Archive | April 2012

stumbled into the wrong class

So this Level IV ballet class was a killer last night. I don’t mind a challenge; in fact, I want to be challenged, but I also want to be able to do actually some of the things. Last night was just so totally beyond me mentally and physically, I had to adapt everything.

Wanted: a beginner class. A less complex barre. An easier center.

Wanted: new knees.

messiah by twila paris: worship dance wednesday

About the videos chosen for worship dance Wednesday: Unless otherwise noted, I am not in these videos, neither do I know anyone in them. If you have a video that you’d like me to consider posting on my blog, send it my way! I’m always looking for good quality sound and picture, and although the choreography doesn’t need to be perfect, it does need to be a blessing to watch.  ~ballet you say

knee braces and a lacrosse ball

I’ve been wearing my knee braces constantly since Saturday. I don’t know if it’s the weather or something hormonal. I don’t think it’s an injury because then only one knee would be bothering me, not both of them. Usually, I only wear the braces for exercise or dance. I am praying for the day when the knee pain will be a thing of the past and I can do grand plies’ and run down a hill.

I’m ok with walking and standing, and I was even pain-free dancing the night away with my husband and kids at a Saturday wedding. But bending them enough to sit down sends a shooting pain down both knees; once I’m seated, they don’t hurt. Walking up and down steps is quite painful so I’ve been avoiding steps all day; I didn’t even take my little miss up to her dance class today; she was on her own.

That’s just my knees. My right hip has felt stuck for as long as I can remember; I’m not sure how else to describe it. Saturday, though, it started to hurt and it still hurts. It’s not excruciating (I’ve been there, done that several times), but it is definitely limiting my range of movement and activities. Plus, like I said, it hurts. I’m dreaming of a professional massage, day and night, but I’ve been settling for driving my own fist into it once in awhile or leaning up against a wall with a lacrosse ball. My physical therapist gave me that hint probably about 10 years ago.

Yesterday, I wasn’t even sure if I was going to go to ballet class, but as the day wore on, my muscles seemed to loosen a bit as I rolled my feet and hip with the lacrosse ball. Even if I couldn’t bend my knees at all, I could at least stretch my upper body, so I went. I was a lot more flexible than I had expected to be. I was feeling good until we got on the floor and did some stretching. Sitting in second position has never been my favorite, plus it is what triggered my hip pain on Saturday and it happened again.

ouchy. ouchy. ouchy.

So I was uber careful with that hip when we rehearsed our songs. We do a grand battement four times and well, I just did a little degage’ because I could just see myself throwing my back out or something and I didn’t want that to happen.

I’m going to the chiropractor in the morning–one I’ve never been to. I am hopeful and prayerful that this hip pain will go away once and for all. We’re dancing at a nursing home this weekend–how sweet is that? So I’m hoping I can move freely for the performance.

another day of class?

On Saturday, Miss Beautiful Ballet Teacher asked us if we’d like another day of class. I stayed silent then–you know because I don’t want to seem too eager or anything– but I’d like to just stand up and raise my hand and say,

“Me, me, me. Yes!”

feeling the burn of swan arms

My little miss and I just popped in this dvd last night for the first time. It has four 15 minute segments of targeted exercises. We started with “swan arms.” Oh man, flapping your arms gracefully for an entire 15 minutes is a killer! Just 1 or 2 minutes will make the uninitiated feel the heat and beg to drop the arms.  It will take me a long time to be able to do the full session. She has several parts where she stretches and tells you to breathe for a rest, but it’s only for about 1 second.  I’m not kidding!  And her stretches aren’t really the kind of stretches I’m used to doing. She basically lifts her arms overhead and then drops them as quickly as she got them up and then she’s back to flapping her arms. I barely have time to reach up before she’s back to doing the exercise.  Flapping is probably the wrong word to use since Mary Helen Bowers in the video is full of grace.

I am hoping that by doing the swan arms portion of this dvd a couple times a week, it will minimize the flab on the back of my arms:)  I’d like my teenage arms back.

After only about 5 minutes, my little miss asked if there was something that wasn’t JUST for arms. Understandably! So I jumped ahead to the “body blast” but we were only there for a few seconds before our 4 menfolk came home, so I just turned it off because I can’t exercise under their scrutiny!

I went ahead and watched the full swan arms this morning. I did the movements at about 1/2 pace or even slower. And I let my stretches be a little longer than hers so I could have a longer rest than she allows.  I have something to work toward: being able to do it at full speed for the full 15 minutes. I’ll keep you posted. And I’ll also tell you about the remaining 3 sections of the dvd, available at the ballet beautiful website or at amazon once I have the opportunity to watch them.

My arms: feeling good and a little sore! My shoulders too.

first class…post performance

Monday ballet class was great. Some of the footwork at the barre made me dizzy (figuratively, not literally.)  I just can’t keep it all straight. At one point we were swinging our leg back and forth, back to front and my toes kept hitting the floor (since we’re pointing them.) I found myself shifting the weight in my hip and leaning to one side so I wouldn’t bang my foot on the floor.  Of course having one leg an entire centimeter longer than the other doesn’t exactly help me in this situation. When Miss Beautiful Ballet Teacher slowed the movement down, I could see that you have to flex your foot as you brush the floor. DUH. Then I won’t be banging the floor with my toes. Makes sense. Another light bulb moment. It’s still way too fast for me, though, but at least I can stand straight on one leg instead of swaying as if I’m getting swiped by a speedy gust of wind.

Only one of the young girls was there: 12 year old Miss Never Can Stand Still. Miss Beautiful Ballet Teacher commented at how good she was being. I offered to go stand at her barre and be goofy with her. heehee

At the end of the class, we danced our 2 songs and the feeling was different and freer. Pretty cool. Since there were only 4 of us present (out of a possible 11), I used a lot more of the floor than I usually do. No need to stay in my personal dance box. lol.  I sang along to the songs and moved with the music and felt great joy. Definitely a different feel since the stage is behind us. Plus, I asked Miss BBT to dance the solo parts so I could follow along.

I’ll close this post with an e-mail from another ballet mom:

Just read most of your posts about ballet. LOVE your heart.
I am so glad that you are dancing
…and you never know, Mr ____ may eventually do a lift with you. 🙂
and if he does, I will be in the audience watching…and clapping.

My response: No lifts. haha maybe a spin with at least one foot firmly planted on the marley.