Hello everyone! Hope you are having a great week so far. I am snowed in once again, but it’s so beautiful that it’s kind of hard to complain. Plus, it gives me extra time to get some stuff done on my TO-DO list which is always a good thing. So recently I have been struggling a lot with feelings of incompetency, unsuccessfulness, and a lack of motivation.  This has not been caused by a lacking support system by any means; my family is always super encouraging and tries to uplift me with their praise and kindness. But I’ve noticed that every time someone tries to build me up, I immediately tear myself back down, saying things like “I can do better” or “I’m just not good enough” or “Why do I even try.” My family (and boyfriend) started bringing this to my attention and I realized that I have got to change my outlook about myself, and about what I can accomplish.


As a dancer, especially one that has only been dancing a few years, there is so much pressure to be great in such a short amount of time. When I first started dancing, it was more about the fun of it and letting go of all of my cares and worries; just being free. Now, I am constantly putting so much pressure on myself to be what I think everyone else expects me to be. I think that this has taken most of the fun out of dance, and made it somewhat of a chore. So today I have made up my mind to change this completely. To dance is my passion, my love, my purpose in life and I am going to put my whole heart and soul into being the best dancer I can be, not because of what anyone else wants, but because that is what I want.


One of the main reasons that I have had this great epiphany today is because my boyfriend showed me a 55 minute video that made me realize how I have had such a negative outlook on life lately, and how that my passion has lacked a purpose. This video was a podcast of Lewis Howes (author of School of Greatness) interviewing the wonderful Julianne Hough about the key to her success. Julianne has always been a role model to me because of Ballroom Dancing, but I never realized how incredibly similar our ways of thinking are. Julianne, like myself, has always wanted to receive approval from others, especially dealing with her dance career. I always compare myself to other like “That person started when they were 7 and I started when I was 16, therefore I will never be as good as they are.” Julianne discusses how she has dealt with similar feeling since she was younger, and she has worked really hard to change this mentality. She believes that if you are passionate about something for yourself and do it because you want to, and believe that you can, you can accomplish any dream. If you constantly try to please others, you will just be disappointed. And if your dream takes a little longer than someone else’s, who cares?! You are completely different person that is special and unique, so why would you compare your journey to anyone else’s? This really opened my eyes and made me see that I haven’t been dancing for myself and that my passion has been missing. Julianne’s positivity is contagious really and it made me see how important it is to be that type of person that fills people’s lives with joy and inspiration. But all of this is only possible if we allow ourselves to fully embrace our passions and pursue our dreams because we WANT to pursue them, not because we feel that we have to.


I am really excited about getting back in the studio tomorrow with this newfound mindset. I think that it will bring greatness not only to my dancing, but also to my life in general and those I surround myself with every day. I’m ready to put purpose behind my passion and pursue it with everything that I have….are you?


Ignite your passion,

Ashlyn Tori<3