Knowing when it’s time to let go and move on is not easy. The hard thing about ballet is that you’re time could be up much sooner than you had envisioned in your dreams.

You likely see yourself retiring sometime in your 30’s or after you’ve performed all the principal roles you’ve ever desired. However, this career is unpredictable and things may not go as planned.

So, I want to call your attention to Shelby Elstree’s latest post on her blog Tutu’s and Tea (if you haven’t read it, go check it out) where she talk’s about her choice to retire at 25.

photo of Shelby by Kenneth B. Edwards
photo of Shelby by Kenneth B. Edwards

The maturity and wisdom in her decision making demonstrates, all over again, why she has been such an inspiration for me at The Whole Dancer.

Shelby is a Whole Dancer.

When you think about the end of your own career, consider Shelby’s thoughts…”My dreams for retirement were to finish dancing in a time and place where I felt confident about my career, proud of my body (not injured or broken or overworked), and in control of my mind and my decision.”

Such a beautiful goal.

Honor the ending. (The following was adapted from Melody Beattie’s book Journey to the Heart)

“There were times I felt exhilarated and sure I was on track. Other days I felt lost. Confused. I’d fall into bed at night certain this whole journey was a mistake and a waste.

But I’d wake up in the morning, something would happen, and I’d see how I’d been guided all along.

Cherish the moments, all of them, even the ups and downs. Cherish the places you’ve visited, the people you’ve seen. Say good – bye to those whose journeys have called them someplace else.

Know you can always call them back by thinking loving thoughts. Know all those you love will be there for you when you need them most. Honor the lessons you’ve learned, and the people who helped you learn them. Honor the journey your soul mapped out for you.

Trust all the places you’ve been. Make a scrapbook in your heart to help you remember.

Check out this related post :   Standing Tall When Dance Pushes You Down

Look back for a moment. Reflect in peace. Then let this journey draw to a close. All parts of the journey are sacred and holy. You’ve learned that by now. Take time to honor this ending – though it’s never really the end. Go to sleep tonight. When you wake up tomorrow a new adventure will begin.

Honor the Ending

Jess Spinner

Jess is a former professional ballet dancer turned Holistic Health, Nutrition, and Lifestyle Coach for high level dancers. She founded The Whole Dancer in 2015 after identifying a greater need for balance, wellness and support in the dance world. Since The Whole Dancer was founded, Jess has worked with 100's of dancers worldwide at top companies and schools. She has been featured in or written for Dance Magazine, Dance Teacher Magazine, Pointe Magazine, and Dance Spirit Magazine.

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