Tuesday, July 29, 2014

are we human or are we dancer? S. Because that grammar is just.... just.

What does it mean to be a "dancer"? There is a lot of talk in the adult ballet community about just this topic. Is it okay to think of yourself as a dancer if you haven't been dancing since you were three? At what point do you become a dancer? Is two classes a week dancery enough? Three? Five?
Here is what I think.
I think that you are a dancer when you see someone walking down the street in the summer heat (105*, by the way) in a painfully short black skirt and blindingly pale pink tights and your first thought isn't "someone call the fashion police" or "whatever she is selling I am not in the market for." but "OH YEAH. Me too."

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Taking a Break Pays Off

After the excitement of the recital our teacher (who basically does everything involving the recital) took a much-deserved two week vacation. I only went to class once during the entire time. I know, I know. But really, there were things, and life, and... just stuff. Stuff was happening. My very best friend ended up in the hospital. I had to work until 8 pm for several days in a row, and then not get home until 11 on a couple more.
And I just didn't want to.
Sometimes it's okay to not want to.
So, this Tuesday was my first day back in a while. Annnnnnd... I got complimented on my improved articulation through tendu in to battement, degage, etc. And not a single posture correction. Thursday was my first pointe class in nearly a month. That also went swimmingly, I progressed significantly in pirouette prep. and finally nailed down the shape my foot is supposed to be achieving at the barre.
What is my secret? What was my daily regimen? Uh... nothing. I didn't stretch, practice, or even bother to think too much about ballet in the time I was away. I read a book that had some dancing in it, does that count? 
Well, then.
Maybe a break was what I needed.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Like Dancing on the Moon

In my house we love to listen to Stephen Fry. He could basically narrate the phone book (do people still know what those are? It's that big squodgy book full of advertisements that they leave on your doorstep wrapped in a plastic bag. You know the ones. The ones you deposit directly in the recycle bin without even glancing at) and we would listen to it in the car. Anyway. So my husband tracked down a silly little show he hosted a few year ago that featured gadgets and gizmos (aplenty. That song is SO STUCK IN MY HEAD.) and we've been watching it here and there.
Tonight's episode showcased this crazy thing:
it's an "anti-gravity" treadmill. It basically seals your lower body in a big plastic box with increased air pressure, which supports your weight so you "float" up and barely touch the track under your feet. They say it reduces the load on your legs to 20% your normal weight, the equivalent of walking on the moon.
It certainly has all sorts of wonderful uses in physical therapy. I mean... that is surely what it's intended purpose is. I should probably be thinking to myself "wow, that would be an amazing way to work out without causing my knees so much pain and wear".
So, why is it that all I can think is "HOLY CRAP let me at that thing in a pair of pointe shoes"

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Everything Was Beautiful at the Ballet

So, at work we just finished a run of A Chorus Line, which is a hugely popular and iconic musical theater classic. That should be in quotes or something: "Hugely Popular and Iconic Musical Theater Classic! (tm)" Anyway, I had never seen it before, but there was no way I was going to miss the fleeting 50 seconds or so that the horrifying taupe satin tuxedo I labored over for three full days was going to be on stage.
You have probably all seen it already, so this was only news to me, but...
It is wildly depressing. It's all about dysfunctional people who dance for a living. Which is probably very intimate and slice-of-life but as a theater person AND a person who sorta-dances it is just DEPRESSING.
Dee. Press. ING.
The dancing was fun, though. Even if it was accompanied by 70s porn guitar riffs (is that just what music sounded like in the 70s? How did anyone survive?)

 my tuxedo is dead center at 4:07
Not that I could tell at the time, of course.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Tears Of Angels


See this little bottle of bluish stuff? This is a thing of beauty and a joy forever. I call it the Tears Of Angels and it is pretty seriously the only thing that gets me through the work week right now.
A couple of years ago the arthritis in my hands was giving me a lot of gyp (not that is ever doesn't, but some times are worse than others). I already take a prescription Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory (NSAID) drug every day, and I am not allowed to supplement with any other oral medication in the same class of drugs (they are pretty dreadful for your internal organs). That means aspirin (I occasionally take a single migraine-strength excedrin when I am getting a headache, but don't tell my doctor), ibuprofen, aleve (naproxen), and every other thing that might possibly help is off-limits. I can take tylenol (acetaminophen), but it's worthless, honestly.
Anyway. You can get topical anti-inflammatory medications with a prescription. When I asked my doctor about trying a topical NSAID he agreed that it might help. He said he would write the prescription if I wanted to try it BUT my HMO (Kaiser) wouldn't cover it and I would have to pay (the not-insubstantial) price out of pocket. He suggested switching me to a new oral NSAID instead (it worked okay but ultimately gave me an ulcer so I had to switch back).
And then I realized something. You know those ibuprofen gelcaps (or softgels, or liquicaps, or whatever dumb-ass thing they are calling them today) that are filled with liquid? These ones?


The liquid inside comes right out of them if you poke a hole in the pill. For reals. Easy peasy. I tried it out, and it actually worked fairly well. I just squeeze out the goo, put a few drops on my hands, add a little lotion (or a bengay-type "pain relief" gel. They don't do much but distract you via skin irritation, but why not?), rub that shiz in... and ta-da! It works pretty well on my hands, and helped a lot when I was suffering from constant shin splints, too. It doesn't do as much for my knees, I must say, but hey. Considering that I work with my hands so much that even my non-athritic counterparts complain about cramping and pain?
Yeah. I will take what I can get.



Please note: if you are going to take medical advice you find on the internet you will get precisely what you deserve, whether it's good or bad. You are the keeper of your own health and the decision-maker for your own body and mind. I really shouldn't have to tell you that.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Ring-a-ding-a-doo

I've discussed spotting before, and how no matter how well I try to spot I always feel dizzy after turning. So far the only solution is to hop up and down while making my way back to the starting point for the next pass across the floor (very classy, I know). Either I can't focus well enough to make a difference, or... something. Whatever.
So, when I found out about this guy all I could think was "oh man. I am gonna barf just WATCHING this"
How about you?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Blog Maintenance and Life Update

I've gone through and added some new related blogs, and removed a few that haven't been active within the last six months +. If you are one of the people I dropped, never fear! If you post again I'll pop you back in to the blogroll. I'm just trying to keep it tidy up in here, up in here.

The studio is closing in on it's recital (just a couple more weeks and then I get to take pointe class without running through Swan Lake like a million times. Hallelujah!) and I am down to the wire on a few remaining costume things that need finishing up. Just embellishing the Firebird's leotard and whipping up two more little peasant bodices for the kids (six total, I think). I will be extremely thankful when it's over and I can reclaim my sewing room. You can't even walk in there, it's ridiculous (tutus, man, they take up a lot of space).
To add a little extra to my plate (because I totally needed that) my summer work schedule has just kicked in. So, now my days off are rare and precious and the arthritis in my hands is going to need a lot of babying. Right now I am building a new show, so basically I work 8 hours a day making bodices and then I come home and... make bodices. I am going to be pretty tired of bodices by the end of this week, let me tell you.

Here is the Firebird's tutu embellishment, done and out of my life. sadly you will just have to believe me when I say it has lots of texture and looks interesting in motion:
Oh man, guys. I wanted to bedazzle this thing SO BAD. I had to stop myself with sequins in hand TWICE. It just... it just needs glitter. It does. Everything needs glitter, guys.