Anna is a a dancer from Toronto who I first met several years ago and was completely enamored with her magical presence and wisdom beyond her years. These days, she shares her empowering messages on social media, and has a youtube channel, where she talks about issues such as dealing with anxiety, being female, and good body image. She is also a contributor to Sophomore Mag as well.
Here Anna shares about her journey to happiness, self-love, and all things dance.
Name: Anna Collins
What are your main passions? Is there one that stands out the most?
My main passion in life is dancing and specifically ballet. I am extremely passionate about teaching ballet.
Do you want to make a career out of any of them?
Right now I go to Canada’s National Ballet School where I’m training to get my ballet teaching diploma. I’ve always wanted to do this and can’t see myself as anything other than a teacher, I truly believe teaching is my purpose in life.
Have you always known ballet is what you wanted to do?
I’ve been dancing since I was three years old. My older sister was the one who was dancing first and as a little girl (and still today) I admire my sister and wanted to do everything she was doing, so naturally I wanted to do ballet just like her. I’ve been dancing ever since and found that I was my true self when in the studio dancing.
Do you get to spend a lot of time doing it? How do you make the time for it?
I’m lucky enough to be going to school 6 days a week, so my entire life is doing what I love to do. I am dancing and training/studying from 8-6 almost every day. All my time is devoted to school.
Is there any new hobbies you would like to take up?
Because right now I am so goal oriented and in the middle of an intense program, I haven’t even thought about taking up any new hobbies/don’t really have a life or time at the moment because I’ve immersed myself in what I am doing right now.
What makes you feel the happiest?
That is a loaded question. I have struggled with anxiety and depression my entire life and I have found that while dancing, all of that seems to disappear. There is so much to focus on that I’m in a state of meditation when I am trying my best and working my hardest. I’m also very family oriented and find that I am most happy when I have the chance to spend time with my family, especially my sister Petra. She lives in New York right now so any moment we get to spend together when I travel to see her I am probably at my all time happiest, she is my everything.
What do you do to stay feeling grounded and connected?
I think when I get caught up in the bubble that is my life, I try my hardest to be constantly thankful. Working 6 days a week can be tiring and sometimes I find myself being ungrateful. I remind myself about how lucky I am to be actually doing what I love and I am lucky that I am able to connect with my body. Also the young kids that I get to teach really keep me grounded. All of them are so innocent and beautifully naïve that for that hour I teach, I get to see the world through their eyes. Even if that sounds cheesy, it’s true.
What makes you feel the healthiest in your body?
I feel healthiest when I am in a good mental state and am dancing and moving.
What do you do to treat yourself?
To treat myself I love to actually go out and spend time with my friends. I love being able to go to my boyfriend’s shows (his band is Goodbye Honolulu). Letting myself be a person is a treat because I’m always focused on school, I forget to take care of myself sometimes.
What is your best advice for loving yourself?
It’s easier said than done, but constantly focusing on not comparing yourself to others, meaning not being jealous of people and being genuinely happy for other people’s successes I think will lead to self love. It’s a never ending process and being conscious and aware of toxic thoughts is probably the first step and something we should always be doing; replacing toxic thoughts with positive thoughts.
What does girl power mean to you?
For me, girl power means togetherness and support for every individual.
Who inspires you and why?
My sister constantly inspires me. She helps me find self love, gives me confidence and courage, and has become a strong woman that I can look up to. I know everything she has been through and she still comes out with integrity and intelligence in any situation.
Has learning to accept yourself been a journey for you or has it come naturally?
It’s definitely something that is a conscious effort and I’m always working on. It’s not like waking up one day and just being happy with yourself. I have good days and I have bad days and it’s still a journey.
What are you most grateful for learning?
I think as I get older, I’ve learned that everyone has their shit they’re going through and we really don’t know what people are dealing with so we really can’t take anything personally and try our best not to judge others.
What would you tell your younger self?
I would tell my younger self that you are good enough and you don’t need to prove anything.