Tag Archive | life

a toning triumph

I’ve been exercising on my own for a couple of years, and a year with the conditioning class. I keep waiting to pull on a pair of pants and have them fall down because they’re too big, but that just hasn’t happened yet since my waist has shrunk only one stinking inch. I can tell my hips and legs have toned a lot more than that though…

I’m definitely significantly smaller on top–3 sizes smaller in fact.  hip hip hooray. I keep getting on the scale and it just hasn’t budged since I lost 10 pounds in January. What’s up with that?? But what I’m most happy about is that my girth is down 5 inches since a year ago and 3 inches since I measured for my costume in February.  My initial goal was to have my girth less than my height and it has happened. FINALLY! It was really depressing that it was more. The fact that I’m taller than average offered little consolation. This little toning triumph gets me more than a little excited because even though the scale isn’t showing any change, these measurements do. In case you’re thinking I’m referring to the horizontal measurement around my mid-section, think again and refer to the drawing on the left.

Because I’ve dropped a few inches, I decided to try on the camisole leotard that I bought last year but turned out was cut way too low in the front to ever consider wearing without something over it. I used to wear this leotard just to cover my midriff in case my shirt crept up while bending to the side or lifting my arms because I don’t think anyone wants to see my lumpy love handles. So anyhow, I pulled on this leo today for the first time in about 5 months, and–oh my gosh– I had to tighten the straps all the way. Before, I wore them loosened all the way. I can yank the leotard up where it’s meant to go, and now I’m not showing any cleavage. So it turns out, the leotard wasn’t cut too low, it was just me that was cut too big. Now it fits. I can’t believe it; I really can’t! Awesome.

I’ll keep going to class and working on my swan arms at home with the ballet blast series and doing ballet conditioning with one of my favorite exercise DVDs. My next goal: wittle my waist down enough so I can fit into a fabulous leotard like those pictured below (available at Dancewear Solutions.) I wouldn’t necessarily go for fuschia–just love the backs on these and girlfriends, don’t worry, I’ll be wearing the leotard with some yoga pants or a skirt!

you don’t want to dance with the fan

The staff of Ballet Magnificat taught masters’ classes this week at my dance studio. My little miss went to a beginner class (but in ballet world, beginner actually means that you’ve been taking ballet for at least 3 years. go figure.)

The instructor told everyone to find a place by the barre so my little miss promptly positioned herself at the end of the barre a couple inches from the fan, edging out an adult dancer.

“No, no, no sweetie” I thought. “Don’t stand there! Someone else–an adult no less- is already standing there.  Look at all the empty spaces between little people your own size! Oh well..what’s a mom to do?”

The adult, who was presumably coming to this beginner class to warm up for the advanced class, gave her a sideways glance and went to the free-standing barre at the center of the room, leaving my little miss to dance with the fan.

And dance with the fan, she did. I don’t think she ever actually knocked into it, but I was just about to get off the bench and move it when the instructor went to pick up the fan and laughingly said,

“You don’t want to dance with the fan.”

My little miss loved the class, got some nice corrections. She would dance everyday if she could.

coming soon: my masters’ class.

on toning, red socks, and lifts…random mid-week ramblings

When I was hugging my hubby today, he said that he can tell I’m toning up a little and he likes it. Oh yeah.  It’s the barre you know. Those deep, long stretches towards the barre, away from the barre, and to the floor.

Forgetful. I have random things swirling around in my head, so I’m emptying my thoughts here of all the things that I forgot to put in my other rehearsal and class posts.

“I thought we’ve done this on Saturdays,” Miss Beautiful Ballet Teacher said to me when I was hesitant to start moving across the floor… Oh yes, I’ve seen this particular movement done several times in the last 3/4 of a year. But me actually do it…never. I know that it is easy peasy. But for some reason, my feet and legs, not to mention my arms, have been unable to transfer all this easy peasyness into action.  My little miss even does it beautifully in her beginner class. Uncoordinated in some movements, I am.

I discovered another enjoyable ballet blog today, Dancing over the Hill  linked off another one that I’ve been reading, Back to the Barre. So I’m adding both to my sidebar. (Just let me know if you don’t want me to do this.)

During class, as the minutes tick by, and the barre combinations get increasingly quicker and more complex as we warm up, I always get to the point when I think, I just need to go to class with the little girls where things aren’t so advanced, but I carry on. This week, Miss BBT made it a point to explain that when we plie, releve on both feet 4 times, then coupe and releve on just one foot, we always start with the right foot. She repeated this instruction a couple times, emphasizing start with your right foot. Oh good. I was ready. I was going to start on my right. And I did.  I lifted my right foot and stood strong on my left foot. WRONG WRONG WRONG. Apparently, when you start with your right foot, that means to stand on your right foot, not lift it. And as I am writing about this, even now, I am wondering if I am remembering it wrong.  Oh well, another possible light bulb moment for me. Miss BBT was probably thinking, I said 3 times to start with the right foot. What is she doing? Doesn’t she ever listen? Oh, yes, Miss Beautiful Ballet Teacher, I am always listening! Always. I just don’t always understand.

I told you this was random.

One of the ladies in class is eccentric in her dress. You never know what she is going to show up wearing. I love it! I’d love to call her by her real nickname, but I’m not using real names on this blog. Once she came to rehearsal straight from work, so she just slipped a pair of leggings under her wool dress. She has long hair, and lots of it! Sometimes, it’s down, and sometimes, she has it pulled up in a loose bun with hair falling out all around–messy but pretty. And once, my favorite–her hair was tightly rolled up into leopard print little ties all over head.   She often wears shorts over tights with a sheer skirt over it, and a t-shirt over leotard that usually disappears or gets tied up half-way up her torso once we’ve warmed up a bit. And all these items of clothing–a variety of colors and patterns 🙂 Finally, the best ensemble of all, and I say this with great fondness and affection: white ballet shoes, red socks, pink leg warmers, purple shorts. Just don’t let flower number seven into our studio; she would be appalled at the way all the adults in our class dress.

Still rambling here.

And last but not least, in fact, this could maybe even be most as in filed under most ridiculous or most entertaining or most stupid question.  Except there are no stupid questions, right?   On with it now….So my husband asked me a few weeks ago if I was going to be doing any lifts with Mr. (insert name of your choice of a studly danseur.) This question is so absurd that I didn’t know how to react or answer. In fact, I didn’t react at all. I easily kept a straight face with no emotion. I wasn’t sure if he was kidding or serious. If he were kidding, well, then maybe I could laugh it off. But if his question was serious, then I could only guess that it comes from a lack of dance knowledge. Dancing with a partner is not even a blip on my radar. Because I am not strong enough. Not skilled enough. I could go on and on and on. I would need to be able to jump and leap all by myself before expecting someone else to catch me in the air….Now I realize Mr. (again insert danseur name of your choice) could probably bench press the same amount of weight that is the number on the scale when I step on it, however, I’m not exactly in the same weight class as the other ladies that he’s currently hoisting around. Not even close. So, my dear lover, I will not be doing any lifts. Ever. But I should never say never. So I’ll just say not for a very long time, anyway.  Oh, and my husband’s question: he was not kidding; he was serious.

Even though I won’t be doing any fancy schmancy graceful pas de deux, I would love to dance with my husband–maybe a waltz! Since he can’t lead, and I can’t follow, that won’t happen anytime soon. The leading and following: I’m referring to just dance, you know. We would need to take a class and work together. If we ever did actually do that, hopefully, it would go better than the last class we took.

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.