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…

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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.

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.)

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.

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 😀

It’s Time to Go Back

I’m going to get into the studio today. I wanted to go to the studio down the road from me but I really need to dance and that studio isn’t open on Fridays. Also it was an adult ballet class. If I go to my studio I’ll be joining the pre-pointe girls I dance with already, if they’re there, and will keep up with my level of dance. More expensive, but the timing is better. I was thinking of going to pilates this morning, but it’s at 10 am. Ughhhh… do not want. I’ll do pilates on Monday and dance on Friday. YUP.