I saw last night that everyone was posting their #nationaldanceday pictures on Instagram, and as I searched for mine something kinda big occurred to me. Making the decision to quit dancing at 19 years old before I even gave myself the chance to see if I could have a career as a dancer was one of the most brutal and terrifying decisions I've ever made. Every moment of every day of my life was fueled by my dream to dance for a professional ballet company. My body simply wasn't as convinced as my heart though. One day while I was icing my ankle (a twice daily requirement after my ankle surgery), I decided to "quit." I was sitting on my kitchen counter with my foot in an ice bath in the sink, and I thought to myself, “I will be doing this every day for as long as I’m dancing.” Within a few weeks, I had packed my apartment, jumped in a Uhaul, and moved to a new city hoping I'd quickly forget about dance and all of my years of training. 20 years later I’m finally realizing that I didn’t quit anything, and no matter how hard you try you simply can't forget your past. I realize now that I was unofficially studying movement and preparing for my Pilates career all along. One of the reasons I love the picture I posted above is because it reminds me of a yearly ritual from my dance days. Dancers have to take a picture in 1st Arabesque every year for audition season, and this was back in the day before you could review how a picture looked on your camera before you had it developed. When I went to pick up the pictures (3 days after I took them), I would panic that they would suck. If they did I’d shoot them again and again until they were good enough. I would study the pictures for hours and decide what I needed to do differently to get better results. My eye for form and movement along with my determination to always be improving shaped my future as a Pilates instructor. Today I’m choosing to rewrite the records that have played in my head for years about quitting and failing as a dancer. I now see and accept that I didn't quit, but I did a pivot turn. A badass, old school, jazz hands in the air pivot turn towards the career I was truly destined for.

5 thoughts on “I Never Quit. I Simply Did A Pivot Turn.

  1. Love this, my friend! You know that’s exactly how I try to look at my decision to leave dance behind. Stepping stones, right?! You were my rock when I made that choice! It was hard, but so worth it! We had a good time too! xoxo

  2. Thanks for sharing Carrie. I too quit dancing at 19 not because of any physical injury more the mental and emotional injury it was causing me… (I was plagued with anorexia and bulimia for years). For a long time I saw it as a failure – as if I were giving up on my dream but now I realise it was preparing me for my career as a Pilates and Fitness instructor. Although I’m still juggling my teaching with a 9-5 office job I’m slowly getting there building up my classes and passing on my love for physical and mental wellness to my students; young and old and men and women. You’re a total inspiration to me. I watch your videos and see your passion shining through. Thank you for posting this blog. It totally struck a chord with me and makes me realise out of perceived failure – success and greatness can grow.

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