This month I’ve been working on a “Sketch A Day” project, wherein I try to complete a sketch (hopefully with some color) every single day. I’m on day 21 and still going strong! In other news, I got a job! I’m employed full time now, and can hopefully soon afford to return to ballet classes! You know I’ll be blogging all about it as soon as it happens!
I unfortunately haven’t been to ballet in a few weeks, and I miss it so much! I did this cute little cartoon of a ballerina corgi that I thought I’d share with everyone. Hopefully I’ll be able to get back to class soon!
I’ve been feeling a little “blah” about ballet recently. It’s the weirdest thing, since it’s my one hobby that I’m super passionate about. Is it boredom? Is it because I am preoccupied with my thesis and graduate school final review (I graduate next Friday, y’all– yay!)? Is it because I’ve not been able to make class every single week, so my body/technique isn’t getting stronger? Maybe it’s because my knees are starting to give me problems. Whatever the reason– I’ve been feeling quite “meh” and not able to get my head into the game.
Today in class we had a different instructor– and he did something interesting. At the beginning of class, we spent 20 minutes doing some stretching and floor barre that felt really nice. What really struck me about it though was the music. For once it wasn’t boring ballet piano music (because my goodness am I tired of THAT!). It was a variety of orchestral, asian-influenced music along with some slower songs that were extremely slow, emotional, but powerful. There was something about it that really gave me that bit of… whatever I needed. Even though we returned to ballet piano music afterward, I still felt more energized than normal.
How about you? Does the music used in class affect you strongly? What is your favorite type of music to hear in ballet class?
The brisé. Why is this seemingly simple step SO difficult?! The moment the instructor announces, “And next, brisés,” everyone groans inwardly. I can hear it. Even the super professional level girls are like “gripegripegripety-gripe.”
That looks so easy, right? RIGHT? I don’t get it. Assemblés took forever to master (and I use that term loosely). Now my brain is like, “Um, you said an assemblé, right? Right? That’s what you SAID, right– cuz I can’t do this other thing. It’s DIFFERENT and backward and WHAT IS THIS I DON’T EVEN…” when I do brisés .
In the meantime, since my post on extension, I’ve totally been stretching everyday, and I’m starting to make some flexibility progress. I’m pretty flexible as it is, but I wanted to work on it some more. I’ve also been doing my extension exercises and they’ve been… going. That progress is going to be quite slow, I can already tell.
So last week I couldn’t go to class because of scheduling issues with Neighborina. We went this morning, and let me tell you– it was one of my worst classes in a long time. I was just straight up TIRED. My body was not responding the way I wanted it to. All of my strength was gone, my legs were heavier than usual, and even though the combinations were moderately challenging, my body just glared at me and said, “Whatever. I’m not doing this! Not even the easy stuff!” I couldn’t keep track of the combinations, and all of my usual strength and pep was completely absent. I just sweated and winced and struggled. I doubt anyone in that room would have believed that I’ve been dancing for a long as I have. What the hay?!
I figure it’s partly to do with missing a week of class. I think it’s also because overall my lifestyle has changed since I’ve moved here to Burbank. I’m not walking everywhere all the time, and I have access to all sorts of junk food that I didn’t used to. I’ve started feeling icky (um, and gaining weight too). I’ve been consumed with finishing my graduate thesis, and not doing things the way I usually do them. Graduate school– ruining lives since the dawn of time!
I can’t do too much about it until my thesis is over (May 7th! D-Day approaches!!), but in the meantime I’ve decided that this is no good and I need to put the brakes on my habits. I’ve also got a new 1.6 mile walking track picked out, and I’m gonna start doing it every day because walking was my main source of fitness in San Francisco. I gotta get my strength back! Encouraging comments always appreciated!
I was watching videos on Youtube (because you know how that goes– one cute cat video turns into a five hour marathon…), and Youtube suggested this video for me. Whoa. Just whoa. This dancer, Isabelle Ciaravola, is gorgeous and graceful. The video of her dancing is amazing, but the thing that grabbed my attention the most was her arches! Those feet point at what looks like 90 degrees! Do you SEE those roll throughs to relevé? She must have the softest shanks and the strongest feet in the world. They articulate as if they have about… 5 more joints in them than the rest of us.
My own feet point acceptably straight– my left moreso than my right. I can get over my box en pointe almost consistently, while my right side is stubborn. I definitely don’t have the desired “banana feet.” How far do YOUR feet point?
The world’s first ballet inspired by tweets from the web is now also viewable on the web! The Diablo Ballet has put their delightful dance “Flight of the Dodo” on Youtube for all the world to see. Two of my tweet suggestions were chosen, and I flew up to San Francisco to see the premiere live. I hope that everyone else enjoys it as much as I did!
If you’re interested, the video of the entire evening’s repetoire is out, too! It includes the Q&A at the end, and I’m part of it! I show up right around the 1 hour mark, where I tell them my thoughts on how the web ballet turned out. It’s so embarrassing to see myself on video!