Hello beautiful Balanced Ballerinas – how has your week been? They seem to be flying by…
You know what else is flying? My spirit after speaking with fellow adult ballet teacher and entrepreneur Karis Scarlette! Did you like that little segue? But seriously, it was so incredibly lovely talking to someone that not only basically does what I do (but on the other side of the world), Karis also shares so many similar values and passions as me!
But before we go any further, if you’re a new listener of the pod, ‘Welcome!’ and my name is Georgia Canning. I am the host of this podcast and Founder of Balanced Ballerinas where we celebrate the grit and grace that ballet brings to our daily lives and fight for things like body positivity and diversity in ballet and for those who want to study ballet seriously without necessarily wanting to be a professional ballerina.
Today’s guest couldn’t be more on brand if I tried!
As you’ll hear in this interview, Karis began ballet classes at age 2 before she joined The Royal Ballet at age 6 after they held a workshop at her primary school and picked her out of a line up of students. She continued through the school before graduating at 19 – but as you’ll hear it wasn’t all peachy.
After a serious spinal injury, the development of an eating disorder and severe depression Karis stepped away from the ballet world for a few years to work extensively on her wellbeing, physical strength and mental health. In hindsight the work she did during this incredibly traumatic time is (in my opinion) the reason why she is such a caring, committed and empathetic teacher with her adult ballet students and built an amazing following.
I’ve reflected on this many times before and Karis and I briefly bring it up in conversation. Do I regret (like Karis) experiencing any trauma as a young ballerina? I don’t think so. But should it happen to another? Definitely not. But the reasons for not following through with a professional career as a ballerina are probably the reasons why we are the teachers we are today.
So perhaps thats why I feel so connected to Karis. A shared sense of accomplishment despite the odds, a reconciliation with ones past and a passion inspired by hope for the future…
In this conversation we discuss Karis’s current working from home situation, or the ‘zen den’ as she likes to call it. We also geek out on some adult ballet teacher challenges, concerns and teaching techniques, all whilst gushing over our love of ballet and how it truly does heal both the soul and body simultaneously. Basically I loved picking her brain as I admire this smart, beautiful, spiritual woman so much.
I think you’re going to love this conversation and now is as good a time as any to announce that you might be seeing a little Georgia and Karis collaboration in the future (when we’re allowed to fly around the world again!) because Karis is based in London and obviously as the listeners know I’m in Australia. So hopefully one day in the future our two adult ballet communities can collide so we can continue spreading ballet love around the world together.
As always, you can find me @thebalancedballerina on Instagram and be sure to join our private Facebook Group, just search ‘Balanced Ballerinas Secret Facebook Group’ to connect with like-minded #BalancedBallerinas from all over the world! And of course go find Karis on Instagram @karisscarlette and check out her stunning new website which is simply karisscarlette.com
Grit & Grace,