Back at the Barre | Adventures in Adult Ballet

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!

My Healthy Life | Gardein Mandarin Chick’n Bowl

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.

Happy Eating!

Alicia

Anything is Possible

It’s taken me a really long time and many ups and downs to figure out what I want in life and make a game plan to achieve. I have suffered from a negative mindset, felt with naysayers and unsupportive people, and been surrounded with both people who have no ambition and people who thrive on ambition. The latter is the best kind of friends to have! Over the past year I’ve had som pretty low lows. With lacking self esteem and motivation toward both my dancing, my career, and my business. Through yoga, meditation and reading, I’ve uncovered a lot of ugly truth about myself and people around me. The difference now as I write this? I understand.

I’ve always been the girl with too many hobbies and interests, and I’ve had several people tell me I’m too busy and have too much going on. Like being multitalented is bad? Over the years I’ve developed more of these hobbies so I guess I am not going to get any better at limiting myself! The biggest thing, is something my Mom told me from the time of childhood: you are who you associate with. If you hang out with people who aren’t going anywhere, you won’t go anywhere. If you hang out with people with ambition and the nerds, you will be much better off. How does this relate to dance? For a while I didn’t have many people who understood why I dance. Since making friends in the ballet community, so much of this, including my crappy attitude toward myself, has changed. Losing weight and taking better care of myself has also helped. Being motivated to dream has been the pinnacle of it! If I go into ballet class with a bad attitude (pun intended) I have a bad class. If I go in telling myself I’m a great dancer and I belong here, even if I’m not perfect, I have a good class. It’s all in the mindset and I’ve seen it play out MANY times. Ballet, especially pointe, is very mental. I know I am strong enough, but fear holds me back. I started seeing this in my non-ballet life as well, that fear and anxiety is what always holds me back from so many things. Right now I’m learning pirouettes on pointe. If I don’t think about it, I can get up. If I sit there in my demi plié panicky about falling….well we know how that ends. In my life I’ve done this as well, but all of that is changing. The more I stick my mindset to “I’m going to try”, because it’s better to dream big and want everything and take huge risks that may involve failure, than to sit by and watch it pass by and do nothing. Doing something is better than doing nothing. Trying and failing is better than wasting the prime of your life on what if. In January I was unhappy with my body. I had hit my highest weight, 185, to date, and I’m not afraid to tell you all because I know I’ll never hit is again. I’m 5’7″ and muscular, with some booty and a D cup, and always have been even when I was at my ideal weight. However, my ideal weight hovers more around 150-155, where I can see my muscle tone that I work hard for. So I did something that I convinced myself for a long time I couldn’t do, I took control. I lost 18 lbs and counting since then, and am almost ready for bikini season! I did the Blogilates 28 day reset, cutting alcohol, sweets, gluten and dairy, and drank tons of water. Sure I craved, but I didn’t give in. Add in ballet and running and the weight came off! I still have about 12 lbs to go before I’m happy, and have no doubt I can do it. It’s all in the mindset.

A quote that’s been going through my mind lately: “A ship is safe in the harbor, but that’s not why ships were built.” Cheers to that!

Chasing Speed | Adult Ballerina Blog

Anything quick in ballet is a nemesis for me, which is unfortunate because adagio can only last for so long! When talking to my teacher after class Sunday, she said that I know the steps and can do them, but when it comes my turn to go across the floor I panic and hold back. I though it was a mix of lack of remembering steps/ choreography, but she said that’s definitely not the case and I know the steps but hold myself back. When marking through a combo slower (with time to think!) I am fine, and the actual steps work. But when it’s time to go, something inside me forgets everything and goes blank! Granted the combo was a little tricky with some mind game direction changes, but the funny thing is that 2 days later now I remember the whole thing! Like why couldn’t I in class?!

In Monday’s class we broke down the faster combos I usually struggle with, and besides my pathetic assembles (they aren’t assembled in any way shape or form!) I actually got through it and remembered the combo IN class. I guess practice makes better, so those two combos will be going across my living room all week!

I also worked in my new Bloch pointe shoes after class with another student that is also a teacher and was a professional dancer. Since our pointe class from last year is no more, I love getting corrections and tips on how to better utilize my shoes and muscles. We broke them in some more because the shank is hard, and I mean HARD! The paper that comes with the shoes says do not bend it and to just take class and it will mold, but I was struggling with balance getting over the box and had to move them along!

I do really like the shoes! They are Bloch Synthesis, a brand new model in the stretch line that aren’t even available online or at most retailers yet. I got them on my NYC trip and am always excited to try new models! They are comfortable and I love the way they look, and are a little more streamlined than my Eurostretch shoes.

I want to do a side by side of my feet in all the shoes I like as a comparison on what looks better. Since there are several shoes I have liked the feeling of, next would be to see what actually looks the best! But that’s a post for another day!

Happy Dancing!

Alicia

Ballet in 2018 | Goals | Pushing the limits

Starting 2018 my friend and I went up to Cambridge for a open house at the José Mato Ballet Theater. I haven’t danced in 3 weeks due to holiday and my car breaking down and needing to buy a new one. Deciding to take this class at the highest level offered was terrifying since I have a hard time with confidence taking anything but beginner class.

But this year I’m going to push myself. There’s no way I’ll ever get better and understand the steps that confuse me if I don’t do them repeatedly. In he higher level classes I feel vulnerable, scared, like instead of flying, I’m just flailing. There are a lot of steps I don’t know, and that scares me, but if I don’t ever try it, it will be impossible to ever learn it.

So I will keep going to classes, both in and out of my comfort zone. Keep pushing, learning and practicing. Because one day it will pay off and I will fly.

Morning Class | Adult Ballet Blog

My office was closed today in observance of the Veterans Day holiday (thank you Vets!) so there was a rare chance to attend class at 9am and it was taken advantage of! Since it was an advance class (which screams avoid! To me) nerves almost convinced me to not go, I’m that dancer that’s been in beginner/intermediate class for ages because of my issues with remembering combos and psyching myself out. 

Arriving early and grabbing a coffe at the adorable French café next door, finding a place at the barre (in the back corner) and beginning class with a nice window view was a great start to the morning! The flow of class was enjoyable with emphasis on really using the upper body to dance and express movement. Adage was beautiful and manageable on my dim memory (even remembering it enough to write it down after) and for the first time in my memory of dance, feelings of grace and that my dancing wasn’t akward and floppy filled me instead of terror and nerves. I’m hoping this becomes a permanent change because it felt good! 

Sadly, my current work situation requires 9-4 on Fridays and unlesss I’m a wizard and can start negotiating some remote work, it will be rare that this class can be attended (*cough* I’m sick)! But today was wonderful and productive!

P.S. I’ve had to write the last 2 blogs without using I️ because Apple is special and glitches! I️ am so annoyed!

xx,

Alicia

Practice Makes….Better

So I’ve (proudly!) been back to consistent ballet classes for 8 months straight! This has to be a personal record, and since no financially devastating events have happened to make classes unaffordable like has happened in the past, I’ve definitely seen progress. While I have been dancing since I was 22 (9 years) as an adult, until the past 4 years ago I was very inconsistent so progress, especially on pointe, would leave me back at square one frequently. My first year of college I was able to take multiple classes a week at the Boston Ballet which was a few minutes away from school and ballet/ contemporary and pointe at The Studio: A Dance Center for adults whenever I could.

I’ve always been that person to forget combos, and have to follow someone, which is probably still true if I took more intermediate classes (which I will do once I’m out of busy photography season) but right now I’m happy in my awesome beginner class where I’m feeling like I am progressing and re-learning the basics I never learned when I started because the studio I attended was more focused on performance. I still fear I will never be good at petit allegro, but it’s getting better!

I’ve always been told practice makes perfect. With being an artist, dancer, gymnast and learning an instrument, it is always practice! But I’ve come to determine that practice will NEVER make perfect. Why? Because perfection, and striving for perceived perfection, is unrealistic and will drive you completely mad reaching for something that is unlikely to be achieved!

Instead, I aim for better. Even if it is just one little thing I do better than at my previous class….a longer balance, better turn, remembering the combo…BETTER is better than driving myself mad over unrealistic goals. I still have that dream of being on stage someday, but for now I’ll just be over here working hard on my strength and getting back to 3 classes a week to improve!

AliciaAlicia_wm-27Alicia_wm-33Alicia_wm-67(thankfully I’m also a better photographer than when I did these as well!)