Featured!

If you already haven’t noticed, I was featured on the Adult Ballerina Project! There’s an interview up there for y’all to read and gander at :B Thanks Kristen!

 

Also- WHO’S READY FOR MONDAY? Start of the new 30 day challenge?! YEA!!!! Also lets take a moment and appreciate my splits progress, my back cambré progress, aaaand my sexy muscular back! It never used to look so gooooood.

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I’ve been harassed by my teacher about my ankles and I think my toes aren’t so strong in my GMs so I will have to start doing foot exercises in my 30 day. UGH… you guys… there’s so much to be done.

 

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Basketball

I’m driving home after taking an hour long walk with my Dog and Husband at the biggest off leash dog park that we have here.
I was reading Rheumatic Princesses blog, like you should, to wrap myself in her wonderful vocabulary and profound imagery (not being sarcastic) and be a breath of what’s new in her ballet world.

She started talking about allegro- jumps. Petite at that. So small jumps.

Being a “jumper”, proudly exclaimed by mentor… I shall share a few quick tips on how to get better at jumps and what basketball has to do with it.

I took ballet. Then later in my young life (13) I took basketball. They have similar maneuvers and principals, so it works!

• your feet need to be under you. Your balanced weight must shift immediately to launch yourself to your height. That means even if your leg looks askance, your now balancing your weight on one leg and you can maneuver the other leg with your muscles. This is prime for jetés. OR if you’re doing a sissoné, your weight must be over both feet. You launch with both feet.

your weight must be on the balls of your feet. In basketball we are taught to always stay on the balls of our feet. If we plant our heels it kills our momentum and you must always be ready for change. This is also a Balanchine method. Say you’re going from a glissade to an assemble to a jete. You don’t want to kill your momentum and use excessive energy after planting your heels between movements. Besides you want it to look quick, effortless, and ethereal. In basketball, if you plant your heels firmly to the ground the only option you have left is to pivot and pass the ball. Essentially you’ve become useless (not really, but in ballet sense work with me here!)- don’t become useless! Stay on the balls of your feet!!

Use your toes. Your toes are the last thing to leave the floor and the first thing to touch when you come back down from your jump. If your making a free throw, if you get good height in your jump you dot have to aim a large arch to get it into the hoop. Or if you have a lay up shot getting a high jump using your toes to launch you will make a more successful shot to get over your opponents waving arms. The stronger your toes from degages and tendus you will have beautiful jumps.

• Plié. Before and after. The deeper the plié the higher the jump. The deeper the plié the lighter the landing – unless you are doing an immediate jump afterwords you want a more moderate plié- but you cannot skip your plié. All jumps start and end in plié.

Hold your back. Roll your shoulders back, push your shoulder blades down. Hold your arms, like flex them! If you’re holding your arm in second, no one should be able to come up to you and push your arm down, you’re holding it up! Flex your ab core. Pull your abs as far as possible to your spine without holding your breath in.

Don’t stick out your butt in basketball that’s okay.

• jumps go up not out unless choreographed to.

Let me know if any of these work for you guys or if you have questions.

Massage Therapist

I see a massage therapist. I am super lucky to have her. She is awesome. She listens to what’s bothering me, feels in my body what’s wrong, and is a masochist sadist in ironing out my muscles.

She is a necessary tool in my development as an adult dancer.

Today she crinkled and smoothed out my tight muscles. Helped release and alleviate muscles that couldn’t function properly anymore and enabled me to have better range of motion in my right arm ( the one I’m having problems with in my photo) and left hip.

Without her help I don’t think I’d be able to enjoy ballet as much as I do. No doubt I would get frustrated, irritated that my body was sore and limited, and relegate me to lower classes that I mentally was above.

In conjunction with my chiropractor, things are going nicely. My back cambre is nice and getting farther.

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My knee pain is less, things feel good and work better than they had.

If you have the time and they ability to do massage therapy I highly recommend it to improve your ballet.

Gaynor Minden’s Free Stuff!!

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GM is pretty awesome. I own the black paw warm up booties which I looooove, a pair of pointe shoes, and some posters I had ordered previously from their FREE STUFF section. Honestly you pay $6 for shipping but I got two mini posters and 3 magnets the other day. I’m really sad I missed out on the trock’s poster… but now I have an Evegnia poster with her in arabesque!! Kermit Yay!!

Time for a new 30 day Challenge

I think it’s time… Time for a new 30 day challenge!

I share with you… My fellow classmates and I!

photoThis is our pose after our grand pas de chat and coupe sauté, slight jaunt to this part. Then on the count of one, we attitude in plié like so –

photo 2As you can see, my attitude is no where near my dear friend Frankie’s. She’s been doing ballet almost all her life and she has exquisite skill. I am by no means demeaning the work I do and the work I’ve done to get as far as I have, but there are major improvements I’d like to do for my new 30 day challenge. Y’know, the great thing about a 30 day challenge is that it’s customizable. You can make it whatever you want as long as you meet the goal of 30 days, and you made the effort and commitment. It doesn’t take much motivation at all, and a lot of what I do I do watching a movie or before bed, or just rolling around playing with my dog for an hour.

Some of us are busy with full time jobs, school studies, or children/babies. Despite this you can find time I bet! You may get awkward looks occasionally when caught in the act, but usually your co-workers or family write it off because you’re in dance! I like to stretch my leg on a wrapping table in the back of our retail establishment. I’ll be sorting through my purse before leaving and just go ahead and battenment my leg up on the counter and stretch. I can easily imagine getting my kids to stretch with me in the future when I have them. Usually their attention span may not warrant it, but you can challenge them to try it with you. Or stretching when you’re studying, reading, writing, etc. Who hasn’t done pliés and relevés while brushing their teeth or cooking? It can be done!

Back to my personal challenge. That second picture… There are a few key things wrong with my pose, not to say it isn’t lovely. It’s not like I’m half assing it, but my body is only allowing me so much. This is because I’m limited in my stretch and strength. My left arm in 5th is extremely uncomfortable, I don’t make it look so, but that is stretching it as far as it can go away from the socket. It needs to extend farther above my head and be more straight! It’s very round… Round is good, very round is bad. The curvature of my spine compared to Frankie’s- and mind you I’m not comparing comparing, but using Frankie as an example of an ideal attitude. Frankie is better yes, but I’m not competing, I just want to do better for myself. To look as elegant as her with as little effort. You should see her demi balances in arabesque! She can balance! So again, I’m not trying to be better than Frankie, I’m trying to be as good as she so we can look great together on stage! We have this great part in the front of the stage together in our recital dance where we step, step, chassé, sauté arabesque, chassé other direction and tour jeté, land soutenue turn, glissadé, jeté battu, glissadé jeté battu … yadda yadda yadda… two pas de chats lol. We learned some more Thursday but I’ve kinda forgotten it… I digress…

My Challenge for April, in the 30 days allotted, is to have a stronger back, a farther stretched out port de bras, a better aligned knee to my toes(stupid knees), and my attitude/hip to open more.

Now that I’ve identified my goals, how do we keep track of my progress? Photo reports of course- every Friday! I will pose to see if there has been any change to my pose.

What am I going to do/use to better myself? A multitude of exercises and equipment.Everything from therabands, to my favorite book (now available on Kindle!) Dance Anatomy which outlines several exercises that can help you strengthen and stretch your body for particular dance work! I’ll try and share these stretches with you as I do them. More photography, gosh you guys are demanding (juuuuust kidding… or am I?) Pilates, etc. Maybe Yoga, probably not, but maybe? (probably not)

Either way, I hope you join me this April for a new 30 day challenge of your choosing. It could still be splits, or learning your frappés (god I know I need help with those) or anything else you desire to achieve.

 

 

Monday wasn’t so bad

I taught ballet to my peers and my young ones. I was excited and they were all very excited. I had a natural endorphin high so big I was walking on air all the way home where I proceeded to crash.

Wow! What an experience. I was prepared for the little girls but for my peers I was completely unprepared for that. No music, no regular barre work. It shows I need to memorize things better and come up with fun complex ideas to do at the barre. I did do exercises to focus on a jump we’re preparing for our recital… And I realized there’s still a lot of work for them to get the image.

Jete battu, I think is what it is. You jete like normal but while in the air you beat your swinging leg in the back and then land with the front foot in the back like a jete. So a jete with a beat in it.

Despite me breaking it down for my peer class they still didn’t get it. The frustrations of being a teacher.
Also the bemoaning of staying in a single square for jetes. Really, that’s why you get a square. You have to stay in it. I had problems with some girls in my peer class giving up easily or being too relaxed. They know me too well and they were half ass-ing it because they felt they could around me. I was disappointed.
I was still thrilled with some who were making an effort and even a little sweat over my crap combos. There were also a pair of girls who I feel don’t get enough attention by my Mentor some times but I am focusing on myself so I could be off, but I saw them feel and recognize the corrections I gave them. They SMILED above all.
That was one of the BEST parts was encouraging, motivating, yelling at them to show me themselves through their dance! Show me their beauty, grace, technique, passion!!! I want to see it and feel it!

Ahhhh… I wonder if I’ll be doing the rest of the week too.

What the what?

Whoever said GM shoes are cheater shoes never danced in them probably. My feet have never worked so hard since my first pair of pointe shoes.

I have to alter the fit/padding some more because both my pinky and ring toes are very sore. As well as my bunion.

I had a lot of frustration over my new shoes, and tiny victories scattered among big disappointments. I was also plagued by knee pain. Today wasn’t a good day and it’s wiped me out physically and emotionally. So I’m going to hole up on my bed till my husband gets home. I should take a bath but I don’t feel like it 😦