... dance, fitness, food, health, life...

Monday, June 30, 2008

Back to ballet!

I get to go to ballet tonight! I'm so glad... and nervous, of course. Logically I know it's a beginning adult class, so it's not like I'll be in class with principal dancers, but because I haven't done ballet for over a month and I feel all out of practice, I'm nervous. Sore muscles, here I come... :)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A few words on this season's SYTYCD...

I was watching last night's episode of So You Think You Can Dance - yes, I watch and love that show - and there are three couples that keep blowing me away...

"Twitchington" (Twitch and Kherington) makes me laugh out loud. Mark and Chelsie's routine brought tears to my eyes (really!). And I'm just enamored with Joshua and Katee... well, maybe more Joshua than Katee :) but they are a great partnership. As for individual dancers, Will just rocks my socks. There aren't really words to describe what an amazing, phenomenal, talented, beautiful dancer he is... okay, so there are a few words, but I digress...

The quality that make Twitchington, Mark/Chelsie, and Joshua/Katee stand above the rest is they are true entertainers. The other dancers and couples are very good, yes. Very, very good. They wouldn't be on the show if they weren't, and I'm not holding on to any delusions that I'm better than any of them (because I'm not)... BUT, these three couples kick some serious ass because they dance very well and they entertain while they're dancing. They aren't just going through the assigned choreography. Their expression begins in their faces and moves all through their bodies until it reaches into their toes. They just have that entertaining quality, you know?They have it. (You other dancers and performers know exactly what I'm talking about.)

I hope, hope, hope that one of these three couples, plus Will, makes it to the final rounds. It would be a travesty if they don't. I'm wrapped up enough in these dancers after three short weeks that if one of them is cut tonight in the results show, I just might get choked up. Roll your eyes, that's fine - I proudly admit my addiction to this show. There are very few television shows that have this affect on me, especially the more mainstream, pop shows, so I'm allowed to indulge. (I believe SYTYCD is one of the better reality shows in that it is more realistic than, say, coming to live in some huge mansion with 19 other girls while you all compete for some desperate rich-boy's "true" love and affection... please.)

Dance should serve two purposes: to bring joy and to entertain. [Sidenote: Nothing irks me more than some avant-garde kind of "dance" such as butoh (Google it) claiming to be part of the dance world. Yes, I will offend some by saying that but I'm not here to make everyone happy and sugar coat everything I write.] The joy of dance should be for both the dancer and the audience, and with joy comes entertainment. A dancer who feels pure joy can't help but entertain whomever may be watching. It's kind of a cause-and-effect thing, a law of nature. The three couples that I'm rooting for put this law into practice every Wednesday night... so far, anyway. I have a feeling they'll stick around in the coming weeks!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"Patiently" waiting, because I have no choice

I am not a patient gal by any stretch of the imagination. It's a virtue that's eluded me since I was conceived. But thanks to my employer's fiscal-year-end-check-withholding business that happens to us student hourly employees every June, I've been getting a lesson in patience this summer.

On the last day of the spring semester, I turned in my ballet written exam to my instructor (yes, we have written exams) and she strongly suggested I take ballet this summer. This was already on my summer agenda, but hearing it from my ballet teacher hit it home that I need as much practice as I can get if I'm going to succeed in the program. I was going to march myself to the local ballet studio and buy myself a punch card and get right to it, just as soon as I got my economic stimulus check from Uncle Sam & Co. and started working full time hours.

Wellllll, as usual, things didn't go quite as planned financially... Uncle Sam's check was less than hoped for because I didn't work enough last year to pay enough taxes (sigh). I couldn't start working full time hours until several weeks later. The money I did have went to other things like groceries, rent, etc. The basics, ya know. Blah blah blah... As far as money went, ballet classes were and are a frivolity.

How infuriating because, ironically, they're not entirely a frivolity. Compared to groceries and rent, yes. Considering they're to prepare me for my future career, no. It's all in the perspective. But every day that passes that I don't take a class just kills me. I just imagine all the technique and strength I built up over the last year is wasting away. Sure, I'm swing dancing, running, biking, hiking, etc., so I know I'm not out of shape generally speaking. But I'm out of dance shape and it bugs the hell out of me. Time is of the essence, since the studio's summer session is only 6 weeks long. This week will be the third week I'm missing.

This patience lesson hasn't been easy for me... but since my circumstances have lended no other choice, I have to just ride it out. I should, hopefully, with all fingers crossed and many prayers uttered, get that punch card next Monday and get myself back into those pink tights. I'll make the most out of the three weeks remaining. I keep telling myself that just because I'm catching the last half of the session doesn't mean all is lost. It's better than doing nothing at all. I'll also see what I can do about finding another studio in town that might offer classes later into the summer.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A very necessary evil

Money may be evil, but it sure is necessary to get somewhere in life...

I have no idea how I'm going to pay for school next year and I'm a wee bit concerned. Student loans are no longer an option since I used student loans for my first bachelor's. Since this is my second, the government tells me I'm done. No more loans for you, missy. Scholarships are not working out so well, either. So I'm a little stuck and a little freaked out about it.

The thought of potentially not going back in the fall because I can't pay for it really upsets me. I know this happens and some people take time off to work and save money, going back when they've saved enough. This isn't really an option with dance. Taking a semester off would be detrimental to my training and progress. And it would just be plain stupid. Remember, time is a-tickin' here. I'm not exactly 18 years old anymore.

I've heard of and read stories where some wealthy, middle-aged man or woman is looking to patron the arts, and decides to do so by paying for the education and training of some young, struggling artist. I keep dreaming that this will happen to me. I just got an email from a friend whom this did just happen to! She's transferring to a small private school in Florida this fall, and she, too, was unsure how it would be paid for since funding was not coming in as she expected. Well, a long-time friend of her family's just offered to pay for her education! Seriously?! I almost cried when I read her email.

Okay, when's my miracle going to show up? Money has always been kind of a struggle for me. My family didn't have a lot growing up, and once I moved out on my own I've always lived paycheck to paycheck... but I don't consider myself a victim or anything. I'm not going to whine and bitch that "nothing good ever happens to me" and that the universe is out to get me. I'm plenty blessed with amazing friends, family, and I do have the basic needs covered - a roof over my head, food to eat, etc. But I guess I'm asking for a tad bit more from the universe.

I can't quit. Everything I worked for and fought for last school year would all be a waste if I did. I want this so badly. I truly believe in my heart that this is my calling in life. Do I expect to be a principle dancer in some professional ballet company someday? Of course not. Do I think I'm going to make mucho dinero as a dancer? Please. Do I know that I have to bust my butt every single day, physically and emotionally? Absolutely. Do I still want it, despite all this? Hell yes.

Quitting is not an option. Game on, money!

Friday, June 13, 2008

The first post

Hi. I'm finally joining the masses of bloggers in cyber-journal space.

I'm here to write about my adventures in my pursuit of a career in dance, however that may evolve.

Some people think I'm nuts to start this endeavor so late in life. They're counting in dance years, mind you, not normal human years. Dance years are kinda like doggie years. I'm 29 years old, which in dance years means I should soon be sunsetting my dance career. But oh no, not me. I'm just beginning!

I've never been very good at accepting "no" when I really want something. And, baby, I want this.