Tag Archive | Adult Beginner

Fouetté, Double Pirouette… Really?!?!

This is not a joke, a test or a fluke. This really happened. I actually did a fouetté, double pirouette. And this is something I have never done before, or let alone attempted until recently.

I am not sure what came over me. It was my last class before summer break and we were working on out normal pirouette combination. And while the instructor was helping a couple students with their technique I decided to independently give a fouetté a whirl. I prepped and executed the elusive turn. As I completed the revolution, I felt my body longing to turn in passé
once more. I thought, “Hell, I’m here let’s see if I can hold this position without falling over.” My body completed a single pirouette. Not bad! Then I felt my body working towards another swirl. And wouldn’t you know it – I did another turn! And there you have it! A fouetté, double pirouette! Boom.

Just to be sure my accomplishment wasn’t a complete fluke, I attempted the fantastical feat again. And there it was. I did it again. I wasn’t struggling or dancing outside my comfort zone. The movement felt very natural. It was wonderful.

So, in case you are wondering, what felt different than before? My supporting leg felt sturdy. I have been forced to take a step back from my multitude of classes and focus on proper technique (slowly) and as a result, my body is physically responsive to turning. It’s amazing. Plus, I am more relaxed than before. And I’m having loads of fun. My face can’t stop smiling. Even when I make a silly mistake.

So even though I don’t have a recital to blog about, at least I have something to be proud of. Turning is tough and when the movement becomes less daunting you just want to shout it to the world!



Doubles. Clean Doubles.

Yes. Yes. I know. I’ve been a little vacant lately. I’m a busy, little lady. Kids. Work. Husband. Parents. In-laws. Illnesses. It’s enough to drive a sane woman cray-cray. Or just crazy. Depending on your mood.

I was inspired to post because this evening’s class was very eventful. In many different ways.

The bad news – I started feeling an aching pain in my left calf. Did I injure my calf? No. My lower back injury had been officially aggravated. Oh yes. I know the difference. My back is “junk” (as my good friend describes a chronic injury) and that, is that. I was feeling pretty shitty about it in the beginning of class. Just a little (constant) reminder that my body isn’t what my desire wants anymore. I don’t recover from injuries overnight. Sprains are not fleeting. I have to wait for my body to decide to do what is wants to do. And it’s depressing.

But then the “good” happened.

I landed (consistently, mind you) clean double pirouettes during class tonight. For all of you real ballet enthusiasts, you know what a “clean double” means and for those who don’t, it means staying in passé en releve until the movement has been completed. It sounds easy, but it isn’t. When you cannot do a single cleanly, you fall out of the passé too soon. Same with the double. Or even a triple! (Dream on LB). Regardless, when you do a clean single or double? You know it. It feels different. Yes. It feels….exquisite. Perfect. Beautiful. It just feels right.

So guess what? I did a lot of clean doubles tonight. Albeit they were mainly on my left, but they were clean. So clean that my normally rigid instructor said that the class had a good turn night. And when I was performing my left doubles, everyone was watching. I knew it. And I didn’t falter. Booooooom. If made me so happy. Regardless of my aching lower back, I felt accomplished.

It was a good day.

And that is the end of my post. 😘

Waaaahhhhhhh. Injury.

So guess who didn’t injure their hamstring???? This girl!!

I’m sure you are asking yourself, “Why LB, isn’t that a good thing not to have injured yourself?” Well, that’s if I didn’t injure myself. I found out yesterday that what I thought was a chronic injured hamstring is actually….wait for it…..an injured back. That’s right. BACK. Specifically a herniated disc at approximately the L4-5 level, possibly the L3-4 as well. How did I find this out? Let me entertain you. Or educate. Whatever. Someone is going to find this post useful. I just know it.

So, during one of my marathon stretching exercises I thought to myself, “Why in the hell am I so tight in my right hamstring still?! You know what, screw this. I’m going to a masseuse to get this bugger kneaded out…. Yo.” So I made some phone calls. My last phone call was to a good friend, who happens to be a physical therapist and who also happens to work at a chiropractic/physical therapy/orthopedic facility. Nice. Anywho, after hearing my symptoms (I.e. Sharp pain where my hamstring muscle meets my pelvis during a straight leg raising on either side; extremely tight right hamstring; pain in hips when sleeping; pain when sitting or driving) and (more importantly) the duration of my symptoms he came to one conclusion – I injured my low back. Well, naturally, I didn’t want to believe him. I was like, “That’s impossible! I was just stretching when I got the pain! I have no pain in my back whatsoever. It’s all coming from my hamstring. Sorry. You are wrong.” (Said the non-believer. Shun the non-believer. Shunnnnnn.).

I made an appointment and I dared him to prove me wrong….guess who was wrong: The arrogant attorney vs. the experienced physical therapist. Yeah. I was the Loser-Mc-Losertron in that epic battle of wits. How did he know? Well, he did some orthopedic tests. First he pushed on my hamstring ligament. No pain. He said if I injured my hamstring ligament, I would not be able to bear his fingers pressing on it. Secondly, I have no loss of strength in my hamstring. He pushed down on it two different ways and said that, if I was injured, I would not be able to push back. Let alone without pain. In fact, he said I am really strong for a woman my size. [Insert hand to pat the back here.] Then, of course, it was my reaction to when he touched my lower back in a certain area. Yeah. I jumped. There you have it ladies and gents – I have herniated a disc. For those who are unfamiliar, check this link from the Mayo Clinic and read up. Mine is more like a “bulge” then a “herniation”, which means that the contents of the disc are (most likely) not ruptured and are impinging on the spinal nerves. This is a good thing. A herniation that bad is extremely more painful and could lead to surgery. Boo. Surgery.

And for the record – this makes total sense. The General has been on my ass, well about my ass, for as long as this injury has lingered. According to my friend, the reason why my ass is pooching out during class is because the muscles in my lower back are protecting my spine. In fact, the reason why my hamstrings and turn out are not progressing, despite my constant stretching, is because all of the muscles in my lower back and hips are guarding the nerves that are being aggravated!!! Do you know what this means?!?! As soon as I get my spine in check, I should regain and even improve my flexibility even more!!! I am so excited that it’s not my lack of effort that is preventing my progress right now! I can’t help it – my body is just being a total boo-hole! I never thought I would be this excited to discover that I am handi-quacked.

So now what? The good news is that now I know the pain and tightness is not caused by a severe sprain in my hamstring, I can actually start treating the problem. Also, my friend says that my injury isn’t critical and after some treatment I should be right as rain in no time! Too bad I have been so stubborn; I could have been fixed up long ago. What can I say? I’m an “injury” beginner as well as a ballet beginner. I apparently have a high pain tolerance. That’s right. Don’t mess with me. I can take a punch. And a jab. Or maybe even a kick. Well, as long as it is not to my back. That could be bad considering I am a disabled person now. Ha!

As for the treatment, I am currently engaging in DRX (aka spinal stretching. Yup, ga-woss. This is what it looks like), electrical stimulation and massage therapy. According to my bro-seph, I just need to relieve the pressure off my spine and the tightness and pain should go away! Eventually, that is. I plan on going for treatment twice a week for the next three weeks. I am really hoping this will work. I am so tired of being I pain and I’m tired of being behind in class. This just has to be the solution. It just has to!!

What does this teach us? When you are “older” and an injury is taking longer then a couple weeks to heal, you should think about going to see a orthopedic facility for an evaluation. Hell, even a chiropractor will do (disclaimer: a reputable chiropractic facility is what I suggest that actually has a medical doctor that visits the facility to consult patients every week). The point is, even though we may be delusional at times, we are no spring chickens. After the age of 30, yes 30, our body starts doing crazy things. Take care of yourself and listen to what your body tells you. You will be glad you did. I know I am…. Finally. 😊😊😊😊😊😊

This is For Ms. Disney

For those who do not know, Ms. Disney is my best friend. She has watched my children since 2009. Next to me and my husband, Ms. Disney is my children’s primary care giver. She is kind, patient, silly and beautiful. Yes, Ms. Disney, you are beautiful. Sometimes I look at her and I wonder if she knows how beautiful she really is. Those blue eyes. So striking; and her smile. Very wide and sincere. Makes my heart sing to hear her laugh. I met her so many years ago and she was so innocent. She was fresh out of dental school and nearly married. Ms. Disney had a year of work under her belt and came to the abrupt realization that she may not be able to physically maintain a full-time dental hygienist job. Ms. Disney then found me and my family. I bless the day you took my phone call; and then took my follow-up phone call. Ever since, we have been best friends. We do fight like sisters. You don’t have any, but I know. I know what we do is totally natural. If I love someone, truly love someone, I am going to fight with them. Why? Because I am strong enough to be myself in front of them, and if so, I will eventually butt heads with them. We fight and then we make up. We learn and we grow. That is what me and Ms. Disney do; just like my sisters, my family and my husband. I hope she knows that. If not, she does now.

Ms. Disney has changed so much since I met her; she is so strong and confident now. Ms. Disney is exactly the person I knew she would become. I am so proud of her and her accomplishments. I love her husband and her family and I know that they will all continue to prosper for years to come.

ANYWHO (enough with the gushy stuff), I wanted to send a little “well wish” to Ms. Disney. Ms. Disney is training for a 1/2 marathon and is having trouble with her calf muscle. She has bought new shoes, switched up her training schedule and is still having pain when she runs. So, as a former runner, I am now coming to her (publicly) to announce my encouragement. Here it goes.

Ms. Disney: Running is no different from dance…..Well, in some respects. I started running when I was 19 years old. Before that – I did nothing athletically. I started working out because I felt fat. I felt fat because I went to a popular college and there was an abundance of blonde, skinny, young folk that attended there. I felt out-of-place; insecure. So, I decided to take control of my situation and get physically fit. I will never forget the first mile I ran (without stopping) on a treadmill. I was so proud of myself I couldn’t wait to tell my boyfriend (who is now my husband) my great accomplishment. I knew than that moment was monumental in my life. Scouts honor. I knew right then I would never forget running that mile and I never had. Fast forward 15 years and many, many more miles and I have run a full marathon and many 1/2 marathons. I can run up to six without pain or anxiety. Regardless of my training I can run. Why? Because I have been conditioned to run.

Why am I talking about this? Ms. Disney, I want you to understand that learning ballet is no different then learning how to run long distances. You have to train your body to sustain a movement for long periods at a time. This doesn’t happen over night. Your body needs to have the opportunity to build the muscle necessary to run long distances. This concept is similar in my desire to learn classical ballet – I am never going to have a perfect turn out (nor probably ever will) or ungodly flexibility without some patience and hard work! I need to keep practicing day-in and day-out, just like I did with running. Eventually, I will be the dancer I dream I can be. EVENTUALLY, Ms. Disney will be the runner she desires to be . “All good things come to those who wait.” Me and Ms. Disney are in a similar situation and never knew it. How cool is that.

This whole situation is really beneficial for my psyche in the end. I never realized that “running” was something I was actually good at and could help others to realize (and more importantly) it helped me put my progress in ballet into perspective. I need to be patient. I didn’t learn how to run 26 miles overnight, so why should I expect any different about ballet. More importantly. if I can learn to run 26 miles (which is not an easy task, mind you), than maybe I CAN become a good dancer someday. Maybe I can be confident to dance on a stage as much as I am confident to run on a road with other people in a 1/2 marathon. I just have to stick with my training and know that (eventually) everything will fall into place.

Ms. Disney – You will reach your goals. Take your time, listen to your body and you will not go wrong. If anything – LISTEN TO ME! I will never steer you wrong!!! Why?…..Because I love you and I believe in you.

Good night. 🙂

Ballerina Profile: Legal Ballerina

I was interviewed by the Adult Ballerina Project! Joy! 🙂

Adult Ballerina Project

Here is the Adult Ballerina Project’s first Ballerina Profile on Legal Ballerina. She started doing ballet in November of 2011.

Adult Ballerina Project: Did you ever take lessons as a kid?

Legal Ballerina: No. I was raised by my father and he worked all of the time. I wanted to take ballet, but had a difficult time expressing my desires or needs to him.

ABP: Why did you decide to take ballet as an adult?

LB: A couple of reasons – my BFF (and nanny) started to take a beginner class and asked me to join. I went to one class and liked it, so I joined. Second, like I mentioned before, I really did always wish I could take ballet as a child. Better late than never. Right?!

ABP: Where do you take classes?

LB: I take classes at a studio called Chardon Dance. It is my hometown…

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