About Me

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Friday, really Saturday and I'm feeling better

People are people.  I have to be more in control, as with puppy, too.  I am just too soft and being soft these days will not get you very far.  So, I went to advanced ballet in the morning at my neighborhood school and consequently had a great time.  Better not to be negative, it doesn't suit me, I thought.  So, class was great and I stayed afterward to watch the teacher and a dancer coaching some young students who will be performing a pas de deux.  The young girl kept going too far away from her partner and the experienced dancer said, just look him in the eye and walk right toward him.  Funny, I thought, that is what I'm trying to achieve, being more direct...

Then I took puppy to the vet and when we got home he fell asleep and so I took off for a swim at the gym, which was great because I had the whole pool to myself.  Then I went out and everyone was out on a Friday night, but I was happy to just be relaxing at the gym, working on myself...

Now it is already Saturday and I can't sleep because I am wound up from working out.  That's okay, I don't really sleep anyway.  Later will be puppy school, my puppy's graduation.  And then will come more lessons and obedience school.  I tried to coach him on walking on the leash a little and got frustrated when he wouldn't behave, but I have to realize he is a puppy.  I am always too hard on myself and need to ease off, I thought.  Being a perfectionist, you would think I would have everything under control, but it is still in my mind and not in my actions.

The teacher in ballet school said ballet is movement, a plie is a verb, a movement.  Life is a movement, not just thinking about doing something.  More conviction, more direct, that will be me, I hope...

Ballet class:
The teacher kept refining the combinations after we did them once to bring out things such as syncopation and not just having everything the same, moving the arms which means moving the back.  Use the torso, use the head.  We did adagio with pirouettes and lots of jumps leading into grand allegro with grand jetes.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thursday and Everyone Hates Me

...or so it seems.  Everybody wonders why I am so obsessed with fitness.  But aren't we all?  Why do I see so many women at the gym, trying to get in shape.  Or at the dance studio?  It is not all for honorable motives and my dance teachers probably feel that I don't care about the dance part, just keeping fit.  I don't know, but I can't stand people who make life harder than it should be.  If it makes you happy, why not?

So, I continue with this blog, although some people don't appreciate my efforts.  Still, I think there is a place for my opinions; heaven knows, the internet is full of girls talking endlessly about sickled feet, toe exercises, how to do fouette turns.  Why should I be different?  I didn't dance today because I lost my dance clothes but then I found them again -- they were at the studio and it was too late and puppy was running out the door and so I went to the gym because I find the gym at least less stressful than being in a dance class and trying to be polite to everyone.  It is the formality of dance, which is great, but some days you just feel like, well, exploding, ha, ha.

So I went swimming and later I attended Pilates class, which I love, and now I feel like a carefree young girl.  If only it was that easy...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Quiet Wednesday

It was a chilly raw kind of day and once again I felt like I was living in the countryside in Europe somewhere.  I had mislaid my cell phone yesterday and so Yasir and I went to retrace my steps and ended up in the health club.  I walked in with my puppy and the manager had my phone in an envelope.  He was very interested in my puppy, as was everyone else.  Yasir was very calm and relaxed -- I think he liked the atmosphere in the club, with everyone working out.  A bootcamp instructor saw him and said, hi, buddy.  He just fit right in.

So then we went home and I started to do my taxes on the computer, among other things.  Necessary evils that get in the way of enjoying life.  I was never very good at practical things, although I know that being tidy about oneself promotes better leisure/fun time.  Eventually I got to afternoon ballet and struggled to be like the young girls, who were learning technique.  Pure technique is hard, I thought.  It's more fun to go to a class where you just move around and have fun, but I am drawn to technical challenges in my dancing.  This teacher insists on good execution and I found myself getting more tired trying to execute the proper movements than in other classes.  I was sweating even trying to stand up correctly.  The teacher corrected a girl who stuck out in plie before pirouette, telling her she would never look right this way and said that I was getting better with my stance.  Crooked posture will never get you good turnout either, I thought.  I am learning...

Then I went to Pilates class at the gym and found that I did better strengthwise than my last attempt at Pilates directly after ballet class.  Again, I tried to execute the movements correctly and this is always harder than just doing things any old way, and so much better for your figure, too.  Look out summer, if I can just resist the urge to nibble sweets!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tuesday

Dancing today was fun with all the young dancers going to this class with a most creative teacher whose company will perform this weekend.  After my revelations from yoga class, I was in good spirits and kind of reached a dance nirvana where I ceased to exist and became a dancer...

After the usual barre, which always has a lot of stretching and also room for becoming creative with the movements, something I always appreciate about this class, we started center and the class seemed to flow and ended too soon.

Then I went home to puppy and we had a nice walk in the park, where we romped around and encountered some other dogs.  Yasir was in good spirits as he ran after a tennis ball I tossed at him and he had a good workout.  Then I went home and got ready to go to the gym, to yoga.  However, the class was an hour later than I expected, so I swam and got done with my laps just in time for power yoga.

I did not expect power yoga, but the regular class was changed, and so we did a lot of planks and core work, which I appreciated, since I didn't have a Pilates class today.  It was your basic yoga class, but a little more extreme, and I even tried breathing deeply, something that was easy after coming from the pool.  Afterward I discussed hip flexors again and the teacher said she noticed my hips were crooked as I was doing the splits and she said that now that she sees my problem, she will work with me to get a better alignment, which is achieved by bringing the navel to the spine, really holding the abs, and tucking the tailbone under.  Also, broaden the shoulders, too.

I met my Japanese friend in class, who happened to be in Tokyo during the tsunami and she said she was walking her baby in the stroller when it happened and everyone ran out of the buildings, which were all shaking.  It must have been the worst experience to see her country suffer, I thought.

I haven't been too descriptive about my dance steps lately, but I will post some soon so that I can get an exercise in memory and describing what I have been doing, but I have just been enjoying it all so much and not being so analytical lately, which is maybe a good thing, too.

P.S.  Maybe another good thing, my blog will no longer post because it has been reported as spam, so I am signing off for now.  It was a good run, so I guess I will continue with my notes and maybe write a book instead...  Since it was my first blog, I have learned a lot and hope to continue writing!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Monday

It has been a chilly day, reminding me of spring student days in Europe.  I walked my puppy in the bleak air which was invigorating.  The wind was raw but I don't mind days like this because I can be introspective and it was nice just being with my puppy all day, although I had other things to attend to, like taxes, job applications and managing my apartment.  That is why I really enjoy having a dog, to take out and take me away from my problems.  Holding my puppy, everything is okay and I can face life with a smile because my dog will always be my friend.

I opted to wait until the afternoon for my workout and so I went to afternoon ballet class and then I went to the gym and made it through Pilates class, followed by yoga class.  I felt like I couldn't go on, but I talked to the teacher afterward about my sore joints and how another teacher from Friday had said it takes more practice to get more flexible.  I said to him that it's true, you can't give up on your body.

Now I'm home with puppy and the night is quiet, but things will change tomorrow when the weather turns warmer and there will be more activity outside, so I am enjoying this quiet time at home...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sunday

And I danced!  I felt rusty but the rustiness made me more aware of using my joints properly.  I guess I will never be the bouncy, juicy sort of dancer.  My style is more stern and severe and it was nice to stand next to a really good dancer at Joffrey Academy who matched my style.  This is what I like, working with women in a non-competitive but serious way.  I am so not the smiley, giggly, bubbly type, personally, that is.  This is not to say that there is anything wrong with this type, but when they impose their way on you, I disagree.  Everyone should be free to be an individual in dance, which is what Claude Bessy of the Paris Opera has said.  Dance is not about personality, it is about the physical ability to execute movement and no one should be judged in terms of their private affairs and lives.  I agree completely and welcome diversity and different opinions because it is the only way to grow, to accept other points of view.

End of speech...class was fun!  And then I went home to puppy and he had his workout at the beach, running in the sand.  Running in the sand is hard.  You try it sometime!  I don't know how dogs do it, but they are animals and are incredibly strong.  This is the beauty of animals and why I admire them so much.  I recently read an article in a pet magazine about how the nervous system was created to coordinate body functions with the brain and I think after reading this that physicality is very important to mental growth.

After being at the beach, I couldn't think of anything else but swimming, so off I went, having a great time in the pool, which was empty except for a man who was churning away, as was I.  There was just my arms plowing through the water and blowing bubbles with my mouth and it felt great.  Now I am home, watching "Superman."  I love science fiction...