Even though I’ve been super busy with work and stress, I deserve a couple hours off at night to get back to ballet! My Aunt has been attending a class (which is pretty close to where I just moved!) for the past year and a half and has been raving about how awesome the teacher is, how there’s no egos and how she loves it. So I bit the bullet and allowed myself a break in my day now that I’m kinda caught up on some work, and took the class!
Well she was right, the teacher was magnificent! She made me laugh, had great corrections and the level was absolutely perfect for me. Most of the advance classed I’d been attending with my friend would often leave me frustrated and feeling down on myself. Unlike a lot of those girls I never danced as a kid, I did gymnastics and picked ballet up at 21. Gymnastics definitely helped me advance to pointe fairly quickly because of the strength and flexibility, but once I was bored in the beginner classes (even on pointe) and there was nothing else that introduced harder moves (you were just expected to know them) I felt out of my league because I’d never been actually taught. The combos were also long and difficult because there were so many steps I didn’t know!
This class was perfect. It was challenging enough for me to break a sweat and refine my skills, but not too challenging where I would feel bad about not knowing the steps.
Oh and the bonus? We get to be in the recital at the end of the season!!!!
I’ve been quite absent from ballet since around March for several reasons. First was that I had to plan for a big move! My Mom was going to sell (and has since sold) her house, meaning all my stored childhood things needed to find homes (preferably not in my apartment which doesn’t have much storage space)!
Second was a nagging SI joint injury I have been trying to treat with chiropractic care and massage. Sadly the pain is still there but being away from dance hurts more! I have been avidly going to the gym and still doing aerial (pole and hammock) so much strength was not lost but my turn out muscles are like Helooooooooo!
My new apartment has a glorious small studio space in the gym with a perfect floor and beautiful mirrors. The only thing missing is a barre, so I’ve been improvising with the wall and door handles! It makes the perfect space for watching class videos and even working on pointe.
Breaking out the pointe shoes made me a little nervous because after having an extreme case of hand, foot and mouth my feet lost most of their calluses. I was surprised to see my trusty shoes still felt like we had never parted!
Shoe note! While I loveeeee my Suffolk Stellars, I definitely need a good shoe trip because I’ve been dying to try some of their newer models like the Sonnet, Spotlight, and Sterling!
That’s it for now! I have some videos coming soon so join me on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWqXJ7PPbMWZo_s-_wRijHw
And Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/aliciaadances!
I’m always looking for the perfect ballet slipper that not only flatters the foot, but is a joy to dance in. We only want to worry about our dancing and shouldn’t have to worry about the gear we need making dancing harder. I’ve had so many issues with technique shoes, most having a lump or seams right under the ball of my foot, causing pain and throws off balance. The So Danca shoes I’ve been wearing for the past year so or have been the best I’ve found so far, but when I saw Sudfolk came out with a technique shoe (I wear and love their pointe shoes) I had to get them. They came in quickly and right before I had a morning class, so perfect to try! The first thing I noticed was there is a lovely scrunch under the arch that hugs and accentuates it, and feels pretty nice!
Granted I don’t have the best feet or highest arches, but these definitely look nice on me! The elastics are pre-sewn so it’s just slip them on and go which is great because sewing pointe shoes is enough for me. The material feels a little thinner than what I’m used to, but I liked it because I hardly felt the shoe being there.
Nothing was bunching or weird under the ball of my foot! Everything was nice and flat, perfect for balancing. And they stayed put in center, even during turns. I have nothing bad to say about these shoes and will definitely buy them again, and they will probably be my go-to technique shoes!
We are one week out from casting going out and it’s one week after my very first audition for anything in my life ever (and at 32 nevertheless). If you read my last post you’re probably asking “how did it go!?” And the answer is that overall I think it went well, and regardless, I’m glad I did it. Barre went pretty good, I messed up and en dedans turn but I’ve never been good at turns at the barre. I made sure to really get my legs up, balance well, and smile! Center, which was on pointe and I haven’t taken a pointe class since May, went as good as I could have probably expected. I had no idea what to expect, and definitely was underprepared. The good thing is I have plenty to work on now, and have been doing so all week! I’m not good at picking up choreography, especially if an unfamiliar move is in there, and I knew this going in was one of the things they look for. Certain things like arabesques, exhappés, developpes and a fun glissadé jeté combo went well, turns, pas de coru (I think I did more of a bourré…oops) and speed in general not so much.
No matter what the outcome, I’m glad I did it, and will definitely try again next year when I’m stronger and better. These past 2 years have been my most consistent being back dancing and I have definitely come a LONG way! Even today in class, I remembered combos, my balance was great and my legs floated up easier. Even petite allegro was not a total disaster! It’s days like this that make you see you have improved! I look back at pictures from 2 years ago, and not only have I lost about 20 lbs but the quality of the movement and inline has definitely improved as well as confidence!
2 years ago:
They say the best part of things like this is the journey, and I have felt like I haven’t been improving and still have weight to lose. However, I’m doing better than I was and am excited to see where the next year will take me and what else I can find to audition for!
Today is the day! I’m a mix of nerves, doubt, and panic…with a touch of excitement because I’ve never auditioned for anything in my life in person (everything in the aerial world is video audition) so the fact that there are no re-do’s is definitely one of my biggest fears. I’ve gone to new classes before and felt so nervous before that I can’t do anything right and am pretty terrified this could go the same way. I also know I’m leagues behind every other dancer that will be present, since I only started ballet (inconsistently) at 21, besides when I was 3 and did a few years and a group recital to Animal Crackers in My Soup.
So this morning I’m going to indulge in some yoga, try not to overthink, pack extra shoes just in case (Mom’s advice) and hope I get manage to get something in the back of the core!
Here goes nothing!
Pirouettes on point….
Something that has terrified me for most of my ballet life! Well, it’s time to get over the fear and get to work on them! I have been ok with echappé and passé for quite some time, but the prospect of turning up there just makes me panic and think I’m going to break my ankle. I’m also okay with stepping into turns like piqué. Then I get in my head too much…do I turn as I go up? Do I turn after I go up? Am I going to face plant or fall into the person next to me?
A few months ago I was practicing my pointework, and after doing a bunch of echappés, I for some reason became courageous and went for a pirouette! While it wasn’t perfect or even close, I didn’t die and I didn’t break anything so I figured it’s time to start working on them after class. With some encouragement from teachers and my ballet buddy, Katy, I started working on them once or twice a week. Some days they are ok, some days I can’t do them to save my life. The biggest thing I’ve noticed is the thing that holds me back is fear. The more I sit and think about the turn, the more I panic and the less chance I have of getting up there or completing the turn!
Getting out of my head is hard in real life and ballet life. Sometimes it helps to not be worried about people laughing in class, and to work in flats in class then put on my pointe shoes after for practicing combos and turns.
So after a few weeks off of class, I was back in the boots practicing those pirouettes. Nervous, but I think sometimes ballet just doesn’t leave us. Even if we take some time off, the memory of he movement is still there, and sometimes better than before. This is my first time sharing my pirouettes en pointe and yes it’s scary because I know they’re not perfect. But I’m starting here, this is day 1!
Eating clean and having energy for dance are two things that are really important to me. I wanted to try being vegetarian for a while to see if that would help my weight loss come faster, and after a few months I have to say that although I found a ton of fun new recipes, the added chemical and carbs actually made me gain a few pounds. This is one of my favorite dishes I made that was really good and not too bad on the calories! The first time I purchased meat alternatives was a teriyaki stir fry, but when I saw this orange chick’n I knew I had to give it a try, and was not disappointed. I could seriously eat this every day! Here’s what I did:
1/2 packet Gardein Mandarin Orange Chick’n and 1/2 included sauce. I cooked it in a stir fry pan for the recommended time, while simultaneously cooking white rice and steaming broccoli. When the Chick’n was about done I added some chopped green peppers and red onion to the stir fry and the sauce. I put the rice in a dish, then added the stir fry pan contents and the broccoli.
This post was not sponsored by any products mentioned and everything was purchased with my own money.