Archive | February 2012

step, back, side, front….right?

Step. Back. Side. Front. Is that a tombe pas de bourree?  I can pronounce it. I can google it to check the spelling. But I can’t dance it. I kept doing balances which come second, not first in the chorus of our song. Oh well…I shall try again on Friday and hopefully, it will all be spelled out for me once again.

Can I just say that Chris Rice’s arrangement of How Great Thou Art is so beautiful. Makes one of my favorite hymns I grew up singing even better. And this choreography is so gorgeous. Can’t wait til Friday when the girls will join the adults for rehearsal and Miss Beautiful Ballet Teacher shows us the whole song. I think I might like this one even better than I Can Only Imagine. Is that possible?

In other news, my little Miss started her choreography today for the first time. Was that Vivaldi I heard? Cool. She has never danced baroque or classical for a performance.

exhilarating class and rehearsal


“making lively and joyful; imparting strength and vitality”

That’s the definition, so yes, I’d say that last night’s class and rehearsal were just positively exhilarating. Going into it, I was stiffer than usual, but my muscles quickly loosened up (not as flexible as I wish they were, but they got as bendy as I am right now.)

s  t  r  e  t  c  h.  Mmm. It just felt so good. When I got home, I wanted to keep on stretching and moving.

Tonight we were only missing one person for rehearsal; that’s the most we have ever had present.
If we could just have *everyone* there at the same time, maybe we’ll figure out spacing and where everyone should be standing 🙂  I finally feel like I know the choreography to I Can Only Imagine. The second chorus’s choreo ends differently than the first chorus’s. Last night, was the first time I remembered that consistently. FINALLY.  Not sure I’m doing it correctly, but at least I’m not doing it like the first chorus.

Now, it’s just on to the polishing and making sure I point my toe and hold my head and arms the right way and all that ballet stuff that makes the movement look easy and effortless when in fact, it is just the opposite! Friday, we’ll work on our 2nd song.

Going back a few days to Saturday’s rehearsal: it went good, but it was too long at nearly 2 hours. We should have called it quits a little earlier than we did. I forgot half the choreography the last time we went through the song, so my brain had definitely reached the point where it was no longer working.  I had been wondering if I really knew the song or if I was always relying on watching Miss Beautiful Ballet Teacher. Well, she wasn’t there and Miss Experienced stands at the far opposite end so I can’t watch her. I had been planning on asking Most Advanced Teenager to stand in Miss BBT’s place. But oh no! She wasn’t there either. So I was on my own. To answer my question, yes, I had been relying on others to cue my next movement so Saturday gave me the opportunity to learn the song without watching others… Just don’t put this tall girl in the front row.

Update on my purple leotard: the pink spots came out in the wash. phew.

help! my purple leotard has pink spots

After rehearsal, my new purple leotard, which has gone through the washing machine just once, developed pink spots. The discoloration is only in one place, so it must be from my deodorant. Have you ever had this happen?   This has never occurred with any other clothing of mine. Fortunately, the pink spots are only on the inside.

Anyone know what’s up with that? Will it come out in the wash?

dancing through a season of grief

When I told my mom that I’d be dancing to a song about heaven, she asked me if I’d be able to handle it. Be able to get through it. I think she was/is worried that I’ll break down. I’m pretty confident that’s not going to happen, but if it does, I’ll be surrounded by people who can help me off stage, bring me a box of kleenex, and put their arms around me.

A few of my friends said that they would cry through the whole thing. I’m going to let you all have your tears and thank you for them! For fans of CCM, it’s a popular song. A powerful song. Many have attended a funeral where it’s been sung.

Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel?
Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still?
Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine.   ~lyrics by Mercy Me

This song was sung at the funeral of my friend Beth who died of cancer at age 36. I always think of her when I hear this song on the radio. But before I heard it at her funeral, every note, every word had been burned on my heart…it was one of the songs that had helped me after my daughter died unexpectedly at age two. The only thing that has made losing a child bearable is the confidence that I have she is singing and dancing with the angels in heaven, worshiping at the feet of Jesus.

So I love songs about heaven.

“Dancing through a season of grief.” That’s the title of this blog post. I called it that because this is my season of grief whose beginning is always marked by the daffodils breaking through the frozen ground in my front yard.  That happened this week. My daughter’s birthday is this weekend. Then her heaven day is right around the corner–a week before the dance performance. My daughter died Easter week so the anniversary of her death is always marked twice for me since Easter floats around and isn’t a fixed holiday like others. So the performance is sandwiched between those two “heaven” days.

So how has this been for me so far?  Fine. Part of it is that at rehearsal, I’m just so concentrated on learning the choreography that I don’t have time to be consumed by grief. One night,I  put the song on with no intention of feeling anything and just started sobbing. But that was once. Don’t know if it will happen again.

Stay tuned. I’m not just dancing to Mercy Me’s, I can Only Imagine. I’ll be dancing to two songs. More on that later.

bravo! jete and all that jazz

Whenever I tell people I have been doing a conditioning/beginning ballet class, my friends are all thrilled for me and think it’s great. Some would say, “Ballet? Really? You? That’s awesome!”  So that’s where the subtitle of my blog comes from. One gal went on and on about how I was using a different part of my brain than I ever have and that it would be great for development and that all adults should try something out of their comfort zone, just for the benefits to the brain.

There really has only been one negative and it wasn’t even negative about me taking ballet because I didn’t actually tell her that I was doing it.  It was with someone I don’t see very often and I mentioned to her that I had discovered a blog that I was really enjoying reading written by someone who had started ballet at age 32. She immediately said,

“Why on earth would anyone start ballet that old? It doesn’t even burn very many calories.”

Then she went on and on and on about how many calories different types of exercise burn up and how ballet is really low on the list. I decided *not* to tell her that I had started ballet at age 40.  And calories. To be honest, I have never once gone to class in order to burn calories and when I’m standing at the barre, I don’t think, “Gee, I wonder how many calories these degages and tendus are burning up?”  I’m not in it for the calorie burn.

As I’ve slowly shared this blog with others, the responses have been so positive and encouraging. I’ve posted more responses below:

How exciting! Thanks for sharing!! So funny that I’ve been talking about doing the same…. I’ve always regretted stopping ballet (after 5th grade!) and often say I’ll go back… someday.

Glad you’re doing it. For the flexibility and conditioning and grace. And for the less tangible benefits that are mostly what you write about.

Love it! It relates many of my exeriences as I have travelled my 18-year journey, starting at age 37. Cool. God bless you! 🙂

Enjoying “Ballet, You Say?”

Beautiful and inspiring…

Bravo! Jete and all that jazz!

Best of all, I’m thrilled that I’m not the only beginning adult ballet blogger!  I love this post about no matter what happens, just keep dancing and this one with a “what people think I do…” facebook type poster for adult ballet dancers.

on costumes

Tried on a costume. No comment except to say it goes down to my ankles and comes up into a mock turtleneck so it definitely meets my rule for wearing something on stage.

  • rule #1: skirt must not be too sheer or too short
    (this is quite relative, of course)
  • rule #2: top must not be sheer or cut too low or too high
  • rule #3: to put #2 another way, no cleavage and no midriff showing

This isn’t a costume that “would make me change my mind” about dancing which is what Miss Beautiful Ballet Teacher said after I told her that NO, I wouldn’t be dancing in the performance. lol. Actually, I think she was referring to a different costume, one she has put on hold until Winter because it’s heavy and thick and perhaps too hot to wear in the Spring.

Me not participating in the performance- that was a long time ago. Well, actually not so long ago. It turns out that I am dancing after all …Catch up everybody. I originally thought no way would I be dancing this side of 2013 but things change…You’ll have to go back and read one of the reasons I changed my mind.

This particular costume will look good when many of us are wearing them together and twirling a bit.