Tuesday, February 25, 2014


The olympics are over! Which really just means that I have now missed at least two olympic cycles with no proper TV, and therefore no ability to actually watch the figure skating. Because, guys, figure skating is awesome. When I was a kid I would pretend I was a skater, twirling around on the slick grass (AKA overgrown weeds) in our front yard at night, just the porch light on. I could never even stand upright on skates, and actually didn't really mind so much. The handful of times I even tried were all on school field trips. We took one trip to a roller skating rink and one to a super-ghetto ice skating rink per year. I steadfastly refused to actually *do* anything while I was there. For years. I would just sit in the stands and have a perfectly lovely time entertaining myself for several hours. I, mustering determination only slightly stronger than my omnipresent fear of failure, put on ice skates ONCE and oodged around the outside edge of the rink while holding on to the railing desperately. Yeah, that was enough of that. But I love watching the olympics. I think I am still slightly heartbroken that Timothy Goebel had to retire after only one medal. Looking at the videos now he looks so tiny and young! But at the time I could have just eaten him up! 12 years ago! I lived a totally different life in a totally different world 12 years ago.

The news coverage this year has been all Nancy Kerrigan v. Tonya Harding. All. The. Time. Which sort of cracks me up. I remember watching that year. I distinctly remember watching them do their free skate while I sat on my grandmother's bed with the other ladies of the family. The whole scandal had been EVERYWHERE for the past month, so everyone knew about it. But I was 12? It's not like I had an opinion. I had never seen either of them skate before. I remember feeling sort of dreadful for Harding, who skated like she was terrified and unprepared, and feeling utterly unimpressed with Kerrigan, who managed to medal (as far as I could tell) simply because everyone felt sorry for her. The girl who won gold was Russian and amazing, and she was wearing the ugliest costume on the planet. All fluffy maribou stuff to match her fluffly 90s hair.
It's weird the things you remember all of a sudden. Things that take you back to a different time and place. Green paint. A shelf of porcelain cat figurines. My little white leotard with pink rosettes just below the chin.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Turning. Brain party.

Last night my pirouette from fifth at the barre (that is at least two awful things strung together. Pirouettes at the barre, AKA: smashing your knee in to a stationary hard object with force. AKA: if you had a REAL partner you would have just kneed him in the balls, way to go! PLUS pirouettes from fifth, which just suck.) was declared "awesome!"
Of course, it was only one out of six of the damn things, but I threw a little brain party, anyway. There was confetti raining down, and sparklers. I am pretty sure I heard a few noisemakers in the background, you know, along with all that cheering like the ball just dropped on New Year's Eve.

In the next class I discovered that it's not hard to turn en pointe. It's hard to STOP turning en pointe. If you use any force whatsoever you just... keep on going...

Friday, February 14, 2014

Level 1-2 visit

Since I have missed so much class I have a ton of make ups on the books that need to get used up before Summer starts and my life dissolves in the face of work. Last Friday I took the level 1-2 class that was my regular thing not so long ago. It's interesting, barre didn't seem as grueling as it did when I was in that class. It may be an actual change in the exercises, but perhaps I shall just seize this opportunity to say "oh wow, look at how far I have progressed".
They are doing different things, now. For example: I never did a pirouette until I started level 3, but they are working on them in 1-2 now. Probably wise, as I still struggle with them some days. Then again... would they have felt over-the-top difficult and insane and defeating two years ago? I think it's a strong possibility. I mean, it took a long time to nail down a lot of the things I take for granted now. When I started taking that class I basically had no foundation to build on, yet. Sure, I don't even have to think about how to do balancé (or pas de bourrée, or where to put my arm when I tendu to second... etc) these days, but it has been an uphill battle for those little victories (I'm not complaining, that is what ballet is all about). Pirouettes would maybe have killed me a little. Or I would now be amazing at them. You know. Either/or.
PS: in the past two months I have taken pointe twice, I think. And does it show? OH YES it does. I have lost so much strength in my legs that I'm shaking as soon as I get going. I guess this means I should get back on the old theraband and calf lifts train... blergh.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

letting yourself sit one (or several) out

Warning: This post became a lot more stream-of-consciousness rambling than carefully planned article. Sorry.

So, I've been missing a lot of class, recently. Annoying, but what can you do when you repeatedly injure yourself and then somehow manage to have two cats come down with emergency medical problems within days of each other? There is simply nothing for it, I'm afraid.
I always feel bad about missing class.
In a lot of cases I enjoy taking class on an otherwise stressful day because it's therapeutic. I simply can NOT think about anything but class while I'm there. There is too much to focus on and too much to remember. On days like today, though, when I am full-out emotionally exhausted (emergency cat surgery yesterday that ended up being so complicated and so expensive that my vet actually took us aside to apologize to us in person. No, really.) and the classes on my schedule are the ones that are HARD CORE ass-kicking classes that carry a certain amount of emotional baggage of their own... yeah. Not happening. All I really want to do is sleep, eat too much, and snuggle on the couch with my husband and kitties. Possibly drink cocoa and read Scarlet Pimpernel novels, because that is the most intellectually stimulating thing I am currently capable of.
Sometimes I feel a bit cheated when I can't go to class. In a way I feel like I am dancing in defiance of and in anticipation of the day that I can no longer dance. I know it's a day that will eventually come. And when it does I will be devastated. So I feel a bit annoyed with circumstances (an with myself) when things don't work out the way they are supposed to.
Sometimes I just feel guilty. There is this person that sits in the back of your head and grumbles to you "maybe you just don't WANT IT enough" as if it was your inner personal trainer. And then you have to cock a figurative (or literal, I make a lot of faces when I talk to myself) eyebrow and ask that little bastard what s/he thinks "it" is and why it is so damned important to want it in the first place. Because no one can piss you off or make you feel worse than you can, right? Screw that little dude.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


While watching painfully (yet exquisitely) old infotainment with my husband tonight (because I'm stressed out and James Burke is a comforting beacon of my lost childhood. Almost as good as muppets.) I learned that nylon was almost patented under the name "Duparoo"
Wouldn't that have been more fun to read on all the tags of your dance clothes? I think so, too.