About Me

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Sad to see spring go.  It's my favorite season and I have accomplished a lot and there were changes, too, such as getting a new job in a restaurant.  This last week I was busy taking ballet classes almost every day at Joffrey Academy with the artistic director, a treat, since he is such a good technical teacher.  It was also nice to see his academy students in class.  They are so accomplished, and all the girls took class wearing pointe shoes and they made pirouettes and jumps on pointe look effortless, although I know they work hard to get to this level.  It is such a pleasure to take a class where everyone is so dedicated.  Even though the class was really over my head, they all accepted me as one of their own, including the teacher.

Some dance moves:
1. Foot cominations facing the barre:   point, flex, tendus, cambre back, port de bras.
2. Plies with port de bras, elonge arms, head moving with arms.
3. Tendus a la seconde with demi-plies, inside tendus, demi-plie, balancoire, tendu front with inside foot to balancoire back, tendu 5th to reverse.
4. Degages front 2x with piques, back 2x, side through 5th, cambre front, back, side, penche, developpe with inside leg.
5. Ronde jambes with fondus, developpe passe, balance with foot into ankle, arm elonge.
6. Double fondus with ronde jambes, developpes ecarte, attitude balance, extend.
7. Battements one slow, 2 fast, en croix.
8. Stretch.
9. Releves facing barre with force pointe, developpe arabesque to passe balance.
1. Developpe croise, ronde jambe en l'air to arabesque with elonge arms, balance.  Balances side to side, run to arabesque elonge, lame duck turns.
2. Grand plie in 4th position, pirouettes, promenade in atttitude to arabesque extend, fondu, pas de bourre, attitude turns.
3. Developpe seconde, tombe pas de bourre, pirouettes, run around, soutenus with inside pique turns.
4. Jumps: changements with quatre beats, glissade side to side, reverse with glissades over.
5. Pique arabesque, passe to lunge, repeat, waltz in line, soutenu, pirouettes, arabesque balance.
6. Chasses with grand jetes a la Bourneville.
7. Reverence, port de bras front, back, side.

Then today I took class with a substitute teacher who was none other than a Joffrey company member and this wonderful flowing class was much appreciated because it resolved the tight muscles I had developed duriing a week of grueling classes with the artistic director.  Nevertheless, I feel great and although I am tired and feel broken all over, it feels great to really use my body and I learned what it feels like to dance to full potential.

I will always remember how this teacher said to me to extend my arms out away from my body, something another teacher recently said, too.  Bend the body opposite the croise tendu, use the torso.  This teacher's torso is so flexible and when he said to a very accomplished young girl to really look up in arabesque and move her hand up, using the torso, I could see how this would alleviate much pain in the back from slumping and not pulling up out of the joints.  Also, jumping is easier this way...

Tendus, really savor the experience, port de bras, let it go, easy, dance with the rhythm; in center, tendus croise, side, passe pirouette, move the arm forward and elongate into the turn; developpe croise front and back, efface to passe to seconde, tombe pirouettes; walks, pique arabesque faille, soutenu, inside pique turns; developpe front, chasse assemble; jetes with assemble; step jete pique passe 2x, jump second 1st, 5th, 5ths; menage waltz-in-line, jete entrelace, temps leve 2x, glissade jete.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday I awoke with dancing...

...9:30 am, my alarm was not set properly (I can't see because my puppy ate my glasses!) and class is at 10:30, so I brushed my hair, my teeth, threw on my clothes and walked down the street past all the art fairs and there was no bus, walked as far as I could, then took a cab, and got there early.  The door was still locked!

Started reading my smartphone and then the owner of the studio unlocked the door, I almost ran into her, apologizing because I couldn't see, in fact, walking across the street earlier, a "lady" yelled out her car window, look where you're going, ha, ha...

Class resumed as usual, starting with force arch, demi-plie on both sides, grand plies, facing barre, with releve balance -- every time I balance my knees look crooked, and this teacher will always correct me for that, saying, straight knees, tighter.  Today, though, I had trouble with my usually good turnout.  Last night I was so stiff, I went to the gym and was happy just to go to the sauna, steamroom and whirlpool.  My new part-time job at the restaurant is taking it's toll, I guess...

The job is nice, I like it, but will they like me?  This week my hours were cut and the boss even mentioned there is someone else who really wants the job.  I try not to stress, but you know from reading my blog that I always do.  It's just a job and I'm too old to really care...I think I fear I will lose face and what will people think.

Even in class, the teacher said, you cringe and mentally tell yourself you can't pirouette and set yourself up for failure because you worry that it doesn't look the greatest, so you give up.  Today I read something about being able to accept your faults, but, getting back to turnout, my barre turnout was good, but as another teacher pointed out, it's going through the movements turned out that is hard.  Yes, I saw how my legs wanted to tangle inwards.  So when we stretched, I did a yoga straddle and then it was even harder to turn out after this parallel stretch, but now I was aware of the difference and how I needed to constantly bring my knees back and not "cringe."

As for pointed toes, the teacher said, you, you need to stand by a wall and just push out your foot, forget the theraband.  We spoke about flexibility and how I saw a really flexible girl, but her friend commented that at this point, it also becomes a matter of strength.  I told the teacher about a contortionist I saw on the web and he said it's not good and damages your cartilage.  Stretching reasonably helps, he said, if you do it the right way...

1. 2 grand plies with port de bras, front, side, back.
2. 4 tendus front, 3 side, 4 back, balancoire to reverse; penches and passe balance.
3. Degages from 5th front, side, back, plie; reverse.
4. Passe balances; repeat.
5. Fondu front demi-toe, battement front, balance; repeat en croix.
6. Developpe a la seconde, ronde jambes, ronde jambe en l'air to arabesque, balance.
7. Frappes en croix, 2x front, side, back, sou sou coupe balance.
8. Grand battements 1x, 2x fast en croix.
1. Tendus a la seconde backwards, tendu croise front and back, glissade, glissade passe balance.
2. Coupe arabesque plie, releve, passe balance.
3. Passe releve, 4th, pirouette, reverse, pas de bourre releve, plie pirouettes.
4. Adagio: Developpe seconde, ronde jambe en l'air to arabesque with port de bras from seconde to high 5th, releve balance.
5. Changements with echappes and passe balance pirouette.
6. Changements with echappes and assembles, coupe assemble front, back, side, side, soutenu passe balance.

End of nice class where I felt so stiff.  During break before center, I grabbed some dumbells and tried arm exercises from the gym and the studio owner corrected my shoulders.  Down and out, bring in more to sides.  I thanked her...my arms look better.  Now to get the legs to look less wobbly.  Now I'm off with puppy, who is getting bigger every day, although his discipline still needs work. We are quite the pair...After class the teacher remarked about how animals are such awesome movers.  It is because they are confident and real, I said.  People have too many hangups, I think, including me!