Look What the Cat Dragged In

I’ve been back from Vegas for over a week now. I did not manage to slip into an adult class as I always aspire. Lets just say 3-4 hours in the sun and private pool with some awesome EDM beats was keeping me back. It could’ve also been drinking and dancing in heels until 2 am, but I digress…

I haven’t been back to a ballet class since Monday the 15th. Tomorrow I’ll be going to eXit space in Seattle to revisit some people I met and danced with at Sun King as well as get to dance with my friend Julie who has been steadily going there the past couple of years. I danced with her last summer when I took summer lessons there.

I’ve also lassoed my friend who’s getting married in October, to take a class with me at the Allegro studio down the road from me. I hope she enjoys it and won’t get frustrated 😀 When I was in there last I noticed a vine of ivy growing in from the outside through a crack in the window framing. It made me giggle.

When there is more dancing there will be more blogging. Of course I’ve made empty promises of what I learned at SKD. Like the infamous “broken foot” technique which we only did at the barre. Which was a very safe idea. But more on that later!! You’ll have to stay tuned when I finally do something about it!

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Disappointment

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I hate feeling sad when I was all jazzed! We popped into the Capezio store this afternoon only to find their fitter not in till tomorrow. And the shoe I wanted to try not even in the store. They had a gorgeous leotard for $64 and this adorable child’s tank.

Indeed adult ballet-ers. Chassé your dreams!

There’s Nothing to See Here

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I’m on vacation! Wait… It’s super foggy out this morning here in the Seattle area. I’m ready for my plane to whisk me away to Las Vegas to visit family, go to the Capezio store, shop, and lets be real, have one too many drinks and eat yummy yummy food.

I really wanted to post more this week about new things I learned at Sun King. Buuuuut, as you all know I get easily stressed out, so I just coasted on my stress by getting ready for Vegas as my main focus.

Anyways, I’ll try and keep you a breadth and will return with much more ballet blogging vigor! (I was able to get a drop in class last Monday, and my friend at another studio asked me to come dance with her next week Thursday! Book your dancing time with me now! lol)

Kale Chips

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So ballet class was a bust. Apparently no one signed up for class so it didn’t exist. Ugh.
So I had some retail therapy for my trip to Vegas next weekend. Then it was back home where it’s dinner making time. Part of the recipe calls for kale.

I always have left over kale. So I decided to try and make the infamous kale chips.

I found a simple recipe online. Stripped the kale of their stems and tossed the kale in olive oil and garlic salt. Baked. And bam! Crispy tasty kale chips.

Will make again!

It’s Time to Go Back

I’m going to get into the studio today. I wanted to go to the studio down the road from me but I really need to dance and that studio isn’t open on Fridays. Also it was an adult ballet class. If I go to my studio I’ll be joining the pre-pointe girls I dance with already, if they’re there, and will keep up with my level of dance. More expensive, but the timing is better. I was thinking of going to pilates this morning, but it’s at 10 am. Ughhhh… do not want. I’ll do pilates on Monday and dance on Friday. YUP.

Getcho Relax On!

Dancing for 6-8 hours a day you’re bound to have tight muscles. I have a massage therapist that I prefer to see at home, and though they offered a Massage Therapist for service at the intensive I stuck with my tools. I found them to be just what I needed since the 6-8 hours weren’t actually killing me too awfully.

I only had to soak in epsom salt one night, I probably could’ve done it more but just didn’t find myself craving it. If anything, every day after all my classes were finished I would’ve preferred a stretch class which was only offered to the “all dance” subscribers. It’s not like I couldn’t stretch myself I just didn’t think too much of it until the final days where I skipped pilates class and stretched in the morning to start feeling balanced again.

I brought with me these simple thingy-ma-bobs :

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– Epsom salt (walmart $3). Draws out muscle fatigue, eases those sore and stiff muscles and joints.

– a plain tennis ball (free if you know someone or $6/3). This thing is handy because it’s so compact. You can use it against your back against a wall. I often applied it by laying my thigh on top or my calf and allow my own weight on it and just rolling it around under me. This took some core work, but it dug into those tight muscles and eased them up so I could continue to dance without ligaments and muscles straining.

– a foot “rubz” massage ball ($5). Got this guy of discount dance. It’s smaller and has little feelers. It’s firmer than the tennis ball so it gets at your foot differently, but I find it too small for my calves.

– literally “the stick” ($27). I was researching before I left things that may help me, including a foam roller. Well the rollers were back ordered 3-4 weeks and “the stick” came highly recommended by marathon runners and olympic athletes. Okay. Come to the Intensive and nearly a 3rd of the group owns one. It really does work magic and is a fabulous relief tool.

– dog (priceless). Having Buddy Cash show up on the 4th of July was awesome. He made my day and I slept easier knowing he was by my bedside. Also a Hubby. But for sure, it was awesome to have my dog with me 🙂

Learning to PDD

PDD is short for Pas De Deux. A dance for two. It could be M F or F F or even M M. It’s not gender specific. I got to experience 3 days of PDD and it was just too short and sweet.

Day one had us get adjusted to our partner and our partner us. As a female en pointe we had to hold our balance and our positions tightly. We had to be comfortable being touched and manipulated. This sounds strange but I’m a touchy feely person and I don’t mean to be all “hey, touchy touchy – sexy sexy” I just have limited personal bubble space. If it’s a place though, like a club, where I shouldn’t be touched inappropriately then I throw some punches and some bad words. Anyways. We rotated amongst partners because lets face it, girls like ballet more. Though I hear there’s a growing trend of boys enrolling into ballet again 😀

First we went to sous sous and our partners grasped us by the waist. You have to firmly lock your body, I like to imagine it to the game red light green light. When you have to stay firm it’s red light. Every muscle in your body is frozen and you can’t move again until you get the green. There are exceptions of course but it’s just the idea. So you have to engage all your muscles to stay frozen. Your core needs to be rock solid, your back needs to be firm and held, your butt needs to be squeezing that toosh and your legs need to be fast and tight. Now the guys do a balance test. This requires them tipping your forward, backwards, and side to side while you stay completely solid en pointe sous sous. I imagined I was a 2×4″ or a pole. He literally would tilt me to the front of my pointe shoe and then bring me back to balance on both toes, or all the way to the back of my one pointe shoe, etc. He was very good!

THIS WAS SO MUCH FUN. I was lucky to start out with the professional dancer since he understood partnering. It was a little frustrating to be with beginner male partners because they would make me fall off pointe of catch me in a way that would twist or hurt me and that’s not fun. I didn’t mean to be rude or incredulous but I think I came off that way.

We ramped it up quickly by doing piques to arabesque turns/promenades. You pique into them, you grasp their hands like a barre (so not really grasping but palms down!) they balance you and hold your weight. It can’t be too forward or too far back, they have to read your body by your applied pressure and your balance. It takes time and experience for a partner to figure your balance. Your challenge is to hold your balance in the right spot. Many a times you end up saying forward or back and it kind of confuses the guys. I would have guys drift backwards/away from me so my weight would shift forward and forward and then I’d be falling into them. Anyways, promenades. You’re in pique arabesque. One foot established with your weight, your other foot in the air, your arms outstretched and supported by your partner in 2nd and then you red light! STAY STIFF. Your partner then steps in a circle and rotates you on your pointe! After the promenade you finish in sous sous and roll down and ta-da!

We did attitudes too, where you come up to their shoulder in pique, attitude, place your weight on their shoulder with your one arm and raise the other arm in attitude 5th. This was hard because as soon as your arm goes up it wants to twist your upper torso backwards, so you have to have a strong core and back muscles to keep you in place. Then maybe your partner could turn around and you’re face to face but he’s kneeling and you developé your attitude foot onto his shoulder and he promenades you around on one pointe again. HAH. FUN!!

We did some leans, where you stay in sous sous leans you to one side and then you have one arm up one arm down and you face towards him when you’re completely tilted. And you think I am a pole. I am a telephone pole. I will not relax my legs.

Second day we got to do leaps! OH GOODNESS!! They use your jump to lift you higher and then they softly bring you back down. You start in 5th, plie, and then zoom!!! You’re in the air. The deeper the plie the better the launch. I had a hard time keeping my legs together, they wanted to changement or something which was stupid. I was also so amazed how high I was that I forgot to plie on the way back down. Which is hard on the guys backs, so don’t do that. We also got to do pirouettes which I suck at. My partner was still trying to figure out my balance on that because I have a tendency to lead with a shoulder which kilters my balance and makes me land funny. So he was having difficulty with me on that. I don’t blame him, poor man!

I was really luck I got to work with Josh most of the time in my partnering. He seemed to like working with me too because we seemed more on the same wave length than others. He danced with so many people though so I’m sure there were plenty of reasons why he liked dancer with other people too! It is extremely nice though to find someone who can manage your balance cooly.

Josh is a wonderful dancer and I’d love to see him dance in person :D… I mean… when I’m not dancing with him. In… another piece kind of thing.

We learned our choreography through out class which included a lot of the elements they were teaching us. I was in the basic PDD class so the other PDD class actually had a combination that goes across the floor. Simple tombé pas de bourre glissade I think they did a series of echappes and passe releves. The guy has to follow the lady doing this and hold her waist at the right time so when she leaps, like in the glissade she has a moment of balloné/floating appearance. It was I think more challenging to the men than the women 😀

Overall, I would simply go back to the dance camp JUST for PDD if I could. Many schools in my area have very few boys so there is very little opportunity for me to PDD. SIGH. Personally I like to perform solo. I like the stage and the audience to myself. I do not enjoy being part of the corps. Dancing though in a PDD, is wonderful. It is exciting and exhilarating and different from corps where everyone has to look like each other. PDD is where you work as a team and work as an individual to make a dance that is often gorgeous. I love it I love it I love it.

We only had 2 hours each class and it was filled with basic maneuvers needed for the choreography and then choreography. Very short and sweet.