the world as far as the actual writing goes, but the principles in this book have never, EVER failed me. Each time I lose my way in life, I come back to this book and discover that I’m breaking at least one of the four agreements on a regular basis. As soon as I reread the book and correct course on living out the four agreements, my harmony is restored.
  • Chop Wood Carry Water by Joshua Medcalf
    • I can open this book to any page and rediscover a gem. I’ve read it to my kids and my students and they all love it too. I give this book as a gift all the time.
  • Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist
    • I have given this book as a gift to many important women in my life. I feel like this book speaks directly to the heart of all of my girlfriends and I wish I could give a copy to every one of them. It should be required reading for all men too, so they can understand the women in their lives.
  • The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson
    • This book was a giant A-Ha for me. The first time I read it, I was feeling stuck in my life. I felt like I couldn’t move the needle with any of my goals. I felt like l needed earth-quaking movement to make progress, but the thing I realized through reading this book is the little things don’t just matter, but they’re the most important piece of the process.
  • You Are A Badass  and You Are A Badass At Making Money by Jen Sincero
    • Besides the fact that I think Jen Sincero’s writing style is hilarious and entertaining, she also has some really good stuff to say. I have these books on Audible and I listen to them anytime I need to be reminded of my power.
  • The Bible
      • It took me about three years, but I once read the bible from cover to cover. I figured it is an extremely powerful book that nations have gone to war over, so I might as well read it. I tackled it a few pages a day, and I read every word. At that time in my life I was deeply seeking answers. Reading the whole thing for myself as opposed to listening to someone else’s selected passage or interpretation was life-changing.
2. What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or in recent memory)?
Hands down it is the Ohuhu Massager. (That is not an affiliate link, it’s just there so you can find the product.) I do not know how I ever lived 38 years as a dancer without having discovering a TENS device, but this thing is the BOMB. My husband bought it for 30 bucks on Amazon, and I have just purchased my own because we both love it so much we really can’t share. It gives me relief from injury, muscle fatigue and pain, PMS, jet lag, insomnia…. the list goes on. The battery lasts forever and the device is tiny and light. Amazing.
3. How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favorite failure” of yours?
How do I whittle this down to just one? I have already talked about my first major career pivot on my personal blog. So, I’ll just go into my most recent “favorite failure,” which is my failing to promote in my health and wellness business. Eight years ago I was not myself. I was really on a slow but sure decline -if we take The Slight Edge into account- in my wellness and physical fitness. That’s when relief entered my life in the form of a 24 Day Challenge, and it changed everything. Besides losing weight and regaining my sense of well-being and self-confidence, I began making money fairly effortlessly because people noticed the change in me.
       About six years in, I decided to really apply myself to the business and I thought I had discovered my new path to success in life. I loved the products, the company and the people I’d get to work with each day, so even though I had never aspired to sell vitamins for a living, it seemed like a good fit. I saw the big things that could be accomplished in the business, and I had friends who were doing it- making more money than was ever possible for them before, traveling the world by earning trips, opening up time in their lives with a flexible work schedule, and more. I dreamed of being a polished leader on the stage and I craved the recognition and the lifestyle I thought would follow that success. I attended every training, meeting and conference. I soaked up all the learning I could, and I attached myself to great mentors. I followed their direction, I took action and got to work diligently and consistently. I worked at it solidly for two years, and I discovered the harder I worked, the worse things got. Try as I might, I was simply not building a more prosperous supplement business than the one I had when it was just for fun, and I was completely discouraged.
       However, all the while that I was going to work on myself for the purpose of succeeding in that business, a long dormant dream started waking up inside of me. Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to have a dance school. That dream had faded away many years ago, as I had talked myself out of it for countless reasons. Suddenly the timing seemed right, and I felt like I maybe had become the type of person who could be really great at owning and operating the kind of dance school I had always dreamed about. One thing I heard repeatedly in my quest to become a kick-ass vitamins sales girl was this: “This business is about who you become in the pursuit of the things that you want.”
       I thought I wanted to make the diamond level in that business. I pursued the next step in that process vigorously for two YEARS, and I FAILED at achieving the next milestone. BUT. A little over one year ago I opened Elevate Dance Center, and I have never felt so fulfilled in my work. I am completely convinced that without pursuing the promotion in my supplement business, I would not have become the person it took to open the school. It turns out that my supplement business was NOT a detour or a failure, but a necessary step in the journey to my dreams. I’m grateful for the people who mentored me, the goals I chased but never caught, and all the hours I spent going after the dream that never was, because that experience has been critical in shaping the dream that is.

What Do You Do With A Correction?

I absolutely love the “What Do You Do” collection of books written by Kobi Yamada and illustrated by Mae Besom. They are beautiful to look at and such good advice for both children and adults. So far Yamada has written three books in this series and they are all incredible:

  • What Do You Do With An Idea?
  • What Do You Do With A Problem?
  • What Do You Do With A Chance?

I wish I could get Yamada and Besom to team up with me on a dance-inspired version called, What Do You Do With A Correction? I think all dance teachers worldwide would read it to every dancer age 2-100 from now until the end of time. It would become an immediate international bestseller and be translated into every language across the globe. I think I’ll try tweeting them when this blog post goes live.

Why? Because growing dancers often do not have a clue what to do with a correction. I can remember being a young dancer and getting all self-conscious and bunchy when my dance teacher corrected me. I remember holding my breath when she walked by and thinking, “No, no, no….”  My inward chant was a little prayer that I would not be corrected.  It wasn’t until I was 12 years old, a decade into my training and taking a class from the world famous Liz Imperio, that I learned what to do with a correction. She had just given me a tip to fix something in my dancing. Funny, I can’t remember the specific correction now, but I do remember her words that followed it. She must have sensed my prickling at the correction, because she looked me in the eye and in her commanding voice said, “If I do not give you a correction in my class, it is because I think you are a lost cause, and my correction will be wasted on you.”

Wait, what? If I were a cartoon character in that moment my eyes would have popped out of my head and rolled all over the floor while a thinking bubble of giant exclamation points floated above me. To date, I think that was my biggest a-ha moment of dance and also the one that has catapulted my personal and professional growth throughout my life.

I was transformed. Liz Imperio immediately changed my perspective on corrections, and suddenly I was clamoring for them in all of my classes. Liz taught me that a correction is a gift from someone who believes in you and your potential, and it should be accepted, honored and used with grace and appreciation. What a moment.

If I could convince Yamada and Besom to write my book, it would go something like this:

One day I went to dance class, and I received a correction. 

I didn’t want it. I didn’t ask for it. It was not enjoyable. But, I got one anyway. 

Why did my teacher hand this to me? “What do you do with a correction?” I wondered. 

It felt awkward and heavy. I was uncomfortable. I wanted to un-receive it. Set it down. Make it go away. I did not know how to handle my correction, so I gave it major attitude. That didn’t work. 

I tried ignoring it too, but that only made it worse. I kept receiving it again and again with more force after that. 

Well, I found what you DON’T do with a correction, that’s for sure. 

I started worrying about my correction. I began dwelling on it. It followed me home from dance class where I thought and thought about it. It started growing in size. It got so big, I didn’t know if I would fit out the door to get to dance class again. 

The next morning I woke up, and it was gone.  Phew. But when I walked into dance class again, there it was waiting for me. And it was bigger than before. It had even grown hair. Now I didn’t just have a correction, but I had a big, hairy correction. It got ugly. “What on earth do you do with this correction?” I worried. 

I started stressing about what the other dancers would think of me with this annoying correction following me around all the time. Would they notice? Might they get mad at me? My teacher sure had a look of annoyance on her face. This persistent correction did not seem to be making me any friends! 

One day I realized this correction was not going to go away on it’s own. I had to do something about it. I decided to face it head on. The next day, I went to dance class. When my teacher gave me the correction again, this time I imagined it was a not a big, hairy, ugly correction. Instead, I pictured a beautiful gift wrapped in colorful paper with a big shiny bow. I smiled at my teacher as she gave it to me, and just like the polite recipient of any gift, I said “Thank you.” 

I thought I saw a little twinkle in my teacher’s eye as I said it. I instantly felt stronger and more powerful. Wiser. It felt so good, I decided to take my correction to the next level. I unpacked it, twirled it around in my hands and studied it. I figured out how to use it, and suddenly my dancing was lighter, easier and so much better! 

So, now I know what you do with a correction. You accept it graciously and dance with it because corrections help you grow every step of the way. Then, you hope for more. 

 

 

Elevate Dance

How To Choose The Best Dance Studio For You

Your son and daughter have been begging you to take dance lessons, but you have no idea where to begin. There are so many choices in your neighborhood! How do you choose the best dance studio for your family?

The obvious place to narrow the choices …

is by asking around to your friends and neighbors, but still you should dive deeper. One size does not fit all, and the studio your best friend’s family thinks is top-notch might completely differ from your family’s values. Narrow your choices by asking around, sure. But when you set out to choose the best dance studio for what quite possibly may become your child’s lifelong passion, it’s best to take five simple steps:

  • research the educational philosophy of the school,
  • visit onsite,
  • take a trial class,
  • stick it out for awhile and
  • reevaluate as necessary.

The educational philosophy of a
school determines its culture.
 

When you research the studio online, don’t just read the mission statement, but also poke around and make sure you find evidence of the studio’s stated mission. Review the class schedule, required attire, code of conduct and policies and procedures. Also take a look at the studio’s social media pages, such as Facebook and Instagram. Do these reflect the values you read about in the mission statement? Since educational philosophies are as diverse as your studio choices, we’ll review a few of them here:

  • Dance is a team sport.

    • This studio focuses on competitions and will prepare your child for “making the team.” Whether you want to join the studio’s competitive team, your high school or collegiate squad or become an NFL cheerleader, this studio will support your dream with classes such as poms, jazz, hip hop and extra rehearsals. You’ll be offered a chance to audition for the studio’s company at a young age, and weekends may be spent at dance competitions. Often your classes will be taught by instructors who’ve done the same, and some teachers may still be dance for your local professional sports team’s squad.
  • Dance is recreational.

    • This studio focuses on dance being a fun way to exercise. Movement to music will be the core value here. There may not be a structured syllabus. The instructors might be very young teens who enjoy dance or senior citizens who’ve always danced. The season-end performance will likely not be in a large theatre or require a purchased costume. Any additional fees will be minimal. The dress code may be as simple as “clothing you can move in.”
  • Dance is an industry.

    • This studio focuses on preparing dancers for commercial industry auditions such as music videos, television commercials, movies, live shows or pop tours. You might see specialty classes such as “heels” or ballroom permanently on the schedule and it may also include singing and acting classes. A dress code of sports bra and booty shorts might be expected, especially for company dancers. Company dancers might be in isolated classes away from recreational dancers. The studio’s website will probably have a section devoted to former students’ industry credits.      
  • Dance is a major.

    • This studio takes their craft pretty seriously, but typically in only one area of specialization. The focus is on training and becoming an expert. While you can take many different classes, the studio is typically limited to one genre, such as ballet or hip hop. This studio will have opportunities to perform and compete, and will do everything possible to distinguish its students as leaders in their one chosen area of study.      
  • Dance is arts education and a lifelong pursuit.

    • This studio focuses on creating well rounded dancers and preparing every child whether they grow up loving dance or “living it.” The schedule is technique focused, so expect to see multiple levels and types of ballet, modern, turns and leap and jazz classes, but they will also offer a sound variety of other styles such as tap and hip hop. A base uniform of pink tights and a black leotard would be expected, with possible outfit changes varying by class. The summer program might include a range of specialty courses. This school will likely have a scholarship or company program or another tract for students who want to pursue dance professionally, however all dancers regardless of their dance dreams will be mixed in classes and treated equally. This school will have a few performance opportunities throughout the season which may include community appearances or a dance competition, but these opportunities are in place to serve the dancer more than the studio, so they are chosen with care. This school focuses on education with a diverse faculty that teaches life lessons in addition to dance lessons.  

 

The educational philosophy is the most important piece in how to choose the best dance studio for you.

There is no right or wrong answer from the list of choices above, but the educational philosophy of the school should align with your goals for your child. Once you’ve sifted through your area’s schools based on educational philosophy, it’s time for the easy part- visit the school, and take a trial class! This allows you to verify that the impression your internet research left you with is authentic, and it also helps to determine the appropriate classes for your dancer so he/she can feel successful in dance right away.

Remember, the end goal is to not stumble upon a studio, but to consciously choose the best dance studio for your family.  Once you pick one, stick and stay for awhile! Whether you give it a semester or a season, make sure you allow enough time to truly decide if the studio you picked was the best one for you. And finally, reevaluate as necessary. If after your allotted timeframe you decide the studio wasn’t the right fit, there are others.  Dance is an art, and art is for everyone, so keep going until you choose the best dance studio for you!

This blog post originally appeared on BellistonAcademy.com on January 4, 2017.

ballerina's health and mind work together

Book Review: Ballerina Body by Misty Copeland

Misty Copeland, one of America’s most celebrated ballerinas of modern times, has recently released a third book. This time she steps into the Health and Wellness arena with Ballerina Body: Dancing and Eating Your Way to a Leaner, Stronger and More Graceful You. When many people think of a “ballerina body,” often what comes to mind is a waif-like supermodel shape. However, Copeland defies many conventional norms of what a ballerina looks like. Besides the fact that she is strong and toned, she is African-American. In fact, in 2015, she became the first African American woman to be promoted to principal ballerina in American Ballet Theatre’s Company. According to Copeland, skinny is over. In her book, she asserts “Standards have changed: what women do want is a long, toned, powerful body with excellent posture.” 

Like any health and wellness book, one can expect chapters on fitness and nutrition. Copeland does not deviate from this model. Her fans will love the abundant photographs of the famed dancer’s flawless ballerina body. Fellow dancers might find the workout routines in the book to be basic or redundant, while non-dancers might think them hard to follow without a background in dance and a working dance vocabulary. Nutrition aficionados won’t find anything groundbreaking in this section, but Copeland’s advice is sound nonetheless, and especially readable for teenage dancers wishing to pursue dance more seriously. She stresses the importance of a well- balanced diet of protein, carbohydrates, fat and vegetables. She specifically emphasizes the benefits of a high-fat diet in properly nourishing the body so it has sufficient energy to prevent injury and train hard. She also discusses timing and frequency of eating to perform. If I had to boil the nutrition chapters down to one sentence, it would be “Food is Fuel.” 

In my opinion what sets this book apart from others in the genre and makes so endearing is not the actual health and fitness advice, but rather the time Copeland devotes to wellness as a whole. She talks extensively about mindset. She also discusses journaling and even shares some excerpts from her own journals about her past struggles with her ballerina body. She talks about the importance of finding a mentor and then the value in paying it forward and becoming a mentor to others. Overall this is a great read for anyone interested in wellness and I especially recommend it for “tween” and teenage dancers wishing to take a healthy, holistic approach to honing their fiercest “ballerina body.”