About Me

Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding Friday

It's Thursday night but it's Friday in England and the royal wedding will begin.  I never really sleep so I will stay up to watch it shortly.  I danced today and now I feel human again.  The gym is great but dancing makes me feel alive.  The adult class was well attended and although we all had our aches and pains after a long rainy cold day, the class brought out the child in everyone...

1.  Face barre, lunge sideways with port de bras, roll through feet, tendus front and back.
2.  Plies with port de bras.
3.  Tendus front, back, side with port de bras.
4.  Degages en croix, balancoire, port de bras.
5.  Ronde jambes with fondus and developpes.
6.  Fondus with degages en croix.
7.  Developpes with promenade to other side and penche.
8.  Frappes en croix with beats.
9.  Grand battements.
1. Tendus croise front and back, glissade with pirouettes.
2. Pique attitude devant, contretemps same to other side, back to first side, balances with chainnes to pirouettes.
3. Developpe ecarte, passe back, passe front, chainnes, pique arabesque pose.
4. Jumps changements with jetes and quatres.
5. Grand battements a la seconde with echappe to 4th and pirouettes.

I went to the gym before class, hoping to swim but only had time for some underwater jogs; however, after class I muttered to myself that I have to stay strong, so even though it was late, I walked to the gym to resume my swim.  There I met a young girl who was racing with her two male friends and I thought to myself, how strong she is to compete with men.  Sometimes you just have to keep going, like my dad said.

Yasir had fun in the park today, too, and was quite obedient on his leash until we headed home and I guess his attention span had ended.  Still, I am constantly reminded by people who admire him, he is a puppy and needs to play and explore...so when people complain that he is out of control and why anyone will complain about a puppy is so mean, I think of all the nice people in the world and the others can just go on and be miserable if they want to.  I have found, though, that being miserable is really a waste of time...

So I woke up to the ring of my phone.  Wrong number, but sleeping for a few hours was good enough for me to get my day started with a long walk with puppy.  Then it was already 4pm and I headed for a swim but I really wanted to dance again, so after walking underwater, I got downtown for another dance class.  When I am restless, dancing always brings me together again.  The teacher corrected my attitude at barre, adjusting my frame ever so slightly so that I was balanced.  It felt nice to be square...

This was adult beginner and so I tried to make all the movements precise.  As I worked, I thought, this is what it's all about, doing things right and not kidding yourself.  Everyone is so impatient for results without really working.  Now to add a little expression...
Some lovely moves, including tombe pas de bourre with pirouettes 2x, balance, balance, pique turns; jumps 1st, 2nd, echappes with changements; temps leve 1st arabesque, chasse to 2nd arabesque, fouette to 1st arabesque to other corner, chasse temps leve; tendu croise devant plie, tendu seconde, chasse pas de bourre, pirouettes.  Also, there was adagio: developpe croise devant; croise derrierre, seconde, plie pas de bourre, pirouettes en dedans.
The teacher said why are you hopping and I realize I do this because I do not completely straighten my legs.  Push down, the teacher said.  I read something about this in connection with the abs, too, the abs push down.  Everything should be grounded, I thought...

Then I took out puppy and now must sleep because tomorrow there is dog obedience class and it is going to be a warm, sunny day.  Hard to sleep early after staying up all last night, but I will go and unwind and sleep...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wednesday - It raineth every day

I would have wanted to take Yasir to dog training tonight but I have opted to return to Evanston to continue his training and take him to the dog beach there.  I think it would be fun and he is supposedly a better dog out of the city anyway.  Still, I will miss taking him to my former trainer but perhaps we can take another class there in the future.  I have always loved learning things and always feel a disappointment when I miss an opportunity to learn more.  Maybe I am being selfish and want to go to the class for myself and I wonder what Yasir's preference would be.

Today I did not dance but spent a lot of time at the gym.  I went to Pilates class with weights in the morning and then swam before going home to play with my puppy.  I love taking him out and he found a nice poodle to play with.  I took him out later, too, after I returned to the gym for yoga.  A girl I had seen earlier in the day saw me and said, so, you are back...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


The days flow together lately and time is moving too fast!  I went to ballet class, swam, and then went to Pilates class.  Wow!  I feel great, but it's hard work, too.  When I went to Patricia Stevens Modeling School for business classes (no modeling), it was necessary to take some modeling classes, too, and a model/teacher would always tell us that to be beautiful was hard work.  Yes, but the reward of feeling and looking great is the best payoff.  So, on I go.  Personally, feeling great physically is the best thing on earth. To be vital and caring for yourself, transcends the materialism of life.  I wish I could put it into words...

Dance:  We did the standard barre and then some nice dance combinations in center.  We made little groups and I danced with another girl in a small group and it was fun dancing with someone.  This made class less of a chore and more of a performance.  After the standard tendu combination, we did an adagio: developpe a la seconde, tombe balance balance, pique arabesque promenade, penche, step pas de basque to repeat.  Then we did waltz in line pique arabesque, tour jete, step pas de bourre, jump of choice.  Also we did pique and soutenu turns with chainnes.  Not too many pirouettes today and the focus was on turnout and dancing through turnout in order to stop using the large hip and rear muscles to move, which makes them large and cramped.  So, I see why I feel better when I turn out...
    The swim at my favorite pool was refreshing, as was the whirlpool and steam room.  Then home to take puppy to the park and try to discipline his puppy ways.  Home to eat and then Pilates, which was tough, side planks, which I need to work on, since my hips are uneven due to scoliosis and after talking with the teacher, she agreed that modifications are necessary sometimes to prevent injury.  Leg circles, bridges, just moving the arms side to side, and especially obliques made me feel great.  Trouble is, now I can't sleep from all this activity, but I know it is necessary to repair my tissues.  Being beautiful is hard work!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Rainy Monday

I'm looking out the window at the pouring rain.  I just got home from the gym, stopping to buy some Easter lilies along the way.  They loved all the humidity.  Earlier today I went for a swim and then I took out Yasir, my puppy.  We went shopping, to the hardware store and later I took him to the park briefly but we mostly walked around the neighborhood today.  Not a good day for a romp.

Pilates and yoga class were great and I really tried to push myself, even though the weather is making me feel stiff.  Lately I feel I have been too lazy in class and moving too slowly but after spending Easter with my health-conscious family, I have new motivation.  Everybody on my sister's side is involved in the health field and I found it refreshing to be around people who really care about their health and are so knowledgeable.

So, in Pilates I was next to a girl who had never done Pilates before and I noticed that, although she was younger and stronger than me, I was the one who knew all the moves and had the best efficiency of movement.  Later in yoga class when I said to the teacher that I was too old and stiff to bend, he said that age did not make a difference.  I believe it's true.  Of course, we all want to be young, but there is an advantage to being older and wiser, too.  I hope I grow old gracefully and stay strong.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

It was a nice day for relaxing and visiting my family so I did not work out much, except I did go down to the basement gym in my building after returning from family dinner of ham, sweet potatoes, asparagus and fresh fruit for dessert.  My family lately has been on a health kick, too and we discussed carbohydrates and sugars and the fact that most cereals have no nutritional content.  Best to eat oatmeal...

I went to church at St. Michael's in Old Town, which was renovated a few years back.  It was a welcome change from my usual church in the city and I said to the priest afterward that I miss living there and he agreed that it had a more neighborly feel.  The mass was full of good music and I got a chance to sing and the woman in front of me even complimented me on my voice.  I wish I could sing in church again.  My eight years in church choirs were amazing fun.

I took puppy out before going to family dinner and we went to the beach and he had a nice run in the sand, the best exercise for him, and the sand provided a cushion for his young bones.  Earlier in the day before church I had taken him to the park for a similar run and he had the whole place to himself, as everyone else was in church.  So, it was workout day for puppy.

I realize even more now how working out defines me as a person and no matter what my problems in life, I am lucky to have that to fall back on.  After a good workout, everything falls into perspective and I realize that taking care of oneself and one's business is paramount in today's restless world.  It brings energy into your life and makes living worthwhile.  There is the sun and the sky forever and it is free to everyone, for the taking.  As the priest said in church, the gifts of God are there if you take them...


It was nice to take class from a dedicated dancer again, an academy student who really knows how to teach.  There were a lot of people in class and it was a good working class where we all made interesting patterns at the prompting of this talented young student.  We worked through a traditional barre with plies, tendus, degages, ronde jambes, fondus, frappes, developpes and finally grand battements.  Everything was straightforward, a welcome change from yesterday's tricky barre, so I could really feel my placement and work on my port de bras.  Often when the footwork is tricky, it's hard to use the arms because you are focusing on the steps.  Someday I will master both...

The teacher gave us several stretch periods and then we proceeded with center.  We started with tendus croise with temps leves and pirouettes; and then we reversed the tendus and temps leves, which is always a little tricky because going backwards is not how you normally move, unless you are a dancer, of course.  After tendus we did a combination that started with pique arabesque, faille into attitude turn en dehors followed by chainnes and lame duck turns.  We also did an adagio composed of developpes, arabesque promenades and turns en dedans.

After these flowy movements we started jumping in 1st, 2nd, changements and echappes with beats.  Then we did assembles with glissades, jetes and ballonnes.  Finally the class ended with chasse pas de bourre pirouettes and grand jetes.  Very basic but effective class, after which I stretched and felt really great.

As I went home, I noticed a change in the air and suddenly it felt like spring.  The sun made patterns in the sidewalks, the birds were singing and all the flowers were standing at attention in the daylight.  My puppy greeted me and started jumping excitedly, ready to go out.  We ended up walking to the zoo and back, a good 2 hour walk.  Yasir was an angel outside, coming when called, just a delight to be with.  Of course, everyone admired him again and laughed at his puppy ways.

I went to the gym but only walked around the pool and did some laps with the kickboard, retreating to the sauna to relax my muscles.  Then I went home and watched TV with puppy, almost falling asleep while watching a history program about the young Queen Victoria, who fascinates me.  It seems she was a feisty child with a mind of her own at a very early age...