by Ewa Sivertsen

My story

My story is about:

«Why Authentic Ballet became a definition of a lifestyle and a direction in life I felt I had to choose in order to stay true to my passions.»
It's a story I created, of a lifestyle which is close to the art of ballet and dancing, and an act of self-care with the intention of inspiring others.


I heard this quote for the first time at the performance «Coco Chanel» by Jo Strømgren and Ulrike Quade, at the Norwegian Opera and Ballet in Oslo, which I really loved. For me, the Oslo Opera House is one of the best places in the world.
The building, with the shape of a glacier, always fills me with motivation, new energy and love, because it's a home for one of the biggest passions in my life, ballet and dancing. 
Outside, on the roof of the Opera House, I feel I can breathe when I look at the Oslofjord at a distance. From the inside, when I watch a performance, I feel like I'm a part of this beautiful, art- sensitive community, allowing myself to enjoy it as a natural part of my rhythm in life. I feel that, from time to time, I just HAVE TO go and see a ballet there. For me, it's like a statement of what I believe in and a kind of definition of who I am as a person and what I'm passionate about. This all gives me a huge meaning for my life. 
Big words, but very authentic. 

Back to this puppet theatre, «Coco Chanel».

It made a big impression on me with its powerful expressions of dancing movement, elements of fashion on stage, and the story of Coco's life. 
Her enormous passion for change in clothing for women, means to me a true passion for change towards being authentic. The quote: «Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself» is about what I always dreamed to teach myself. Now, my biggest wish is to help other women struggling to accept their own passions, especially those who are artistic and love ballet, as well as those in a professional career. I experienced that sometimes it is (for people in general), difficult to choose what they really want in life.
They sometimes can't define it and take some risks to stay closer to their needs. 

My impression and own experience are that we often compromise, not allowing ourselves to develop interests and hobbies to something being a bigger part of our lives. 
The Authentic Ballet Blog, together with the Authentic Ballet Step by Step course, are a way for me to promote ballet and dance, also as a choice in life. I will be writing about the values, knowledge and qualities of dance.
My biggest intention is to support the passion for dance, no matter what age and life experiences.

2. What does the Coco's quote mean today and why it has been difficult to be "ballet-authentic" for me before?

Today, «deciding to be myself» means to live as close as possible to the art of ballet and dance, and be able to stand up and say: I love working in the world connected to dance!
When I feel like it at home, I always dance. 
When I feel like moving like a ballerina- I move like a ballerina. 
When I'm in the mood for wearing a beautiful dress- I just wear it and enjoy its glamour! 
When I feel like my body and my mind needs to take a ballet class- I don't hesitate and put on a pair of slippers and a leotard, warm up and stretch, and prepare to stand at the ballet barre. This activity makes me feel so grounded, strong and expressive at the same time. 

I also feel that taking classes, although my technique or abilities are not always perfect and sometimes quite far away from ballet ideals, I won't let that stop from trying to do my best! At the same time, through taking ballet classes, I'm improving my physical experience of dance movement, which I later use as a physiotherapist for dancers, as this is my profession. I found this practice of taking ballet classes very important for a better understanding of the needs that professional dancers and clients have when they ask for a piece of advice! 

3. Authentic Ballet is a part of my Nordic journey.

I love Norway , it's my home, and I love taking ballet classes in Norway. Although a lot of people would say that we don't have much dance discipline and some people even claim that the dance and ballet level in Norway aren't high. I must say, I very much appreciate the Norwegian style and atmosphere of ballet classes here. 

I'm born in Poland and I came to Norway at the age of 22, with quite a lot of ballet training experience. In my luggage, was the Vaganova style technique, plenty of discipline and determination and a lot of true passion for ballet and dance. In the side pockets of my luggage, I had with me: insecurity, negative thoughts about myself, symptoms of eating disorders, performance anxiety, physical injuries, feelings of guilt wishing my life being filled more with dance, and much more. The side pockets felt sometimes heavier as the main luggage I had to carry with me, wherever I went. I spent years of exploring these feelings and symptoms of what I call today: side effects of not deciding to be myself, not being authentic and constantly fighting with imaginary expectations of the outside- world. Fighting against the authentic me. The authentic me wanted to dance ballet. 

These struggles through the years, first resulted in a burnout and, believe it or not, I lost my dance passion totally.
During this period I still didn't want to give up. I looked for some compromises and options for a satisfying life without dancing through the «normal education and work». Today, I'm grateful I did that, because now I have a lot of varied experience I can offer to others. And finally, step-by-step, I found the way back to the core of my life, the art of dance, with all its possible aspects. 

4. Now, I'm feeling closer to ballet and the magical world of dance as never before.

I'm older now and I don't have the same technique and the same kind of discipline I had before. Maybe this is what the balance is! The main thing is that I have decided to be myself, which means to me allowing me to express my artistic and creative soul through daily ballet dancing on my premises. It became my way of balancing stress, my workout and my way of taking care of the qualities of how I move my body. It also became my way of expressing ideas and feelings as well as increasing my self-confidence and my body image. Moreover, I'm dancing ballet because I wish to improve my knowledge about the amazing resources of the body and teach it to other dance enthusiasts. 

5. This Authentic Ballet story is very personal, but probably a journey many other people have experienced as well.

The focus is how to create a balance in life, staying true to your passions and actually prioritize the time spent on keeping contact with ballet. Reading is also a part of it, so I hope the articles in my blog will inspire you to take care of your interest in ballet and dance. For me it's a kind of therapy and I simply can't live without it. 

With these final words then, I hope you can stay with me and enjoy my posts about ballet and dance, my newsletter and soon, maybe you would like to join my Authentic Ballet step-by-step course too. It would be a pleasure to welcome you and include you in my world of Authentic Ballet!
Remember, it's never too late to take care of your ballet passion and «decide to be yourself». 

With all the Love and Passion for Ballet,
I wish you all the best,

Ewa Sivertsen

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