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!

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Final day!!

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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!

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!

Tips on Splits!

Some tips that will help you improve your flexibility and limberness for your 30 day challenge!

 

Hydrate. Those who work out or do any strenuous activity always hear about drinking water. Drink such and such amounts of fluids etc. And everyone goes yea yea yea… Lets make this so we understand why and not just be told. It’s gotta concern us or we won’t care. SO – the Human body is composed of 70% of water. You need to maintain this level to create the optimum human being. Consuming alcoholic beverages dehydrates your body because it’s- ALCOHOL! What does that do? Dries up moisture! Most adults enjoy their occasional glass of poison, one speaking here- no shame. It’s important though to stay hydrated afterwards to replenish what was lost. Same goes for when we sweat when we dance, or when you exhale. Moisture is evaporating from your body. If you are dehydrated your body will react badly to being stretched, it’s elasticity will dissipate because it’s reserving the moisture to keep internal important organs moist instead of caring about your leg and if it bends too far. In conclusion, staying optimal moisture level will keep you limber and flexible! Take care of your body even when you’re not in the studio, did you have a couple glasses of _fillintheblank_ , remember before bed and in the morning to drink a couple glasses of water to rehydrate.

 

Warm up! It takes me 5-10 min to get a small warm up going. So 15-20 min is optimal. If you’re working on your splits you want to focus on your core/lower back/ all the way to your toes. I start off with back leg battements. In general that’s how I start warming up anyways. Swinging back doesn’t really pull or strain anything severe, and the motion really gets your heart pumping to get blood to your hip and foot. Be sure to swing in a second position battement or off to the side to start opening up the hips and creating oxygen/blood flow into that area. Work even your feet and ankles by placing your feet parallel go on demi on your right foot and shift to your left on demi right on floor. Several reps will start working blood into that area. Also just swivel and move your ankle and foot and wiggle your toes. Just get it jumping and jiving down there so you can feel your body hum with preparedness.

HIPS! Oh- such an overlooked object of splits. A lot of people are concerned about their hamstrings and they should. I’ve pulled mine at least twice in the last year and half studying ballet. BUT, if your hips aren’t OPEN your splits aren’t going too much farther. It could be what’s actually holding you back from your complete splits. Ahhh… betcha didn’t think of that didja? Do runner stretches! You can stand or lie down for this, lying down is preferred if you want to go into the next step easily. Lying down, lift your leg up as far as you can to your chest. Grasp your ankle with both arms and lightly pull towards yourself keeping your pelvis flat on the floor and use your other leg on the floor to pull you in the opposite direction or pushing it against the floor (We’re not in a runner’s stretch yet.) Holding onto your leg back into a taught but relaxed and comfortable position away from your body- push your leg against your arms pulling at your leg so you create a neutral pressure for 20 seconds. Relax your hip and pull the leg closer towards your chest, did it move farther than last time? After you’ve done both sides bend one leg at your chest and hug it. You can twist your leg in the socket to each side for a prolonged held stretch- of course not hurting yourself just until you feel that good stretch. Do for both legs. Release and relax when you need it.

Now with your pelvis flat on the ground and one leg stretched out on the ground as well. Create a passé and get your knee as far down to the floor as you can get it, then place your foot back in first. Passé in parallel, open your passé, get your knee to the floor, then place foot back into first. You’re just moving that hip joint around to open it up. Do both legs. You can do however many you want.

Standing, pull a leg behind you bent so that your foot is as close to touching your derrière as possible. Be sure not to twist your foot and keep it straight- so holding your ankle is ideal. Keep your back straight and tail bone tucked and just pull at your leg back towards your back, like you want to touch your toe to your back. This stretches more the front of the thigh than it does the hip but y’know. Since you’re working with your legs :B

Diamond stretch! My favorite. This improves turn out and your splits because it helps your hips! Lie belly down on the floor. Pull your knees up along the floor until you can get the soles of your feet touching. Then try and get your heels to the ground while holding that position. Oh feel the buuuuurn. If you find at some point that your heels together is no longer creating a stretch place your feet in second position with your knees still out and you’ll be good ;D Promise! For those of us still struggling ask a kind and gentle family member to apply pressure to ankles- make sure you have a safe word. The benefit of doing this stretch this way is that gravity and your weight is working against you instead of you sitting and forcing pressure onto your legs as they naturally push back in the position.

Basic barre stretch and more floor stretches:

With a partner! I love these ladies, btw you should watch ALL four videos on you tube- truly inspirational!

 

I hope some of this helped you! Please be careful when doing these stretches and never stretch so that you’re in pain or cause yourself pain.

30 day splits challenge!

Some of you are following my tumblr, which I don’t post a link to but it’s probably easy to find (which I left on purpose) by our matching title names. The reason being it’s less professional with swabs of silly things my Husband and I do. Mostly me. Sometimes my Husband’s in there. It’s just very uncouth and more personal of a dance/me blog. ANYWAYS. The blogosphere caught wind of my personal 30 Day Splits Challenge, and as my blog already reflects it’s really hard and not so much fun to take pictures of your splits EVERY DAY.

So I’ve personally amended it taking a progress photo every Friday after my ballet class before rehearsal starts.

Everyone is welcome to join, thanks to Kristen at Adult Ballerina Project, for featuring my tumblr post and taking it to heart along with several of her followers, and even Legal Ballerina! You guys are awesome and I’m so excited for everyone!! You don’t realize how important this discovery was for me this morning. I’ve been in a funk because of an endless cycle of retail work = ballet = physical therapy/knee pain = work = ballet = P.T./knee pain etc. The beginning of this week starting Sunday for me at work has not been fun and continues to be silly and I was letting it get to me until I started poking around blogs and saw that Kristen and LB were all getting in on the 30 day challenge!

 

Starting Oct. 5th I took a photo of my right, left, and straddle splits. Horrible I tell you!

 

(You guys, EMBARRASSING! All for the greater good yes? DON’T MAKE ME REGRET POSTING THESE!!!)

 

By Monday though I had personally seen improvement and so had my teacher- she commented(to those of you not involved in the ballet world- that is BIG). So I’m very excited to share progress photos this upcoming Friday! I want to thank you all of uplifting my poopy spirits earlier this morning and wish everyone an awesome October! Let’s do this!!

Ask

Some of you may or may not know I have a tumblr. Essentially I like to keep the two separate because on my tumblr I have a tendency to complain and just be a little uncouth. It’s still very ballet oriented, and people have the ability to anonymously ask me questions about what I do, who I am, questions pertaining to ballet, etc. So I thought I’d go ahead and post some recent ones I’ve received:

 

Anonymous asked:

what was one of the hardest parts about starting in pointe? do you have to do your splits before going on pointe?

The hardest part, is not to get caught up in foot arches. I had that stupid foot Dr. tell me I’d never get over my box, and that because I had stopped growing I couldn’t train myself properly to be over my box with a very flexed and body altered foot. So I forced myself to try- and I didn’t even have to(and now I’m injured). I have naturally high arches, and my feet and toes get stronger with every class, tendu, and degage, etc. I just needed time. Now I’m perfectly beyond my box without having full rotation in my ankle. Actually, maybe it’s not getting caught up in the small things. Just trust your teacher (if they’re a good one) and take your time as time is allowed. There is no rush.

You don’t have to, but it’s highly recommended. I mean I’m not on my splits yet, but I’ve progressed significantly since I started in the fall. It’s just nice to be able to do an arabesque, a penche, a developpe and things high up there, pointing towards the sky. Also… not everyone can say they can do the splits- but when you get there and if you keep them, I think it’s awesome to be one of those few people 🙂

 

Anonymous asked:

how long does it take to go on pointe? do you think ballet is something that will be a part of your life for a long time?

Ah, the ever familiar “how long does it take to go on pointe?” question. Honestly it varies from person to person. Girls who’ve been doing ballet since they were very young start around 11-12 y/o. I started last summer, and was on pointe by February of this year. So it took me less than a year to be en pointe. Most definitely ballet will be apart of my life until I think otherwise. Thanks for your ask 🙂

 

Anonymous asked:

what age did you start ballet? how are you able to both dance and work (i.e. have an adult life)? I’m a young professional and i’m having trouble balancing both because all i wanna do is DANCE! I want to go on pointe and take jazz as well. DO you have any suggestions?

I started when I was 3 left when I was 8(for family financial reasons). I started again at 26(I wanted to go back at 17 but family problems again). I work part time at a retailer that allows extreme flexibility in my schedule except for holidays. Which is a no brainer if you work retail. I think it depends on how serious you are as a dancer. I’m assuming “young professional” is that you’re a teenager working. When I wanted to go back to ballet originally around the middle of HS, I couldn’t. I was already working a PT job and the money I earned fed and clothed me, paid for me to get to and from school. My Mother checked out on me and left me to depend on myself. Even though she was receiving child support from my Father. During this time I was also in my relationship with my Husband, BF at that time, and I would take refuge in his company and his family to lessen the growing depression I had. All I could muster at that age was working PT, go to school and barely graduate, and focus on my relationship and art. Possibly, if I had considered it harder, and didn’t think I would have an art career in illustration I may have focused on dance more. It never occurred to me because both my parents put faith that I would succeed in art, though none of them could fund me to go to school for that pursuit.

I’m a truly blessed/lucky gal. I have a Husband that fulfills the other half of the financial responsibilities. When I say I’m “broke” it’s because I have no personal money to spend. Otherwise I use our money for important things that adults do. Car insurance, mortgage payments, food, etc. Having a supportive family is the best riches ever. Without him, I would not be able to do what I’m doing now.

My real suggestion is, really decide what you want in life. Depending on your age this is extremely difficult. You need to know what you want with your life. If your goal is to get into a dance company and make a career out of it, every day dancing, practicing, rehearsing and knowing your performing career will end around your 30s. Work as hard as you can finding flexible jobs that can cater to your necessary schedule. You’ll need stamina, and worse, you’ll need cash for everything. If and when all your hard work pays off and you’re in a company, you have a job in dance!

If that’s not an option, becoming part of a company, you can try and focus your skills at college to teach and if they have a dance program, do that as well. You can then teach dance instead.

Still, if that doesn’t suit your needs, you may have to settle for going to class every day for how ever long you feel like dancing.

I apologize if this was 1) late 2) depressing 3) not helpful . I do hope that you got something out of it. I had a hard time with this question, it really hit personally where I stand as an adult in my life. I don’t regret anything I’ve done because it’s all in the past, but I would definitely love to see an alternate version of myself succeeding earlier in dance.

Good luck!

 

Anonymous asked:

I saw that you pulled your inner thigh from forcing a split. I did that a while back while doing a straddle/box split/whatever you call it. What kind(s) of exercises or anything do you do to come out of that?

There really isn’t anything you can do as far as an exercise goes. To get over it I’d recommend icing the area where it burns/is sore for no longer than 20 min.(this is extremely awkward but I did it) Taking hot baths in epsom salt, and letting it rest and not forcing it again. My straddle splits are still the worst but my front and back splits have progressed. When you feel better and healed doing the frog stretch for a bit then place a yoga mat on the floor against a free space along your wall. Lie on the floor with your butt against the wall, then open your legs to gravity. When it becomes too painful just bring your legs together again and rest etc. I used to do this in gymnastics. You could also try getting in a runners lunge, and placing your elbow against the inside of your knee and pushing it out with your elbow. You’ll get good stretches that way too.

Hope this works for you, thanks for your Ask.

 

Anonymous asked:

when you look back to the first time you stepped in a studio for your first ballet class, what has your dance experience been like so far? what are some major lessons you have learned? also can you talk about your experience on pointe? the transition and your hopes? thanks for your feedback! love your blog 🙂

So far my experience has been rediscovering a facet of myself I had forgotten. I still feel stiff in expression and movement, but I know I have potential and a future of progress. It has been sweet and bitter all the same. To be apart of a group of loving people who are accepting and to teach me and to treat me as equal. Then to realize you’ve joined something so late that finding a permanent place in it is difficult if not pretty much impossible. Major lessons learned? Ask questions, settle yourself between girls who know what they’re doing, watch yourself when at the barre, don’t stare at your feet(even if you are amazed they’re working in ways you didn’t think possible), look yourself in your eyes(you are important), muster any confidence and believe you can do it, practice when you can, DO NOT BE SELF DEPRECIATING, smile, enjoy your fellow students, teacher and your whole class day it’s highlights and it’s low points. Pointe – by far has been my BEST experience. I have wanted to be on pointe since a little girl and I thought after starting up classes again last summer that it wasn’t impossible but it would be a couple years. I at least wanted to accomplish it before I had kids because kids make everything so much harder. Then to be told I could go en pointe in February was completely squashed by my adult mentality of “okay now I have to do this this this and there goes all my money.” So far my performance as a ballerina is 10x better on pointe than soft shoes. I wonder if this is because all the girls in my class are also new to pointe so we’re on a level playing field or the shoes umph my confidence that much more that I feel freaking fabulous! As far as my hopes, I really hope to be able to fully perform in them! Not just trot about, but absolutely do an entire… dance of some sort in pointe without falling over. I’m hoping by this summer recital prove to my pointe teacher that I can perform and be awesome without looking like a total boob on stage. My one thing though is that I continue to push myself into injury. It’s never severe, but it pushes my progress back. I pulled my inner thigh from forcing my splits stretch, and now my foot from over forcing my arch. Know that if you are a dancer, do not push yourself so far beyond. I don’t know why it’s encouraged in the competitive dance arena, but if you’re 16 and you have several hairline fractures in multiple places it’s not a sign of your awesomeness, it’s a sign you need to let yourself rest a little.

Thanks for the thought provoking ask. I try to be very thoughtful in all my responses, but this one had me take a lot of time and think. Thank you again for reading 🙂

 

Anonymous asked:

how often do you get new ballet slippers? mine are SO worn out and i got them in january and they are bloch…

I have 3 pairs of shoes right now. My Leo’s I purchased back in Dec/Jan perhaps. I just noticed Tues night that they were starting to wear but no complete holes or anything. I’m still looking for the perfect soft shoe and have yet to find it. If you find yourself going through several pairs of soft shoes you may want to consider leather instead if you use canvas. Leather will last longer, and newer types have sewn inserts that allow the foot to breath so it won’t get so sweaty. Possibly the Bloch Pro-Lite II would be useful to you? If you’re not en pointe yet I want to encourage dancers to wear full soled shoes now a days. I really do believe it’ll make your foot stronger by working harder even if may be unflattering to your arch. Thanks for your ask, and I hope this was helpful!

 

If you have any questions you can leave me a comment! Or I was thinking of opening a formspring for anyone to ask questions on my blog 🙂