Caring for yourself

Since my injury I never considered the possibility of my age actually working against me. That maybe because I did not have a vitamin regime, I was working my body to a breaking point. Taking a daily vitamin has become a standard of living in a society where foods no longer provide you the necessities and you need to supplement your diet. Kinda sad really… not to say I do any better. I’m like most Americans in consuming plenty of fast food and avoiding fruits vegetables I don’t want to eat. It got me thinking though whether you’re a hobbyist Adult ballerina/dancer or striving to be more than a hobbyist (serious business adult ballerina status), consuming the proper supplements will ensure you have fewer injuries, you’ll dance more energetically (and have more energy in general), and live a healthier and happier dancer’s life.

I read two articles that really summed up the basics and how it’s beneficial to dancers to consume necessities in your diet.

The ballet dancer and vitamins by the Rudolf  Nureyev Foundation, talks about in general the benefits of all the important things in your diet from carbs, fats, protein, and vitamins and if any of these in combination are missing your body won’t metabolize properly and you will essentially not function properly. It talks about how complex B vitamins help you absorb carbs and fats into energy for your body/muscles! Now I can eat that whole loaf of french bed without worry- haha! It also goes onto explain about free radicals and how they can affect your body. I like to think of it like a car. Your muscles are like little cars, when you rev the engine you expel a lot of toxic gas. Small amounts doesn’t hinder, but when all your muscles are doing it in large quantities and revving for long periods all of the toxic gas builds up and starts damaging other things, and just mucks up your bodily eco system. So eating things like carrots or drinking carrot juice which contains a good natural dosage of vitamin A will help eliminate these free radicals. Where’s a Bugs Bunny gif when you need it?

Also an eHow article, Diet & Nutrition for Dancers broke it down simply how you should consider your nutrition, health, and diet. I never really felt guilty about carbs, but from these two articles it really solidified that eating a lot of spaghetti was okay! It also gave me tips about how to recover after exerting energy. After class having a sports drink to replenish what I sweated out will help keep you energized and not exhausted. Protein is a no brainer, and healthy fats from fish, avocadoes, and nuts are the best kinds of fat. (Have you seen the recipe for a breakfast dish involving cooking an egg in an avacado half?!) And of course water water water. Flushes your body, keeps you hydrated, and your body balanced.

Though both of these articles are short and sweet, they do provide a nice gist without bogging your brain down. I don’t think many of us Adult Ballet-ers are competing or needing to sustain and create an even stronger body when we’ve kind of stopped growing. We can only help our bodies by keeping healthy.

I’ll try taking daily vitamins again, and try out sports drinks and such, see how I fair if better and don’t feel so tired after class. Tomorrow before ballet I have my first physical therapy since… six years ago! Time to talk about my knees again and now my foot. Which I worked yesterday and it really started to annoy/hurt but I worked through what I could. I’m back to working though, nice! I get cabin fever easily.

New technology!

New technology!

Can you believe it?! I scuffed the satin on the top of my box some how. Anyways, against Doctor orders I went full force in class Thursday evening. My foot hurt for a bit afterwards but I ignored it, and it wasn’t horrible enough to make me hobble and by the time I went to sleep I was fine. I also went grocery shopping for 3 hours so I was on my feet a lot yesterday.
So I’ll be able to get back on pointe in another two weeks (self diagnose hahaa). Not doing ballet for two weeks is the pits, my shoulders/arms are sore and my body is a little stiff.

In class yesterday I noticed again… I didn’t watch myself dance. I realize when I get across the floor after finishing the combination I have no idea what just happened. I just went through the motions… I need to be better about this. Not looking yourself in the eyes is something everyone should over come.

So I have my new ipad! I’m going to have to find a case… and some cool art for the unlock screen and my background. NEAT!

Seattle/Lynnwood Classes for Adults

I decided to make a resource page for you guys in my area. Interested in adult ballet? Don’t know where to get started? Here are some places I’ve discovered that I personally would love to drop in too, but I live kind of out of the way, but we’ll see!

Snohomish/Lynnwood area:

Reflections School of Dance

Alderwood Dance Spectrum

Olympic Ballet School (Edmonds WA)

Seattle area (Capitol Hill, Downtown, Fremont, Greenwood):

PNW Ballet Open Program

The Ballet Studio (Strictly Adults only)

Exit Space

Dance Fremont

The Belltown Ballet & Conditioning

Velocity Dance Center

If you’re a school that’d liked to be linked please share and I’ll look over your website or if you are going to a school that’s not listed, share a link and I’ll look at it too! Hope this has been helpful!

Injury and tuesday class re-cap

I’ve been injured since… three weekends ago? I over stretched my ligaments on the top side of my right foot. Standing for long hours and flexing my foot up and down is painful. Another con of being an adult, though I’m 27, I may look like I’m young but my body is finished growing. My window for maximum body alteration has come and gone. So as an adult doing pointe and stretching like the young girls do it, it may be too hard on your body so you should really listen to it. Though sometimes it’s hard to tell what it’s telling you.

So last week in ballet I sat out and watched and hung around for choreography since we’re getting ready for recitals in June. I did attempt something called a “floor barre” where you do your pliés on your back, your rond de jambés on your side and so forth. Extremely difficult, I’d rather be attempting to plank on an exercise ball. This week though I couldn’t stand it and told my teacher I was going to do barre work until I needed to stop. OH SO GLORIOUS!! One week away was too long- and that didn’t even matter because I couldn’t help but do pliés and tendus in my kitchen! It felt so beautiful to be graceful and neck long and peaceful, balancing weight on the balls of your feet as you plunge down to the floor in fourth uguuuuuuu~ so pleasant only a fellow dancer would understand such a feeling- or maybe another artist. It’s a zen moment. You have your music, you have your materials, and you create!

Then farther into class we started doing more things I couldn’t do with my foot. I was already resisting balance on relevé and one footed balances on relevé, anything on relevé was out of the question. Then it came to frappés and small jetés. Jumps are also a no no. It’s amazing how you take for granted what your feet do for you and how they respond to your brains requests. I had to sit out the rest of class, but that was alright I slapped on a pain patch and watched the rest of class, while stretching a little. We practiced our recital where we’re a school of fish one moment, then the next a bed of swaying sea weed, I know- sounds AWESOME! Amiright?! All the girls were watching themselves in the mirror when we did this- where were my eyes- everywhere else but the mirror! Twice we did it and I saw diddly! Will look forward to it next time. I also couldn’t help but correct one of the girls, since I’m sitting out, she just got her custom Gaynors. She has flat feet, and her memorization is great, and overall a very sweet girl. Like I said I couldn’t help but correct her when she went en pointe during the exercises! She couldn’t even push over to her platform, she was leaning on the back edge of it. She was pointing as hard as she could. I had to help her realize she needed to release her ankles and just let her foot bend “backwards” when she was in parallel. Teacher was nice and said she really appreciated helping her with that and she wasn’t bothered by it, ie. I wasn’t over stepping my bounds. This totally burned the fire in me to finally ask my other Teacher and director of the school about something I’d been thinking of lately, ie. teaching ballet to others.

So I did after adult ballet, which was mostly full of more relevés, and now requiring me in an 8 count to pull off two perfect pirouettes to the left. I need to practice because I think she wants me to do a double pirouette by the time recital comes. Aslo threw some sissonés in there. Front, back, glissadé change direction front back glissadé. There will be a lot of dancing in this 3 minute song.

Sun King Dance – Adult Summer Dance Intensives

Back in January I saw a flurry of younger ballet ladies getting ready for their summer intensive auditions. I ogled with envy that these girls would go off for a month to a ballet school and spend ALL DAY learning and dancing and being surrounded by other students striving to learn. Honestly the best summer camp EVAR. No archery, boat paddling, or saluting shorts here.

I wished that I could run off to a summer intensive like that but 1) being an adult you have responsibilities 2) $$$$ 3) you’re too old!!! WHYS!? We Adult ballerinas/os have a hard existence indeed. Like we’re to live out all of our hard effort and passion invisibly. I’m going to say no to that.

Alas though, wipe those tears for I have found at least one school that is very promising! Pros: No auditioning, no videos, no arabesque en pointe photos, It’s not THOUSANDS of dollars for a month, but a short and sweet vacation week for a little over a grand with room. It’s for people like you and me who want to also have some summer fun and learning!

Sun King Dance!

It has different locations up and down the East coast and they JUST started one in south Washington/North Oregon. Really it’s on the border of Washington/Oregon. Except this one is strictly for more practiced dancers that I am not. I had no idea this school existed until  I used my googlefu today, and have no means to save up for a grand+ to any of these other locations. I’ll just have to save up for next year.

Still I’m not a sad girl, my school this summer in August will be offering a week long intensive five hours a day, for a cool $175. That still leaves me with nothing June/July. Gotta figure something out besides my ballet dvds!

Lets turn this around

Do you want to be a ballet dancer but you keep thinking you’re “too old”? There’s quite a large growing community of us that say you’re not. We are proof.

I’ve seen discouraged 15 y/o to adults who don’t even know where to begin… it’s never too late, but never place your hopes too high on a career, though there can always be possibilities. As long as you’re willing to try, and give honest effort a teacher is willing to teach you. I hope my blog inspires you to try it, realize you can do it, and love it with passion.

Lets get this party started!