About Me

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Friday night

I am staying up way too late again.  I got to the gym late and swam and swam and now I feel so light and strong.  It was good to stretch in the steam room after going to another ballet class this morning.  Dancing is just so much fun I just want to do it every day.  We had a sub but the class was good and I enjoyed being there with all the other diehard dancers who showed up on a Good Friday.  It was another rainy day but I managed to take my puppy out between showers and we had a nice walk to the pet store, as I am still trying to teach him to walk on a leash, young as he is.  Next week he starts obedience class and I will have some help to curb his playful habits.  After all, when he is bigger, it will not be such a pleasure to walk a dog who pulls his leash.  The man at the pet store told me I should be more low key and just ignore him but stop him before he starts a bad action.  I am sure I spoil him and certainly should be more objective, but it's hard because playing with him is so much fun...

Barre was tricky with lots of changes of feet and too many steps.  I would have liked a simpler barre but sometimes it is good to move fast and think, I'm sure...
Some lovely dance combinations but the class moved so fast it's hard to remember specific details...I will keep trying...

Friday, April 22, 2011


Sometimes it's good to rest.  I went to ballet and then later to Pilates and that was my day, aside from walking my puppy, an activity in itself!  Ballet was all about keeping hips forward and not bending at the waist and so losing your core.  My focus is currently using my legs better and really turning out from the upper thigh.  Pilates was great -- I applied myself to the movements and didn't try to overdo anything.  It's good to rest...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wednesday night

I saw a dancer from the Eifman Ballet before my ballet class today and I just floated through the class conducted by a guest dancer, like I had wings.  Just seeing her and how tall and proud she looked elevated me to another level and made me respect the artform even more.  During barre I thought of standing tall and loose and having the ballerina stature I saw in her.  She was so tall and slim and had beautiful feet.  She had just taken off her pointe shoes to go home.  Tonight I saw a star, I commented to the teacher as I walked into the studio.

The teacher said to really hold the arms, showing us how to hold the arms in second position and not let them droop.  I tend to do this and since this was a beginning adult class, I worked on correcting all these fine points that say so much about you as a dancer.  Also, extending the feet in pointe in center, spotting the head, moving the torso sideways in balances, keeping the shoulders and hips down, and so on.

I had been walking with Yasir earlier and I took him along on some errands with me also, stopping to mail a letter and so on.  Everyone always stops me when they see him, commenting on how beautiful he is.  Tonight, after class, I took him out again, just to walk around the block to the side street I had discovered while walking from ballet class that had a flowering tree and smelled fragrant from new spring flowers.  It was a clear night and a welcome relief from the soggy, rainy day yesterday.

So my puppy is playing with his toys and I am winding down, still thinking of this amazing dancer and how discliplined she looked and how proud she was to be a dancer...

Do pushups before barre:
1. Plies with port de bras, emphasis on staying with the music.
2. Tendus from 1st with plies and port de bras.
3. Tendus en croix, really cross the 5th, hold arms out, relax (the teacher was standing tall but relaxed looking); in fifths, tendus 1st, 5th, to the side.
4. Degages front, back, side.  Then face barre and do degages sideways.
5. Degages en croix front and back, circular port de bras, balance in coupe.
6. Ronde jambes with preparation and fondus around, balancoire with extension through passe and into arabesque.
7. Battu and frappes from a pointed foot which has to flex when reaching the ground (there are many different ways of doing frappes, which means to strike the foot, the teacher said).
8. Developpes en croix.
9. Grand battements front, back, side with tendu to side.  Balance in passe.
1. Tendus sideways with tendus croise and derrierre, pirouettes from 5th and then from 4th.  Use the arm to turn, go out and around.
2. Adagio: developpes with arabesque promenade, pas de bourre.  Use the torso with developpes, bending back while going forward, using head when going sideways.
3. Balance, balance, using obliques, soutenu, chasse forward with port de bras, pirouettes, lunge.
4. Jumps 1st, 2nd, echappes with echappes in 4th, 2nd, 4th, quatres. To learn quatres, we lay on the floor and moved our feet in beating motions.
5. Temps leve arabesque, temps leve, glissade assemble, waltz in line (how to do this: move leg forward, back, like walking, arms extended going forward, gesturing back hand going backwards, so we can tell Megan we learned this and quatres...), run, run, run, releve arabesque.
For cool down we did superman banana again: do teaser from lying on back, roll around to stomach and do the swan, roll to back and pulse.  I will miss this guest teacher's class because it really made me feel like I was extending my entire body.  I will look for him in his future performances for sure and I thanked him for teaching me and helping me learn about how to move and no matter how you look, it's beautiful... 
there will be another guest teacher Friday morning.  I love taking class from such wonderful teachers!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tuesday night...

Restless, can't sleep, but what do you expect when I worked nights for so many years.  Went to ballet early in the morning and the teacher said I looked better.  Made my day, really, but I need to stop being so chatty in class.  Even though a dance class can be an informal event, there are still others there and you must respect their thoughts.  I am just too friendly sometimes.

So after class I went on some errands and filled out some job applications and finally got home.  The weather was cold and damp all day and I thought it was just as well because my puppy is healing and he didn't miss much.  Then I went to a Pilates class at the gym and went home and called it a day.  I got drenched on the way home so I got home, lit some candles and incense, and watched TV with doggie.  Very cozy.

1. Stand parallel and roll head, then roll head with shoulders, slowly bend down and walk forward, bend alternate knees to stretch calves, then bend elbows down as far as you can to floor.
2. Plies with port de bras.  1st, bend sideways and over; 2nd, in and out; 4th, around; 5th, down and outward.
3. Tendus en croix through ball of foot.
4. Tendus 1st & 5th, en croix.
5. Degages facing barre, degages front and back very fast.
6. Degages seconde, en croix 2x, sou sou and turn to other side.
7. Ronde jambes, chasse forward, back, pas de bourre towards barre; move leg en l'air, then front through passe to arabesque, penche.
8. Stretch leg on barre with plies, take opposite leg with arm and stretch.
9. Splits on floor, bend forward, sit up and point and flex foot, bend backwards.
10. Lunge and releve in arabesque, promenade to other side.
11. Frappes with "beats."
12. Developpes en croix after tendu, squeezing legs from open position.
13. Grand battements and plies.
1. Tendu combination croise, wrap foot, elonge, tendus to side, repeat derrierre.
2. Pique arabesque contretemps to other side, pas de bourre over, pirouettes en dedans, soutenu, releve efface run off.
3. Waltz in line, chasse pas de bourre pirouettes.
4. Jumps in 1st, turning, 2nd, changements.
5. Pique turns en diagonal.
6. Pique arabesque glissade assemble, faille assemble.
7. Roll down in parallel and stretch.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I woke up and my puppy's face was swollen.  Oh, no, so I called the vet and managed to get him in the office for an checkup.  The vet said it could have been a number of things, but he was gouged by something.  I believe it was the cocker spaniel at the beach because I heard him shriek, although he often does this while playing.  I remember my last dog's trainer said that you must always watch who your dog plays with.  Some people think their dogs are angels when they're not, and they always blame you when your dog is rough, but they let their dogs run around and don't care about you.  Lesson learned, I thought.  Seems like all good lessons are learned the hard way, unfortunately.  Still, I have to admit that Yasir's biting everything, including me, gets out of line and the other dog was probably trying to put Yasir in his place, but it is up to me as an owner not to get into this situation in the first place.  Safety first...

I did manage to get to early Pilates with Pamela, a dancer I know, before getting Yasir ready for the vet. Might as well use the hour to profit, I thought, and the early Pilates prepared me for the rest of the day nicely.  It was cold and rainy later in the day after I got puppy home but I went to ballet class anyway, not really having time for a swim, but there is always tomorrow.  I finally got the pet stroller I purchased through the internet assembled and it was fun taking Yasir out in his "baby carriage."  He really liked the ride, too, looking out at things and relaxing in his new resting place.  This is a good way to keep him conained and away from other dogs until he heals, I thought.  There is just so much to learn about working with animals.  My dad lived in a farm and he knew all these things...

The class was taught by the same guest artist as in Friday's class and he will be teaching quite a bit, which is good, because he is a wonderful dancer who keeps telling us to extend our torso and head and curve the arms.  It adds so much dimension to steps, to elongate the body this way.  After class, we did the "superman" banana, lie on back, arch arms and legs like a swan, roll over on back and do Pilates teaser, roll over again and do the swim, roll over one last time and do pulses up with torso and legs; repeat other way.  Fun and good for the core...

1. Demi plies with port de bras.  Extend the arms, look at the fingers.
2. Tendus in 1st with plies and releve balances.
3. Degages front, back, 1st to side.  Really extend legs out...
4. Ronde jambe 4x, fondu ronde jambe around 2x, 8 ronde jambes forward, 8 back, fondu developpe leg through passe to arabesque.
5. Fondu front, plie and extend to seconde, fondu side and extend to arabesque; reverse; ronde jambes en  l'air, passe balances.
6. Battu with wrapped foot, frappes en croix and doubles to side.
7. Developpes front, side, extend to "wrap in attitude" and extend.
8. Grand battements front, side, back, balanacoire.
1. Tendus croise, en face, efface, swing leg through, passe and turn pirouettes.
2. Adagio: grand plie, developpe a la seconde and ronde jambe to arabesque, promenade in arabesque, move arms to second position and developpe leg through.
3. Pique arabesque balance en tournant, chasse pas de bourre pirouettes, pirouettes again, turn to back of room and pirouettes again, tendu croise, plie fondu, pique developpe efface with arm moving in circle toward body, ending in sou sou with arms elonge. (Pretty).
4. Jumps 1st, 2nd, 5th, 5th, 4th, 2nd, 5th, 2nd with beats.
5. Chasse in efface 2x, pique arabesque temps leve, pas de basque temps leve, chasse forward, chasse back, temps leve arabesque temps leve, chasse pas de bourre pas de chat.  (Fun but I kept stumbling over the steps and the first time I forgot what came next -- shame, shame).

Paying attention is the key to retaining movements and being able to remember them and take notes like this, which reinforces the movements and adds to your memory bank...

Sunday, April 17, 2011


1. Facing barre, plies and releves, end with balance.
2. Plies with port de bras front, back, side, circular.
3. Tendus en croix with demi plies.  Port de bras.
4. Degages front, side, back, passe balance; reverse.
5. Fondu tendus en croix.
6. Ronde jambes with circular port de bras.
7. Frappes en croix, demi-toe en croix, beats.
8. Developpes front, back, side, plie attitude, ronde jambe
    around to arabesque balance; ronde jambes a la seconde.
9. Grand battements en croix.
1. Tendu side with pas de bourres, plie 5th pirouette, plie 4th releve, then pirouettes.
2. Adagio: grand plie, pique arabesque, pas de bourre, pirouettes.
3. Developpe a la seconde, ronde jambe to arabesque, releve.
4. Jumps: 16 changements, changements with echappes.
5. Glissade assemble 2x, jete temps leve 2x, assemble.
6. Sissonnes arabesque pas de bourre glissade.

There, I wrote down today's class, although it's difficult to remember things when I don't write them down regularly.  I will have to pay more attention to detail in class, I think, because I am so busy trying to learn the movements that I don't see the whole picture, that is, it's really a lot easier than it seems.
It was great to be in class with my friends again with this wonderful teacher and I lingered afterward to stretch and chat.

Then I did a little shopping in my old neighborhood, remembering the days my mother would take me here, and then I got home and took my puppy out to the beach and then we circled back through the park.  He is still good running off-leash, but when he is bigger and stronger, I think I will have to take care where he runs.  I saw a lot of dog friends who wanted my puppy to play some more, but I must remember that he is a growing puppy and can't be out too long still...

So then I got home in time to hit the gym for a swim before they closed on Sunday.  I was alone in the pool again and it felt great, and then I soaked in the steam room and almost fell asleep.  Now it is time to call it a night and think about working through the week.