Nutcracker Photos

I cheated and stole these from the photographer’s website – SHHH!! I’ll get some nice large quality ones! Promise, I was just excited to show them off and put them on book :B

 

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Screen Shot 2013-12-30 at 8.02.41 PMThere are photos of my with my Harem pants both up around my knees, and even one time that I didn’t notice one down and one up around my knee- oy vey people. Remind me to do minimal costume changes for any production next time!! There’s also more photos like doll and flower, but these are the ones I liked best and quickly picked off the site. I don’t know if I’ll put more up though.

 

Wow

I had such a great class tonight!! It was subbed, but it didn’t matter as I hadn’t had the chance to go until tonight.

Unfortunately the rest of the weeks classes have been canceled because the instructors are all sick!! So I only got to do tonight. Bawwww. If and when I come back this summer I’ll be sure to stop in again.

After a week and a half of no class it was awesome to move again. This teacher, Elena, must’ve been a pro dancer at one time and then segwayed into being a Pilates teacher instructor.

She was such a good instructor! Enthusiastic about teaching us and helpings understand. I’m so sad I don’t know if and when I’ll ever take a class with her again! Here’s hoping in the future.

Overall The Rock School of Dance‘s updated and newly moved studio is a great place. Clean large studios. Marley flooring. Big huge mirrors. There’s a specific room/area with vending machines and bar seating so if you’re a student who studies frequently there’s space for you to eat. Big cubby grid for your stuff.

And just a small jaunt is a Starbucks. The website is useful for scheduling, tuition and drop in prices, and informing you about the instructors and their back ground. There is a lot available in scheduling for adults from jazz, modern, tap, hip hop, ballet, etc.

So the class, I arrived early and signed in, paid for class, and waited and watched a jazz class. I was worried no one else would come and they may cancel the class. Another adult ballet-er popped in. We thought we’d be the only ones. Elena was kind enough to let us wear leg warmers and my t-shirt to stay warmed up while in the studio. I quickly peeled it off as she demanded a lot of visual identification in our pointe and body. We were doing a lot with sur le coup de pied. My tiny bone in my right heel had been painful with the extra flexibility I’ve mustered as of late. It grinds against the other bones and causes weakness when I go over my pointe where it’s caught between my leg bones and my feet bones. It was painful to pointe in class as it needs extra warming up which I didn’t get to do.

We did a great circle port de bras in 5th – like ya do – but she said watch your arm, which I normally always do, but she held my wrist and pulled me farther than I have been. Really making me utilize all my muscles in my core, sides, and back. It was amazing feeling. Very hard to stay on your feet when that happens.

She also emphasized making your butt smile. Meaning engage your turn out muscles and not tense your butt. This really worked my weak muscles and I will really focus on that and my stance more now. She focused on me a lot and things my Mentor chides me on frequently. Like pulling up and not sinking into my pelvis, stiff hips, keep my back up, etc. It was great for her to recognize the same faults at the same time depressing that I haven’t made too much progress and I still have the same issues. They’ve gotten better but still there, silly elephant in a room!!

She emphasized on using the ball of your foot more. Causing a lot of friction and really making your foot and leg work more. Helping me elongate my leg from my tight hip joint in tendu. Helped me work on my arabesque with lifting my leg. She told me I have a good core I just have to elongate, soften, and hold it just right more.

The class was basic but good. A lot of the people were below me in technique. Their feet were stiffer and working harder to pointe, to hold their pointe to the ground when they tendu instead of plopping it up. Also managing their hips and torso core. Oh yea, 3 people popped in from the jazz class and worked with us.

We did tendus in the center, we’d go back, forward, front, back. While doing the tendu exercise she wanted us to imagine we had big heavy capes on that drew our shoulders back. It was good imagery for me. Started getting into prep work for pirouettes. I was worried she wasn’t going to allow us to do turns but with work on control to front and back half turns we were able to do piques and a tombe pdb tendu fourth pirouette tendu combination.

We also did a spotting exercise where we spun like kids it was hard and made me dizzy, but still shows that I tense my neck when spotting instead of letting go. Work work work. Mad props to you little 2 year old.

When we did piques she didn’t like the method I was using. She wanted it to pique, then be quasi with arms in second, then bring in our arms/turn and repeat. She wanted us to “fly” it was different and made me very aware of myself in space. It also made me plié more in prep. Elena also wanted us to have bigger arms farther away from the body while my Mentor teaches them closer to the body. Small differences that don’t really affect me, I adjust what and when I can.

We got some leaps in but nothing really to write home about. No grand allegro or anything. Which is good because it’s tiring. We did do a large step across the floor, she did it from a “passé sissone tombe pdb sauté passé, repeat” the steps were so big and traveled so much you were supposed to get only two sets in. The “sissone” though was causing confusion as people thought the leap not the fact that your leg lifts just a little like an arabesque. So some people began to over think it.

I didn’t watch too many people, there was only five of us. My Dad ended up watching a good portion which he enjoyed. He hasn’t seen me dance in over a year!! So he really liked that he could watch. Otherwise majority of the group started out very confident, yet usually sliding to the back to watch me go first. I tried to be polite as it was my first class and not my studio. I prefer to at least have the regulars go first.
One very confident dancer always lead, but didn’t always know what she was doing or how to execute it. When going to the left diagonally in pique turns she actually got confused and tried to attempt them going on the right again. I had to situate her. She also wasn’t spotting. I could go on but won’t. They also seemed so much younger than me as well. Ugh.

We did have a guy in my class!! what I’ve noticed in a lot of beginner men their movements are very stiff, stocatto, but great leaps. How do you men know how to use those thighs and glutes?

Classmates were overall very nice. Not snooty, rude, loud, or talkative. They were focused and of course naturally curious of the new comer. But didn’t talk or anything to me. Not in a bad way. I didn’t have a chatty person in my ear all class.

I took a great deal away, really enjoyed the class. I would highly recommend this studio if you’re visiting Las Vegas. It’s a 30+ min drive from the strip so it is in suburbia. It’s only a 5 min. Drive from my Dad’s. If you get a chance be sure to go! The do accept CC, checks, or cash. I took the beg/inter and think I may do okay in inter/adv.
The Rock School of Dance

Holiday Performance

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A culminated pose near the end of our dance. I’m 2nd row 3rd in line from left. Or 2nd from the right. Don’t count Cat in the front, haha. This is the group I’ll be dancing with this spring for Swan Lake plus pre-pointe/ballet IV.
My camber wasn’t optimal. Sorry.

How did it go… Well I had a short time to warm up. Is never been to the place before so it was a little tricky to find. Then I missed my timing but came out there anyways but in synch just skipped a chunk of the beginning lol. No one had really rehearsed it before on the stage so we were kinda wonky.
But. My Mentor was happy with it over all. As long as she’s happy I’m happy. The girls were all scared over the floor, which was not slippery at all. It wasn’t so bad to dance on compared to the Nutcracker stage I used.

Before you knew it it was all over. I did slip a little in the photographed pose from not being completely warm but that happens. Again, as long as Sensei is happy I’m happy.

I’m in Vegas now, I’ve found a great school doing adult drop in classes just down the way from my Dad’s house. I’ll be here until Friday. Time to eat good food and try new dance instructors!

Wednesday post on Saturday

Well, it’s already Wednesday. Guess I have time to do a write up.

I’m exhausted. I’ve been dancing since the Saturday after Black Friday. I haven’t stopped. I was a total grump when my Husband prodded me out of bed to go to our Dog’s Dr. appointment (allergies for the poor guy.)

Lets see… how it all went.

Well, this was the first time I’ve performed en pointe. I mean this summer I did too, in my first PDD also, but my first real and LONG performance. The Doll solo was given to me which seemed rather short now that I did it a second year. Last year it felt like eternity dancing and sitting on the floor. This year’s doll version was adjusted and changed. I had no pique turns to concern myself with. Just popping up en pointe and rolling down. Then piquing in a row with my free foot in second flexed. Waltz turns and chaines. Some how though after sitting on the floor and staring at it for several minutes, when I took my leave of the stage doing chaines off stage I got disoriented and dizzy and ended up falling off pointe ungraciously. While earlier my chaine turns were spot on. I chalk it up to disorientation in the dark. Even spotting just wasn’t helping it.

Then I had to quick change into my Snow costume. Wasn’t too quick, but you had to be quick enough. I had to switch pointe shoes, add a tiara, and tug off one costume and tug on another. One of the first audience performances I forgot my arm fluffies. Went out there with out them and lived to see another day! LOL there isn’t much you can do and you just go for it and no one really notices unless they’re looking.

Overall Snow was great. We were really getting into the groove of it, yet all of us was still struggling with a leap in the middle of a run while being in a circle. On the 10th count you coupe back, coupe front, turn, leap, coupe back, coupe front while turning, while running in a circle. Never failed by that time any rosin or water used to cause traction had dissipated because it’s so late in the dance that my feet were slipping all over the floor.

My Husband gave me feedback about the whole performance, and said that Snow is his least favorite dance. He just doesn’t enjoy the choreography. It’s not to say he doesn’t like classical ballet he actually prefers it, it just didn’t seem to work for him. I honestly agree, the way Tchaikovsky wrote that music is pure brilliance. When I listen to the music alone I literally see gentle snow falling, then thrashing fast snow that quickly calms down to gentle again. It’s the perfect audio example of snow I’ve ever heard. Except that the choreography is based off of Petipa’s original work anyways and the fact that we only had 5 dancers including myself makes it a very sad snow storm. I still enjoyed doing the choreography has it was difficult and I still wish I had time to perfect it but it’s all done and over with. The final performance night though I was exhausted and it was beginning to show. I applied too much water to cause friction in my pointe shoes and ended up slipping and falling off pointe. I popped back up and continued on and kept mentally telling myself to just keep doing what I’ve been doing all week. Except that didn’t work. I missed many steps and deer in headlight-ed my way through a few other things. Oy vey.

My Mentor charged downstairs after our dance during intermission and reminded us to focus.

Things were going a little better until I forgot to pull down the ankle part of my “harem” pants. So they were stuck around my knees. Also I didn’t tape down my pointe shoe ribbons and they got a little messy. BAWWWW…

Russian went okay, but no one enjoyed the energy and didn’t clap or anything. So it felt very disappointing. Arabian got guffed several times but no body knew exactly what was going on anyways. I slipped many times going from my cartwheel into the splits. That floor was very slippery. I landed hard many a times and as gracefully as I possibly could. I was also further on stage than in our rehearsal because we have a dance floor area that would be the equivalent to an orchestra pit, but it’s just floor. So when I finished my dance and I’m supposed to just slink off I had to go upstage and then off stage.

Quick change to Flowers, luckily there’s a lull where we aren’t all on stage just three other people. Then we go on stage. It went very well and people seemed to enjoy it. That was nice. Managing a large garland in your hand though is tedious and hard work. After that was finished then I had to change again back into doll for the finale. THEN, after all was said and done we had to run off to before the audience got downstairs and be ready for pictures. So you’re sweaty and tired and your legs and feet hurt. It’s still fun though and everyone is so kind to tell you how much they enjoyed watching us dance.

This Nutcracker will most likely be my last in a while if completely. I’ve done two years and I’m thankful to have to done so and have the experience. Since I’m leaving the studio that does it and my Mentor will no longer be Directing it, I’m not sure what my chances are in being in another one any time soon. I’m okay with that for now haha.

Overall I felt Nutcracker went well. There was little to no drama. I had a great time with all my dancing friends. We had a beautiful Sugar Plum who is also cool and we’re no friends on Facebook. Never fails every holiday my Facebook blows up with new friends added because of dance. That’s an awesome feeling. I got to dance en pointe and do everything from a solo to a large prop group, to sexy sexy style dance. It’s been a great and wonderful memorable experience and I’m glad I got to be apart of it all.

Sunday will be my final performance of 2013 then Husband and I will jet off to Disneyland!! Then I’ll be in Vegas to visit family. I hope to have photos of my Nutcracker soon, I’m just not sure when.