Saturday, March 22, 2014


13th in an occasional series of ballet paintings that are not Degas:

Dancer with a Hoop (1881)
Jean-Louis Forain

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Pas de Neuf

Well, it's that time again. That time when, like it or not (in it or not), everyone has to learn the choreography for the Summer recital. Tonight in pointe class we attempted the pas de quatre from Swan Lake (AKA "four little swans"). Except that there were 9 of us and we kept alternately squooshing one another and drifting perilously backwards.
Oh wait, no. I mean that we looked amazing. In fact, here is a video of us:

HAHAHAHAHA! What do you mean you don't believe me?

PS: looking at this video I see that our arms were all wrong, which explains the sqooshing to a certain extent.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Fight for home, pinot, and Glory!

I continually have nightmares about having to perform in a recital. I used to have nightmares about plays, because I was a drama nerd in high school and was in a lot of them. So, I would dream that here I was, 15 years later, and I had to perform one of those plays on the spur of the moment. That is pretty nerve wracking, right? Having to try desperately to dredge up old dialogue that you thought you would never have to say again? And then I have the nightmares about having to costume an entire production that opens in an hour, and that is totally a work thing. But these ballet recital dreams have been edging both of my old standards out on an increasingly frequent basis. They generally go something like this: it is the night of the recital and I haven't rehearsed in the last month. I try to stand behind the other girls and fake it as well as I can... until we get to my solo! And then I just have to make it up from scratch on the spot. I shall throw this leg in to front attitude and affect a haughty facial expression so that no one notices!

PS: and this whole thing just made me think about school plays, which made me think about what bits of them I can remember... and now I have the entire national anthem of the duchy of Grand Fenwick stuck in my head.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Four Classes!

I took four classes last week! It was... whew! It was intense. On the second consecutive day I was definitely feeling it. I'm starting to gain back some of the strength I lost over the past few months, though, and that is nice. Of course, now my stupid pointe shoes are getting squodgy. Wait, have I entered the unending cycle? You wear these things until they are finally comfortable and then POW! They die. Super awesome.
My mom once apologized for not putting me in ballet as a kid. But no, really, it's okay. For one thing I was shy and had body image issues and already ate myself up about my imperfections. And for another thing... we never really had money, you know? Like... ever. And a serious teenage student can blow through a pair of shoes in a week, easy. I am pretty sure we would have been selling plasma to keep shoes on my feet.
I haven't decided yet if I am going to try four classes this week or not. On the one hand I could use all the help I can get, and free classes are nothing to sneeze at. On the other hand... well. I am lazy. I mean, come on. I have important things to do at home. Like watch kitten cams and ignore the ever-expanding pile of dishes in the sink...
You know. Important stuff.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Craftin' All Up in Here

I am completely in love with leotards that have mesh or lace components. At first I thought they would be cooler than sleeved leos ( I get SO sweaty), but I know better now and I still like the look. But DAMN they are expensive. Like, $40-60. In leotard land that is pretty darn spendy. So I said "to heck with that" and bought a cheap $17 camisole leotard on and a yard of stretch lace for $6 from my local fabric store and BAM:

It is stupidly difficult to photograph your own back, guys.

Cats, rheumy stuff, extra classes

Sorry I haven't been writing a lot. The arthritis in my hands has been extra shitty for the past couple of weeks, spreading up out of my wrists and in to my fingers. Last night I had a dream that I lost the ability to articulate my right hand. It was pretty scary, guys.
Anyway. This is undoubtedly made worse by the stress in my life right now. My sick cats find new and exciting ways to send themselves to the emergency vet on a near weekly basis. My cat with the rheumatism-related digestive problem? She somehow came down with an infection so rare and so aggressive that she needs to be treated with an antibiotic the size of a tractor twice a day for at least two months. Yeah. And then the antibiotic is making her feel sick, which makes her not eat... which is not what a 9 pound (formerly 16 pound) cat really needs right now.

My ballet teacher recently told me that between now and the recital at the end of June, because I am helping out with costumes and such, that I can take as many classes as I want, gratis. Which sounds pretty freakin' awesome! At the beginning of June I will be going back to a crazy work schedule and won't be able to take any extra classes at all for three months, so now is a great time to cram in as many as I can. The only problem so far has been that I end up having to haul a cat to the vet on all my available afternoons. And I have to plan ahead, because on class days I can't take one of my medications in the morning (it makes me shaky and throws off my balance), so I am left little room for spontaneity.
OH how life never seems to work out the way we plan...