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How was it for you?


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I've started a thread on the Adult Students technique forum for us to speak publicly about our ballet goals for 2008:


Aims and dreams for 2008


and I hope you'll all join in so we can support & motivate each other through 2008.


But I thought a look back at 2007 was more of a "chat" type Buddy board topic.


So, how was it for you?


2007 really started for me on New Year's Eve -- the last day of 2006 -- when I slipped and fell at the end of my first ever session ice-skating and broke my right wrist. Quite badly as it turns out & I'm due to have what I hope will be the final hand surgery in 10 day's time, in order to fix the chronic pain resulting from breaking those complicated wrist bones!


The lesson learned is that no matter how fearless a dancer I am, trying to stay upright on ice is a skill better learnt when you're 8 rather than 48! And all you North Americans who learn to skate as soon as you learn to walk can stop laughing, I know, I know, how silly of me! :innocent::shrug::blushing:


It took me a very long time to get back to class properly -- 9 months, in fact. It was a combination of exhaustion (I didn't take any time away from work and maintained quite a punishing schedule of work without my writing/typing hand), and to be honest -- fear. Not so much fear of falling again (although that was part of it) but just that a part of my body had exploded so spectacularly, that it took me a long time to trust my body again. And even longer to feel that my wrist and hand were mine again. For a long time it felt as though I had an alien blob of flesh & bone at the end of my arm.


But I got back to class and it was (eventually) great! I found that I had no fear of turning, and am even getting triples occasionally, and try for doubles as a matter of course-- and they work -- mostly :D ( to the right that is).

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2007 was one horrible year for me, one to forget as fast as possible. Severe depression, being dumped by my fiance and practically no acces to ballet and my other passion, singing lessons. As I said, I want to forget all of this as soon as possible.



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Oh dear, Marjolein!


Pop over and post on the 2008 aims thread to tell yourself 2008 will be much, much better!!

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Yeah 2007 was bad in terms of injury and overall health for me. I danced all of 2 months the entire year. I lost mobility and gained weight (mods delete if you want but it makes sense with the rest of my post) and felt very out of control bodywise, which previously had been very fine tuned. I have just in the last month gotten over feeling like a blob due to not even being able to stand and the emotional weight and depression that came with lack of regular exercise. I still have issues with this new body morphology that I'm trying to work around, and am actively working on keeping arthritis away from the rest of my joints.


Redbookish, being from Florida, I can sympathise with your feelings on the ice. I just went snowboarding for the first time and was terrified of the chair lift! I did get the toe moves better than the rest of the class but my instructor kept telling me to stop turning out my hips!

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2007 was quite a blast for me in terms of dancing. I performed with the group, doing numbers from Giselle and Sleeping Beauty, and was Clara for Nutcracker :)


I've started getting ankle pain in around April time, and it still hasn't gone away, but thank heavens it's more under control now and I'm now paying attention to specific areas of my technique to not to aggravate my injury -- well, core and inner thigh strength. Since then, I've been feeling my muscles every day after class, which means I've been working them, and I've been able to hold balances longer and just "feel" where I am rather than hoping I would win the "balance lottery"!!



I've made up my mind in 2007 that I want to change my career to something dance related. I figured if I love it so much I should do something about it. Not a lot of people have a job that they truly enjoy - I haven't got it now but I think at least I have a goal and I'm going to work for it instead of waiting for it to come to me.



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2007 was a "mixed bag" sort of year for me (in many ways). The dance-related breakdown...


The Good:

- I developed (or, in one case, maintained) fantastic relationships with two ballet teachers. I've learned a lot from them and love them dearly.

- I've come so far in terms of technique, especially in terms of alignment and general body/muscle awareness. I'm new enough to ballet to see significant improvement every so often -- the last big leap was noticable around October/November, and I can barely even remember how I was dancing a year ago!

- I took a contemporary seminar in the summer that broke me of a lot of my inhibitions, in a good way.


The Not-so-Good:

- I am no longer taking classes from either of the ballet teachers noted above. It's just been life (for one, mine; for the other, hers) that has brought about the changes, but that doesn't mean I have to like it!

- I may have had my first run-in with achilles tendonitis in the spring. My physician wasn't concerned when I spoke to her about it, and neither was a chiropodist I saw incidentally, so I just took it easy and waited for things to improve. Everything's fine now, but it's scary even as a potential injury.


Here's to a great 2008 for all.

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2007 was a bad year for dancing for me. I moved away from my civic ballet with which I was able to perform atleast twice per year to a much larger city which unfortunately hasn't any performing opportunities for adult non-pro dancers. I also have not been able to fit in as much dancing now that I am working full time. I am also unable to take as advanced classes as I wish to since the good schools here only allow high school students in their advanced class. :)


However, there are a couple of good things. :)

1. My pirouettes are better (I'm doing more doubles). Don't know why, they certainly shouldn't be since I am dancing less; maybe I am less scared of them?

2. I did get to perform in December, going back to dance with former teacher in Nutcracker. Had a fabulous time and maybe will do her spring show if able to.

3. I had new teachers in 2007 who have given me new corrections! I had one teacher who has taught me a different way to use my legs and hopefully shrink my thigh muscles some though I have not noticed a difference yet; I have been corrected on something really basic-port de bras to the side at the barre-I bend too much and distort the line of the arm; and I have a new teacher that gives combinations in center which change direction a lot so that has made me more versatile.

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Irresistible topic, Redbookish - thanks for starting it!


2007 was a most fantastic year for me. I still have a hard time believing it. :wub:


In the spring I decided to try to go to the adult dance camp in Richmond, though I doubted my ability to keep up. I was right to doubt my technique, but even more right to go for it anyway - I learned so much, and met such wonderful people. I was a ballet enthusiast before I came, but now I'm a SERIOUS nutcase! :blink:


I had learned in 2006 that I can take 4 classes a week but not 5 - my left heel complains after a few weeks. Still, I made it through the entire week, skipping only two classes - I calculated 35 hours in active class (i.e. not counting lectures) in 6 days. OK, I was hitting the ibuprofen pretty hard by the end, but still !!!


It enthused me so much, I could not cut back to less than 5 classes. I started working on my feet with a massage therapist, and gradually was able to add even more classes. Since November I have been taking 6 ballet classes, plus two exercise (Pilates + barre), and started a modern dance class - 11 hours of actual class time each week. For a couch potato and retired desk jockey like me, I have a hard time believing any of this story.


2007 was very, very, VERY good to me.

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1)I was excited to be nominated to go to France for 6 months because I thought that I would have serious dancing opportunities there since it's like the official "art country". But France seems to be rigid about ballet, I do not think that I'll have the opportunities I was dreaming of (such as, most adult dancers seem like they have the chance to dance up to 5-6 times a week, +3 hours a day, and they have separate classes like technique, pointe etc. according to their city/country; but I am dancing a max. 5.5 hours a week here, so I thought I could have a schedule like that in France) but I may not be able to dance even once a week there.

2)My teachers and (near-pro) dance mates kept saying "you have improved so much in such a little time that I cannot believe that"; because they observe a huge leap. But I cannot observe that huge leap in myself, I still feel untalented...

3)I finally have discovered that I can try to do clean singles instead of clumsy doubles. (in my ballet history, I seem like I've skipped singles and gone for the doubles right ahead :wub: force problems..)

4)I have discovered that I'm capable of doing attitude turns and I always get compliments for my attitude/attitude turns which surprises me.

5) I finally have a 180 degrees middle split which I can do without an extra effort. I optimistically believe that it will also effect my turn out and side extensions' quality by time.

6)I could not take classes in November because of financial difficulties... I've missed 16 classes. What is worse, when I later explained that to my teacher she told me off, big time, and said "Don't you know me, I don't care about money, now you have missed all those classes for nothing" :blink:

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This year ended much better for me than it started - I am finally in a class of the right level for me & get on better with the girls in it, too.


They have just done their grade 5 exam & so this term we are beginning Grade 6 (the grade I skipped "last time around" and all the steps that I didn't understand in Intermediate will finally be explained to me.

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2007 was amazing. I have always wanted to learn ballet since I was a kid and I never got to until I took the plunge this past summer. I can't believe how my body and mind have changed. I love that I finally went after one of my dreams. I am still working but that is a great accomplishment in itself for 2007. Also, I went and saw my first ballet, The Nutcracker.

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2007 was my first full year of taking classes. I started the year at one class a week and by the end of the year I was up to 2-3 classes a week. My interest and passion are only growing! I truly love this art and am so glad I got started.

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In the first week of February, I started back to ballet after about 25 years after ceasing serious study. By the fourth week of February, I had Achilles tendonitis! I consider it a great success that I was able to heal that and learn how to avoid developing it again.


On the other hand, I think I might now have a stress fracture from a bunch of unfamiliar floors throughout the month of December - a new healing challenge.


I've progressed from 2-4 classes a week when I started out to 6-8 classes a week currently. On the other hand, now with the writer's strike, if something doesn't change soon, I'm worried I might have to stop altogether.


I've made great progress in my front and side extensions, which are now higher than they were when I was a child. On the other hand, I have no arabesque to speak of.


I've gone from not being able to do my teacher's passé/rond de jamb en l'air combinations at all to being able to occasionally execute the combination without a single error. On the other hand, I cannot do a single frappé combination correctly (or perhaps even a single frappé...)


I've learned how to land single pirouttes fairly consistently, occasionally do an attitude turn almost successfully, and every now and then accidentally manage a double of something. On the other hand, I still cannot spot worth a peapod and I still get dizzy after my head goes around a single time!


Another success is that I have gotten less shy about asking other students to clarify things for me and about practicing on my own for 10 or 15 minutes after class. A lot of this goes on after class every day under the watchful eye of our teacher, and I was always too shy to join in before. On the other hand, if I try to engage in this behaviour when I'm visiting other schools, people look at me funny and wonder why I'm not running out of the room immediately like everyone else!


Well, how's that for a mixed bag!?

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Goodness, missvjc240, your post hit a chord in me. I had a horrible 2007 dance-wise - more emotional and time-related than actual technique. By the time I got to June, I was actually *scared* to go to class. I decided to take a break, and I stopped dancing for many months, and even reduced the amount of dance I watched, etc. In the fall, I decided to 'try' again, and less than a handful of classes. Your post made me realise that some of my residual issues have to do with that relationship with my body - here I don't mean self-image, but an actual functional relationship, executing exercises, and most importantly: moving. Unfortunately the demise of this relationship was accompanied by a lot of negativity, low self-image, and an excrutiating last year as a student.


Man. Ain't I a bag of happiness! Here's to a better '08, for all of us.

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