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!

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!

Dance Skirts! Finally!

Alright you guys, I FINALLY put up the skirts. SO late. Like, these were ready months ago. I’ve just been dragging my feet.

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There’s plenty more in the store, snap them up before them whipper snappers do. www.pinqcouture.etsy.com

Lately I’ve felt a little at odds with dance. I think it’s because I keep thinking negative thoughts about what I want to do that’s kind of spiraled me out of control. BUT, hopefully I’ve pulled myself out of it and and pulling back up on the controls. I’m going to class again, and making an effort to drive to Seattle on Saturday mornings. It’s fun taking a late morning class! So refreshing. I’m refocusing on my at home physical therapy needs since I’ve neglected them. If my skirts do well I’ll try again to rekindle my efforts for them, but it’s a possibility they be my last batch. Lets think positive thoughts though! To anyone who keeps reading and keeps following – thanks. I really appreciate it.

Update on Extension Goals

So I had a goal for extensions. That due date has come and gone, and unfortunately I didn’t get very far. BUT surgery did help with my extensions in a sense. I did stretch my right leg more. I did build stronger holding pelvic muscles to keep up that dead weight while crutching about. My extension on my right is past 90° now. Just focusing in on turning out more. My left side is all sad and needs work. I know I can get it better, I know I can I know I can. Take that Thomas the Train!

Also, I did NO ballet photos on my vacation in May. Whoa… shows how much dance I’m NOT doing. No arabesque shot on the beach at all?! What’s wrong with me?!

The End is Near

I have returned from PT and my Dr’s check up appointment. I am doing well on both fronts. I am now in my pointe shoes again, doing bourres, releves, and echappes. Doing pirouettes in flats, they’re horrible. All my good turning mojo has left since my hiatus. I took ONE dance class and it was all barre. By the end of barre, including stretch at barre, my foot swelled from all the activity so I have it a break and elevated and watched the rest of class. Just two other adults, it’s the studio just down the road from mi casa.

My Dr. says my next appointment in the next 5 weeks will probably be my last. PT says that we’ll probably be wrapping up soon too, that most of the PT exercises I can do myself now and that I’m progressing really nicely. She says she’s always more impressed with my stability and how I’m over my foot on my surgical/right foot. I guess the bone no longer there really has made a difference. I can’t tell exactly, but my turns on my right foot are far steadier than my left. It’s like since the surgery my right foot had a reset button and now it’s like a magical leg. I not wanna do that for my left leg! No rush though, surgery is very exhaustive work. My achilles still likes to stay stuck so that’s my biggest thing right now, but it’s far better than it had been. Slow and steady progress.

I’ve been watching the Prix de Lausanne competition videos on youtube. Miko Fogarty didn’t even place surprisingly enough. I felt her performance was really well done. Solid solid turns, but her attitudes were not as high as they were last year. Also who ever is coaching her now has her not doing little bourres in-between transitions so it’s a little weird to see her stay solid 5th and then transition. There were a few variations from others that were heart breaking, they started out so strong and then at one of the most difficult parts they fell off pointe and it ruined their momentum for the rest of it and they scramble just to finish it. Not a lot of closed 5ths either. I was really surprised by the sloppy 4ths. It was great to see that most of the awards went to fantastic male dancers this year! I was very excited for them, well deserved, beautiful dancing!!

Still very frustrated with WP. All my followed blogs I can view if I go directly to the website. The app has completely failed me in every update it erases my blogroll. Then if I try and follow everyone again I get weird stuff… it’s just annoying. So I check usually on the weekend. The blogroll has been a little slow though 😦 Glad to see a few people still lurking though, and old ones making a come back!

In more personal matters I’ve been self studying the Japanese language. I have a trip to Mexico for a wedding in May and in late October early November will be in Japan for my Husband and my(is that proper grammar?) late honeymoon. We’ve been mass studying and researching what we want to do and all this elaborate travel jazz.

I’m also now confronted with finding a new studio that will be just right. Going to the PNB is wonderful, but I need to restrengthen my feet for pointe work. PNB is evening classes which takes a lot of time out of my day if I go. Start looking around again. I miss my Sensei but she’s off in Spain again. BUH.

Recovery done and over, new challenge accepted

Lets say I’m now mostly recovered from my surgery. It’s now all about restrengthening and re-learning. Out of it all, I have a rad scar, no bone being wedged between my heel bone and leg bones, a contorted back and hip, and no stamina and very little energy.

I have become lost from my blogging as… I have nothing to say. You’d think I’d be dying to go to dance. But I don’t. I want to be normal again most of all. I spend my days now stretching for hours on end. Some days are good and some are bad. My achilles is the worst culprit. It does not want to do plantar flexion, which you’d assume meant foot goes down. Plantar flexion actually means foot goes up, towards your knee. DORSI flexion on the other hand is the down.

In other news, my little calf muscle is returning. It’s its own little bulge, slowly returning to form and strength. I find myself a lot of the time standing and putting any weight on my left leg even though I am no longer assisted by crutches. I walk normally, for the most part. Which has become frustrating as I mentioned before my right hip is twisted. Which causes my pants, particularly leggings (yep, you know you’re a dancer when you prefer leggings. Mine are OPAQUE kay!) on my right leg to actually pull up. My hem will be an inch higher than my right. So I’m going to go see my chiropractor soon because not only is my hip being ridiculous, my back is all funky too. So it will be good to get that adjusted. I can’t walk for too long though. Usually an hour of standing/walking and then my foot hurts. It’s re-adjusting to having weight on it.

I still spend a lot of time with my foot elevated. My surgical site continues to swell, or as I call it fluffy/puffy depending on the day. It’s not horrible. An untrained eye wouldn’t notice, but my PT and myself are like “yeesh!”, get that swelling down, yo! I have to do a special soak to try and get out that stuck remaining fluid. 3 min in warm water and 1 min ice water. Back and forth. Not my cup of tea, not excited at all.

This week I’m on my own. No Dr.s appointments and no PT appointments since she’s out on vacation living it up in Hawaii. I’m not jealous because I get to watch the Seahawks in the Super Bowl!! (#gohawks!) Don’t confuse that with watching the Seahawks at the Super Bowl like my Brother thought. I will happily on a friends couch (most likely the floor, stretching) eating Super Bowl food! Not the healthy kind, the bittersweet butt bubble and beer gut forming kind. Yussss… Our Hosts are making steaks… but uhh… bringing weenies in bbq sauce and jalapeño creamcheese dip.

One of those personal things I’ve learned, which I think I’ve mentioned before. Is that I have an adaptable metabolism!! YAY! I still weigh as much as I did before surgery. 107 lbs! You also know you like your PT because her homework she gives you, besides the hated clam exercise, is to balance on your bad foot in a pair of HIGH heels. No problemo.

I shall leave you all with that. As I have a Hemingway book to read while I stretch. And stretch some more. Oh, and them more stretching.

I Love Shoes!

Missing having my feet in shoes, everything from heels to dance shoes. I am a big shoe person. I love fashion sneakers, I love ridiculous high heels, I love a good pair of working dance shoes too.

Here are my two top picks of soft ballet shoes if you’re in the market.

The Angelo Luzio/Body Wrappers TotalSTRETCH soft ballet shoe I loved until summer. I think I still love them, but I haven’t worn them since last summer. I loved these shoes so much that I bought a back up pair and now they’re just hanging out. I wore them all school year last year and had no issues. Turns were great, it accentuated my arch nicely. They were comfortable and were a durable shoe. The Bloch Zenith I had bought a few years prior had a tendency to run a hole at my 2nd toe from friction with the floor. Yet the rest of the shoe was in good form. So that was a quick waste. You couldn’t really tape or mend the hole because of the elasticity of the fabric. The Body Wrappers though was great. The fabric wasn’t TOO stretchy, handled going through the wash to clean up a dirty sole, and came pre-sewn!! Sadly my second pair are now only half sewn. I really like my soft shoes sewn for me. We spend enough time sewing up pointe shoes it was nice to have shoes ready to just wear.

My complaints? During my summer intensive my feet swelled and it was sooooo uncomfortable to wear! My toes were scrunched in my shoes. Which was weird, and not the shoes fault. I had to go in search of a new pair of shoes beginning of the intensive. Before that the shoe was a little baggy around the toes. If you have an average medium width foot you should be fine. Since I have a fairly narrow foot that also compresses when warm it would get a little baggy but it never bothered me until I got a new pair of shoes that fit even better.

So last summer I had to buy an emergency pair of soft shoes while at my intensive. Due to the heat and being on my feet for hours caused my feet to swell. It was impossible to wear my pointe shoes, and it became impossible to wear even my soft shoes! I had to concede and a group of lovely dancers and I left for the local dance store in Oregon called the Leotard. Which was actually great! They were super nice and had a great selection of things. The people there helped me find a new pair of soft shoes by So Danca. The cotton was soft and stretchy, but conformed to my narrow foot better than my BodyWrappers. They allowed stretch so when I swelled it fit comfortably. Yet when my feet went to normal during October the shoe continued to conform. They’re comfortable, stretchy, and turns were fine too. A little bunching but nothing I couldn’t get over. They really hugged my arch and accentuated the foot lovely like. The other plus… PRE-SEWN!! Nothing like slipping on a pair of shoes and just WEARING THEM TO CLASS. The best. These shoes are my current go to in my dance bag. The fabric seems softer/weaker than the BodyWrappers but haven’t shown wear yet. So I’ll get to see what happens, but I still really like these shoes. They are a lighter peachy “ballet pink” but they actually go better with my tights than the tanner color of my BodyWrappers.

What’s your current favorite soft shoe in your dance bag?

Adult Ballet Extension Goal

Can an adult dancer get their extensions? Really nice ones? I’ve seen other Adult Dancers with extensions, but a lot of them were dancers until their teens so they are familiar and still have the muscle capability to do it. I’ve NEVER had my foot developed up to my ear. I wouldn’t mind seeing it at my shoulder. I wouldn’t mind having my straddle splits and I can lie flat between them.

I have a lot of disadvantages. I know my right hip has a tendency to need to be popped frequently when I turn out. I fear I may have a natural curvature/bone growth that impedes giving me full turn out. My hips are always tight feeling. I have no muscle use in my Psoas, so it is no doubt tiny and weak. As are the other muscles in the hip, back and abdomen.

If any of you are readers of mine. You know when I hit a brick wall I attack it. I’ve done 30 day splits challenged and have made headway. I’ve never completed my splits, but I’m going to do that… I’m going to do that along with working on my extensions.

This time though, I’m giving myself more time. I have until June for me to be able to almost get a 180° penché , I want my second at my shoulder, and devant more than 90°.

I will try and get extension and splits photos up and start tracking my progress.

In recovery process, I’ve been personally adjusting my gait. I don’t really limp any more and can stand for extended periods on my feet. My ankle/incision will sharply hurt if I over do it so I sit and ice and elevate. Yesterday though I walked my dog by myself, I went to two different grocery stores, and cooked dinner. Probably next weekend I’ll take the car out to adjust back to driving. Physical Therapy is going well, I’m still out my CPM machine so yesterday I spent time in my old suffolk pointe shoes and helped pushed over my box. I just pushed the heel forward on the sole and it pushed into my arch and helped me go over. I got to wear my shoes in PT, but I could barely get over my box my feet are so weak. Yeesh! More tendus for me.

Happy New Year! Hoping 2015 is a year of progress!!!