Tag Archives: dance

Tendu, Tomato; Plie, Pepper.

Ballet and gardening have been my creative mainstays this summer.  They have both allowed me the opportunity to throw myself into something and physically DO something.  As oppose to writing, reading, or singing, which– while great– are rather stationery affairs.  It’s a real change in your state of mind when you start moving.  My first voice teacher in college used to make me do a lot of movement work and warm up while moving my arms or walking around for this very reason.  I’ve never lost the lesson or the awareness of what that movement does, although I don’t think I could put it into words.  It’s definitely a mental shift though.

That said, Here’s my veggie patch as of yesterday.  Clearly, I’ve missed the opportunity for baby-plant pics and will have to settle for pics of their “toddler phase.”

 

My tomato plant already has a flower!

Ballet has been going well also.  We did a bunch of jumps yesterday (I’m still getting aquainted with the terminology of these– dance people please forgive me for not giving more names).  I’m beginning to really like the tendu and warm up sequences though.  I’m learning to stretch deeper and support my weight better.  Yay balance, coordination and strength! I’m noticing a difference in my post-class posture as well.  (Although, I’m sure I start to shrink down again on the long rides home).  I’m thinking of starting yoga when I finish ballet.  I only have 5 more classes– 2.5 weeks.  That said, the linguist in me is also having a field day with all this French– like the fact that there’s a move called “fondu” which I never knew literally means “to melt.”  Between my love of food, language and the artistic imagery here, there’s really nothing about this move not to like.

The last couple of classes have also had a wide range of music incorporated into them, which has been cool.  To begin with, this was to give us new perspective, as we’d been dancing solely to classical music.  Today, it was the result of our professor forgetting her regular cds at home.  So we’ve been dancing to everything from Sinatra to The Beatles to The Andrews Sisters.  Which, I must say, has been really great.

We’ve also been learning a 32 bar adagio phrase (danced most recently to Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind”) and began a 16 bar allegro phrase (to “Maple Leaf Rag”).  Our teacher choreographed the first 8 bars of the allegro so far.  I’m having a tough time with the beginning but I really like the second half.  This part consists of 4 “pas de chat” jumps.  This literally translates to “step of the cat.”  It’s basically a sideways leap, reminiscent of a cat (we do this in 5th position, which I think makes it a bit more interesting too.  For non-dancers, this would be something like this:  with legs turned out and the toes of one foot touching the heel of the other).  This is then followed by 4 jumps in place which change feet.  I don’t remember what jump the piece starts on, but I’m having trouble coordinating it.  It’s supposed to be that you’re jumping from one foot to the other, but with one foot brushing the floor at the start.  I can’t seem to get this to work as quickly as it needs to.  I suppose it will come.  Right now, I’m more trying to focus on form.  Part of my reason for taking this class is about the form and the discipline, so I suppose it’s more important to me right now to make sure my toes are pointed when off the ground and that I’m completing the step correctly than being up to tempo.  Again, up to tempo will come.

Perhaps this is my lesson this week: Don’t rush things.  You’ll be up to tempo soon enough.  🙂

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Zzzzz…

So just a quick post before I head off to bed.

I went back to dance class today after taking last week off due to my car mishap and some queasy stomach issues (I think due to last week’s heat wave).  The class actually went well as, in my teacher’s words, we worked on a lot of adagio or slow movements.  I think she’s going up-tempo for Thursday but I’ll worry about it when it comes.

We also worked on some floor/partnering work.  Mostly just walking across the floor (in very grand and stylized fashion!).  For the most part, my partner Joe and I did a very nice job of staying in step with one another.  Considering he is a football player and about a head and a half taller than me, I was impressed.  I definitely figured his steps would be about double mine, but I must say we looked very ballet like and I was proud.  We got a little messy towards the end, but I must say I overworked my muscles a bit today and our teacher pushed us a little harder which had my muscles feeling a bit weaker at the end and resulted in worse balance and coordination for me as class ended.  After class, my hip started hurting right in the front of the socket.  I think I just pulled something.  Hopefully a good night’s sleep will take care of it.

After school, I stopped by the supermarket to FINALLY pick up my red pepper plants.  I’m something of a red pepper fanatic.  It took some searching as I’d originally seen the plants almost 2 weeks ago now, but I found two that looked sincere so I brought them home.  Although it started to drizzle as soon as I went outside, I got them in the ground and hopefully they grow just as nicely as everything else is.

I still want a nice, sunny day so I can take some pics to post here.  Although when I came home to plant the peppers, I noticed that the weeds are just starting to show their ugly heads so I’ll probably try to weed before I post.  I really do throw myself into whatever I pursue though– mom, who sleeps in the next room, mentioned that I was talking in my sleep saying “plants, the plants…”  I remember this actually, and that I was trying to say something important although I have no idea what.

Dad also came over to help me dig a hole for my blueberry plant!  Although I’m concerned because I now have a big hole and now that I’ve opened the plant, it’s rather small… But while he was over I joked that I’m so happy about how nicely everything’s growing.  The corn has really grown already and I said I wished I’d made a height chart for them like they were kids to mark how they’ve grown.  When I mentioned wanting pictures for my blog here, I said that I felt bad that they’ve already grown and I’ve missed their “baby phase.”  I may be a bit obsessed :-p

Spent the rest of the night hanging with mom and watching “Storage Wars” on tv.  Definitely a good night.  Time for bed.

Happy dancing, gardening, writing, and creating to all those reading.  But don’t forget to sleep 🙂

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Happy Summer!

Oh, readers.  If I have any left, that is, after my two week hiatus, here at the beginning of summer after just thanking you all for reading.

I’ve spent the last two weeks recuperating from my busy semester while starting to put some new habits and routines into place.  I’ll give a synopsis of what I’ve been up to, then maybe give you some less self-centered thoughts before following up with more regular and topic-related posts.  I’m back, I promise.  I’ll admit I’ve been on here once or twice in the past two weeks, mostly reading, and seemingly unable to write.  I’m hoping that feeling has past– the feeling being total exhaustion, with so much to say and no words to say it in.

The past two weeks have found me:
-writing out thank-you notes from my graduation party (and straggling birthday gifts)
-dance class: I’m auditing ballet up at school, despite the fact that I’ve recently graduated.  I’ve wanted to take ballet since I was a child (I took a year of tap somewhere around age 6).  I’m not fond of the rigidity of the style (I much prefer modern) but I think it’s good for me right now.
-organizing my room: coming home with the contents of my dorm room has left me crowded and messy, but I’m working to slowly marry the two styles I’ve created.  Which seems to be involving totally reworking my existing organization and room decor.
-seeing friends: I’ve turned down quite a few invitations over the past year (or seven…) while in school.   The past two weeks have consisted of two days worth of graduations for me, my own graduation party, a barbeque, and my first trip to The Witches’ Brew (which really makes me want to drink tea).  Sadly, I got sick with some kind of crazy stomach bug and have had to miss two parties this weekend– my friend’s graduation (master’s degree) party and my cousin’s fiancée’s bridal shower.  I was so looking forward to both of these and love these two people so much.  I am therefore hating illness right now (more than the norm with which everyone hates it).
-spending time with mom:  Gilmore Girls marathons, the OWN network and a couple of Hallmark movies have been watched.  Not only the past two weeks but some of this weekend as we have both been sick in bed.

Some of the upcoming posts I’m working on are about graduating, thoughts on women/society, and finding my place as a new graduate.

I think we need to remember- no matter what your age- that it’s important to remember yourself and not let yourself stagnate.  Find a new recipe and cook it.  Get active (lots of dance/music/yoga studios will let you have a free lesson or have a reasonable rate for a one-time drop in).  Audit a class at a local college or university.  Check out your local library: they’ll often have lots of cool (free/cheap) events and also free movie rentals!  It’s summer and many communities will have concerts, carnivals, street fairs, or farm stands (check your paper or watch your mailbox!).  Give something a try and see what fits you!

This is my goal for this summer.  In fact, all of the above.  My next two endeavors will probably be the cooking as well as gardening.  I have a little patch of dirt in front of my house and I’m thinking of tomatoes and red peppers (both of which I love).  I just read that red pepper plants really shouldn’t be planted until after Memorial Day anyway, and I just saw plants at a local supermarket the other day.  I’m planning on weeding and going back for some plants this week.

What are you doing this summer?  Why not share a post to tell me what you’re doing to spice up this season? 🙂  I’d love to hear!

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