What day? Oh, and nutcracker auditions.

You know what day it is? Sure the 30th, last day of September. Last day of the splits challenge (not going to make it.) It’s Monday and there may or may not be lasagna at the end of this post*

Today is the day that karate man said he may come back! Or at least my Mentor told him to! I will be at the studio when it opens, but he could be looking to do the adult ballet I class which is around the time I leave. We shall see!!!

In other news we had our Nutcracker auditions in pointe shoes on Saturday. I danced from 9:15 – 2:30. I was tired and starved afterwords. I fell asleep at home for 30 min. before my body woke me up and demanded food. Which I ate and happily lulled back to sleep.
Auditions went better than last year. I have come a long way from feeling completely and hopelessly lost at doing things to I can manage that and if I suck at it so be it I’m going to grin because I’m trying.
The things I was frustrated with were my shoes rubbing my right pinky toe raw despite my great efforts on protecting it. As well as the right heel of my shoe coming off in a leap requiring me to either fix it or dance through it which would or could have resulted in a twisted ankle or worse something broken. I chose to fix it. After that it dawned on me to use rosin in the back heel of my shoe and it worked perfectly. Why did I not think if it until later?! Ugh… Not to mention people were using a lot of rosin on the floor when I don’t use any on that floor at all. So it made for horrible turns and I couldn’t get a clean pirouette. Awesome :/
I had to escape out if my pointe shoes before the end of it (12pm) because I could feel at any moment I could create a whole new can of worms aka blisters, that would really dampen my pointe shoe streak. So I took them off.
I managed to get most if not all the important parts all done in pointe shoes.
I actually think I performed some things better in pointe shoes, like Spanish and doll. I actually didn’t feel uneasy performing in anything in my pointe shoes. Sugar plum of course was fast and difficult, required a lot of precise execution and my body just didn’t move fast enough.
After pointe shoes we did it all again in flat and that was just annoying. Why do I feel more stable in a paper mâché cup with a hard piece of plastic?
Overall I did enjoy it and didn’t let my frustrations get the best of me, people not making space for each other, people blocking you in the mirror, etc. etc.
After the pointe shoe auditions we did the other dances, like Arabian and Russian. Russian I have down since I did it last year. Arabian was a little hard because we had to turn in our legs and my ballet trained brain said “no” to this, I tried to adapt lol. Arabian is very quick too despite it sounding long and luxurious.

After that was over I was pretty much excused from dancing. I did try the solider doll dance which is fun. Watch all the girls try out for Clara and their acting skills.
Mice and Bonbons were later and oh so adorable! They told me about their shoes, and how old they were lol! I love it! Helping them polka down the way, tell them to hold their hands all lovely.

It was fun and maybe by next year I’ll be proficient enough for sugarplum. I was proud of myself because I was falling into old bad habits, and told myself to stop think and dance and I got better. I may still have made the mistake but I danced through it and kept trying to correct it.

I have no idea when results come up, but I hope I’m not bum’ed about anything. I’m not particularly looking for any one specific role. I do prefer solos lol. It’s just a fun experience but I’m sad some of last years dancers won’t be in this years at all.
Le sigh.

*there isn’t. (Garfield the Cat reference.)

30 Days and A Man

So a man walks into the studio. Says he’s studying Karate but would like to take dance lessons, thinks ballet would be cool. Um, sign this man up meow!!

My Mentor was upstairs when he came in, she said a nice good looking man about 20 y/o or so.
I desperately want him to join do I could possibly have a PDD partner!!! Squeeee!!

And… I’m still working on it and I’m so close!

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Shoe talk

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This upcoming Saturday will be Nutcracker rehearsals. I’m a little nervous, and a little bit more so now because my Mentor’s Teacher will also be there. I mean, I’m pretty for certain my Mentor wants me for Snow and Flowers. Maybe even still for Russian, I don’t know who else can do 5-6 cartwheels, nicely with straight legs, in succession like me. I’d like to try for Arabian this year as last year my knee was hurting so bad. For Nutcracker my Mentor is determined that all those who do Snow and Flower will do it on pointe this year. YAY! Except… I’m still having issues with shoes. For the last 2-3 weeks I’ve been dancing frequently in my Bloch Axis. Modified with GM fit kit pieces, lambs wool, and more lambs wool in the forms of Bunhead Fluffs.

My GM’s, are “meh” in fit. I just pulled out .25″ of compressed lambs wool from the toe and yet I still get sinking issues which causes blisters on my left foot. Since I’ve spent almost a month on pointe and more traditional shoes my feet are strong, and trying them on and releveing was easier than it was this summer before break. The shank isn’t slanted en pointe, unlike my Blochs. They’re still overall comfortable shoes to wear, they just are still too big I guess allowing me to sink, even with a fit kit addition. I do like how low profile they are so my foot is secure to that flexi supportive shank! Better response when you go en pointe through a roll.

This morning in my email inbox I received a notice for a 15% off sale at Allaboutdance.com. After realizing how much work my shoes have been going through I knew in the next month or so my shoes might die. They’re holding up nicely though. The box is still solid and the shank is still strong and resilient. If I did decide on my Blochs by the time Nutcracker rolled around I’d need a new pair anyways for performance. That wouldn’t look beat to heck, it would be nice if my current shoes would last all the way to December, here’s hoping! Anyways, the email, the sale, I ordered a replacement pair of Bloch Axis since the price had gone up 10% since the summer!! I ordered the shoes for like $64 dollars, and when I checked on them before the sale they were $72! WHOA! What happened between then and now? I would think maybe because it was summer break there were fewer people buying shoes, but then there are intensives so I doubt it. Anyways, this sale made it a great opportunity to buy the Blochs just a smidge cheaper than what we originally paid for them. BUT! I also decided this was a good opportunity to try the Sansha Recital. I heard a lot of positive things about these shoes and they may be a great pair for myself. These shoes are traditionally cheap too, around $35-38 full retail! So I’m hoping when they arrive if they feel great I may move to a different shoe all together. Still I have my reservations.

I hate how you’ve worked with something so long with all these additions to make it “work” and then feel hesitant at trying something new when it could be beneficial. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” kinda thing… though I have gone through a lot of shoes:

Bloch Suprima MKII

Bloch Jetstream

Bloch Axis

Gaynor Minden

Cecilia Kerche Bayderé / So Danca

Chacott Veronese II

 

I’m going to spruce up my GM today and try them out in class. If I can easily adjust to them by auditions I may use them as it’s economical and my performance is fine with them. If not when I receive the Sansha Recital I’ll try them out at home and see how I like them, and if not, send them back. If I don’t like the GM this week I can switch back to Bloch Axis and send back the axis and I’ll be sercure through Nutcracker with a new pair of Blochs on the “cheap.”

Curious, I wanted to make a Pros and Cons of Bloch Axis VS Gaynor Minden:

Bloch Axis

Pros

– TMT technology breaks in shoes easily and comfortable

– outer leather sole is shaved and flat making balancing easy if promenading, or doing an attitude flat

– they smell like leather (hurr hurr)

– experience with them in balance and articulation

– cotton draw string

Cons

– shoe is larger on smaller foot, causing it to slip off back heel (maybe tightening the elastic will help?)

– shank sits askew

– breaks down (classic paste shoe)

– a little clunky sounding

 

Gaynor Mident

Pros

– cushioned heel when standing

– low profile box

– ease in demi

– economical for it’s durability from plastic technology

– quiet

Cons

– flat balance is an adjustment from bloch, the outer leather sole feels uneven to me

– the platform is a bit smaller and harder to balance on

– shank is kind of strong

– fit issues/sinking

– elastic draw strings

 

Hmmm… my feelings could change after today. We’ll see.

 

Dance haul!

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I got my items in a day early, yesssssss.

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I got my “body wrappers” soft ballet shoes which are actually by Angelo Luzio. I’ve read up n these shoes before and couldn’t find them locally, so I was a little surprised when they came out of the box like this. They remind me a lot of the Bloch zenith, but they are specifically made for right and left feet. They’re comfortable and form fitting but not as tight as the zeniths. Maybe I should do a more in depth comparison next week! Right now I’m loving them!

My new halter leotard, I’m curious how long it will last me. I’ve been cycling through my leotards so quickly because of my 5 days a week schedule. Every week now I wash my leotards when it used to take a week and a half to two weeks.

I was hoping that since I spent over $50 I’d get a free tote bag they were advertising but I guess they gave them all away 😦 bawwww!! Ah well.

I’m off for now more stuff to do before class!

Eagle!

Mid week update

Monday was a good day. We reviewed a lot of the things we did on Friday. I didn’t have to wear my pointe shoes, and my blister is healing well, it’s at the not so painful scabby part in it’s short life. We practiced a lot on arm placement and holding 1st arabesque arms. Which is now completely engrained in me is as “same arm, same leg.” If you ever needed help with that. Unless you’re doing Russian arms, which then I’m not sure what that is.

To emphasize this, we did “lame ducks” en dehor pique turns. This fabulous little girls Sleeping Beauty variation shows this well when at the end she does an entire diagonal line of them. ENVIOUS OF HER PORT DE BRAS!!! Anyways, we practiced these to maintain arm position in first arabesque because when you land after a lame duck you need to be back in your starting position. We did some adagio which again concentrated on first arabesque arms. We did pirouettes into an arabesque in fondue, so you really needed to have good core for that and not yourself go wild. Then more tour jetés! My jumps keep getting better and better! I can feel it!

After our class had to teacher assist. We had a lovely new girl join us and she was getting adjusted to it all. The classes have grown from small and few to a decent sizable number. Phew! Was worried. Afterwords, my Mentor wanted to know if there was a free studio but there just wasn’t that day, and she was dis appointed because she wanted to work with me on steps for Nutcracker.

 

HELLO! Auditions haven’t even happened! Her reasoning was that I’d be the only “new” member of the snow/flowers and that she wanted to make sure I’d have a leg up in returning to the dance. She’s also the director by the way, so she initially chooses the cast. She said we’d have to figure out some time in the coming weeks.

So yesterday, Tuesday, was pointe class. I got to class half an hour early to try and stretch and warm up a little before class. There isn’t any real opportunity between the classes at this studio to warm up; so I take it when I can. Thursdays I’m completely unable to warm up before hand which is a shame. I was able to wear my pointe shoes until about 10 min before class was over (hour and 20 min yo- check it!). I decided after my Husband measured my feet for me and my right foot is actually a .25″ smaller than my left, that I’ll use my fluff to fill the gap. It was a little much but it worked. I informed my Husband I’d probably need a new pair of shoes in the next couple of months, but we’ll see. I’m thinking I may use my Gaynors for Nutcracker. I have to re-sew the elastic on them, they’re too tight.

Class though was interesting. I get to really focus on what I’m doing. Apparently in one exercise where we fondue, beat, beat, tendu fondue, stand. My supporting leg wasn’t completely erect. It confused me what my Mentor was yelling at me about but it wasn’t until she blurted more words I started to understand what she was walking about. I’m wondering if it’s though my body is self protecting itself because my left knee is causing me a little trouble, like it always does. Either way it was a good class, and I usually caught myself doing something wrong in the combinations given that my Mentor didn’t need to correct me, she knew I knew and that I would try to correct it.

I also got compliments twice because I knew I was messing up on hard combinations but just kept going and smiling. Didn’t matter didn’t care, jut keep going. There have been plenty times in life where I had to do this, and I’m starting to really understand it and utilize this skill in ballet. My Mentor wants us to stop worrying and making it show we messed up by our faces. We did this one combination that I’ve done before I think, my brain wasn’t ready for it on a Monday thought. 3 dégagé devant, inside foot dégagé a la second devant, back foot dégagé derrière x 3 , inside foot dégagé a la second derriere, outside foot dégagé x3 a la second, inside foot dégagé devant, outside foot dégagé a la second x 3, inside foot dégagé derrière, repeat ;D See if you can do it.

I was completely messing it up but just kept smiling and doing what I did remember and internally laughing at myself- which caused me to smile.

The other was entrechat PDB x 3 then a entrechat, rest, then repeat but the final one with a changement. Then hopefully you’ll be on a different foot to begin with and start the combination over again. Everyone was all sortsa whack on this one. So long as you stuck to what you were doing and you held your body right and smiled- you were OKAY.

Today is one of my favorite classes to TA! So all in all I’m in a good mood. One of my favorite TV shows is Scrubs and Dr. J.D. likes to do this thing with his bromance friend, Turk, an “Eagle.” A special maneuver reserved only for him when he wants to feel GREAT or feels GREAT. All I could think of was how I want to do an Eagle too, I’m feeling great!

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Then a Light Went On

As I was doing my dreaded chaine turns tonight, my right ankle was giving way again throwing me off my turns. It then dawned on me that very moment as my Mentor was chiding (in a good way) me that the light went on!

My ankle is giving way because I have little surface to turn on!!! The tapered slant of my toes doesn’t create an equal surface for me to turn, I must wing my foot and really place all pressure on the inside of the ball of my foot. Or I will get no where! Once I figured that out and we went over it again and concentrated real hard on winging and placing the pressure in the right spot I was doing waaaaaaaaaay better.

I got more props for my pirouettes yo! Hah!! Don’t underestimate meeeeeeee raawwwwwwwr!!

Also because I got a blister in class last night I couldn’t wear my pointe shoes. And my shoes are starting to disappoint me again because they sit a little skewed on my foot.

Tonight’s class was great. I like this one because there’s fewer girls and I get more attention. I hope I can heal up my pinky toe for class by Tuesday haha. I get a 3 day break to heal as fast as possible!!

I also picked up aerosol antiperspirant for my feet. I used it today but I read it has to build up. So I’ll let you guys know how that works for my silly sweaty feet.

True Facts

– I wear underwear under my leotard. This is a major taboo, and here’s the gross reason why I wear it. Helps soak up the sweat so I don’t get horrible swamp butt.

– my hair is probably the longest it’s been in years, I can feel it on the back of my upper arm, dude I think it’s past my shoulder blades now. WHOA.

– my feet sweat horribly in pointe shoes causing me blisters, must address asap. I’m using paper towels right now and they disintegrate, literally. I have to scrape tiny pieces out after I pry my shoes off.

– today, despite dancing a little on the funny side (i.e. mixing up feet and a whole bunch of stuff), it felt good and I was not chastised like I normally am. It’s nice to get a break.

– Discount Dance and All About Dance are the same company – and I totally took advantage of the buy 4 tights get them for $20 with FREE shipping. YAYS. Dance haul update when it arrives, because y’all know you can’t just buy ONE thing for dance!

– Discount Dance’s brand is “Theatrical” and I actually prefer their tights to Natalie’s.

What about you? What are some of your true facts?

Realization of Utilization

This week as I struggle with my pirouettes, and other turns. I’ve come to the realization I am not utilizing my body. The last year I spent all that time building it up with muscle and strengthening that ever important body core. I know it’s there, strong, and powerful. I like to tense it and poke my muscle groups.

I’m not using it, and I need to. I feel a little let down by my Mentor admitting openly to the class that I may be one of those people she gives a handicap to. That she’d give up on me and my turns and just not pick me or choreograph anything for me with turns. What a serious blow.

I’ve noticed though that the ballet world has a tendency to do this. I was told I’d never be able to achieve a full pointe in my pointe shoes. That I could never get over my box. Yet here I’m one of the most high arched feet in class and have trouble trying to balance on my over pointe.

I’m tired of being told I can’t.

Now I will focus really hard on my spotting and turns. I will work on my core muscles more. I will focus harder in class. I will utilize what I have and make it work.

Visit Me on Etsy!

Hey guys, this has been a long time in the making!! I’ve re-opened my Etsy store (an online market place to sell hand made goods) to offer ballet wrap skirts, fun hair combs, and more to come! Made all by me! This store will hopefully feed my ballet addiction that is ballet classes, so if you decide to buy some awesome, you will make my day! Come visit my store PinqCouture and spread the word!

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IMG_5363Be on the look out, there’s more to come!

 

First Week Back

So, I landed around 6:30 pm from Las Vegas, I had to be in class by 7:30. Mind you we still had to collect our luggage wait for a transport to pick us up and take us to our car, and then drive on out. We drove directly to ballet, and I arrived about 30 min late, but was able to get a nice hour in. I got to sweat and practice silly glissades, and other simple exercises to get us back into ballet mind. We finished off the night with sauté de chats! WUNDERBAR!

Wednesday I didn’t feel much. I thought my back would be hurting, to my surprise I felt most stiff and sore in my calves and my feet. I didn’t do anything that day, no ballet because class doesn’t start at the other studio until Thursday.

Thursday- oh god, it hurt! My calves and feet the mooost! But an hour and a half of class it was! We did some step through waltz combination across the floor that was fun. We got to do an arabesque turn, chasse to elonge 4th and then windmill arms. A lot of girls weren’t prepping in 4th with squared off hips before something or other in the combo. Okay- I’ll start writing things down. I’m forgetting so easily! My Tuesday and Thursday classes will be far harder than my Monday and Friday classes. So anyways, by the end of the night my calves are done for. TIRED.

Friday, suck it up! My calves aren’t as horrible. I keep stretching them out, even on Wednesday and Thursday I made sure to stretch them out every so often and to still utilize them like you normally would so they don’t get stiffer. Worst thing to do if you have muscle tightness is to stay immobile because your body/blood won’t help to pump out the toxins that suffocate your muscles making them hurt. So Friday, class started at 4:30! Way earlier than 7:30. My Mentor informed me there were far fewer girls than anticipated and fewer returning. I know a few girls graduated on to college, and such and such. But…. it was just sad to see a large class of a dozen or so drop to about half that. Personally I like smaller classes, but the enrollment this year at this studio has taken a huge hit. URGH- so there’s about 6 of us in class including myself. This is a pre-pointe class so it’s a little easier. Two girls who I had been teacher assisting last year had moved up into the class. There was also another new girl I didn’t know, so they seemed to be struggling a little. A girl who also goes to both studios was there and we were just sailing through the exercises. They were fun, a little more basic and easy so the newer girls would struggle but still had a little knowledge of what they were doing. Like trying to keep up with us when we did pdb back and front quickly with a degage in second. I was actually impressed with myself how fast I was doing them and and keeping up for once instead of being ultimately confused.

We did pique turns and I was doing REALLY well. I wasn’t monster stepping away after each turn like I used to, and I could actually feel my foot slide down the back of my leg. I was doing complete steady turns, but I wasn’t moving out far enough after each turn. So I need to move more. Threw in some tour jetes which are always good, Mentor had to focus on the younger girls for this because a lot of them had never done it before, and oh boy were they helicoptering! It’s so cute 😀 It’s also so frustrating for them because I know they feel their body just out of control and they’re not sure if they’re doing it right or wrong etc. They’ll get it they’ll get it. We did some complex things at the barre too, like a balance away from the barre, then turn, pique, plie on standing leg, sousus, plie. Then you repeat because you’re turned around now. We practiced some epaulment which was fun and hard. My neck is a little sore from it. We were doing developes releve, hold your leg out, arm in second, then lift arm, swish forward, while bowing a little- keeping leg erect- and then port de bras to high 5th. So you just push out that rib cage. Which is hard because you’re using your core to balance on one foot in demi point, leg in the air, now you’re jutting your rib cage out and pulling yourself back with your shoulders and arm and careening your neck to the side and back. That was fun. A lot of the younger girls were mostly concerned with getting it right instead of dancing. I must admit though, it’s tough to dance when you’re trying to learn. It’s much easier for me to dance because I feel really elated to be back and a lot of the steps I’m very familiar with and my learning curve isn’t as bad as it used to be. I still mess up but I often laugh it off and my teacher just shakes her head at me because we both know I botched that up and I will try and fix it.

Like my chaines, oh god, do I hate them. I think I’m getting the hang of it though. I imagine myself as a board, or a card from alice in wonderland. Y’know how they wobbled about. Like that but you gotta lock in everything. It’s just my spotting is horrible. MUST. FIX. My splits were AWESOME yesterday. Almost back to where I was at the end of the year. If I keep at my 30 day challenge regime I just might have my splits!!!! I’m going to work more on planks and some other exercises for my back and things.

Unfortunately, I didn’t hear what I had personally hoped my Mentor would say, at least to me. She said it to my fellow dancer who goes to both studios too. She spent all summer going to 2-3 different studios all summer to keep up and refine herself. Mentor said she has come a long way and the summer classes really helped. I did hear from my Mentor though that my lines were much nicer, my balance/holds were good, my pas de chat was good, my feet still awesome… so overall I may not have significantly changed but I didn’t regress too much. Mentor seems really focused on the girls who are newer and I’m okay with that. I’m not so selfish to think I should have all the attention all the time, and I can see my Mentors subtle corrections she gives me without even making eye contact or verbal announcement . She’ll be walking by and tap herself on the shoulder and I immediately know my shoulder is too far up. She knows I’m watching her and vice versa.

Something that has been bothering me is my right ankle is really weak in a sense that it’s strong and rebounds from suddenly collapsing on itself and I’m not hurt, it just… collapses though. Like “boing!” couldn’t hold that. It did it all during the summer when I was releveing on it for  our Raymonda scarf variation. It would cause me to wobble off point, get back on and then I’d be a beat or two behind trying to fix myself. UGH. Gotta figure it out, maybe a lot more strengthening exercises at home. It has always been the weaker one since it’s the one that I sprained when I was a pre-teen.

OH WELL!

Monday is class 😀