Showing Pre-Professional Ballet Dancers How to Thrive Mentally, Emotionally, and Physically since 2011

A short introduction to my work.

About me

I am a former professional ballerina who, years after leaving my career, wanted to use my knowledge and experiences to support young dancers. When I was training, my parents and I felt that there were too few resources to help us make decisions and navigate the unknowns of summer programs and auditions. In my private coaching practice, as well as my group workshops and lectures, I try to demystify various aspects of pre-professional training for dancers and their parents.  

In particular, I created the Build a Better Dancer system which addresses seven areas of wellness that dancers work on to increase their success and happiness.

Parents love me because I give my dancers perspective and keep them healthy and well-rounded. Teachers love me because my dancers are calmer, more confident, and able to hear and apply corrections better than most. Dancers love me because the dance world is demanding and I “get it;” I really care about my dancers and put their needs and happiness above everything else. The safe, neutral perspective I offer is one they need and love.

Speaking Topics

Building a Better Dancer: Essential mental fitness strategies dancers need to succeed in pre-professional training.

  • This talk focuses on building mental strength and a healthy, empowering mindset by using skills like mindful breathing, self-talk, and thought work to improve their performance.

Building a Better Dancer: Discover the missing pieces to setting goals and achieving them for pre-professional dancers

  • This talk teaches dancers the basic building blocks of goal-setting, tracking, and achievement so that what benefit.

Building a Better Dancer: Audition Preparation

  • This talk posits that mental preparation is as important as physical preparation when it comes to auditions. Dancers learn tools to stay calm and focused in a high-pressure environment.

Speaking Experience

I’ve been giving workshops since 2011, but expanded my reach in the winter of 2018. Since then I have spoken at the following schools and studios:

  • School of American Ballet, NYC
  • Ellison Ballet School, NYC
  • SLK Ballet, NYC
  • Forrest Academy of Ballet, NYC
  • Ballet Academy East, NYC
  • NY Dance Project, NYC
  • Youth America Grand Prix finals, NYC
  • NYU Tisch School of the Performing Arts, NYC
  • Greenwich Ballet Academy, CT
  • Boston Ballet School, Boston, MA
  • Hanover Conservatory, Worcester, MA
  • Cary Ballet Conservatory, Cary, NC
  • Kansas City Ballet School, MO
  • Louisville Ballet School, KY
  • Washington Ballet School, Washington, DC
  • Indiana Ballet Conservatory, Carmel, IN
  • Contra Costa Ballet Center, Walnut Creek, CA

Speaking Focus

  • Challenging dancers to harness the power of their brains to create and maintain motivation.
  • Translating mental fitness concepts from sport psychology into dance-specific situations and making those tools relevant to dancers.
  • Inspiring dancers to define their studio experience by becoming active participants in their training.

Speaking Style

  • I am down-to-earth, easy-going, and like to use humor to get dancers to relax and open up.
  • I know dancers are smart and driven; I speak to their drive and in language they can hear and apply.
  • I give interactive talks and gently challenge my dancers to participate verbally.
  • I don’t use technology, but instead prefer a more conversational style with minimal notes.

Speaking Audience

  • Pre-professional dance schools: dancers, parents, teachers
  • Dance conservatories
  • College dance programs

Would you like to book me to speak to your dancers and parents?

Email me today at elizabeth@thedancerstoolkit.com

Pre-Professional Ballet School Testimonials

Her work with dancers is phenomenal.

“Elizabeth came to us in the spring of 2018 and our students and parents were absolutely thrilled with her workshop. A lot of people would benefit from her positive approach and expertise. I highly recommend her and her work with the dancers is phenomenal.” Mariaelena Ruiz, Professional Training Program Director Cary Ballet Conservatory, Artistic Director Cary Ballet Company, Cary, NC.

A natural gift for relating to dancers.

“Elizabeth has given a few informative talks to our students about the importance of mental wellness throughout their training. Being a former professional dancer who is experienced in navigating the world of ballet, she provides great insight for any budding dancer. She has the natural gift of relating to students, is realistic in her approach while coaching them in mental wellness, and she uses her great sense of humor to get her points across. Elizabeth truly cares about the dancers with whom she works, and she often attends their shows. I highly recommend her!” Erin Forrest, Forrest Academy of Ballet, NYC.

A wonderful resource for dancers!

“Being a dancer requires much more than just intensive training. Successful dancers have a well-rounded, balanced approach to art and life. Elizabeth is uniquely qualified to support the process and has been a wonderful resource for the dancers of New York Dance Project.” Nicole Duffy, New York Dance Project, NYC.

Interesting, impactful and inspiring!

“Elizabeth Sullivan understands dancers and their unique challenges. Her talk at BAE was interesting, impactful, and inspiring.  Elizabeth has proven her ability and dedication to nurturing the mind, body, and spirit of young, aspiring dancers.” Julia Dubno, Ballet Academy East, NYC.

Committed to helping young dancers reach their potential.

“Ms. Sullivan’s talk [at Boston Ballet School] focused on giving students tools which could enhance their dance training, and help them cope with challenges they face on a daily basis. She gave excellent, concrete examples and encouraged the students to comment on how they would respond to each. It was obvious that she is committed to helping young dance students achieve their potential. Ms. Sullivan is passionate about her work with students, and this lecture certainly demonstrated that passion.” Michelina Cassella Kulak, Current Senior Physical Therapist and Dance Specialist at “The Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention” at Children’s Hospital in Waltham, MA.

Educational, enlightening and fun!

“All the dancers, parents, and teachers at CCBC enjoyed her seminar greatly. It was enlightening, educational, and fun. We teachers were saying, “Why didn’t we have this when we were dancers?” and “I could use this now!”” Zola Dishong, Artistic Director, Contra Costa Ballet Center, Walnut Creek, CA.