Brain = system failure

Oooh, WordPress has updated the website. So fancy…

Regardless- still dancing! Can’t believe it’s been over a month since I last posted. I ended up purchasing another massage ball. Then swiftly found the earlier replacement hidden in the cracks of the couch. Go figure. At least I have one now for dance and one for travel.

I spent January dancing at an old studio with my Mentor. It was good to dance with her as she’s very meticulous and always yelling. My Saturday PNB class I get adjustments but then end up getting so excited/nervous she’s actually helping me that I flub and brain overload/dies. Saturday Teacher was not having it this morning. She seemed pretty disappointed with the class and I don’t blame her. It was kind of a mess… and she couldn’t get really mad at us like she can with pre-professionals. It’d be nice if she did lecture us so that maybe people would snap too a little more.

I was out of it today despite being awake sans coffee. I took up a job at one of our local libraries to make some quick and easy moolah. You guys, those people who put books back at libraries have a pretty mental job. Alphabetizing, numerically ordering, and memorization. I’m so happy to work at the smaller of the busier branches. I’d go crazy trying to put away books at the larger places. Anyways. The people who work there are wholly dedicated to the library. Like it’s their dream job. While I like the hours, the flexibility, and the pay aaaaand it’s not retail… it’s not my dream job. So I feel very conflicted working there. Everyone is very nice though, there’s just a lot of information to process and a lot of new things to memorize. So that plus new and more complex stuff during ballet class makes me a sad bumbling idiot of a dancer.

My Mentor is teaching farther up north. I should get back into that groove. But the stuff I’m learning at PNB has been so prime. Yet also the things my Mentor teaches me is awesome stuff too! I always find myself taking several steps back though when I work with my Mentor. Somehow my turns fall apart, my port de bras fall to the wayside. I’m just a literal mess. At the PNB I’ve been fumbling with regaining all my knowledge again that I worked hard to learn last summer. My balances were amazing, my turns were getting solid, my understanding was great! Now I’m slowly working back towards it and then the job thingy- brain! Keep with me… need brain supplements or something.

Here’s hoping next week will be better. Busier, but better. Maybe I won’t feel so overloaded with a new job and can start really concentrating on advancing my dance. I also find I need to focus. I got better when no one talked to me. Now people seem to freely talk to me often because they feel they know me from seeing me so often. You guys, I’m otherwise friendly! But leave me be to focusssssssss ;.; Do what I do! Talk to yourself out loud!

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Beginning of the Year

Open Classes started last week here in Seattle. Saturdays are the worst, after class is finished teenagers come thronging in and the boys of course are super polite but the girls just come on through with their pointe shoes on and you worry you’re going to have your feet stamped on.

We had a three week break. I was able to get in two classes with my mentor though! That was lovely. Also for some reason I was more sore from my Mentor’s class than I am from PNB.

Saturday classes at the PNB are my favorite now. This teacher is very encouraging. Before we went on break she had us do a combination like normal than reverse it. I was able to do it, but I can tell all the work I need to do because I keep rolling up my hands like a weirdo because I’m thinking so hard.

The beginning class is very beginning right now. I feel bad for taking it but my achilles is still stiff. It’s getting better and better though. Still not 100% Can you guys believe it will be a year in November since my Os Trigonum surgery? Anyways… Tuesday class is full of fabulous new people, I hope they stick with it. I love watching them learn. Also, I can’t not take this class. My favorite pianist is playing it so I’m staying!

Right now I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. I’ve got dance, I’m cramming as much of the japanese language into my brain, I have a lot of unfinished projects that I need to complete for sale, and am getting inquiries on dance skirts as well. It’s a little hard to juggle it currently. Not to complain, just feeling everything is coming all at once. I am angry with myself for not working harder over the summer when I knew my deadline would be up during this time. At least I’ve got what I want to take with me to Japan all planned out. I’m feeling really good and comfortable about all that at least.

It’s just tidying up before I leave. We just secured a house/pet sitter. I guess I should really just hunker down and get work done.

Well! You’ve all been pretty much updated on life currently. I will let you guys know I plan on checking out the Yumiko Leotard retail location in Japan as well as Repetto!! I’ll update you guys when I get more. Also you guys are hilarious about my last post. Thanks for making me laugh!

OH! Also last year when I was dancing at SKD I got to dance with a male dancer from the OBT who had also previously trained in SF. HE’S NOW A DANCER AT THE PNB!!!! I knew he was going places, he’s so wonderful! When summer classes started this year I could hear all the Nutcracker work going on. I was not excited to hear it personally lol. Little kids are now getting their assignments for Nutcracker. So it’s all hustle and bustle of kids and Nutcracker business at the PNB.

I Want My Plié Back!

Two more classes before Summer course is over. UGH.

I’m happy and sad at the same time.

I’ve made some decent progress since returning to dance. My stamina is coming back, my muscle tone is returning, my turns are doing pretty great. Just working my little heart out to improve like everyone else is. That makes me all happy and sing song.

Then you mess up on a few things. Because you’re still not fully healed. And even though it’s been more or less 10 months since my surgery. My plié still needs to be coaxed with a lot of stretching, massage, and heat to get some function back. I still don’t have my plié to where it was. I can’t get my achilles unstuck yet! Like if I press my bent knee against the wall to see how far my big toe is from the wall, I get 2 inches. Left side has like 6 inches. YOU GUYS THIS IS SO FRUSTRATING. Last week I’ve been trying to do a tour assemble and I can’t land properly for two major reasons right now. I’m not spotting and my body is self protecting it’s tight achilles. I’ve been landing horribly!

UGH.

So I’m happy class will be over after next Saturday. I’m also glad to have the self induced pressure off myself. I will PROMISE myself to work hard in stretching every day of the break. Work on my strengthening exercises. Lets try and get my plie back!

Today I had class at the PNB. They’re going well and I’m learning new things and new adjustments. She really caters to everyone and their needs. My ankle unfortunately decided to get all irritated still, so it’s not some fluke. Needs to be looked at for sure.

I met one of the other adult dancers, he’s from Spain! A wonderful guy and dancer. He’s been dancing the last 2 years. I just started talking his ear off! I’m excited to talk with him again next Thursday. Everyone who’s been dancing with this group for a while is reserved and not chatty and very stuck in their ways. I tried to go ahead of these two ladies at pique turns because I was faster I could move across the floor and be out of their way. NOPE. Even though I was in the prime spot to start they just put themselves in front of me to start first lol.

I’m super excited though! I just finished icing my ankle, but… I’M TYPING ON MY BRAND NEW MACBOOK AIR!! So much easier to communicate with and type on than my iMac downstairs which is troublesome sometimes to work on as it’s wedged between a wall and our cat tree. I hope I’ll be much more functional with this in writing blogs, updating my store, corresponding with certain clients etc. 

 

Well anyways, I just wanted to give a quick update on that for now! More SKD and PNB to come.

Return to SKD : Sat/Sunday

Let’s start shall we? I know you’re all at the edge of your seating, waiting over a week for me to update. I took some time to recover from the intensity of it all. I also dove into my work for my etsy store too. I’ve been a little busy to say the least.

Saturday we arrived to Vancouver around 2:30/3pm? It was a bit of a journey. It was brilliantly sunny with heat beams streaming through storm clouds. We had a few moments along the highway where we nearly or did hydroplane because the amount of water just instantly pouring from the clouds. It was crazy- but as soon as we arrived into Vancouver, which is literally an exit or two away from the Columbia river that is the border between Washington and Oregon. Vancouver was balmy. I think it was about upper 70Fs or 80Fs.
If you don’t know, dancing in Seattle it’s common and comfortable to be dancing in upper 50/60Fs. My friend from Texas found our temps up here freezing, as 70s and 80s was mild for her. Yuck! All camp I felt like the eskimo of the pack, I didn’t ask how the Canadian’s felt, I should’ve. It was freaking HOT all week and miserable for me to dance in. I sweated as if a faucet wouldn’t turn off.

So Saturday (again)!! We did not dance this day, ahhh…no throwing objects please. Katie had RSVP’d for me (with out me knowing) for the dinner that evening. What else were we going to do that first night anyways- c’est la vie… I got to meet new faces, old faces, and see the new teachers. I did not get a chance to talk to them at this dining occasion. It was a lovely dinner and nice to chat with people. A lot of my favorite people from camp, who I am friends with on Fbook, weren’t arriving until late in the evening or until the following morning. It was a chatty night, but uneventful evening and everyone was ready for bed for the next day.

Sunday rolled around, after a horrible night trying to sleep in the room where we were still trying to figure out how to get the right temp. We were miserably hot and woke up for several hours, then finally went back to sleep briefly only to be awoken again in a couple hours. ROUGH- honestly it was like that all week. I would wake up around 2-3am and roll around for an hour or two, go back to sleep only to be woken up again to get ready for the day. Definitely added to my stress. Last year I enjoyed the free breakfast in the morning, but this year. Nothing was appetizing. It was horrible trying to choke anything down but I actually found myself most mornings not interested at all in eating a large breakfast. Previous year I made sure I had something otherwise I was dying after the first class.
I think with all the extra added classes this past year my body had learned a way to metabolize properly for the extra work load. I found myself skipping breakfast for a banana half a cliff bar and a coffee at the local coffee shop. Unthinkable to me last year. Really surprising to me this year. Lunch was the same, I’d eat half my sandwich and by the end of the week there was at least 3-4 left over lunches still in our room fridge because I just couldn’t eat more.
Sunday we strolled to the dance center, picked up our name badges, checked in, and settled in greeting old friends and introducing ourselves to new people. I started to realize the second time around felt like Sophomore year of HS! You still felt a little apprehensive about teachers and the week ahead. Yet you knew A LOT of people. It was so good to see people from last year. You really make great friends coming to these intensives. So many varying ages, places, professions, experiences etc. It’s amazing and you can delve in seamlessly with talk of dance.
The new comers were being evaluated and placed into their designated classes. Since I was a “second” year you stick with your original class level from last year and Heidi (the Director/Owner of SKD) will come in each class and evaluate you. See if you’ve changed in the last year.
We started off with EBAS, Elemental Body Alignment System. Something that was being researched and cultured in Virginia for Dancers and those in similar trades. It feels a little hinky and weird at first, several times your brain will go “what are you doing?!” Until you roll up after you finish the exercises and you find yourself elongated and aligned! It’s not a replacement for warm up, so a word to the wise warm up for 30 minutes before hand, and then do your EBAS. It’s very hard to explain EBAS, but as the website says, it’s a lot of anatomical/brain recognition of parts. So being able to manipulate your pelvis and other muscle groups to get the desired movement to awaken them and put in place your skeletal structure. It was mind-blowing to me, in a positive way.

After our introduction to EBAS we moved into our technique class. I got to work mostly with Danile Giesy all week, who also is the EBAS instructor. She was amazing and I appreciate her constantly drilling me. I was really happy this year for all the critique and attention I got. I don’t know how much more I could pull up my abdominals and it crossed my mind many times, “can you pull or cramp your abdominals?!” Danile added a lot of port de bras to balances. We did these arm cycles where you go from devant to derrier and continue to cycle until one arm reaches fifth and then the other follows. Try it- yea it’s hard. It was a pleasant challenge because I did a lot of stationary balances in class all year. This is what I had wanted last year. Recognition of my hard work and my passion to grow. All my teachers were very thorough this year on corrections and were not afraid to make me do corrections with repetition front and center while everyone watched. Example; in pirouettes we were working en dedahn turns, she had me practice in front of everyone on correcting from a solid fifth position, spotting, trying to get my foot immediately up to my knee and connecting it- no floating! I didn’t feel embarrassed or self conscious up there. Everyone was learning, no one was judging. With each repeat of what she wanted, and small adjustments the turns kept getting better and better. PROGRESS.
Technique I got a refresher in something my Mentor has always nagged us dancers about. Learning our positions. A lot of us didn’t utilize our brains when we practiced our positions in center. I knew most of them, still I am very shaky on them and should learn not only the balanchine ones, but the vaganova, and chechetti. While I’m at it probably RAD too. Not only their positions (which include arms), but arabesques and how they do turns. I’d love to learn the RAD method of turns. If you watch their dancers do pirouettes, they are SOLID and have magnificent effortless turns. Go check them out on youtube. I’ll wait… RIGHT?!
So after technique we had lunch followed by our alignment workshop. Which was interesting. I paired up with one of our most advanced younger male dancers. He’s a friend of mine on Fbook. We worked on recognizing areas of where we want feeling and how to tell our brain to manipulate that area while working another. Like when standing in retieré right leg. Your right side of your hip should be pushing down against your retieré, because in ballet we don’t make things easy- that’s cheating, While you’re using your hip to push down, your left shoulder should counter balance and pull you UP. This will allow you to elevé with ease to demi and if you’re in pointe shoes all the way up- maybe, depending on your strength. Then my friend and I got into a balancing competition. Since it was the end of the day I was cramping and he being a guy who has to have awesome long winded balances was blowing me away lol. Jealous!!
It was a short day, so after alignment we all went back to the hotel to clean up. We decided to all go out to dinner in Portland. Unfortunately the place we wanted to eat at was a two hour wait! So we walked up the street to another restaurant where they served Thai noodle soup- and it was so good! Also, while lovely out in the shade we started getting a little cold haha. It was such a lovely evening. We were walking back and decided the busy ice cream shop with the huge line sounds interesting. Devised a plan to go to their “short” line by buying a small quart of ice cream. As groups we decided on flavors, grabbed spoons and dug in! They had my favorite caramels there too, so I bought those to share and eat through the week. It was a wonderful summer moment lol. We were all full and bushed then, so we headed back for the night.

2014 is Over

Wow! The end of the year crept up on me. Today I took my last ballet class with my mentor and it was good. I had some solid arabesque holds on relevé. It was overall a great class that I enjoyed and that I will miss having with my Mentor. For my normal class we did Hula and Tahitian dance instead- and that really works your lower back. Ouchies, I will be hurting tomorrow.

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My Mentor retired officially today. This was her 50th recital, and I’m sad to no longer get to dance with her almost every day and see her face and see what she has to say about her day and how I’m improving, etc. She will be sorely missed by a lot of dancers.

 

Professional photos came in from the photographer that was hired for the recital last weekend. They got some decent photos of us in Baby Swans- including one where you can see my face of utter shock and dismay of my slip up. Yay! (/sarcasm) Despite the awful capture of my mistake, the following photos are pretty spot on.

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bbswnas14_02Dancer N though needs a new pair of shoes obviously…

 

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I also had some nice sauté arabesques that I’m proud of.

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Then the dramatic final circle. I’m the one in the center circle to the left, just in front of the person in the foreground.

 

Next, is my summer intensive! Probably the last one for a while as 2015 is the plan for our last hoorah before we “settle down as a couple”. Husband and I will be taking a big trip/delayed Honeymoon to Japan in the fall. Sigh… time to take it all in and try and savor it while I can before things change again.