can all the pieces really fall together in time for performance?

By this time two weeks from now, the marley floor will be cleaned and rolled back away, the costumes hung up. Two performances done. I have no idea what the next two weeks are going to look like and how on earth this whole thing will pull together especially when it involves Thanksgiving week and no classes or rehearsals for five days.  yikes!

Today’s rehearsal was rough. So many girls were missing. The music CD was shot and skipping all over the place in a few of the songs, we’re still learning when we’ll be on stage in the background and when we’ll be offstage..  And it seems like on my dance, yet another element was added or re-added today and I’m just not even sure if we’re supposed to do it or not.    Miss Beautiful Ballet Teacher, what say ye?  Are we going to detourne’ after that second pony before the arabesque?And if we detourne’, the weight will be in the back foot and do we just shift the weight to the front foot as the first step of the arabesque or is there another step in there??????

My music isn’t symmetrical and the cues are very hard to hear and it’s all just a little bit beyond my non-musical, non-dance background.  I’ve been put in a rag doll costume and told it doesn’t matter if it’s not perfect because we’re just rag dolls, mischievous and goofy. That does not make me feel any better about not ever ever having done the choreographed part of the dance correctly.

My husband said, “This is supposed to be fun and if all this fun is stressing you out, then maybe you need to have less fun.”

yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Panic is starting to set in. Just a teeny bit. Let me tell you who is going to steal the show: the cupid doll. Oh my word! A nine year old pixie in a pink tutu couldn’t be any cuter! Her classical dance is adorable.


dance camp woes

Not beginner. Not beginner. Not beginner.

I expected something different at dance camp tonight based on the description, so I got a little whiplash when it was the usual hard stuff, just a different name.

I was really looking forward to something easier than what I normally get on Monday nights because this week was supposed to be BEGINNER.

A few minutes into class, I thought about running from the room and joining the rest of the family at the swimming pool, but I re-grouped and just decided, oh well, might as well stay even though it was NOT what I was expecting.

Here’s the shortened class description sent out in a reminder e-mail a few days ago:

13 years to adult class for beginners and “refreshers” is on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday at 5:15 to 6:45 PM.

BUT WAIT! That’s not all:

Demonstration and improvization dance at 6:30 on Thursday. Invite friends and family.

Say WHAT?  There is no stinking way that I’m inviting anyone and there’s also no way that I’m doing any type of anything in front of these kids’ parents. nope. NOT gonna happen. I think I’ll just sit on the sidelines and enjoy the show that the teeny boppers put on.

flashback to last Tuesday:

Awesome! There are a few extra classes this summer for mixed ages and levels–level III and up. Last week, there were 5 young girls on one barre, us 3 old ladies along the barre on the wall, and GASP, Mr. Studly Danseur on the barre all by himself in the middle of the room. Never had class with HIM before.  Plus bonus entertainment: Miss Never Know what she’s going to wear had on salmon tights and a different color salmon shirt.

After stretching on the barre for a good thirty minutes or so, Miss Beautiful Ballet Teacher told us to turn and face the barre. This particular week that put me facing the wall and thus, facing away from anyone I can watch to see what I’m supposed to be doing. This always causes inward groaning on my part especially when she shows us combinations that I have no way of doing without watching someone.


I almost stood next to or across from Mr. Mr. so I could watch him or someone else. Seriously, I couldn’t wrap my head around this super fast-paced, feet ever-changing movement. OVERWHELMING. I stayed put. I wasn’t the only one who didn’t get this one. I turned my head to the right and to the left  and they didn’t exactly know what they were doing either.  I think the 3 of us were all trying to follow each other and since no one was leading, the following was quite haphazard. I just started to laugh and wished I hadn’t even attempted it.  Then it was time for the next combination. Oh good, I know this one. We’ve done it lots of times in class. Not that I’ve ever gotten it correct, but with this demonstration, I think I finally caught on to the order of things. I did it. I think Miss BBT was super surprised that I was actually doing what I was kind of supposed to because she shrieked my name rather loudly with a “GOOD.”

oh yeah, I got this. This class was much easier for me–only one overwhelming part instead of many–and I’m guessing it was because of the barre full of under age 12 level III girls. 🙂  I like to be challenged, but I do not like to be overwhelmed repeatedly.

My knees are hurting. When I started to climb the stairs on Saturday for conditioning, I didn’t get very far when I turned around to go back to the van to get some ibuprofen. Tonight, walking the stairs was pain-free but it wasn’t very long, when the pain started shooting from my knee with the slightest of plie’.  ugh

On the agenda for tomorrow: I suppose it will be another day of beginner/refresher dance that’s not beginner.

anyone have experience with custom orthotics?

I’ve been going to a chiropractor who recommends custom orthotics to correct the supination in my feet and the 1 cm difference in leg lengths that I have. (I’ll also mention that I have slight scoliosis.) He thinks that these corrections might be enough to significantly reduce my knee pain. If I get them, it means boxing up all my super cute summer shoes and sending them to the attic.

I’ll probably get inserts that can go into any shoe ( except the previously mentioned summer sandals and slides) and  also get some almost–but not quite– cute slides with the orthotic built into the shoes.

Anyone have any experience with this? My mom tried them, and it wasn’t the magic bullet for her.

I’m not exactly dripping in money over here, but my husband and I think they’re worth the cost if they’ll eliminate or at least lessen the knee pain that I’ve had for several years.

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.

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.

snap snap…

So the burgandy colored overlay for my costume is done. Miss Experienced is sewing  the overlays with a little help from others. After checking the fit, she gave it to me, saying all I needed to do was sew on a couple snaps at the waistband (which is a high waistband.)

NO NO NO. I thought. I hate sewing. I could sew on a couple snaps, but it truly would take me an hour or two (I’m not kidding folks.) and then they’d probably end up crooked or something. Plus, one of my fingers would start bleeding  because I ‘d keep poking it with the needle. I’m speaking from experience here.  Did I mention I hate sewing?

I decided to farm this mini project out.  My mind bounced around for a little while, trying to think of which handy-with-needles-friend I could ask for this small, yet huge favor.  Ah yes,my good friend and neighbor. Before I could facebook or call her, I saw her out my kitchen window,  so I ran out to my deck and called to her. She agreed to sew on the snaps, and finished it that very night. WOW. Fast. And she got it right the first time. Cool and thank you, thank you,thank you.

Snap. Snap. Done. And I didn’t even have to thread a needle.

frizzy bun

20120317-211120.jpgI just took this photo with my ipod then uploaded it to my blog: how cool is that? I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to wear a bun for the performance.  um. ugh. I have fairly curly hair and I’m just not sure how it’s all going to turn out.  I just took a bunch of clips out of my hair that I’ve been wearing for a day and a half, so I thought I’d smooth it out and try a bun.

This is the 30 second version with no pins or clips, no comb or brush–just my fingers, a ponytail holder, and hair net. I guess if I can do this in half a minute, then if I spend 3-5 minutes on it with some water, gel, hairspray, and pins, it might turn out ok. My main concern is my little curly wings at the nape of my neck.  Superglue?

I’m used to doing my little miss’s bun whose hair is straight, fine and thin. Anyone with curly hair care to share how their ballet bun gets all slick and ballet-ey?

cow pose, grande battements, and other stuff

In class this weekend, one  of the stretches we did was the yoga cow pose. I got into the position and felt nothing. I mean nothing. Where was the stretch supposed to be? Normally, I can really feel something somewhere, and have to concentrate on my breathing so I actually breathe and I have to ease up on the stretch and then take it a little further. So I yanked up my foot a bit more and then I could feel a stretch, then when we switched to the other side,  instead of feeling a stretch on my backside, I felt it in my iliopsoa in the front. Man, are those tight. I’m always trying to loosen them!

During one of our combinations across the floor–don’t ask me what on earth it was called– we started with a tendu, led with that foot, brought the other foot to our knee, did a releve’ if we felt we could then foot back down in fifth in position. Repeat until we reached the other end of the room.  Except Miss Beautiful Ballet Teacher asked me what I was doing.  I told her I didn’t know what I was doing.  She watched me and then showed me what I *should* be doing and told me, “Don’t do that, you’ll hurt yourself.”  Apparently, I was doing things in the wrong order, going up on releve’ too soon, so I just decided to take the rest of the exercise flat-footed. Goodness knows, this beginner has no business going up on releve’ in that type of movement!  haha

This other thing we were doing on center, I could do. sort of.  Grande battement to the front with one arm in second and one in fifth (is there a special french name for that?)  Land in fifth, switch weight to the other leg and kick to the back, switching arms to a beautiful arabesque (at least beautiful when Miss Beautiful Ballet Teacher does it.) Land in fifth again, switch up the arms,  and grand battement to the side. yikes. Then go in the other direction.  Sometimes, I got it. Other times, I would realize my arms were opposite what they should be. When I fixed my arms, I would miss the next kick and fall behind. Oh, and my grande battements: not so grande! more like demi or semi!

my dad wants to take pictures

My mom told me yesterday that my dad wants to take photos during the dress rehearsal.

“WHAT? Does he know that I’ll be dancing and not just my little miss?”

No, she hadn’t told him.  So what better way to inform him than by writing about it on my brand new blog and sending him the link. No sense in putting it off.

Waving furiously to the man with the  long beard. And for those of you who don’t know my dad, I do mean long. Long and white and majestic.

So my dad  just thought he would be taking pictures of his lovely young granddaughter.  Now he knows that his little lady will be there too in a long, flowey, white costume with an overlay in a color-yet-to-be-determined, dancing with several other ladies.

a Spirit-led conversation

So out of the blue, and I do mean out the blue, because we weren’t talking about anything ballet related, my husband told me that I would be dancing on stage someday.

Say what?

So a conversation ensued and he said things that  just are not in his vocabulary, so it was obvious to me his words were Spirit-led.
me: But don’t you think the whole idea of me dancing in public is ridiculous?? (not that I think this; I just thought he would think it.)
him: Oh, no. Not at all. You’d love it!
me: But won’t you be embarrassed with your wife on stage?
him: No, I think it would be great.
me: One of my strong hesitations is for the audience’ sake. I don’t want to be that person that makes people cringe and causes them to look away and can’t wait until the song is over…
him: Do you trust Miss (beautiful ballet teacher?) She wouldn’t put you in that kind of position, where you would do anything embarrassing like that.
me: I know. I do trust her…I just didn’t think it would be so soon. I have imagined myself dancing someday in the future and I’ve always seen myself dancing to a song about heaven. And guess what this song is about?
him: It sounds like God is really leading you to do this now.
(this is the kind of thing that my husband never says!)
him: You should do it. You would love it and have fun.

Wow, to have my husband’s approval and even encouragement in this endeavor is huge. And I didn’t even have to ask him; he brought it up.

I’m definitely moving in the direction of dancing this March. I sent Miss Beautiful Ballet Teacher an e-mail to see her thoughts on all of this.