My progress since April 2010
Posted 08 October 2013 - 06:17 PM
Appleblossom it took me maybe 1-2 yrs to build up my flexibility. I have progressed much much more compared to when I started, now able to do a reasonable penchee and reaching slightly more than 90 deg for devant. But I want more and my flex is very much contingent upon practicing frequently. My overall performance was pretty good when I prepared myself for intermediate exam, not only I take daily classes, I also do Barre section and stretching in my office every morning! It really did make a difference. As my teacher told me, at this age, daily conditioning (not overly exerting, though) is very important just to maintain, and hopefully to slowly improve the flexibility.
Posted 09 October 2013 - 06:09 AM
A quick flexibility question for all... I do feel that my flexibility and strength improve if I do some barre and stretching exercise by myself. But why do I feel nothing (except muscle pain) after my pilates class?
Posted 13 May 2014 - 12:01 PM
After 9 months going onto Advanced Foundation (AF) class my school cleared me to pursue Advanced 1 (A1) in Sep 2013. So now I have been doing A1 (Old Syllabus) for six month, preparing myself for exam October 2014. A1 level really feels like a huge leap from Intermediate, in the sense that A1 feels exceeding my limits, that makes me doubt that I could pass the exam. My checklist of things to clean up for A1 is really long.
- Core strength, especially lower abdominal. Although I have made good progress in my core strength since I started, my lower abdominal remains rather weak. I am trying hard to grow awareness to continuously engage it.
- Flexibility and extension. It seems that I'm rather stuck at slightly over 90 degrees- and that's problematic for Penchee and Battement Lent. I could only dream to have a developpee that reaches the height of my head. I still can't do straddle split.
- Stamina. Exercises for A1 are considerably longer than Intermediate. Plus the allegro section is really daunting and consisting of a lot of exercises - compared to just 3 allegros in Intermediate. I am trying to improve my stamina by doing cardio run three times a week for 30 minutes.
- Turn out. It seems that Intermediate level accepts not-so-perfect fifth position, but now my teacher nags me to execute perfect fifth all the time. Luckily now I am aware not to do "rolling", but still, my fifth is not perfect.
- Pirouettes from fifth position - really ugly looking. Also, I can't turn for en dedans from fifth position.
- Pirouettes ending in open position. How? How?
- Fouette turn on demi pointe - I just can't get myself coordinated enough to carry out a smooth fouette turns. What training exercises should I do to improve the execution?
- Pointe works - what training exercise that I could do daily to strengthen and improve my pointe work?
- Batteries - still very much struggle with quick brises, jete battus, and sissonnes battus
- Other refinements - gracefulness in Adage, how to do nice port de bras
Daunting isn't it? With this checklist, not sure I could be ready for Oct 2014 exam. Should I resorted to extend my stay in A1 level and go for new syllabus exam? That would be even more daunting, since the new syllabus is more difficult...
Posted 24 November 2014 - 10:54 PM
Last week I did the Advanced 1 exam. I felt it was so-so, although I didn't make fatal mistake, the exam wasn't exactly a breeze either. During the exam, I struggled with the pirouettes ending in open position. The result should come out in two months time.. fingers crossed! Will keep you all updated.
In terms of progress, I had been doing almost daily class since early 2012 while preparing for intermediate exam. The daily class certainly helped to maintain the dance quality and usage of muscle, but it doesn't really help in adding into my strength, flexibility, and extension. My teachers suggested that I should supplement my ballet class with targeted exercises such as pilates, floor / ball exercise, cardio and aerobic, and I am trying to do it regularly (not yet).. pilates class is rather expensive...
I felt that I have reached a plateau in terms of technique and capacity. Advanced level ballet is not something that can be done simply by being dilligent about it.. At this level, body type, body capacity, age, and talent plays a major role to be able to do the exercises correctly. In contrast, intermediate level could be done by simply doing the classes diligently and regularly. OH well.. As much as I want to improve, sometimes I felt dispirited for having reached the plateau.
Posted 24 November 2014 - 11:16 PM
Maybe your next goal can be exploring the new advanced syllabus - it is very different in style to the old syllabus. I do enjoy it, but think that I had more physical strength when I was doing the old syllabus regularly.
Posted 25 November 2014 - 05:46 AM
Wow, taking your Advanced 1 exam! It's difficult work.
As for cross-training: there are some kinds of training which are almost free -- what about running? I do about 20-30 minutes on the treadmill at the gym every other day, and if the weather's fine (I'm not that dedicated that I run outside in all weathers!) I do an hour outside on a longer run about once a week. It's been great for my strength, and aerobic capacity. I try to run with "good form" so that my abs are engaged, and they are! All my dance teachers notice my strength, and I like feeling on top of allegro, rather than puffed out, so the aerobic aspect is excellent for me.
I'm not a natural runner. But I used the app "Couch to 5K" and that really worked for me.
The plateau thing is hard -- but it will improve. The plateau is often when our bodies are catching up with our brains as adult dance students.
Posted 07 December 2014 - 09:56 AM
I know many dancers love to run. Me, I don't run unless it's way from trouble or to coffee!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Swimming, on the other hand, can be fun and a water aerobics class is a decent workout. Try doing degagés in the pool!!!!!!
"A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor"- (Currently poking Poseidon in the netherworld with his trident)
"Christian Louboutins are uncomfortable, but I screamed the first time I put on a pointe shoe." Mila Kunis
Posted 07 December 2014 - 06:57 PM
Actually I think plateaus are something of a test, a test of whether or not you really enjoy what you are doing. It's easy to like an activity when you are experiencing growth and improvement. When that isn't the case, you have to have an intrinsic sense of pleasure to continue what you are doing. I don't think that's bad.
Posted 08 December 2014 - 05:55 AM
you have to have an intrinsic sense of pleasure to continue what you are doing
As usual, Garyecht, you put it perfectly! I don't mind if I never improve (at my age, deterioration is on the horizon, actually). I just enjoy doing dance for its own sake.
I work in a field where constant striving & high achievement are taken for granted as how we work, so it's lovely to have something I can do in the moment.