Monthly Archives: May 2014

Ruled ineligible … I think I’ll head to the beach

A funny thing happened on the road to dancing in the school show.

I was ruled ineligible.

The school show is my school’s recital that isn’t connected to the ballet company’s performances I’ve been in. Even though I’ve been in a company class, I’m still considered an “open” student.

That means I’m ineligible to be in the school show … or so the powers that be determined.

Came as a shock to the teacher of the class, who was extremely apologetic. Came as a shock and disappointment to me … considering I was in a hip-hop dance in the school show two years ago.

Although I’ve worked all semester on the dance, I didn’t raise hell like some of the parents of kids do when they don’t get their way. I didn’t fall to pieces like some of the young dancers at the school when they don’t get the part they wanted.

I’ve been blessed for the number of roles I’ve been given in the company ballets. I’m also fortunate to be allowed to take company level classes.

I still love the place and the teachers, although my love is not entirely what it was.

My teacher, Dawn C., talked me into coming to the dress rehearsal, where her husband would videotape her performance … which got the OK from the powers that be.

I was going to do it to. But the school sketch performance is this coming Tuesday, at the tail-end of a three-day stretch off thanks to the Memorial Day holiday.

I got a great deal on a condo on the Gulf Coast I really couldn’t pass up. I’m taking the kids to the beach Sunday through Wednesday morning (one perk of working nights is that I can drive six hours from the beach and still make it to work).

I think I need the beach time to rejuvenate.

The last couple of weeks, it’s been harder to make it to class.

I’ll be honest, there really aren’t any hard feelings over this, but it played a role in me seeking out another studio to take actual adult classes.

I haven’t lost my love for ballet or dance over this, but the incentive to go to class really hasn’t been there the past couple of weeks.

I think I need the beach and a couple of weeks break before diving back into classes when the summer session starts.

And maybe taking classes at a different place, and my regular school will help restore my enthusiasm.


The deal is done

It felt a little strange walking into another studio.

It’s about 15 minutes closer to home. It’s what the artistic director at my regular, pre-pro school calls a “Little Miss Susie” dance studio.

I paid the registration fee to cover the summer and the entire coming year should I decide to keep taking classes there. I’ve signed up for adult ballet and jazz in back to back classes on Monday afternoons. That’s in addition to the two-three classes a week I’ll be taking at my regular school.

My guess is the level of training is no where near the caliber I get at my regular studio. But I am completely blown away by the choices they have for adult dancers: Ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop and lyrical. To be honest, I’d love to take tap if I didn’t have to work on the night it is offered during the regular school year.

How extensive is their adult program? The Monday night adult ballet class has a waiting list. So, if after taking class there this summer I decide to continue my dance journey there, I’d be on a waiting list for the style I really love.

I’ve signed up for jazz, but I really haven’t done that style (except for a few weeks a couple of years ago) since high school. So it should be really interesting.

I love my regular school, don’t get me wrong. But I think it will be nice to be in a couple of classes where I don’t feel so much out of place … well, I’m a guy who takes dance, so I’m pretty much going to be a little out of place … but it would be nice to be in a class where the majority of dancers are over 18 every once in a while.

That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate being pushed in a class full of company wonders. That still has its place in my dance journey.


Never judge a book by its cover

Never judge a book by its cover

I’ve started a personal blog about other things beside ballet in my life, although this mentions ballet.


Trying another studio disloyal?

I’ve been taking ballet classes at the same school for the past eight years, but this summer I’m considering taking a ballet class or jazz class at a studio in a town a little closer to home (along with a couple of classes at my regular studio).

I’m considering it for a couple of reasons. No. 1, it is closer and will save me some on gas. No. 2, I honestly think I need a little change of pace.

I have no intention of leaving the ballet school I’ve called home for so many years, but the adult dancers seem to be getting fewer to almost non-existent in the morning open classes I take. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy being in a class full of company wonders and I enjoy the pace. But I sort of miss the camaraderie of an actual adult class.

So the possibility is strong I’ll split the time between two studios this summer. Depending on how things go this summer, I might do the same during the regular year.

Part of me feels a little disloyal. There are people at the school I’ve called home who are like family;

As far as how things are going now, we’ve put the finishing touches on the school sketch dance. Only two more weeks before we perform it on stage. And it will be put on video,

I’m beginning to get a better handle on the dance. I finally got the timing down from the transition of the sissonnes-slide step to the saute basque turns, but I’m still a little sloppy during the part of the dance where we come forward alternating between en de hors and en de dans (hope I spelled that right) pirouettes. And for some reason, right after we come out of a tour jete and do step grande jetes to the right, I step on the wrong foot (I actually get it right on the left side).

It’s amazing fun, but rehearsing multiple times tonight has wiped me out,


Cherry on Top

Because of what I went through when I took ballet as a teenager, I love this video. Hits true to my heart. It stars Drew Minard, who went on to play Billy Elliott in the musical,


When a dance comes together …

I’ll have to admit I was a little nervous heading into Monday night’s class.

Because tornadoes came ripping through our state last Monday (yet another wonderful, horrifying perk of living in the South), we didn’t have class.

So it had been two weeks since we rehearsed our school sketch down, and there was a part I really wasn’t sure of. And the ending hadn’t entirely been worked out. And we had only three class times to get it down before the school show at the end of this month.

Other than our dance ending poses, which we’ll work on next week, we knocked it our last night. And for the most part, I feel good about it. I need to work on the transition from a little jazz slide step at the end of two sissones to the side to two saute basques that go straight back, but other than that, I’m good, that is if I can remember which leg to step and grande jete on after we do a tour jete in the middle of the dance (step with the leg in back, leap with the leg facing the audience), but my timing is there.

I really want to dance well. This is my chance to prove to myself I can dance. And my chance to prove to others, I can, too. And the family will be watching.

Then add the fact that this is an opportunity to expose dance to people who might not otherwise come to a dance performance if they weren’t there to see their cute 5-year-old daughter, grand-daughter or niece and nephew look cute in the little dance they’re in despite how they mess up.

Dawn C. reminded us the school show should be taken as seriously as the company performances of the Nutcracker and Cinderella are. The school show is free, unlike company performances, and people are their to see their family members perform, but you wouldn’t otherwise get them through the door for the ballet.

And, of course, it’s pretty much a one-shot deal. Unlike Nutcracker, where we perform seven times, or Cinderella, where we performed three times, we’ll perform this dance only once, unless we are asked to perform it on both nights of the school show. They haven’t posted the schedule yet.

So it’s get it right the first time. There may not be another chance to get it right.

No pressure, huh? But seriously, it’s a fun dance.

It’s also pretty cardio so I’m trying to build up some stamina. When you rehearse it four times straight in class, you’re feeling a little winded and out of energy … or at least I am.