Audition Thoughts | Adult Ballerina Blog

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!

Today:

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!

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Around and Around We Go! | Adult Ballet Blog

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!

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

World Tutu Day 2018 | Adult Ballerina Blog

Who doesn’t love a good Tutu!? Well February 2 (2/2) is World Tutu Day so here are some of my favorite tutu pictures!

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.

My Healthy Life | Pre-class power food! | Adult ballet blog 

I’ve been that dancer who has struggled with body image immensely over the past 4 years or so. Growing up in a mostly Italian family, it was encouraged to be a member of the clean plate club and seconds were always offered and encouraged. On top of that, everyone on both sides on my family are amazing cooks! Growing up it was never a problem because being so active in dance and gymnastics weight was never an issue and that call to Burger King after practice (and right across the street conveniently)!

Even when starting dance again as an adult, I’d been going to the gym daily, taught pole and aerial fitness classes 4 times a week,  and had a very active job bartending (chasing drunks around was cardio)! The past few years, age has caught up with me and I’ve gained 20 pounds that scream at me when looking in the mirror, and cause me to hate photos, and love that photoshop is a skill that comes with my photography and graphic design job!

Now that I’ve been consistent with dancing again, and really want to continue to improve, workout consistency and training, as well as conscious healthy meal and snack choices are a must. A few months ago I’d come across The Dancers Best Body Program (www.thewholedancer.com) which includes healthy eating, nutrition, and inspiration which we can all use more of! Recently beginning to go through the lessons has inspired me to get back on track with multiple dance classes a week, a return to aerial, and conscious eating.

I’m going to start keeping quick and easy meals on the blog here because if you’re anything like me you just don’t have time for all the elaborate meal prep that diet plans require. If anyone knows any clean eating resources for quick and easy meals, link me in the comments below!

Tonight’s pre-class dinener took about 10 minutes!


It was easy and a good source of both protein and carbs for energy as well as a good helping of dark leafy greens.

• 1 cup whole wheat ziti

• small chicken breast (palm sized)

• 1 cup steamed spinach

• A few spoonfuls of  organic pasta sauce with herbs

Now it’s off to stretch my calves that are still sore from yesterday’s class!

Alicia