Almost all of the world-class athletes and other peak performers are visualizers. They see it; they feel it; they experience it before they actually do it. They begin with the end in mind.

You can do it in every area of your life. Before a performance, a sales presentation, a difficult confrontation, or the daily challenge of meeting a goal, see it clearly, vividly, relentlessly, over and over again. Create an internal ‘comfort zone.’ Then, when you get into the situation, it isn’t foreign. It doesn’t scare you.

~ Stephen R. Covey

Living Normally, for me, was Dancing

Some people sometimes ask me if dance is a passion for me. But it is much more than a passion, it’s part of me. It’s like breathing, it’s a need. It is true that dancing helped me to set myself goals but if I continued to attend classes during my chemotherapy, it was not just to achieve and keep myself in shape. I wanted to continue living normally. And living normally for me was dancing.

Certaines personnes me demandent parfois si la danse est une passion pour moi. Mais c’est bien plus qu’une passion, ça fait partie de moi. C’est comme respirer, c’est un besoin. C’est vrai que danser m’a permis de me fixer des objectifs mais si j’ai continué à suivre des cours pendant ma chimiothérapie, ce n’était pas juste pour les atteindre et me maintenir en forme. J’avais l’impression de continuer à vivre normalement. Et vivre normalement, pour moi, c’était danser.

~ Stéphane Bullion, Danseur Etoile à l’Opéra National de Paris, Vivre normalement, pour moi, c’était danser

On Being a Prima Ballerina

When I am in the wings, it is hard for me to describe my conditions. Courage and joy on my hand, the other entire wild nervousness. When I am rehearsing, I feel like a pupil, not a ballerina. But for some reason, when I get out on the stage, I feel complete opposite. This transformation is quite unique: something happens from within, and you understand that human abilities are limitless, and sometimes you end up doing things which you didn’t even know you are capable of.

In order to be a world-famous prima ballerina, first of all you need the physical attributes, a huge ability to work, charisma, and a huge desire to be number one. I practice a huge number of hours a day. I remember preparing for Cinderella. I would come in at 10 o’clock in the morning and leave at 10 o’clock at night. The whole day rehearsing.

All ballets are saturated with big techniques. The task of an artist is not to turn his technique into a sport, but to perfect to the point where you are no longer thinking, and current steps convey emotions and be real hero on stage because dance is all about emotions and the audience comes to be enchanted.

In order to become prima ballerina, very many traits are needed. First of all, diligence. I always try to watch and learn something new. We learn from the French how to dance with the foot; Russians like to dance with hands. Also, discipline. When I was 13, 14, my peers would go to the disco, the no-go territory for us. Ballet is not a profession for me. It is my life. And that is why when people ask me that I sacrifice many things, I could not understand what I sacrifice.

~ Svetlana Zakharova, Prima Ballerina


better than perfection is the ability to let it go

Every single day until the last day of your dance career you have to work, you have to strive to achieve perfection. But better than perfection is the ability to let it go. When you’re onstage you have to know that it’s impossible to be perfect and you just rely on your experience and talent. The great performance is when you feel, ‘Oh my god, I’m just completely free.’ This is amazing.

~ Veronica Part, Ballerina at American Ballet Theatre
In Pursuit of Perfection, Pointe Magazine Apr/May 2015