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

Friday, February 20, 2009

A Friday rant: Professor J

For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you know how much I complain about ballet. It's a constant struggle on ballet days to get myself emotionally psyched to tolerate this class. And when it comes down to it, it's not ballet itself that makes me crazy - it's my teacher. She's the devil.

I used to like ballet. When I first came to the program, all bright-eyed and naive, I thought ballet was just great and since Professor J was the teacher, I respected and trusted her without giving it much thought, naturally. That's what you do, right? Unless someone gives me a reason not to trust them at the get-go, I give them benefit of the doubt that they're A-okay.

Well, slowly but surely over the course of three semesters with her, the blinders were peeled away from my eyes, and at some point last semester my breaking point was reached. All the snide comments, dramatic changes in mood, disrespect, the conditional double standards, the unprofessionalism... everything gradually built up and I finally began to see the real Professor J.

A week or so into the semester, I began to think maybe I just didn't like ballet. I started accepting that maybe ballet and I will never be anything more than two entities that tolerated each other because we had to. Then the department's ballet mistress substitute taught our class one day, and that idea was tossed out the window. Same thing, this past Monday... one of the advanced ballet students taught our class, and I left class high on endorphins and loving dance, just like I do every other dance class. It's not ballet. It's Professor J.

What does she do?? Here are a couple examples:
* Today in class, while demonstrating the footwork in one exercise, she was very unclear on the counts and timing. One of my classmates asked if she would do the counts. Instead of clarifying what she wanted, Professor J simply stood there, looked at my classmate as if to ask "are you stupid?", and just started counting out loud: "1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4..." Gee, thanks Professor J, that clears it up for me, I'm sorry for being so stupid.
* Professor J substitute taught the advanced ballet class yesterday, and someone in that class told me that, at the end of class, Professor J decided to have a powwow. In a nutshell she told them that when hiking or biking up a hill, it is more difficult when you carry extra weight... she then followed up her little analogy by stating, "but don't get an eating disorder or anything." Um, excuse me? Is she allowed to make analogies alluding that we're overweight?? Wow.

These are just two examples. I could list hundreds more. If I had a dollar... no, a dime... for every comment or attitude like this from Professor J, I'd be out of debt.

And for the record, I'm not so naive to think that the real dancing world is not hard, fickle, demanding and very political. Please. I'm well aware of what to expect when I get out there. With Professor J, though, I'm talking about treating people with basic respect. I'm talking about standards. I'm talking about doing the job you're getting paid to do. When someone makes you loathe a class, self-doubt your own potential and validity, wonder if you should transfer to another school, etc., there's a problem. A BIG one.

Looking ahead to this semester during Christmas break was dismal and disheartening. Each week begins the same, as does each ballet day. That makes for one loooooooong semester.

What's the solution? I'm not sure. I have to take ballet. I'm stuck in her class this semester. I could say that I'm going to bust my butt to move up to the next level for next semester, and I am, but it doesn't seem to work that way. Her mood and whim in the moment seem to determine whether or not she allows people to move up. But I can't take another semester with her!!! I'm going nuts! If she tries to keep me in her class again, she will be getting a fight from me. I know I'm not delusional in thinking I should be in a different class. People in the upper level classes tell me so.

So. You want to play games, lady? Bring it. Game ON. I've had it.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A little help, please!!

As you can tell, I've hit a little dry spell in blogging. Everyday I consider what I should post for the day, but none of it seems blog-worthy. I've been going through this for over a week now, and enough is enough. Maybe this is my own internal insecure editor, but it keeps the page blank nonetheless and I can't keep witholding blogs from my readers! {*dramatic sigh*}

(Sidenote: I think my creative well is running on empty overall, because I'm struggling with choreography as well. No bueno.)

SO!! I need your help...

Send me any questions, suggestions, or demands to help get my creative juices flowing again... Maybe send me a list of five random questions. Or, ask me a question that maybe came to mind when reading a past post. What would you, my faithful readers, like to know about??

The lines are now open!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Um, hello?!

I think Michelle Obama is a beautiful, stylish, classy woman... and yes, I was one of those people who got a kick out of all the buzz around what she would wear for the inauguration ball. I just saw that she is Vogue's March cover girl - and she's stunning!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I realized yesterday, as I stared out the window of one of my classrooms, that I have the mid-winter blues. However, these are not the typical mid-winter doldrums. I've decided that I have a case of reverse mid-winter blues. What does that even mean, you ask?

Well, you know how some people feel depressed or in a low mood resulting from a lack of sunshine, which typically occurs in the middle of winter when its typically cold and overcast? Okay. Well, what about someone feeling bummed about not getting typical winter weather, in the form of snow? That's me. No joke. Don't get me wrong, I love Colorado's intense sunshine and I'm a sucker for it's warmth on my skin in spring and summer when my arms and legs are bared. Key words there: spring and summer. Also, Colorado is crazy-dry as it is – a water bottle, lip balm and lotion are carry-in-your-purse-or-bag daily necessities if you don't want to shrivel up like a prune. The lack of moisture for weeks and weeks doesn't help matters.

Then a miracle happened!

I was at work when it first started. It was just a light sprinkling, and I nervously held my breath afraid to get too excited, too soon. I was afraid that announcing a snow-sighting would jinx it all away. But then it started to steadily come down, and when the cars in the parking lot began to be blanketed in white, my inhibitions fell away. I started making rounds about the office announcing that it is SNOWING (as if no one else could see it but me!).

I don't think I have to worry anymore about scaring the snow away... its coming down hard. The snowflakes are huge, too, but I find it interesting that they're not the light and fluffy kind normal for this time of year. They're heavy and wet snowflakes, typical of spring snow. Its not surprising, though, considering how abnormal this winter has been.

No matter. I'm just happy its here. And of course I'm jonesin' to play in it - snowshoe, ski, build snowmen, whatever. *sigh* Alas, I have school and work responsibilities. Dare I hope for a snow day tomorrow...?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Back to it

"It" being the madness, that is.

School has finally reached full speed, humming along like a well-tended engine: papers, projects, choreography, etc. are all beckoning for my attention.

But the madness ain't so bad this semester... I've made concerted efforts to not get in over my head too much with commitments, and so far, so good. I think I will be able to give these papers, projects, choreography, etc. the attention they deserve... or avoid the last-minute freakout, anyway. Let's keep the cortisol and adrenaline at reasonable levels, shall we? No repeats of last semester, thankyouverymuch.

Rehearsals for my piece are on Monday nights. Tonight went great. I love teaching and leading a group - maybe there's a career in choreography for me down the road? I should wait and see how it's received first, though, before I make claims like that. It could be a total flop for all know... so far it's going well and people say they like it, but my internal critic is always skeptical of people's sincerity. Sometimes I wonder if they're just being polite.

Ah well, I'm not going to worry about it too much. I know I won't please everyone. That's just how it goes with art.

Back to "it" entails more than just the papers and projects and choreography, of course... Back to sore feet as they build their calluses back up. Back to sore muscles as they get stronger. Back to regular, raging hunger from all the calories burned. Back to running between work and school and work and the studio like a crazy person. Back to deadlines and auditions and rehearsals and performances. Back to productivity and working toward a goal and creating a career in the arts.

It's good to be back.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Doin' her thing

I've never really posted pics of me dancing, which is what this blog is all about, so here are a few of me gettin' down with my friends at our New Year's Eve par-tay...

In order of appearance, from top:
Gettin' down with C
Swingin' out with C
Still swingin'
Hip-hop-a-licious with S
What what??

Those last two make me laugh - look at my face! LOL :)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Wait for it, wait for it...

I've been trying to finish my post about ballet since Wednesday, and its still not done. It's not long, it's just stuck in my head and I can't really get it to flow onto the page... which is weird because I have very strong feelings about ballet and how the CSU program is organized (or not), and typically if someone asks me about ballet they get an earful. Yeah, not so much with this post.

I think my writer's block is due to analysis paralysis, which is something I'm very prone to suffering from. You know, you think about a project or something that you need to do, but it overwhelms you, so you freeze and do nothing. I'm the Analysis Paralysis Queen.

But, I'm working on it. And hopefully, HOPEFULLY I will get it posted by tomorrow. Or by the end of the weekend. Or next month.... augh!!!!!!!

My first blog award!!

I was perusing the blog world late last night before collapsing into bed, and I almost fell out of my chair in shock at what I found: my fashionista blogging friend Maegan listed me and my blog as one of the recipients of the Proximidade award!!!

(Okay, I will admit that I don't completely know what this award means, so please forgive my ignorance, for I am still a baby blogger, and please enlighten me!)

A huge THANK YOU to M for this award!!! I often read blogs that receive various blogging awards, but I always figured that I'm a long way off from that considering I'm so new at all this blogging biz, and my blog is not exactly the most graphically exciting, *ahem*... so, M, you made my night/day, and THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

As is the protocol, as I understand it, I must now pass it on... but before I do, I should find out more about it so I pass it on appropriately... so school me all you veteran bloggers! :)