Monthly Archives: January 2013

Dance Alabama 2012

Student choreography from students in the University of Alabama dance program (my first alma mater!),

There aren’t that many art programs in the South where I’m from, and those that are around don’t include, which is a shame. Many people don’t realize the full benefits of dance. I’m proud to say my original alma mater (the University of Alabama) actually has one of the better programs in the South. My current school, UAH, not so much.

Dance Pundit

Dance has many benefits. Of course there are the physical benefits such as increasing flexibility and improving your posture, however did you know that it can improve your cognitive acuity and can be used as a means of therapy? Truth. Last year, one of my friends and I wrote a research proposal on using dance movement therapy as a tool to decrease prejudice in small children. Oh the power of dance!

Pole Dancing Man

Yet all of this being known, dance programs and other performing arts are seriously underappreciated and many times are the first to be cut when there is a budget crisis in schools. Unless attend a performing arts school like Julliard or NYU’s Tish, or your school has a rigorous dance major, chances are that dance or the performing arts in general do not get enough TLC.

I am very grateful that although my alma mater Colgate University did not have an official dance program, we…

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Just a fun piece posted by a friend on Facebook

Yes, I’ve been cast in Billy the Kid!

Perhaps the Lord of the Dance knew it was my birthday (the real Lord, not Michael Flatley). The cast list went up. My name was indeed on it. I will be “a cowboy” in Billy the Kid.

First two rehearsals are Friday and Saturday, and I am psyched. 

It will be my first non-Nutcracker performance with the company in almost two years.

And what made this an even more fun night? I did my best double pirouettes in maybe a couple of years, and on both sides. I did them with more consistency than I believe I’ve ever had.

And I had a feeling I would. I was able to balance well at the barre and kept the focus on my alignment and spotting during the combination that required them.

The last combination we did in class kind of threw me, but that’s OK. I was excited about being cast and my turns were finally there, so that was enough to keep a messy combination from ruining my night.

Happy birthday George Balanchine

His ballet “Who Cares” set to Gershwin. The man is a true genius.

Love this quote. Sums up how I feel when I’m dancing.

Tutus and Tutus

“Learning to walk sets you free. Learning to dance gives you the greatest freedom of all: to express with your whole self the person you are.”

-Melissa Hayden

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Le Corsaire pas de deux

One of my favorite pas de deux’s. Couple of young friends of mine who danced with our company a couple of years ago did the pas, and it totally rocked!

Thrown into the deep end of the pool

When you’re basically the only “old recreational” dancer in company class, you kind of expect days like Thursday and today, just not back-to-back.

I can pretty much do 99 percent of the steps the company kids do, just not as graceful, beautiful and with the timing they do at times.

Every once in a while, you get thrown combinations that leave with the “you really want me to do that?” look.

Happened on Thursday with a combination that included the change direction fouettes. I was a bit wobbly, but came out otherwise OK.

Today? Two combinations that threw me entirely for a loop. One was a balance turn, attitude turn, a 180 turn, pas de bouree piroutte. I was my wobbly self, couldn’t really figure out the change direction turn (other than just cheating and turning a little extra in the attitude turn). It was sort of a site to behold. I think the Mrs. O must have needed a laugh today.

By her own admission (and this is a person who danced professionally with Pennsylvania Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet), it was a combination she had trouble with when she was in class. And one of the company kids said “oh snap!” when she demonstrated it (trust me, I was thinking up another thing to say a little less politically incorrect).

Don’t get me wrong. The combination, even if I did it entirely badly, was fun.

As was the wonderful combination we did for grande allegro (my usual strength). It starts off well, Saute fieee (I have no idea how that is spelled) glissade saute chat, glissade saute chat pique chasse tour jete, chasse tour jete (I’m good up until this point), and then a jete entrenent (a turn with a jete) sutunu and then a tour (or double tour if you’re better than me). I never got the end of the combination quite right.

It was, to say the least, a comedic day.

But I did redeem myself during the petite allegro combinations (my usual weakness, go figure!). My jetes, glissades and assemblees probably weren’t crisp enough, but Mrs. O looked pleased I managed to do the combination and on time with the music.

Even though I long for days when I do everything well, challenging days like today and Thursday do have their place. Those combinations I butchered Thursday and today, I will hopefully master by the time I’m 50.

The Born-Again Balletomane's Blog

I’m having to do almost an archaeological dig to get any information about the old ABT school, so in the meantime, enjoy this video of Evgenia Obraztsova rehearsing the role of Nikia in La Bayadere. Apparently she debuts in the role later this month.

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Forgot to mention Momix is coming to town

It will be different from classical ballet, but I look forward to seeing them perform in a couple of weeks.