Back to Ballet

It’s been a sad, sad ballet month thus far.  My studio was closed for Thanksgiving week, and then I had to miss a couple of classes for silly reasons.  My first class in two weeks was on Monday and I was So. Sore. the next couple of days!

BUT.  Now it’s back to regular ballet!

. . . until Christmas and New Year’s roll in and screw up everyone’s schedule again.

*sigh*

How do you keep your ballet routine over the crazy holidays??

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Petite Allegro is Not My Jam

There are many things in ballet class that I absoultely love.  I love jumps, and balances.  I love barrework (mostly!).  Unfortunately, the things I love tend to be the things I do well and I tend to dislike things that do not come as naturally to me.

Petite allegro falls in that category.

As many of my fellow ballet students know, petite translates to “small,” and allegro is translated as “quickly” and is generally referred to in ballet as motions in which one or both feet beat in the air off the floor.  Thus, petitie allegro is ballet code for “small, quick jumps.”  And I am NOT good at it.

Let’s call a spade a spade: I’m tall and busty, and nothing I do is small.  I can do quick (sometimes), but only if I’m very comfortable with the movement, or else “quick” just translates into awkward and sloppy.  Every class during petitie allegro I feel distinctly ungraceful.  Oh, and much too bouncy.

Lamenting my horrid soubre sous and changements, Gorgeous Ballet Girl (who is similarly tall, but infinitely more graceful and lovely) suggested to jump just a  little higher.  We have big feet, she said, and to get them pointed we need more air time.  BRILLIANT.  So I’ve been trying to jump just a  little higher (while still keeping it “small” and “quick” – kill me now).  It helps, but I’m still awkward as a baby giraffe standing up for the first time.

I’m TRYING to take small steps, I’m TRYING to move my feet quickly, I’m TRYING to be light and graceful.  But honestly, during petite allegro, I’m just thankful not to be falling over my huge clumsy feet flat onto my scrunched up frustrated face.

. . . Can we please do grand jetes now??

Astrology, Insanity, and the Cold Weather Slump

Remember back when astrology was the Big Thing, and we all read our horscopes and poured over books about our personalities based on our sun signs?  Yeah, I used to LOVE that stuff.  And personality tests.  I don’t know why, it just pulls me in every time.

So it turns out I’m a Gemini.  Back when I read all the books, I always thought “Yeah!  That’s exactly like me!  How weird!”  Now I realize most of that garbage is so generic it can apply to anyone.  But there is one trait that sticks with me about Geminis in particualr, and I can’t wish it away as generic because it is So. Me.  Geminis are really bad at finishing things.

I am GREAT at starting new things.  I’m great at ideas, and brainstorming, and I’m always up for taking a crazy new class or adventure.  But I have zero follow-through.  My closet is perpetually half cleaned out and organized.   My DVDs are partially alphabtized.  I call my workspace organized chaos.

Maybe I get distracted.  Maybe it’s boredom.  Maybe it’s 12 other new things and ideas to try that get in the way.  The only thing I can consistently finish is a new book.  In school, everyone thought I was a procrastinator because I was always pulling all-nighters to finish term papers.  What they didn’t realize was that I LOVED term papers – I usually raced to the library for research the minute it was assigned and worked furiously for a couple days.  Until I found soemthing else and forgot all about it.

Whatever the reason, I, KitTeaCat the Gemini,  can admit it: I suck at finishing things I start.

(Maybe this is why ballet appeals to me?  There is no “finish” to ballet – it is constant progress.)

By far, my finish-challenged self has the worst time with workouts and staying healthy.  I am into the gym – until I’m not.  I religiously did ballet videos – for a bit.  I love running – if it’s not too hot or too cold and there’s nothing on televison.  And I can stick to a diet – but more often, I choose not to.

Winter is the worst for workout slumps.  It’s cold and it’s dark and all I want to do is eat cookies and drink wine.  I usually end up skipping the gym and staying on the couch.  Plus, holiday food.  Mmmm.  I always find myself slacking and quitting and putting on some hibernation weight.  It’s just what happens.

UNTIL TODAY.

Or rather, until October 15th, which is the day I embarked on a workout schedule so crazy, they call it Insanity.  I have owned a not-so-legal burned copy (shhh) for several years now, and have done a couple of the workouts here and there.  But I have made the command decision to go against my nature and actually Finish. The. Program.

To this end, I have written up a snazzy schedule.  I have altered the 60-day program to around 90 days, taking into account my ballet classes and holidays.  I’ve even been meal planning.  I am fighting the winter slump and it’s not even that cold yet.  Yay me!

And, most importantly, I’ve been saying this out loud.  To people.  So I can’t quit quietly.

Technology Sucks, or Double Sunday Splits

I don’t know why my phone and tablet can’t get along.  It’s like they’re standing with their backs to each other, arms folded, refusing to speak.  Like a boy and a girl on opposite sides of the gym at a middle school dance.  Like siblings sharing a room who duct tape down the middle when they’re fighting.  It’s really getting ridiculous.

Anyway, I bring you, for your viewing pleasure, 2 weeks worth of Sunday Splits!

 

Sunday October 5 (skipped middle this week – just coulnd’t do it!):

rsplit (Left split)

lsplit (Right split)

 

Sunday October 12:

IMG_1439 (Rigth split.  Yay, looks like progress!)

IMG_1440 (Left split.  Why did I face opposite directions??  No one knows . . .)

IMG_1441 (Middle.  I really didn’t want to post this.  Yikes.)

These photos are super awkward, I’ve noticed.  Oh well.  At least you can tell they’re not fake!

 

A bit about the Waltz

The waltz step is hard.

Beginners often struggle with it, and I am no exception.  Oh, I get the step.  I know what I’m supposed to be doing.  I get the rhythm.  I know where my feet are supposed to go, where my arms will end up, and the corners and directions I should be travelling towards.  But actually DOING it is another story.

Actually, that’s not quite true.  I can do it.  I have done it.  But I know it’s not pretty.  It’s not graceful, or fluid, or any of the lovely things the waltz step is when I watch the other girls in class perform it.  Either my feet get sloppy, or I add and extra step, or my arms never quite match my legs.  It’s just hard.

Until it’s not.

I feel like ballet is always this way.  Something is difficult, impossible – until it’s not.  Until one day you can just do it.

Last night, my waltzes to the right just clicked.  It all worked.  And I felt graceful, light, and lovely.  The left wasn’t as great, but the whole class was worth it for that One Perfect Waltz.

 

On a side note, I have not abandoned Sunday Splits!  I took this week’s pictures, but my phone and tablet are clearly in a fight and they refuse to cooperate to upload photos.  Once they are reconciled, I will post!

Visions of Sugar Plums

You guys.  Something happened last week after class.  I was walking out with my ballet friend (who I shall call Running Ballerina, as she is a serious runner).  Madame was talking to a new student, but motioned for us to wait for her to finish.

(I don’t know why, but I immediately got that butterfly-in-the-stomach-the-teacher-asked-you-to-stay-after-and-you’re-in-trouble feeling.)

But she told us that a couple of the women who usually do the party scene in Nutcracker were unavailable for some performances.  Would we like to fill in and be part of the show this year?

WHAT??

So let me repeat – Madame asked us to appear, on stage, as part of one of the studio’s performances.  With the Real and Serious Dancers.

Unfortunately, I have plans that take me out of town for the entire performance weekend.  It’s crappy luck, because my theatre-loving heart fluttered at the thought.  So sadly, I had to decline.  I think Running Ballerina will do it though.  She’s never been onstage, and I hope she has a blast!

Even though I can’t do the show, the point is that Madame asked me.  ME.  Me who has been taking ballet at the studio just over a year.  Me who feels like she constantly struggles with parts of class.  Not several of the other girls who have been taking classes longer.  Not the other girls who are, as far as I can see, better dancers.  Talk about a confidence booster!

So, alas, no Nutcracker debut for me.  But maybe next year??