First Class of 2015

Thursday meant two things for me: 1. A day off. 2. Ballet is BACK! It was so great to get back to class after, what felt like months off. In reality I think it was actually just over two or three weeks. And man what a turnout we had! All of our usual class (there are five of us) plus FIVE MORE PEOPLE. Our class doubled in size over the break! I hope that at least some of them stay with us. I remember when we started last summer we were busting at the seams, but then it went down to four, then we gained one back in October or so.

Class was lovely. We started out back to the basic basic basics because several people were absolutely brand new to ballet or had not done it for years and years and years. I used the time to really hone my technique: pointing toes, pulling up, engaging core and quads, you know the drill. It made me realize that I let a lot of things slide when I do more complicated movements, and I even reached out to my teacher to enquire about additional lessons to focus on technique. I’m serious guys. Srsly.

A couple of girls and I in our class would love to do pointe work one day, and I know that using strong technique is very important, especially as an adult beginner. You need a strong foundation, even if you don’t progress to pointe, which is a distinct possibility for me.

I would like to try to do some progress points throughout the year. A little report card if you will. Just to show myself that I can improve, even if it is a small amount. I’ll be recording myself (after class or some kind of activity so that I’ll be the most warm) in picture form doing arabesque, pirouettes, and balances. I want to focus on form, extension, turnout and length of balances. I’m not a good turner. Some of the time I can maybe get one clean pirouette from either side. Forget about pique turns. But I am determined to improve my technique so that I can absolutely nail one perfect controlled turn most of the time. I think that’s fair. Oh! And I’m going to get my splits back. I used to be a gymnast as well, so it hurts my soul that I’ve gotten so out of shape that I lost my splits.

Do you look at specific points to note your changes? Do you measure progress or just feel things in passing?

I feel a little Type A by measuring things directly, but hey, you gotta do you.

xoxo

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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

On a Cloud!

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Studio!

Friends, I’m here to tell you that my ballet teacher told me tonight that I had beautiful control in my jumps and that it looked like I was landing on a cloud! Can you believe it?!

She came over to me after class and started with, “I didn’t want to call you out in front of everyone, but…” and I’m not going to lie, I was praying for a compliment! And I definitely got one!! Like for serious. I’ve never given my jumps a second thought, other than wanting them higher or my legs straighter amiright? But that was such a beautiful thing to say.

I’ve been loving ballet. I wish it was more often. Like 100 times a week. Not that I can even go that many times. But I would love love love a weekend afternoon class. We’ve also switched to just tap instead of tap and jazz and that’s been fantastic too.

Just great dancing all around. So stay tuned for more!

xoxo

Recharging Batteries

Let’s just jump into this like I’ve posted in the last six months…

I got home from a wonderful vacation yesterday and have spent today relaxing and recharging. I got an email reminder from my calendar that I have to work in the morning and I almost threw up in my mouth. Not from disliking work, but my coworkers and I have agreed that the longer you are away, the harder it is to come back. I think that goes for a lot of things, which for me includes working out. I resisted returning to running for months because I knew how out of shape I would be. I put off returning to dance because I’m overweight and not nearly as flexible as I used to be. I’m terrified going back to work after being off for greater than seven days because I know I will be off my game.

It’s hard to organize your day if it doesn’t start off perfectly. And having a day start off perfectly in the ICU is definitely a rarity. Even if it’s your third day with the same patients, getting report from the same nurse, there’s always something that can go wrong or throw you off kilter. And for a lot of my friends and I, it’s typically happening to us! We just have that gift I guess.

But if I’ve learned anything from my bumps and tumbles, it’s that I’ve gotten better at rolling with the punches. I’m not the best, but I’m getting better. My biggest problem is that I feel I need to control everything, and let’s be real, that shit is not attainable.

It’s with this mindset that I am finally, after many, many years, returning to the world of dance. I can’t control everything. I know I’m going to look and feel like an idiot for many classes. I KNOW that I do not have the strength or flexibility that I had ten, fifteen years ago. BUT, and here’s the big one, I WANT TO DO IT. I LOVE ballet. I love watching it, I love reading about it, I love pretending I can do it in my head. And if I think about it that much, I would be stupid to not pursue it, right? Right. …I think.

My first step was getting a group of friends together for a more informal dance class, and it has been an absolute hit so far. We do jazz and tap for an hour once a week, and it is so much fun. Not a lot of girls in the class have dance experience, so it’s very informal and we are all there just to have a good time. Good times aside, while I was organizing this class, in the back of my mind was, “man I want to do ballet…” And I could not rid myself of that nagging thought. So now I’m at a point where I feel comfortable enough to take that leap into ballet class, and I even managed to talk a couple of other people into it with me, so at least I won’t be alone!

My first class is this week, but it has been an excruciating wait! I’m not sure what to expect from this studio (it’s different than my tap/jazz studio), but I’m heading into this experience with an open mind and my head held high. I’ve drawn quite a bit of inspiration from some other adult ballet students in the blogosphere, and I’ll list them here as my closing sentiments. I bid you adieu, and hope that with more activity and less control, I’ll inspire myself to post updates regularly.

xoxo

Adult Ballet Bloggers!

The Adult Beginner
The Remedial Ballerina
Pointe Til You Drop
Ballerinas by Night (this is their YouTube channel, but the Facebook page has updates as well!)

Other!

Ballet Shoes and Bobby Pins