Credit: Ballet to Business
Jai-Dee Dancewear is a sustainable leotard company celebrating the beauty, wisdom and value of women who dance. Our blog serves to inform, inspire and connect our community of socially conscious women in ballet and beyond. All hearts are welcome here.
“What is one enduring gift or lesson from dance that has served your life beyond the stage?”
This beautiful question is one Jordan Nicoleh asks all her guests as the host of the Ballet to Business podcast. As a recent guest already familiar with her show, I was prepared for this inquiry to surface. When Jordan unfolded the question towards the end of our conversation though, it caused me an unexpected pause. It wasn’t the question itself that caught me off guard; it was the surprising flavor of gratitude that rolled in behind it. While my appreciation for dance is always within reach, it’s rare for that appreciation to be as unburdened and clear as it was in that moment. Reflecting on the flow of the interview, I now understand how that clarity was cultivated.
Space for wholeness
A history with ballet can be complex. Jordan’s podcast holds space to explore such complexity, allowing more complete stories of dance and of dancers to emerge. Personal stories about ballet and business explored on the show are collectively creating community stories. These stories touch on our shared strengths, our common forms of suffering and our ability to make meaning out of all kinds of experiences with dance. As both a listener and a guest of the show, this podcast feels honest, insightful and even therapeutic.
Timing the takeaways
By the time Jordan invited me to consider a positive takeaway from my time as a dancer, we had already given voice to some of my struggles in ballet (including anxiety, a harmful self-image, the fear of failure and an experience with layoff, among other things). The wonderful irony in bringing awareness to pain points is that acknowledgment can become its own form of healing. Honesty clears the path beyond the struggle where unobstructed perspective is more accessible.
While I could at any moment tick off a grand number of things dance has gifted me, it was a unique experience to make this inquiry with my body residing in the “rolled open” perspective that conversation with Jordan made possible. I offered what I felt most directly in that state – the awareness that dance taught me (eventually!) to keep opening my heart towards all the challenges with life, work, love and even self.
An invitation to listen
You can listen to the wonderful Ballet to Business podcast HERE and connect to the Ballet to Business community HERE. I urge you to follow Jordan’s lead and host honest conversations with yourself and with others about both the struggles and the gifts you credit to dance.