Week 1

First week has mixed reviews… I had three classes; one on Tuesday, Thursday night and Saturday morning. Squished in between working at the library, an engagement party, and a family bday party. I did some consistent stretching the first couple days and then the “red tide” arrived.

So I’ve been lacking a little because of general busyness. This morning I woke up with a really strained muscle in my neck. I can barely turn my head to the right with out severe pain and am massaging the heck out the taught neck muscle currently. I have a PT appointment later this afternoon that I’ll have to get ready for soon.

This week looks a little meek and self home stretching will be most of what I can do since I think I won’t be able to get any dance classes in; so it may seem. Today I know I should just rest, and I would go Thursday but my Brother surprised us and is coming into town. Saturday I have library things to do.

The week after that is the last week of classes at the PNB! I’ve found some possible replacement classes in North Seattle. They’re a little more expensive than the PNB too… I’ll contact them for a trial class to see how things pan out.

Haha… barre and stretching everyday… hahahaaaaaaaaaa

Also I’m still toying with the idea of a life chat! Maybe the end of the month. I should take pictures of a before and after stretching… Yessssssss…

It’s Time for Change

IT’S JUNE!!! It’s time to start a 30 day challenge!

My lack of classes, and lack of consistent training like I had two years ago is starting to show. My arabesque is HORRIBLE. My extension is HORRIBLE. My turn out is HORRIBLE. My core… could always be better. My flexibility is HORRIBLE.

So here I go. Stretching , at home barre , and core strengthening every day this month. Erryday! I’m thinking about doing a youtube live feed for FAQs while I stretch one Saturday or Sunday. Would anyone be interested? Comment to let me know!

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!

20130927-184333.jpg

20130927-184344.jpg

Don’t forget to try

The month of April went by so quickly! With full busy weekends, a lot going on at home recollecting, organizing, and cleaning up my life after retail work. Ballet, teacher assisting, and choreography for the recital. My 30 day challenge has been sorely neglected. Which also means my stretching if it had progressed has reverted, so I’m kinda in stretch limbo. If I stretch and warm up a lot before rehearsing to do the attitude I can see small improvement… but no where achieved my goal. WHICH I’M OKAY WITH!

April has been rough but being the optimist I’m always looking at the glass half full.

I know what I need to be better at. I know what I should do and continue to do to try and be better. I will try and recoup some lost time and will always continue to try and try harder 😀

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.

 

 

Final day!!

20121105-203719.jpg

So close, may have ’em in another 30 😀

Edit 11/06/12 –

October 5th 2012, before:

My back leg is straighter, my front leg calf is on the floor, and in general I am much closer to the floor. Though I didn’t get my splits, I was quite successful at getting really close! I’m not far off, but I also still need to push my right leg more since my left side is my best.

Wait, I forgot NEXT Monday is 30 days- haha!

Oh you guys I’m pretty bushed. I’m not belligerent yet, but I sure feel it coming on. Today was supposed to be a day off for me, but got called in to work anyways- retail- sigh. Anyways anyways anyways. I’m just raising my arms not trying to make 5th so… yea. NEXT Monday I’ll be 30 days, I have one more week! Yessssss!! SO close! I was really cold when I got home so I bet it could be better.

 

10/29 splits

 

In other news I get to dance the Solo Doll dance one night for our performances!!! En pointe and everything. Such an awesome moment especially since I just started pointe in February. My first solo dance en pointe. I need to buy recital stuff. Ugh. New positive? For the Russian/Cossack dance we’re doing I get to wear a faux mustache- yea!!

Tomorrow is Halloween and I’ll be passing out lolipops to the girls in my class and dressing up as Minnie Mouse! I can’t wait to see them!

 

Hoping you all have a safe and fun Halloween and those of you on the East Coast stay well and safe too!

Final day for 30 day challenge

30 days ago I started this silly challenge to get me into my splits. Today is my final weigh in with before and after photos of my progress. I have a busy night with my class, my teacher assisting class, and a couple more hours of rehearsal. I’ll be sure to post tonight 🙂

On an unrelated note, Friday during pointe exercises. My teacher lightly took me by the waist while balancing at the barre in passé, and told me to let go of the barre completely. Automatically I wasn’t sure if she could hold my weight or what would happen so I tensed up and ruined my balance a little. She told me to relax and fix my shoulders and back which I automatically did and she rebalanced me where I’m now supposed to balance en pointe. Farther over my box. I’m having to learn how dancers dance en pointe on the front of their boxes. Bawww that’s scary stuff! Now I have to restrengthen my foot/everything for the change in weight.
I make this note because my teacher has a tendency to advance me at things like this before others en pointe. It excites me and challenges me at the same time!!

Now I’m going to ice my knees because they ache. I’ll see y’all tonight!

Pressure’s on

Not only am I’m upping my time at ballet with extra rehearsals and memorizing 4 dances and occasionally paying attention to the other dances of the classes I teacher assist; there’s only 20 days left in the 30 day challenge! My third Friday is coming up in the next couple of days!!!! I wonder if I’ll be able to be any closer to the ground in my splits. Here’s some new tips on splits!

 

• right or left splits be sure that you’re pointing your toes, your weight is evenly in the middle and your knee is not holding you up.

This is difficult for beginners who aren’t as far, but you can use your hands to hold you up if you can. You’ll get there regardless!

• if you feel you’ve reached as far as you can get but not completely grounded, use an elevated surface to prop a foot/heel on 1-2″ off the ground.

The elevated surface will lift you above your norm and force you to expand and relax things that were being stubbornly tight in your thigh and hip. Be sure you do it slowly and cautiously so you don’t injure yourself.

• place your front leg up so your knee is bent and your back leg as straight as you can get it. Bend forward and reach your closest shoulder under the crook of your knee and prop your arm underneath to support. Then gently lift your shoulder and back and you’ll feel a stretch in both thighs.

This feels wonderful!

• for straddle splits, standing open your feet into your widest second. Bend over and place your hands on the ground, now walk your hands slowly away from your body and then prop yourself there when you feel the stretch.

 

Here’s a new video for stretches to help too!