Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Semaine 25

After a long long time away from the barre, I finally slapped on those pink tights and ballet slippers back on Wednesday, February 27th! I tried out a class at the Metropolitan Fine Arts center in Springfield, VA which was recommended to me by Saki whose friend Melissa took Advanced Beginning Ballet II and Intermediate Ballet III and dances pointe with the Intermediate class. It's such a great deal! Online registration was a $30 3-class package for new students, so I took that opportunity asap. After the three are finished, classes are $13/ea for a 10-class card for $130. Not shabby since BalletNova's 10-class cards are $180.

The class I took was Advanced Beginning Ballet (Ballet II) for adults. The class was small, 8 of us. About 60% of the class usually takes the Intermediate III class (they grew up dancing pointe). I'll have to admit, I was definitely intimidated at the beginning of class - I mean, it's reasonable right? It's always a little nerve wracking at a new studio not knowing how the class' level will feel compared to the comfort of an old studio. I got through it though and was terribly sore afterward. Good sore!

I learned a lot of moves that night!

At the barre: 
* petit battement - look at the video below, I don't know how I can make my foot move that fast, maybe it involves a higher level of hip control!
* double frappes to the front and back - we only did double frappes to the side at BalletNova, so watching this video is helpful to find out where the heel is placed during the movement.

In center: 
* sissonne (pronounced "see-sone")
* pique turns (I'd shown pique turns in a previous video but we hadn't formally done them)
* chaines turns (pronounced "shuh-nay")

Our floor exercises (I'll try and videotape next week) were:
A) Pique turns x6, with chaines turns to finish
B) From Fifth (right foot front), sissonne to the right, sissonne to left, plié to (back) right leg extended back into a dégagé, plié to (front) left foot dégagé, plié fifth, assemblé. Repeat opposite side.
C) Inside turns - From Fifth left foot in front en croix (to the corner), chassé to passé (right foot) on relevé close Fifth, plié. Chassé to a 1 1/2 pirouette to finish en croix to the opposite corner, repeat other side. I miss outside turns, it always seems like it's easier to balance that way.

For reference:


Chaines Turns:

Pique Turns:

Petit Battement (en pointe, obvies):

That's all for this week!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Semaine 24

I am a complete disappointment lately. I know I need to get back on the horse (er, barre...) but I have just been so lazy! The studio is a 30 minute drive from home which I guess, to me, is too far to feel motivated! I'll need to look into a closer studio!

Anyway, so I went to Carmen Perez's class on Thursday morning at 10 AM. Remember back when Carmen Perez was the instructor I took class from last summer? I was intimidated by her? Well this class was a pleasant surprise! It was great! The combinations felt foreign, of course, but that comes with the territory of going to a different instructor. Barre exercises have already left my mind (I didn't set it up to record) but what I did like about her Thursday class was stretching during the first 5 minutes of class, barre work, then stretching, then barre work, then center.

Our corner exercises were:

1) soute arabesque, soute arabesque (other side), soute arabesque, pas de chat, pas de chat.

2) waltz step to the right, to the left, waltz a tournant, pas de bourre to fifth, lunge to pirouette en dehors (outward turn), waltz right, waltz left, pas de bourre to fifth, tendu lunge, pirouette en dedans (inward)

The good thing I gained from LAST week's video at the barre was catching at how bad I was doing at keeping my head in its proper position. Being made aware of my traveling neck and head made me stay very aware about my head's position during class (even though I kept messing it up!). So I'll try to incorporate more barre into my videos.

With the Inauguration on Monday, January 21st, I think class was cancelled. I didn't end up going to class this week (this is horrible, I need to get the momentum back up for the Spring!

Then I'm off to VIVA LAS VEGAS for a week for Jeff's Microstrategy World Conference. Wohoo! I'm out of town the whole week of January 27th, so when I come back it'll be Winter/Spring session at the studios. I might consider taking from MFA, I'll have to see how I feel about MFA's classes.

No video this week, didn't have time between all my shifts and errands to run before the trip!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Semaine 23

Wow has it really been almost a month since my last class? Time has flown by like crazy! I knew it had been 2 weeks before Christmas, but seeing the last entry was 12/13/12, this is just unacceptable! :)

For Christmas, my super cool and awesome supportive husband got me a ballet barre!

My beautiful VitaVibe double-barre in our condo living room amongst our Christmas decor

I've yet to put it to use, but I'm considering taking it down to the basketball court for my next video, to show some of the barrework we do in class. Hope no one finds it extremely odd to be bringing this down the elevator! 

Monday night's class was Walsh's 6:15 pm BBFNB and it was busier than normal. Some of the advanced beginning students came to class, were probably bored out of their minds, but at any rate it was a good class. It felt great to be back!

Later on, I'm {seriously!!!} going to try and go to the Metropolitan Fine Arts Center in Springfield for classes. $15/class means $300 for 20 classes (cheaper than $329 per semester at BalletNova with 20 classes per semester). No registration means if I don't make it (like after the car accident and the holidays) I don't lose the $! 

Hope you like this week's video!

Of course there are MANY other exercises we did, but I honestly can't remember them! I'll have to find my little mini digital recorder from graduate school so I can stow it in my bag and record the audio at least (to jog my memory). 

New Terminology: 
Failli - (pronounced "fah-YEE") after a dancer lands on their front foot, the back foot slides through to the front.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Semaine 22

Not much to publish this week. I didn't go to Thursday class, I went to Zumba instead. And last week I wasn't motivated to go to Clark's class. When it's such a late class that ends at 8:45 PM and I work the next day, it's hard to want to go to class and be home at 9 PM, 1 hour before I have to be in bed.

No video this week. Monday's class was good and sweaty. I contemplated doing a video of the barrework, but since I wasn't going to be able to film until Thursday, I didn't think about it before class, taking note of the barre exercises. The best I could do is just remember our warm-up and a couple other exercises. Maybe I'll wait til I get a portable barre for those videos...

Corner exercise this week was just a souté arabesque one, super easy. At least I didn't feel like I was clomping around ungracefully. :)

Sorry, kind of disappointing.

The Winter/Spring Schedule @ BalletNova is posted:

Basically, the schedule is the exact same. Walsh's BBFNB class is 6:15-7:30 PM (with the accompanist, yay!) just like now, which I'll register for, with back-up classes still being Clark's class at 7:30-8:45 PM. The reason I have to use Thursday as my secondary class is because the policy at my hospital is for us to work 4 Mondays or Fridays per 6 week schedule. So, this means I have to work 4 Fridays since I have to have all Mondays off. With us adding night shift to our mix, I hope it doesn't interfere too much with my class schedule. Friday's 6:30-7:45 PM class with Burstein is also an option.

I won't be going to class next week since I work the 17th, 18th, and 19th and then we leave for Charleston SC for Christmas with my parents. Thursday night there is class; however, Jeff has Jordan XI's he wants to get so I'm going to be napping as much as I can before we go to the mall at midnight to get them. Next ballet class won't be until Dec 31st, but I think the studio is closed =/ Not sure. I might look into seeing when Del Rey ballet studio has classes and maybe I'll start going there... either that or metropolitan fine arts. Will have to follow-up and I'll keep you posted.

This is fantastic :) I have to start working on Mei-Mei's puggie pirouettes 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Semaine 21

I think I'm going to approach my blogging every week a little differently than I have been this whole time. It's hard to reliably get videos taken after class (I know some of you have taken notice that there haven't been ANY videos since Semaine 18 and it wasn't even me in it), and because it's a little awkward when girls start filtering into the studio, I'm going to use the inspiration I've gained from watching the Jenna Marbles YouTube videos (as my friend Darren says, minus the cursing and dogs in the videos) and try to re-create interesting/challenging ballet exercises and edit my own videos (!!!!!) on my MacBook Air.

Now, since we don't have an appropriately-sized unused section of the condo OR spacious areas of non-carpeted flooring, I'm going to take my trusty little laptop down to our indoor basketball courts during "off hours" to minimize awkwardness that this whole idea would create, should some guys come in to shoot some hoops. I'm so so excited, because as I am writing this post, I'm literally teaching myself how to use iMovie =)

So Monday night's class was good. My ballet class friend Mark wasn't there and neither was Kelly! It felt a little lonely...

Exercises earlier tonight at the barre focused on a lot of staying on relevé to passé in hold, to get us ready for all the pirouetting we were going to be doing in center.

Anyway, some combinations I shall demonstrate:

I swear, when I recorded this, my feet were recorded for exercise A... and then when I clipped it down for editing it chopped off my feet! Ahh! I'll have to give myself that cushion for space later. Jeff tells me this is an "aspect ratio" issue... I am not a computer person, haha... 

 The music was also a looooot quieter when I edited the video but it exported a lot louder. 
Oh well, not bad for first video, right? 

a) {in center, fifth position right foot front} arms a la seconde, tendu front, tendu side, tendu back, sweep to front, close fifth. plié, pirouette, close back. Repeat other foot.

b) {in center, preparacion right foot back} balancé right, balancé left, tombé-pas de bourré, chassé, plié, pirouette. I know my head isn't turned correctly. Then there's the whole issue with my arms...

c) {this was the corner exercise, preparacion right foot back} step right to waltz turn, 3-steps, waltz turn, repeat. Next week Constance says we'll add the pirouette after the sweep. Since I forgot to even DO this exercise altogether, here is a good beefed up version of it!

This is Larry Payne, who teaches ballet at Long Beach Community Center in CA demonstrating the on-line waltz (and in a basketball court too, ah!) the way it's supposed to look. Ha. Looks a lot better with the waltz en tourant (turning waltz) afterward.

Lots of pirouette work to be done I know, but the semester isn't over until Feb 3rd, so we'll just have to see how much better things come with time!

OK, well til Thursday or next week!! Happy Dancing!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Semaine 20

W.O.W. It's been four weeks since I last went to ballet class?!?! Yikes. A bit outta hand, but I had good excuses!!!! I swear!!!

week 1 (missed class 10/29): Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast and my ballet studio was closed for Monday and Tuesday of the week of October 28th. Obviously missing Monday's class was out of my control, but I couldn't attend a make-up class because on Thursday I had work and didn't clock out til 8 PM and class is at 7:30 pm.

week 2 (missed class 11/5): Jeff and I left for Charleston on 11/2 to visit my parents and go to the Annual Charleston Exchange Club Coastal Carolina Fair (we go every year) and didn't return until Election Day (Tues Nov 6th) at 5:30 PM. I caught a nasty cold that started with a sore throat on Nov 7th and I was bed-ridden through the 10th with a horrific bout of an upper and lower respiratory infection.

week 3 (missed class 11/12): I was still coughing like a madwoman, neti potting, guzzling Emergen-C, and blowing my nose going through Charmin toilet paper rolls as my kleenexes as if they were going outta style (they're way way softer than kleenexes, and we have about 40 rolls at home vs. no boxes of kleenexes. this seemed more reasonable). Seriously. You could ask any of my coworkers from my 11/11 and 11/14 shifts if I was toting around a roll of toilet paper. I looked like I had a bowel issue. =P haha. Anyway, it would've been rude and offensive (and not healthy, to say the least) to attend class just to cough incessantly and blow my nose throughout class. With toilet paper. No make-up class that Thursday because GET THIS (no joke), I was experiencing the WORST food poisoning of my life after gorging on an ignorant amount of sushi on Wednesday night. I was hugging a toilet and attempting to keep liquids down all day and even went to the ER on 11/15 to get IV fluids and anti-emetics and anti-GI-motility meds. My food poisoning JUST subsided Saturday evening at around midnight. Jeff got food poisoning too, but his immune system wasn't as compromised with a horrendous cold.

week 4 (missed class 11/19): Still experiencing my food poisoning. Seriously, who has food poisoning for four days?! Sigh... Well the good part is we got a $25 gift certificate to return back to the offending restaurant (we still love it dearly so I don't want to call them out). I might wait a while before going back, but hey at least we got some of our money back!

OK now that that's out of the way...

~~~~~~~BACK TO CLASS~~~~~~~

Monday Night 11/26: Kelly is away in Mexico so she didn't come with me to class and actually, she missed the same 4 weeks of class that I did. I am not sure exactly why, but I know week 1 was for the same reason! So anyway, yay, finally made it back to the barre!

Walsh had a great class. I knew it was going to be tough after not having stretched or done the splits in over a month, and this morning I was feeling the effects of it. My pirouettes didn't suffer, I was able to do pretty decent doubles, and my passé up in pirouette was even better than before. However, Constance constantly (hah) pointed out how incorrect my arms are in second position. I probably hold out my arms way too robotically, versus "as if a drop of water was cascading down your shoulder to your thumb." Haha... hmmm.

Center routine were tendu en croix to pas de bourre x 3 to plie... then pirouette exercises, changement jumps, tombé-pas de bourré-glissade-assemblé, yadda yadda. The corner exercise was ALSO the tombé-pas de bourré-glissade-assemblé combination. I need to practice this one, because I was so used to smushing my tombé-pas de bourre all quick and all, while not doing the full tombé.

This is the closest video I could find since Kelly wasn't around to videotape this one (it would've looked horribly and technically blech anyway). In this video, she does a tombé, pas de bourré, glissade, then ends with a jeté instead of an assemblé.

Remember, this video on the right and below is how to do an assemblé.

Anywho, I don't work Thursday or Friday this week, so I'll consider going to class on Thursday night at 7:30 PM. Kelly won't be with me which will be sad, but I've missed so many classes that I may just need to go to work on my technique anyway.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Semaine 19

So this week only ended up being Monday night's class by Walsh. Not much to update from class itself, it was the usual. --Balancé-balancé-tombé-pas de bourré-souté-arabesque combo as the corner exercise, developpé exercises center, etc. It was a large class, with about 30 people in attendance.

I want to take advantage of the good running weather while I can, and lately the Clark classes haven't been so stimulating, with only 5 or so students each class. Plus, Hurricane Sandy is headed our way, so I may not have many running days this week if I don't go tonight! Next week I'll only be going to Monday's class as well, since I'm working Tues/Wed/Thurs and then rushing off to Charleston to visit my parents for the Coastal Carolina Fair. I feel like such a ballet slacker, but the way I am looking at it, I have plenty of weeks left before Advanced would start, so it's not so bad. Just two weeks with 1 class/week is OK, right?

But in some ballet-related news, Jeff and I are going to see The Washington Ballet: Dracula at The Kennedy Center on Saturday afternoon! My friend Saki hooked us up with free tickets to the show, so excited!!!!(Thanks, Saki!!!!!)

The part of Lucy Westenra will be played by Maki Onuki, one of the Principal dancers at The Washington Ballet whom Jeff and I watched perform the role of the Sugar Plum Queen in The Nutcracker last Christmas.

I'll let you know how it goes!