Monthly Archives: August 2015

A subject that is dear to my heart

I still think culturally it’s a little easier for a boy who wants to dance than when I was a kid, but it is still outside the box
http://www.npr.org/2015/08/22/433264225/ballet-programs-look-for-more-boys-to-step-up-to-the-barre?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20150822

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Semi-private, semi-tough

I really looked forward to driving up to Albuquerque for Thursday’s class.

Last week was extremely fun, and I had to miss Wednesday’s Ballet I class because of an artist reception I had to attend.

Got there a little ahead of time, and kept waiting for others to show up.

One lady who wasn’t there last week showed, followed by the teacher.

No one from the previous week other than me showed, which really concerns me. One of the ladies who attended the week before said she was relieved we had more than four, because evidently that’s the magic number to keep the class from getting cancelled.

With only two of us, the teacher shortened the class from the usual 90 minutes to just an hour.

And it exposed a major weakness: I depend too much on my neighbors at the barre to remember combinations and to keep time with the music.

I led first on the barre because of where we were positioned, and I kept messing up during the combinations (I’d leave our a step or draw a blank about halfway through combinations). I felt sorry for my classmate. Hope I didn’t mess her up to badly.

I think part of the reason I kept messing up was because I felt so much pressure. When there is just two of you, it’s kind of hard to not catch the eye of the teacher. And his barre routines are not simple, which I appreciate.

Did much better in center, which is amazing. I actually think I’m showing more improvement with my glissades and my jetes seemed a lot sharper.

And I thought I did well during grande allegro. It started with chaine turns, then a tonbe pas de bouree glissade assemble, pique, chasse tour jete, tonbe pas de bouree glissade grand jete.

My timing was a little off coming out of the chaines. Because I was slower than the company kids at my old school, I have a tendency to come out on three turns instead of four to make sure I’m on the timing.

Semi-private classes are tough. But I do appreciate all of the corrections.

As for performing being over for me?

I did ask about the adult-character audition, and ended up missing it because I needed to spend time with my daughter today.

I was told there is still a chance the artistic director would still give me a call about possibly being a part of their Nutcracker, but I’m not really counting on it.

My old artistic director from my school back in Alabama asked me on Facebook if I would be returning home to be in their Nutcracker.

Told him I would love to be in it, but I don’t know if we’ll be able to save enough money to either fly home or drive the 1,200 mile trip. And I know he can’t wait for me to decide if I can.

I thought for a moment I could do one of those “Go Fund Me” so I can be in Nutcracker things. But I don’t get a lot of comments or likes on the blog anymore, so maybe I wouldn’t be that successful at it.

Like I said in a previous blog, maybe it will be OK just to sit out this year and enjoy taking class.

That is if we have enough coming for the classes I’m in just to keep them going.


I believe I’ll sit this one out

This past week was the first regular week of classes at BRT in Albuquerque.

For me, it was an interesting pair of classes.

Because of my now-mostly day job, my class choices were a Ballet I class on Wednesday night and Ballet II on Thursday.

The Ballet I class was pretty interesting. I hadn’t been going to it in the summer. Didn’t know who the teacher would be.

The same anxieties always hit with that first class.

The regular teacher wasn’t there. The guy who taught was the guy who has been teaching the Ballet II class that I had been going to during the summer.

There were five of us, and it was a bit of an unusual mix. Of the five, only two were women. I’ve never been in a class where we (the guys) so outnumbered the girls (I have been in classes were the numbers were almost even).

It wasn’t one of my better classes.

I’ll be honest, I always have a hard time finding the right tempo when it comes to a slower class. And this class wasn’t quite a beginner class, and the teacher didn’t quite teach it as one.

I was a bit sloppy and off count.

That is until grande allegro (big jumps) time. Sautee, fi-e, glissade, assemble’ (repeat), pique, chasse, tour jete, tonbe pas de bouree, saute chat is a combination I knew pretty well and managed to earn praise for.

Made me feel a whole lot better.

Night 2: Ballet 2 went a lot better.

Same teacher taught. Everything we did was technically a whole lot difficult than the night before. My timing was better. Technique was better.

I’ll be honest, I rely too much on my neighbors, and since my neighbors were better, I was able to step up my game.

I even managed to make it through petite allegro a lot better than I normally do. My glissades didn’t quite suck as bad as they normally do.

I also think it helped that I was more in my comfort zone.

My four other classmates were women. Why am I more in a comfort zone in a class like that?

When there are other guys in the room, I tend to get a little more competitive, unless they are good friends of mine who are company wonders like two of my close dancer friends back home.

And the two other guys are a couple of decades younger than me. Can’t figure out why I wanted to be so competitive, other than the fact that neither seems to understand spacing, which did annoy me a bit (but I didn’t complain).

Now for the title of this blog entry.

BRT has auditions on Saturday for Nutcracker and its spring performance of Beauty and the Beast.

If you follow my blog, you know I love performing. And I’ve been in at least one ballet a year, and most of the time two, since 2007.

And I was in three in what turned out to be my final year of performing with HBC before packing it up and moving from Alabama to New Mexico.

BRT has an audition for adults for character roles (and company if I were about 20 years younger and three times as good as I am). With HBC, I was pretty much always drafted, something that happens when you are a guy with the shortage of men in ballet.

A few days ago, I was for sure I was going to audition (which would have been a first even though I’ve danced in classes that were audition classes).

But I’m still adjusting to life in New Mexico. So is my daughter.

Even though there is a Ballet I class on Saturday morning (a tough one to make since my ballet commute is about 70 miles), I’ve opted to use Saturday as a sleep-in day, and a day of recreation day with my daughter, who is still not quite as connected to life and friends here in the Land of Enchantment.

So, for the first time since 2007, I believe I’ll be sitting this performance season out.

Which for me is kind of difficult.

It will be really hard reading about other people doing parts with HBC that were solely mine for the past few years.

But I’m getting older.

Maybe it’s time for me to just enjoy class and learn to enjoy performances from the audience.


Being a little nostalgic

When the Internet was out the other night, got a little nostalgic from my performing days.

This the opening scene from our production on Billy the Kid, the only video clip I’ve ever put on here of me dancing.