Balance Movers and Shakers Podcast Episode 8- Interview with Caitlin Sloan, The Brainy Ballerina

In this episode of the Balance Movers and Shakers Podcast, Ellen interviews Caitlin Sloan, founder of the Brainy Ballerina. During this episode Ellen and Caitlin discuss what dancers need to be successful in today’s industry, as well as techniques that instructors can implement to provide well-rounded dance education to their students.

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About Caitlin Sloan: As a dance educator with nearly a decade of experience in the field and a retired professional ballerina, Caitlin is passionate about teaching students to become smart dancers. To excel in the field today, dancers need more than beautiful lines and turns for days. They need to be critical thinkers, able to analyze and evaluate situations on a moment’s notice. Dancers need to know terminology and ballet history. They need to know about music, choreography, and what goes on behind the scenes. They need to know how to write a resume, take a quality headshot and show up prepared for an audition. Caitlin discovered that finding resources to support her teaching beliefs was a challenge. Through talking to peers, she discovered many fellow teachers felt the same way. And thus ‘The Brainy Ballerina’ was born! The resources we provide are specifically designed to develop dancers into the future ballerinas the world needs.

balancing your movement practice

Bonus Balance Movers and Shakers Podcast Episode | Balancing Your Practice

In this episode of the Balance Movers and Shakers podcast, Ellen discusses what it means to balance your practice. With the holidays on the horizon, self-care is an important practice – but what is self care really?

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Ellen explores various forms of self-care, including how to practice self-care through movement and the internal language that we use toward ourselves. This episode explores how we can truly build balance into our yoga, dance and fitness practices both in and out of the studio. During this episode also Ellen tees up exciting announcements for the Balance Movement community – including upcoming blog content and new features on the website. 

Listen to the latest episode of the Balance Movers and Shakers podcast here:

What It Means to Truly Balance Your Practice

Intensity and optimization are the two principles of most workout or physical movement practices.

The drive to sweat, burn, tone, tighten, build – it’s all great… until you’ve had a heavy week. You’re tired, you’re frazzled, your nervous system is on edge overloaded with aggressive, demanding stimuli.

Conversely, there are times when your energy is on fire, your feet need to move and your body needs to sweat hard — and you’ve committed to a slow practice.

That begs the question – do we still need a consistent level of intensity in our movement practice at every point of time?

The truth is that there is no right or wrong answer to when and what makes sense. Every body is different. But there are ways to assess this for yourself, and to nurture your inner balance through whichever movement practice you choose.

Stop the self-imposed stress

You are the keeper of your own body, therefore you have to make decisions that impact you in the best ways.

Self-imposed stress, and more importantly, pressuring yourself and the accompanying mental language that berates the correlation between your movement practice and level of effort are something to be paid close attention.

You hold the responsibility to keep yourself healthy – but health comes through balance, which is different for each and every body, and vastly different across time.

Having a hard time motivating yourself for a 3 mile run? It may be a gentle day. Mind too wound up for a meditation session? Recalibrate and refocus.

Meet yourself with solutions, not frustration.

Listen to yourself

Seems simple enough but pay attention to what is going on not only in your body, but in your mind. You are giving yourself clues about what is going on and what you need at that present moment.

It sounds cliche, but take a hint and not only listen to your body, but act accordingly. It’s okay to push yourself when you need and it’s also just as fine to take a gentler day.

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Give 100% of your 20

Not every day is a marathon day. If you have 20% to give, then give the full 20%.

Balancing yourself is about giving the full 20% and the full 600% on their respective days. That is respect for yourself and utilizing your practices to honor and acknowledge what is happening in your body.

Embrace balance

Overall, balance is nourishing and forgiving. Most of us have heard of yin and yang – balanced energies. Too much of one or the other and you are not balanced. Same goes for your movement practice.

It’s about creating variables for yourself that feed your body/mind/spirit as they need. You are a multidimensional human and your physical practices should be as well.

About the Author

Ellen is the founder of Balance Movement. She is a dance and yoga practitioner and instructor who advocates balance both on and off the mat.

Balance Movers and Shakers Podcast Episode 6- Interview with Melanie C. Klein, Yoga and Body Image Coalition

In this episode of the Balance Movers and Shakers podcast, Ellen interviews Melanie C. Klein, cofounder of Yoga and Body Image Coalition and empowerment coach. Ellen and Melanie discuss how body image and exercise culture inform movement practices, creating a barrier to accessibility. Melanie discusses how body acceptance and exercise culture have permeated the modern yoga class, and what can be done to reframe the narrative. She also shares how she cofounded the Yoga and Body Image Coalition, and the need for representation in yoga imagery. This is the sixth episode of the Balance Movers and Shakers podcast, a podcast which captures perspectives and inspiring anecdotes from movers and shakers: yoga, dance and movement practitioners.

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balance movers and shakers podcast episode with melanie c klein yoga and body image coalition

Melanie C. Klein, M.A., is an empowerment coach, thought leader and influencer in the areas of body confidence, authentic empowerment, and visibility. Attributing yoga and feminism as her two primary influences, Melanie has been in the business of empowering women since 1994. With over 20 years experience and notable credits including advising the Santa Monica College Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance, working closely with Global Girl Media and running the LA chapter of Women, Action and the Media; she has dedicated her passion, knowledge and coaching skillset to the empowerment of innumerable women through increasing confidence, self-esteem, worth and value. She co-founded the Yoga and Body Image Coalition in 2014 and is the co-founder of The Joy Revolution.

She has also authored several books including co-editor of Yoga and Body Image: 25 Personal Stories About Beauty, Bravery + Loving Your Body (Llewellyn, 2014) with Anna Guest-Jelley, a contributor in 21st Century Yoga: Culture, Politics and Practice (Horton & Harvey, 2012), is featured in Conversations with Modern Yogis (Shroff, 2014), a featured writer in Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Mindful Living (Llewellyn, 2016), co-editor of Yoga, the Body and Embodied Social Change: An Intersectional Feminist Analysis with Dr. Beth Berila and Dr. Chelsea Jackson Roberts (Rowman and Littlefield, 2016), Yoga Rising: 30 Empowering Stories from Yoga Renegades for Every Body (Llewellyn, 2018) and the co-editor of the new forthcoming anthology, Embodied Resilience through Yoga (Llwelleyn, 2020). Find more information about Melanie and her works at

Simply Find Balance – Ellen

Hello, let me introduce myself – I’m Ellen.

I started balance movement and the podcast out of my own curiosity about the body and study of human movement.

As a dancer, artist and yogi myself I recognize all that the movement arts have provided to me and I am looking to give back. Why? I truly believe in the power of movement – I believe movement heals. Movement nourishes. It creates community. I have a greater vision to create a collective that celebrates artists and movers and empowers them by giving them a platform to share and to receive. I hope you will join me in this vision.

I have been deeply inspired by each of the wonderful podcast guests and have zero plans of stopping there! In the coming months we will continue to frame movement through the anecdotes and experiences of practitioners and businesses that are creating avenues for people to learn about movement. There is much to be discovered. And there is even more to attend to.

I hope that you will connect. And more so I hope that you will be compelled to share your own story! – Ellen

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Balance Movers and Shakers Podcast Episode 5- Interview with Brynne Caleda, Yoga Ed.

In this episode of the Balance Movers and Shakers podcast, Ellen interviews Brynne Caleda, CEO of Yoga Ed., an organization which brings yoga and mindfulness techniques into classrooms across the world. Hear Brynne discuss the application of principles of yoga and mindfulness in both a traditional classroom environment as a tool for teachers, and as an alternative to PE. Brynne and Ellen discuss some of the reframing of yoga philosophy to fit a modern classroom, and the benefits that the principles of yoga have on both students and instructors.

Yoga Ed. is an educational company dedicated to changing education through the practice of yoga. Our mission is to empower school communities with yoga to cultivate health and wellness in children and teens. Through evidence-based training, classes, and resources, Yoga Ed. equips educators with yoga tools to integrate yoga for children and teens into academic environments. Find more information at 

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balance movers and shakers podcast - brynne caleda CEO of yoga ed

Balance Movers and Shakers Podcast Episode 4- Interview with Alice MacDonald, Alexander Technique

During this episode of the Balance Movers and Shakers podcast Ellen and Alice discuss principles of dynamic balance and how the Alexander Technique can be used to help individuals find their alignment. Alice and Ellen also discuss how the Alexander Technique can be used to refine movements for performing artists, as well as re-pattern physical habits developed through daily activity. 

Alice MacDonald is an AmSAT certified Alexander Technique Teacher. She teaches both private and group AT sessions in multiple locations in New York City and Southern Maine, including the Balance Arts Center (NY), Movement Research (NY), and Rosemont Wellness Center (ME). 

Visit for more information about Alice MacDonald and Alexander Technique or visit her Instagram Page

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balance movers and shakers podcast - melanie holst collins grow your lovespace