Tappity Tap Taperoo

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I know I talk about ballet a lot on here, but I truly love my tap classes as well. I love how difficult it is, even though it seems deceptively simple. I love that you essentially have to teach yourself, since it’s mostly just foot movements. And you have to think of your foot as two separate pieces, a toe and a heel, but you can’t think about it too much because if you get in your head you’ll get stuck.

While I have taken ballet before and am returning to it as an adult, I have never taken a tap class before that I can remember. Having a background in dance helps with combinations, but that’s about it. So I was looking for some YouTube videos to supplement my one hour a week and I stumble on this series from Mahalo. They were actually really instructional, as opposed to the tens of videos of tweens tapping around in their bedroom gushing about One Direction.

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Anyway, I saw in one of the videos that there is an app, so I go to check that out and it’s $1.99 for like 80 some videos, including combinations for each level. Beginner, intermediate, and advanced with sections on time steps, riffs and more. There are 8 “chapters”, the first being intro and warm up, the second being beginner, etc. I figure $2 is worth having all the videos organized. Plus it keeps track of the ones you do and has a progress bar. Neat.

You also have the option of downloading the videos to work on them offline. Needless to say after all that, I bought the app and then pranced around in my tap shoes for an hour. Mostly because I didn’t feel like running. Yayyyyy ineffective cardio.

Now I want MOAR TAP SHOES!!!!

xoxo

It’s coming. It’s coming. It’s coming.

Season two of city.ballet!

Please believe I consumed all of season one in one sitting. Not difficult. Each episode is like six minutes long. But it’s a behind the scenes look at the New York City Ballet (aka, City Ballet, duh) dancers. Season one goes through the ranks and then has special focus on Swan Lake and other features. I devoured this. I’ve never seen a high profile ballet company perform live, but I’m obsessed with City Ballet. More Balanchine is always a good thing. And I especially loved Strictly Ballet, which followed students at the School of American Ballet, the school that feeds into NYCB.

Man, if I had known that ballet could be a job when I was younger I wonder if things would have turned out differently. Would I have quit? Why did I quit? I know I was more interested in gymnastics for a while but still… Anyway, woulda shoulda couldas will eat me up so let’s move on.

I first became interested in City Ballet when I started reading dancer biographies. Allegra Kent and Gelsey Kirkland were the first two I picked up. I had just discovered I could order used books on Amazon for like 10 cents, so my collection expanded rather quickly.

Anyway. I’m pumped for more ballet behind the scenes. Especially if I can watch Sara Mearns do her hair some more. I swear she’s magic.

xoxo

Workin’ for the Weekend

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Heyyyyyy Misty

Yay! Class was much better on Thursday. Not perfect, but much better. Tried to do a couple of doubles during pirouettes, but I was seized by an irrational fear that someone would see me. Yeah I know, someone might see me? In a class that I take where I dance around? I said it was irrational. Anyway, they didn’t happen. Maybe next week.

I also have this other irrational fear when I’m the only person in a public bathroom, I am convinced it’s a men’s room. Don’t ask me why. Like I said, irrational.

Ankle has been fine. It hurts when I come home from work, but after 13 hours on my feet what doesn’t hurt? Exactly. I ran once this week. I might venture out tomorrow. Maybe not. I’ve been doing more yoga (in my new “studio”) and I contribute my lack of leg pain and better sleep with that habit. Kind of a good habit to pick up if those are the side effects I would think…

Joel is gearing up for the Iron Horse Half Marathon in a couple of weeks, which you may remember I completed last year. It’s a tough course but he has been training much more consistently than I had. I’m sure that he will do GREAT! I, however, have zero desire to run 13 miles anytime in the near future. I would much rather go to my little dance classes, thank you very much.

Speaking of which, why do I keep looking at these tap shoes that cost >$200?? I take one hour of class a week!! What kind of tapping do I think I’m going to be doing with these badass tap shoes!? Delusional, I tell you. Delusional.

Maybe if I just channeled Sutton…

xoxo

Sometimes You’re Off

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Sometimes your cat sleeps like it's dead...

Class on Friday was not that great. I kept forgetting what we were doing at the barre, and then I could barely do any of the jump or center combinations correctly. I blame it on having a pretty rough work week the three days before class. Have you ever been work hung over? Because I definitely have. And the struggle is real.

I tried not to get discouraged. At least I didn’t fall or anything. It was just very difficult for my brain to connect with my body. For example we were doing a combination that went from an arabesque, to fondue, followed by pas de bourée to transition to the other side. In my mind I know that pas de bourée goes, “back, side, front” but for the life of me I could not execute those steps in that order. I was literally all over the place. At the end of class I expressed my luckiness that there were only two of us so that more people didn’t have to witness my shambles. My teacher told me not to get discouraged as well, and that people have “off” classes all the time. I guess it’s like a bad run. You just have to push through and hope the next one is better.

In other news, the weather has been marvelous lately, which means my sinuses are awful since I’ve been out in it. So now I’m off to buy more decongestant, get an allergy shot, and possibly go for a run.

xoxo

Yes?

Can someone tell me how to do this many pirouettes? Because she does like a million…
http://youtu.be/ZRnZjTvMaT4

Class went well today. We could all tell that we were tired and our bodies were not used to two classes in two days. But I could imagine how much better we would get if we did have two classes a week. I might even be able to nail some doubles or get a more respectable height in my arabesque. Hey, I can dream right?

xoxo

Improvement

Just a quick update, I wore my goofy brace thing to ballet and my ankle didn’t hurt! It was a little sore in the beginning but no acute pain like before. I did skip a run today though since I was extra worried about it.

I love that we are at a point in our class where we can actually dance a little bit in our combinations. We do this little bourée, pique, arabesque then windmill arm thing that is magic. I like slow stuff because I’m fat and my body wasn’t built for petite allegro. Grand allegro on the other hand is my jam. I will grand jete right into next Tuesday.

xoxo

Lessons For the Road

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I can't wait to get on the road again...NOT

All I want is a “hey thanks” wave when I let you in. Have we reached a point in society where we can’t even be bothered to throw our hand up in our car or stick it out the window if it’s that kind of weather? I DIDN’T HAVE TO LET YOU IN YOU KNOW.

Geez.

Acknowledge the non-shittiness of your fellow travelers. It’s our privilege, not our right. And use your turn signals while you’re at it.

(hops off soapbox…)

xoxo

Under Pressure

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Recovery!

Skipped a run today since my ankle was a teensy bit sore and I wanted to make sure I could make it though two days of ballet. Tap was fine. Ran on Saturday and it was sore for the wedding but feeling much better than previous activity laden days. Basically I spent all day today obsessing over it. And then searching for compression socks online. I’ve got several pairs that I wear to work but haven’t found my magic pair yet. Here’s hoping…

xoxo

Oh Shoot it Hurts

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Beautiful flowers from a country wedding this weekend

So a few ballet classes ago I was coming down from a grande jete and my left ankle kind of twinged. I don’t know if I landed on it won’t or what because I didn’t feel any kind of pop or twist. But it was fine the next day. Then when I came to class next week I did it again, on the first grande jete, same pain, no other injury or anything. But this second time it didn’t get better the next day, in fact it was sore all week and hasn’t stopped being sore. Sometimes it feels okay but I can’t quite pin point what’s wrong. Ibuprofen and ice helps. Braces and compression help sometimes. But I keep running on it so I’m sure that’s not helping. Womp womp. No ballet this past week so maybe it will be better for our double classes this coming week.

Tap started again! That definitely hurt when I got home. But it was good times. All kinds of dance this week.

I figured out how I can enjoy running! I put on headphones, jam to my music, and don’t give a shit about how fast I’m running. Did wonders for my psyche. Plus I just kind of danced around for an hour. Yipee!

xoxo

Looking Up

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Rough life.

I’ll be the first to say it, I can’t believe I was so quick to judge my ballet studio. I was harsh. I thought that because my teacher was young and kind and the studio was unconventional that I wouldn’t receive quality ballet instruction. I was so wrong. Goes to show that not only can you not judge a book by it’s cover, but first impressions can be very deceiving. I’ve progressed further in the couple of months of one day a week beginning ballet than I did in a full semester of beginning ballet in college. And that class was four days a week.

We, the students, have mentioned that an additional class would be awesome. But I know that with my schedule I wouldn’t be able to commit to every week. Plus our instructor is in school and I think she teaches another class on top of the two she teaches on Thursdays (our class and the adult pointe class).

We are, however, doing a recital in the winter. I don’t know when it is, or even how many of our classmates will be in it. Our numbers seem to be dwindling as of late. At first I was against a recital, but now I think it will be nice to show what we have worked on and how much we have progressed. Plus tutus, amiright? Gives us something to work toward. Especially if a new group joins in the new year and we have to start all over again.

I’m considering returning to school next fall. Gross. Vomit. Ugh. But I think this program will be alright. A few friends are at this school currently and can vouch for it. It’s online except for clinicals, and you don’t have to take the GRE. It’s a masters, which is where I’m aiming right now. The school affiliated with my hospital offers a masters on the way to the DNP (which I’m not ready to commit to), and the school where I got my BSN doesn’t have a masters in an area I’m interested in. So yeah. We’ll see. Lots to contemplate.

xoxo

Metalobism?

About one month ago (July 1st) I started a diet called the Metabolism Miracle. Now, let’s get one thing straight: I hate the name of this program. It’s pretty dumb. BUT it’s working, so we’ll just call it The Program and go from there shall we?

So, The Program is aimed toward people with diabetes (which I don’t have) and other co-morbidities (that I don’t have) but the whole point is that not everyone has the same metabolism and so not every weight loss plan works the same for everyone. This I can attest to. Cutting calories didn’t help. Weight Watchers helped and then it didn’t. My Fitness Pal, same thing. My problem was that even though I would keep my points/calories/whatever in check, I was eating all the wrong foods for my body. Thus I would lose maybe a pound or two and then nothing. I would get frustrated, then backslide. Over and over again.

So I hit the books. I read tons of food books. All veggies, no wheat, all raw, etc. etc. All the books had good ideas, but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to commit. Each plan had some kind of snag that I knew I would not be able to get over to be successful. And the last thing I wanted was more backsliding. Now that’s not to say that The Program is the be all end all of food management. I’m just saying that this is what has worked for me so far, so I wanted to share just what I’m doing and some highlights of The Program.

It has three phases. The first phase is 8 weeks long and very low carb. As in < 5g every 4 – 5 hours. And let me tell you, there is almost nothing that is < 5g of carbs. At least nothing that I used to eat. So I knew that this would be a complete revamp and overhaul. I had to take to the pantry and gasp throw unopened food away. Because I knew that, no matter how off limits, if they were in there, I would eat them. So, I scoured and researched and made a list of foods that were “allowed” and I bought them, and I ate them, and I’m doing pretty awesome if I do say so myself.

At my one month mark, I was down over 10 lbs, and 29.5 inches. Yes. 29.5 inches. INCHES. That’s almost 2.5 feet. And you know what’s sad? Is that it’s pretty difficult to tell. I can tell that some of my tighter pants feel more comfortable, my ballet gear is a little less embarrassing, but I still have a way to go.  I’m more than halfway through phase one, so in a few weeks I’ll be able to add more carbs back into my diet, and won’t have quite as many restrictions.

The beauty of phase one, for the people affected with metabolic disorders, is that without carbohydrates, your pancreas doesn’t release insulin. And according to the book, this resting of the pancreas allows your body to break down fat for fuel to feed your brain (and since fat is “bigger” than muscle that’s why it looks like I’ve lose more weight than what shows on the scale). It also resets your metabolism and stops your body from being bombarded by an overproduction of insulin, which it can become resistant to. Thus, when you add the carbs back in, which is slowly and methodically, you won’t have the extreme highs and lows that come from uncontrolled blood glucose. Plus you’ll have a great jump start from your 8 weeks of success and newly refined eating habits to fall back on. At least that’s what I’m hoping.

I’m the kind of person who needs structure. I need lists of things I can and cannot do. If I can put some foods on a list that are “not allowed” and some foods on a list that “are allowed” then I do much better than if I have a list of foods that are “recommended” or allowed “in moderation”. I have no concept of moderation. I eat my feelings. I do not stop eating when I’m full. I know, it’s a problem. So for me, eliminating “bad foods” for a period of time is perfect.

For the first few days it was really hard. And I’m not going to lie, there are times when I really miss stuff. Like candy. I miss candy. And fruit. But I can’t complain. Because I feel great and I’m doing so so well. And I can have all the things that are really important. Like coffee. And steak. And cheese.

So I’ll be updating on my progress. And here’s the link on Amazon for The Program. I bought it on my Kindle and then wanted a hard copy for the recipes and such. So I actually have two of them. Plus the cookbook. Which I basically bought for desserts. Which are a lot of trial and error. So if you’re struggling, check it out. Or don’t check it out. Do whatever your little heart desires.

xoxo

Let’s Hit the Barre

I mentioned to Joel that I wanted a ballet barre at home. I found a couple of links from Laughing Abi and The Adult Ballerina Project to help him on his way. I followed everything they said to do except that I used handrails instead of dowell rods. They were a bit thicker and only a little more expensive.

So in the time it took me to assemble this:

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Hey there, dinner

Joel put together this:

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Woo hoo! Ballet in the dining room!

I haven’t painted it yet, I’m going with Green Apple, but it’s great. We cut everything at the store so once we got home all we had to do was assemble. And it literally took him 20 seconds.

I also bought a new pair of canvas shoes for class. I bought leather when I went back because they feel like butter (Capezio Juliet II, this is the regular Juliet), but they stick to the floor in the studio. So I wore my Bloch Pro-Elastics to class last week and they’re so big that I almost pitched them and went back to the others.

Of course the one pair I picked of the ten I tried on didn’t have the elastics pre-sewn (Bloch Pump), so I had to do that, which I haven’t done in a long time. So I made some rookie errors, sewed them too tight, and when I redid them you can see the line of silver Sharpie from where I marked them.

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Half inside out, waiting for strings to be taped down

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And now I'll remember my size

We also got news that our class is going to go from 60 to 90 minutes starting in August! I might lose my mind from excitement.

I also made a skirt (tutorial), but it didn’t look that great so I’ll put up a picture when I make a better one.

xoxo

City Lovin’

I wanted to post some pictures from this project I’ve been working on. My friend Ashley, over at The Wine Stain came up with #30DaysofCityLove as a way to explore her city and her relationship with it. It has morphed into a very cool exploration of city dwellers points of view from around the world. Pretty sweet, eh? I will admit, I’m a city basher, but like she talks about in her post, I am one of those people that doesn’t do anything in the city, so I probably shouldn’t bad mouth it. I thought that this exercise would get me out into my city to maybe discover some things that I like and maybe find some new stuff to do. So far it hasn’t. So far I’ve taken pictures of stuff around me, but haven’t made it a priority to get out there and find new things. Mostly because I’ve been working a lot, and like I’ve said before, I bust my ass when I’m at work, so I don’t want to do anything when I’m off. But tonight I’m going out to dinner with some friends downtown, so I’ll take a lap around while I’m out. Here are some of my pictures (follow me on Instagram!) so far.

 

This is my hospital!

This is my hospital!

This is a fountain!

This is a fountain!

This is a backroad!

This is a backroad!

This is Abe Lincoln!

This is Abe Lincoln!

And here's some art!

And here’s some art!

Some other updates:

  • We got a new kitty! I’ll talk more about her in her own post but here’s a sneak peak of her precious little face.
This is Peppermint Patty!

This is Peppermint Patty!

  • I was doing an at home ballet class today and did a double pirouette! I don’t think I’ve ever done a double in my life. I’ve noticed some great changes in my abilities from taking class once a week, I wish I could take it more often.
  • I’ve started a new way of eating two weeks ago and it’s been amazing. I am waiting just another couple of weeks to go into detail about it but lets just say that I’ve seen very, very positive changes and I’m loving it.

Talk to you soon!

xoxo