Friday, August 29, 2014

bo-doh-doh-dee-oh

What are the weirdest "ballet-ified" musical numbers you have ever had to work with in class? Recently we have run the gamut from "All That Jazz" (really amusing to watch 8 year olds dance to) to "Rubber Ducky" (really amusing to watch grown women in pointe shoes wobble across the floor to). Other fine selections include "If I Only Had a Brain" and "We are Siamese (if You Please)"
It's actually really hard to concentrate on what you are doing when you know the lyrics to a song (which is really unfortunate , because I have intimately known far more musicals than the average bear AND I like opera. Horrible combination. Also: too much Muppet Show in my life).

Friday, August 22, 2014

Leg Mounts

I hate leg mounts. Leg mounts are those things where you grab your foot and try to développé it up over your head. You know... in a perfect world, with a perfect body. When I have to do them (in the real world, with an aging arthritic body that has only been dancing for three years) it's more like I grab a hold of whatever piece of leg I can and then hike it up to about 45* off the floor. Which isn't even as high as I can développé! But it's as high as I can stand to put the weight of my leg on my hands (legs are heavy! There must be like 20 pounds in a leg. No wait, I will look it up...okay so there are TWENTY SIX pounds in an average female leg! Yikes!) All that weight on my wrists (the first and most horribly sensitive bit of arthritis in my body) is impossible! It's why I stopped doing yoga. I used to be able to do shoulder stands and all kinds of ridiculousness, but NO WAY is that happening these days. My hands are my life, my ability to work. Screwing them up even more with no payoff just makes me angry!
Last night as I unsuccessfully hauled my leg up with my aching hand my teacher asked me if there was something wrong with me. Yes! Leg mounts are wrong with me! She said she should bring me a bungee to use. Which is the silliest freakin' mental image I have ever had. Strapping my ankle up in a bungee and hauling it up like a fish in a net...

Yeah, like that. Except not at all, even slightly.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

No one wants you to twerk, Taylor

Oh good grief. Did I actually just watch a Taylor Swift video on purpose? I'm obviously still delirious from the end of theater season.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Workin' workin' workin' it out

Either the shiny black and slightly-reflective stall doors in the bathroom at work are extremely flattering, or my piqué turns in skinny jeans and saddle shoes are GORGEOUS.
I can't help it, the bathroom floor is huge and is constructed from slickly painted concrete. It's like the best place to do turns ever. Also: these shoes have absolutely no tread. It's ridiculous. I could kill myself in these things.
 
"Dancewear" is just a label. I don't do labels, man.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Ballet Where You Least Expect It

My city is known for it's public art. Public art that is, almost without exception, horrible. I mean, did the county admin building REALLY need that V-shaped fountain pouring water in to a red pool? Really? Who thought that a giant vajay was a great idea? And more importantly... who thought it was SUCH a great idea that they bought an identical one for every side of the building?
But, I digress.
I have quite literally been going to the same dentist's office since I was 7 (yes, really. I have congenitally crummy teeth so I have stared at the same grey acoustic ceiling tiles for hundreds of cumulative hours of my life.) and for years I have walked past the same bass-relief mural in the lobby staircase. It's huge. It's lumpy. And, most of all? It's ugly. My heartfelt apologies to the artist... but it really is ugly. Anyway. As I was leaving yesterday I noticed a little corner of the mural that I hadn't really paid any attention to before:
ballet in unexpected places!






PS: I wasn't kidding about the fountain:

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.