Tag Archive | Dance

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. 😘

Plyometrics + Ballet = Bliss

Hello dear readers. I hope all is well with all of you. I am doing great!! So many things to talk about. I know – “LB? What’s the haps, yo?! Have you quit ballet? Quit blogging? What’s the deal?” (In my head, everyone is under 25 and uses trendy lingo in his/her everyday conversations. Using words like “haps” and “yo” is totally the norm. In fact “totes” is often used, but I don’t want to scare you off with all my “cool” talk.)

Anywho – I have been here. Ballet-ting, working out and (the not so fun part) dieting. Yes dieting. Sweet Baby Jesus do I hate dieting. But the outcome is always worth it. I am actually on a “Weight Watchers” type of program. I down loaded an app that provides me with “points” and tracks the foods I eat. At my height, weight and age, I do not get many points. [Insert frowny-clown-face here.]. This diet is not always easy. I get hungry, but there are foods that don’t count as points (fruits and veggies), I literally munch on baby carrots between delicious meals of protein shakes, eggs with stir fried vegetables and hot sauce, ground turkey (turkey chili, shell-less tacos), fish and more and more and more vegetables! Mmmmmm. Are you salivating yet?! (The sad thing is, I am. Ha!). I also eat rice and raw oatmeal, but I limit my intake and I measure everything. I also eat spaghetti once a week because life isn’t worth living without noodles. So that is my diet. Pretty simple and sometimes boring, but it gets the job done. Oh yeah, and I no longer drink at all during the week. No more glass of Shiraz before bed for this fitness buff! Boring. [Insert frowny-faced-hobo here.]. It really isn’t that bad, but man do I miss fast food. I have abstained from crappy food for so long that I was even yearning for a cartoon (yes, cartoon) hamburger that I saw on the show “Bobs Burgers” the other night. Awesome show. Awesome food. Yes, I’m hungry. Enough said.

With the dieting, comes the exercise. I decided that since I am not in so many ballet classes, I might as well use the time wisely and get my ass in fighting shape. And I mean fighting shape. I want to successfully wrestle a giraffe to the ground with my bare hands. (Anyone? Answer: Step Brothers. Boom.). Honestly, I have wussed out with my workouts for long enough and I need to get my fitness-body back. Beautiful, brainy and brawny. That’s what a real woman is made of! Ha!

My plan of attack? Plyometric training. I created an intense circuit that is a combination of upper body weight training. and plyometric exercises. It takes 45 minutes to complete the entire circuit and by the time I’m done, I am toast. (Mmmmm. Toast. With jelly. *drool.). No breaks, no stopping, no excuses. I’m such a glutton for punishment. I have been at this program for one month and I am finally acclimated to it. I’m actually at the point where I can add one more circuit of exercises (I currently have 3 circuits, each has 4 different exercises and I do 4 sets of each). I’m seeing progress and I am finally leaning out and getting cut. I have a little more to go and I am confident to reach my goal by next month. I’m going to Disney and I want to look good. So what if it’s a place for kids! I want to be the most fit mama there!

Now with this program of dieting and exercises, you need to be patient. Remember folks – slow and steady wins the race. Stick to your diet, even if you don’t see the scale go down immediately or you reach a weight loss plateau. You need to keep plugging away at the training, no matter how tired or hung over you are (aka last Sunday – I had to make up for lost time!). In the end, you will see results and you will be so proud at yourself from setting, sticking with (and hopefully) meeting your goals! LB has spoken!

As for ballet, clearly my training has helped my progress. But the best part, I am feeling so confident in class now. My feet actually do I want them to. I thought the connection between my feet and brain would never happen. I am doing combinations with ease and have actually picked up my pace. It feels wonderful! My instructor, who still has us work on single pirouettes, asked me to start working on my doubles! Yeah! She thinks I’m ready for doubles!! (Ha!).

I need more practice and my instructor want me to take more classes. The problem is, in not ready (for her standards) to move up. That’s fine, I just have to find somewhere else to practice. And I did. There is a studio nearby that just opened up, and low and behold, they have an adult ballet class on Saturday afternoons! There is just one thing – the class is very, very beginner. I am not a beginner. However, this really isn’t a problem because only goal is to work on my alignment and improve basic technique. The teacher is spunky and has a youthful perspective on ballet. It’s quite refreshing. She makes me laugh and I have fun working on the combinations I learn at the other studio. The other day we were working on jetes. Well, the beginners were just running and then hoping over a stuffed alligator. Nope, the days of aimlessly leaping over children’s play thugs are over for me! I asked the instructor if I could work on my jete combination instead. Of course I can! The moto is “free you body and let your soul free with dance” here! When it was my turn, I tombe pada bourre glissade jete-ed across the floor (repeat 3 times!). I’m actually able to control them now. (Boom). When I was done, the women in my class liked it so much they wanted to do it too! I was happy to inspire the group. It is kind of weird being the best in the class. That’s a real first. Mind you, there are only two other students in the class, but I will happily take the title anyway! LB has no shame!

I am having fun with ballet again. I missed that feeling and I was without it for so long. No more stress. No more pressure to perform. Just a regimented, predictable, professional classical ballet technique class. Add awesome workouts at the gym and getting fit to that and that is what I call “pure bliss”, my friends. Pure bliss

I hope you are all doing well. I would love to hear from you so give me a shout!!

Kisses. LB

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Up, up, up and away!

What a positive way to begin a blog post. Don’t you think? Well unlike some other things in my life (that will remain nameless), ballet is a positive contributor to my world right now! Isn’t that just wonderful?!

I was reading a fellow bloggers recent post from Life and Times that focused on how you have good days and bad days in ballet. Isn’t that the truth?! One day you can land double pirouettes flawlessly and the next day you can barely spin around once without falling out of your passé. Bad days occurred quite frequently at my last Studio, but it doesn’t seem to be a real problem at this new one. Currently, I see or feel some noticeable improvement somewhere, someway in every class I take. I am actually able to execute the critiques that are given to me. Mind you, some of the critiques are pretty simple like remembering to align my hips or lift my arm appropriately in second. Regardless, I am getting better and I am finally regaining confidence in the studio. Confidence that I lost so many months ago. It’s exquisite to have my head back together.

Tonight, for example, we did a series of combinations involving pirouettes, jeté and some other movement I can’t remember the name of (something super Frenchy). Normally, I am coupled with the group of girls that are still the “beginners”. The level two students usually go first and separately because they have a higher tempo and have an expectation to execute the combination cleaner then the other students. Tonight, I was able to dance with the level 2 girls!! I am finally getting recognized that I am strong and consistent! (By the way, I hate to brag, my Jetes?? I don’t leap. I fly, yo. Hurray!)

I feel like my day is coming. I am going to be asked to move up. I heard her talking about some other girls in a different class. I think they are making these decisions because our next tuition is due soon. Will I get asked to move up (up, up) and away into a Level 2 class soon? Who knows! If not now, it may be in the near future. I inquired about taking some privates to help me progress and work on my rusty areas. Aka my tight left hip.

Well, I hope all is well. Smiling wide today.

A (Positive) Challenge to My Readers ;)

Wow. For only being a couple of months into 2014, it has sure been an emotional one! New studio, loss of relationships (rather destructive ones, the more I think of it), gaining new family/friends and evaluating my career path. There isn’t much in my life currently that isn’t worth celebrating (or crying) about! When times get tumultuous like this, I often fall into a deep depression. I cry, I isolate myself, I sleep and I’m an all around miserable person to be around. I recently felt myself wanting to slip into old, bad habits. This time I was determined not to let it happen again. My kids and husband depend on me. My family and clients rely on me too. I just can’t mentally “give up” every time I’m rejected by people that I have (unknowingly) placed on a pedestal. I have to snap out of it! “Stop being stupid (LB)! It’s time to take your life and the power you gave these people back!” But then again, this is merely a desire. I’m not all “big balls” all of the time, even though I appear like I am to everyone else. I’m actually pretty sensitive. Especially when it comes to relationships involving women.

So, there I was in bed, willing myself to get up and get ready for another day at the office. The grind. It’s truly been just that for several months. So much drama with people at work. So stupid. I just want to be happy and unfortunately for my psyche, that involves getting along with EVERYONE at work. Silly and unreasonable, possibly, but that is how my mind works.

I get up, shuffle to the bathroom and start showering. Do you ever notice that when you are in the shower, your mind just totally floats? Like, sometimes I’m so deep in thought I actually feel like I’m dreaming. No joke. Must be the heat and the stream of the water hitting my backside that does it, because when I’m in the rain room I am as calm, yet surprisingly insightful, as a Hindu cow.

While I stood there in the shower, the water pelting the back of my hair, I started to think about things. The stress at work and the stress and frustration of losing a good friend. I started to motivate myself, and anger myself, with my own words. Yes, I talk to myself. What’s wrong with that? Someday you may very well be the only one left in your life. You better get used to the sound of your own voice, and more importantly, like what you hear. I told myself, “Screw this.” “Why can’t they understand me?” “Am I really all of those things these people say I am?” “I’m done. They don’t exist. I can’t change them; I can only control me.” I began feeling myself tense up and I wanted to cry. Then I out of blue, without warning, I thought (not speak), “Well, there are clearly things or people in my life that make me sad. So, let’s be positive. What do I love? What brings me happiness?!” So, I started spouting things off; I just listed things that put a smile on my face. So, without further ado, here is a list of things that make me happy:

(1) Starbucks (that seriously was the first thing I thought of. Specifically, a tall non-fat cappuccino with two pumps mocha. How sad! Ha!)
(2) My children. They are so silly and crazy and wonderful. Such a blessing.
(3) My husband. While we drive each other crazy sometimes, I don’t know what I would do if he ever gave up on me. Love that man.
(4) My Sisters. We may not always agree but we have each other’s backs and I can’t imagine growing old and spending the rest of my days without my sisters by my side.
(5) My dad. He’s something else. (“Daddy”. Enough said)
(6) Ballet. Ahhh duhhhhh! I will never regret giving myself a chance on a sport I may never be the best at. Who cares! It’s so fun!!
(7) Horror movies. Any kind will do. Even “B” movies. I’m a sucker for gore, what can I say?
(8) My mothers. I have two that come to mind. They deserve my heart and they definitely have deserved a place on my list of people that make my life complete.
(9) Cheesecake. Boom.
(10) Video games. Double Boom.
(11) Novelty tees. I don’t know what is wrong with me lately but I just can’t get enough. I recently went to Walmart and purchased an Ironman and a Call of Duty shirt. I’m obsessed with both. Sue me.
(12) Wine. Red wine. I never met an Australian I didn’t like. Hold on……(gulp). Ahhhhhhh. Delicious.
(13) Cuckoo Clocks. I currently have 5. Yes. I am the crazy clock lady. I’m not ashamed. They are glorious.
(14) Physical fitness. If it means it will help me to kick ass, I’m in. Fitness is awesome. There is nothing better then knowing you can out wrestle someone; even though they may have no intention in being in a match with you. Coupled with the fact I am pocket sized and can still wrestle outside my weight class – yeah. Fitness did that for me. Ha!
(15) Listening to peepers outside my window in the spring. I have a pond in my backyard and every April/May the sound of frogs fills the evening air. So relaxing. And awesome.
(16) Going to the movies and consuming copious amounts of popcorn. I just love a big screen and that bucket of buttery, salty goodness. I could watch a turd dry on a sidewalk if it is done while sitting in a theater with a bucket of corn. It’s amaze-balls what that setting can do to a film, even if it’s shit. Literally.
(17) Taking summer walks with my kids, husband and dogs. That’s all we do in the summertime. We take bread and feed the fish in the ponds, because they are trained to come to the edge and eat. So fun. Oh yeah – don’t forget to skip rocks! My husband is a pro. If there was an Olympic sport he would qualify and win silver. Yeah. I’m trying to me reasonable on his prospects for gold. The Chinese are probably prepping their young hopefuls as we speak. The mere mention of a way for their country to superior in something, even remotely, insights them to work harder.
(18) Winning a hearing or a trial. It usually involves being super prepared (which is all of the time) + getting my argument down without a verbal flub (I say a lot of big medical terms. They are all tongue twisters!) + nothing goes wrong. That is a recipe for success.
(19) Buffalo Chicken dip. Omg. Just google it. You won’t be sorry. I promise.
(20) Shopping. Whether it be at the Limited (favorite store) or for shoes – there is nothing like the high I get from purchasing an awesome outfit and then displaying it for all to see! Splendid!

That’s my top 20. Honestly, I felt happy writing this post (well, the list part). I thought of those things and I instantly felt wonderful! Like I have so much to be grateful for!

So here is the challenge for all of my readers. Make a list of all of the things that make you happy. You don’t have to explain why; just list your top 20 happy triggers and make a blog post about it. Spread the word. Your happiness can be defined by things and people and when you are feeling down, just list them in your head! Or if your me, say them out loud like a GD crazy person! Let us spread the word of positive mental reinforcement! I want to see how far we can take this.

Please, challenge yourself today. Challenge yourself to be happy!

Day One

As promised, I am going to detail “day one” of my new ballet journey.

But first, I would like to report that I have quit the other studio entirely. At first, I thought I would only knock down a class, but after some careful consideration, I decided I needed to make a clean break altogether. Boom. Done. I have gladly finished that chapter of my life. I held on to that place as long as I could, but enough was enough. I could not keep placing myself in an environment where I was constantly being misunderstood, and as a result, disliked and not trusted by the people I called friend and fellow student. So, I packed my pointe shoes, my fabulous leotard collection and my sparkling personality and B-lined to greener pastures. I wanted to call the General and thank her for all that she had done over the last year and 1/2 and explain why my departure was necessary, but to no avail. Instead, I texted the goodbye as best as I could. Needless to say, the General fortified my reasons as to why it was necessary to part ways. My departure is a good decision at this time.

I am also sad to report that I lost more then a mentor and studio from the mess that had developed over the last year, but a very important friendship as well. This friendship was destroyed as a result of a series of unfortunate events, and not coincidentally, centered around the studio I just left. My friend actually believed some of the terrible things said about me. That is the most frustrating thing about this whole situation and I feel there is nothing I can do to change her mind at the current moment. I think it is best that we take a break and reset. Hopefully, our relationship sill get back on track once I leave the studio and have had some time to breath.

Anywhoooooooooooo.

Day one. I am born. I am born a ballerina. Well, more like an aspiring ballerina, but a ballerina nonetheless. The new studio is 20 minutes from my home, which is much farther then my last studio. But hell, driving is a small price to pay for some tranquility in my life. I had to try the adult class to see what classes I would be eligible for. The instructor is very old school – quite, strict, yet helpful and encouraging. It was a welcomed attitude. I was nervous I was going to disappoint. The class went much better than I thought. The pace was slowed down a bit, but that’s ok. I need to work on so many things. Breaking everything down is exactly what I need.

Then came pointe. Ummmmm yeah. So nervous about that. I could tell the instructor was skeptical of my abilities, since she was aware that I had only taken ballet for 2 years. Well, the class went great! We did this combination across the floor where we bourree’d, while turning and doing our port de bras. So awesome. I felt so pretty. Then we did a waltz step in demi-pointe into a pirouette. I was able to do that too! At the end of class, I was happy to hear that I was good enough to take level 1-2 and pointe classes there!!! Yippeeeeee!

Although, I have to say. I know I have a lot of work ahead of me. There is so much I still struggle with, like executing combinations beyond an 8-16 count, keeping my upper body aligned and controlling my “gymnast” arms, as my instructor calls them; I worry I will look like a goon in the level 1-2 class. However, the instructor did say that it takes years to get good at ballet and that she was impressed as to how far I have come in just a short period of time. Well, that was encouraging! Also, I was not asked to do one triple pirouette! Hell, I wasn’t even asked to do a double! I just did my single pirouettes with a big old smile on my face!!! So, I think if I just focus on adjusting to this studios repertoire, I should be ok. *Squee.

Classes begin January 4th. I am so thrilled that I was afforded the opportunity to join another studio and take classes beyond a basic beginner level. I’m so excited to start classes in the new year. I can just burst!

I’ll keep you all posted. Thanks again for all of your encouraging words! You give me strength. Kisses!!!!

Boom.

And just like that – my world is already changing.

Over the last 24 hours, I have had an outpour of positive words and emails (you know who you are 😉) of encouragement from my readers. I had no idea how much you all actually cared about me and enjoyed my (often rambling) blog posts. I feel so loved right now. *tear.

I promise not to disappoint any of you. Tonight was my first step in reclaiming my love for ballet. Keep an eye out for my next blog post regarding “day one” of my new ballet journey.

Until then, I would like to say, once again, thank you for your unrelenting love and support. I hope you all have a very, very, Merry Christmas. Drink lots of wine and eat too much food. At least, that’s what I intend to do!

Kisses and hugs from LB!!