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Ballet Talk for Dancers

May Magic

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After volcano-related travel delays, I finally got back to pointe last night... was told that all was good, and that it didn't look like I had been 'out' for that long.... now if only my legs felt that way this morning.......

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On an interesting note, my studio has two adult groups, mine and one that works more on a performance (but not company) level. My class doesn't do recitals, the other does. Anyway, one of the performance adults has torn a tendon and can't dance. With the recital a month away, guess who got recruited for the job for being a "quick study"? :thumbsup:


Yours truly.


I got to see it last night and it doesn't look too difficult, everything is pretty much in my skill set. I start learning it Friday and will be going during my lunch break and staying late to rehearse it. It's a good thing the studio is two blocks from my office.


This (if it comes together), will be my first ballet recital, EVER.

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In (adult beginners) ballet class last night the teacher was offering a general correction about turning out from the very top of the legs, especially the supporting leg in tendu. I tried it out as she was talking and she immediately said "yes, yes! - that's perfect!" I looked around to see who she was talking to and she said "no, you!" and asked my name (this is a pretty large open class which I've only attended for a few weeks, so the teacher doesn't necessarily have everyones' name). Well that made me feel quite good.


And then later in the class one of the women who look like they've been dancing for years came up to me and said "you really do have amazing turnout and alignment, right from the tops of your legs!" - I spluttered an embarassed thanks...


I'm a 31 year old beginner, and have only been dancing for three months :grinning: - so if I really do have good turnout, maybe it's a natural thing... or else you can progress even at this ripe old age, if you take at least 4 classes a week and give it your all!

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Over the past few months, I've been rehearsing for a piece set by modern choreographers Larry Keigwin and Nicole Wolcott of Keigwin and Company. It's more of a large-scale theatrical piece than dancing and is supposed to represent life in suburbia. Most of the 80-person cast are community members (ranging from toddlers to retirees) with little to no dance experience. Most of the movements are very pedestrian (e.g. walk forward for 4 counts, turn to the right on count 5, etc) but it's been a really fun experience. They've also given those of us with dance experience small solos to show our abilities (I lead a group of little girls in a ballet class!). Last week a local paper interviewed me and the article appeared today. I told the reporter about my dance background and she made me sound more accomplished than I think I am. If anyone is interested, the article appears at Bolero Suburbia (Mods, feel free to remove if I'm not supposed to post links on here).


I should also note that Keigwin and Company has produced similar pieces in a number of area (NYC, Colorado, Santa Barbara). If you ever hear they're coming to your city, I highly recommend participating! They're so much fun to work with and have amazing ideas, creativity, and patience!


(And if you're in the NY/CT metro area, come see the show!) :grinning:

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Reebs, that's so cool. I just looked up some of the other pieces (Bolero Santa Barbara has a lot on Youtube). I love how it incorporates a cast of all ages, races and sizes.

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I took a ballet class today after 3 weeks of no classes. It went pretty well--I found I regressed somewhat in my memory--but I didn't pull any muscles or twist any ankles so I'm happy about that!

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I think I saw my develope to the side go a hair over 90 degrees the other day! :( Lately I have been able to lift my leg up off the barre higher and with more ease as well, even to the front! I think I am finally being able to locate those muscles better and with more certainty, rather than at random like before.

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I'm not sure if this is the right place for this or not... I talked with my teacher, and asked her if I was improving and she told me I clearly was which made me very happy. I can not see or tell myself if Im getting better which made me very happy when she said I am getting better...

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My teacher also said she's seen a lot of improvement in me, my last class. :thumbsup: Unfortunately, with some heavy exams coming up, I only make it to class once or twice these days, and just because I don't go very often they don't go so well. But I still get to get away from my books for a while. :)


My biggest problem is my lack of abs, but since I can't really fit in any gym time or Pilates, I haven't improved in the least at that. :unsure:


Another problem is my turns; my spotting doesn't go so well. I thought I had found it, I throw around my head when the rest of my body starts the turn. I tried it during piqué turns, but then I turned my head too slow and my upper back stayed behind with my head. :clapping: And I really felt everything was out of alignment then, my shoulderblades were too far back, whereas usually my arms are fine during piqués. And now lately my teacher has been saying things like "Everyone, try to make your turns BIGGER! Except you, Lidewij, you should perhaps try to make them a bit smaller." :lol: When I restarted ballet that was also my problem, I really made big movements to go fast in order to get around. That's not the way, I know, It's gotten a lot better but now it seems to have gotten worse again.


Ah well, the great news I actually wanted to tell is this: I e-mailed a dance camp-thing. Most of the classes seem to be for pre-professional students, but they told me it was fine if I go with the younger ones and that I certainly wouldn't be the only one (in the 13-15 yo intermediate class) older than 15. And she recommended me the other classes for my level. So YAY!, five days of a lot of dancing for me this summer! I'll be starting with beginner's Pilates, then the balletclass, a break and then intermediate Contemporary.


It's two years ago since I did contemporary, though. :ermm:


Edit: ooops, it seems to have become quite the letter :P I'm sorry, it isn't all very interesting..

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Thursday at the beginning of the class we had to do some exercises facing the barre. My teacher passed by, stepped behind me and I thought he would correct my head but NO: He told me that he likes my hairdo very much. I smiled and said thank you. I never got compliments for my hairdo...especially not from a male teacher. But it made me happy to hear because I had a french twist, which is very difficult to do with my hair because it is too long and finally someone acknowledged it! :)

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That's so nice! I've never gotten any commentary on my looks from a teacher before.. Only during a show, half an hour before I had to go on, she looked at me and said "Who did your blush?! You look like (I don't remember what word she used here, anyhow a girl that wasn't from the studio came to help and she did my makeup, unfortunately she wasn't very good at it and the blush was more on the side of my face in stead of on my cheeks :unsure: )!" Good thing she told me! (And fixed it :D )


Of course teachers aren't there to talk about your looks, but a compliment every now and then can indeed make your day! :)

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Yesterday a woman was waiting at our studio to pick someone up and observed the last 30 minutes of class. Afterwards she asked where I was dancing now and I got a bit confused b/c I've never seen her before in my life. After a few minutes of me explaining that I'm just an adult student, she said, "Oh, I thought you were with XYZ Ballet!" Turns out she mistook me for a former professional dancer who used to take classes with us before returning to school! The pro dancer and I are about the same size but don't really look alike, so I'm hoping it meant my dancing looked (at least to the casual observer) as having pro potential! :D

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Congrats Frodo!! Hope the planning of your wedding is going smoothly!! :D


I passed my classes and get to continue in my masters program!! I got a compliment this week on my Italien fouettes!!!! :sweating::thumbsup::lol:

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