Adult ballerinas in pointe shoes- yah

Last night our ballet teacher started beginner pointe class. Tuesday night is an open class based around the dance spectrum syllabus and after that she has the L2 adults. So in between the two there is now 20 mins of pointe. Great for us intermediate girls, as we need more pointe time (and it’s a great way to break in new shoes). But even more fab to see the others either go back to pointe or start for the first time.

Here are the lovely ladies, and man at the barre just prior to class starting. The rest of us were on the portable admiring the beautiful shiny new shoes. There were 12 of us in pointes last night. How awesome is that!

Beginner pointe class

Beginner pointe class

So begins for some of them a newfound obsession with pointe shoes.

 

First pointe class in the centre woop woop

Last night I danced in the centre en pointe for the first time.  So exciting. I have been glued to the barre for the last year while being on and off again with pointe due to injuries.  But now I have finally done it. I have stepped away from the barre.

It was scary.

The Intermediate syllabus has a number of exercises in the centre so it was time I made the leap as I don’t wont to be left behind and you have to start somewhere right?

Bourree couru ok, untidy but I can do them, releves devant and derriere arghhh. Hmm not quite ready for that. Same with emboites. But echappes yes.

I wore my new shoes to warm up in. I also cut the vamp down, I have some photos to add below. They are not too bad. However I reverted to my old shoes for the centre until I have broken my new ones in.

Here is how I cut down the vamp on my pointes. I did it with the help of this video  from Straight to the Pointe.

photo 1

Before

 

photo 2

Unpicked

 

Cut down

Cut down

 

After

After

First Pilates class

Yesterday  ballet was cancelled so I decided to go to a Pilates class.  I have been meaning to try one for ages, as my girl friends have all be talking about how much it is improving their back and core strength. I need that! My stomach muscles are wrecked after surgery and I have finally come to the realisation that they won’t improve themselves without a bit of help, (and maybe some hard work).

So armed with my yoga mat I attended a class fairly close to home that my girlfriend goes to. I took my place on the floor, feeling rather confident about it all and stayed that way until the end of the first exercise. Wow, it was hard. I truly didn’t expect it to be that difficult especially the leg and hip work. I expected the core exercises to be hard work (as mine is like jelly) but  I thought, I have strong legs from ballet this will be easy, but no alas it was not. However I got through it and did enjoy it. I’m really sore today especially in my hips, but not my abs, hmm I’m not sure if that means I was not working hard enough or if it targeted different muscles. I must ask on Friday when I go back again. Yes I’m going to try again. The studio allows new students to go as many times in the first two weeks as you like for $20. A bargain I can’t resist, and maybe it will get me hooked.

 

Only one class this week which is tomorrow night. I need to try and start videoing some of our combinations I shall try and work it out this avo. Till then.

 

 

Pointe and pointes

Grishkos

The Grishkos have arrived. Woop woop.  How exciting. They arrived on my door step this morning.  Now the nerve racking part, do they fit?  I’m not sure. Maybe yes? or not?

They fit nicely in the width and length, with room for padding. However the vamp is too long, a common problem for me. So what to do. Cut the vamp down and break them in or return them. I’m not sure. They are quite comfortable so I am loath to send them back but then I don’t want to ruin them by cutting them down. Sigh.

I think I will put them on, take some photos and email them to the  company and see what they say. It’s a shame I have no patience and want to wear them right now!

Last night we had pointe class and I am now very sore. It went well, although my shoes are not going to last much longer (maybe not the length of time it will take to return the Griskos and get new ones back). Shame as they are finally perfect, but that’s the way with pointe shoes I hear. I managed echappes in the centre for the first time:) Very excited and I am now starting to think that just maybe I will be able to manage pointe for the exam. I hope so, that is a huge goal of mine.

Pointe class

I have been away for work so took the opportunity to go to a class not far from my work. It was great! I have been to this teacher once before and so it wasn’t too daunting this time. The girls (teenagers) were also the same. They tolerated me while carrying on as teenagers do, giggling, and discussing things that went way over my head.  The class was a pointe class. 20 mins of feet exercises and then 50 minutes in our pointe shoes. Yeah.  This was the longest I have ever spent in my shoes and I have to admit I went back to my trusty and very comfortable old no name or brand pointe shoes ( I have no idea who made them, naughty me brought them on the internet, tut tut) and, they were awesome. No sore feet and I lasted the whole night.  A few weeks ago I used an on-line video to cut the vamp down, since I have done this they are soo much better. But they wont last so I still can’t wait for my new shoes.

Back to class…

  • We did feet rolling with glass drink bottles, toe grabbing with ribbons and some tendues and feet stretching. All easy to do at home.
  • Then we did stepping up onto pointe, followed by rolling up onto pointe through demi.
  • Next relevee, lots of them, and
  • Echappes, lots more of them.
  • Finishing of with stepping along the barre (one hand on and picking each foot up), which I really liked as I have been struggling with stepping en pointe.

So that was the class. Simple but good. My major learning points were that I need to point from my whole leg, (from the top and the outside of my thighs), keep my core tight and tighten my fifth. Lots to work on.

I have only been to this one class this week so am feeling bad, however at least I made training on Friday. My PTI has come up with some neat exercises to help me with my strength and balance, one is holding onto a weight bag as I penche (excuse the French I am not sure how to find an accent). More core and squats with weights up to demi balance.

This weekend we have been preparing to list our house for sale. Arghh stress. No ballet, no exercise but some music, a few grand plies in-front of the stove and lots of lifting and bending. Oh and my gorgeous ballet friend helping me sort and organise, she was amazing! My goal is to be on top of things so I can make it to class twice this week.

Photos and videos to be taken this week!

 

 

Procrastination, ballet and bulletproof coffee

Now by this I mean procrastinating by thinking, watching or reading about ballet. You know, you are supposed to be doing a million jobs, cleaning, working, looking after the children but instead you are on the internet and looking at blogs and beautiful ballerinas on youtube. I can now add, writing blog posts to my list of ways to procrastinate using  ballet.

What I need to train myself to do is actually practice my ballet during these sessions of procrastination. My balance and turn out will not improve by osmosis. More the shame.

My current top procrastination ballet sites are:

  • Remedial Ballerina – I love her blog and the photos and videos. I am hoping to be brave enough to do the same soon.
  • Adult Ballerina – She has so much good material and interesting posts.
  • Ballerinas by Night –  The ladies post videos to their youtube channel and general ballet chat.
  • Also: Anything on youtube for stretching, Pilates and beginner pointe.

On another note I actually got up this morning at 6am for stretch and mindfulness. Yeah.

After a nice start to the day I met my husband at this great new paleo gluten free friendly café and tried “Bulletproof coffee” for the first time. Although I have been mostly Paleo for two years it was the first time I had tried it and I was a bit nervous, however it was yum. It also gave me a huge buzz and I was full for the rest of the day, and feeling very energetic.  Would I have it again? Yes. Although I’m not sure about everyday. I’m not a fanatic when it comes to some of the weirder paleo fads. But yes I would and I rekon it would be great when I have a huge day on and maximum brain power is required. Or lots of ballet.

Since cutting back to two ballet classes a week it feels like a long time between classes. I am away for work this week so shall miss two, however I get to take a class while away which is exciting. Although it’s scary going to another teacher with unknown students (who are also at least 20 years younger, and perhaps too young to realise how cool it is to be older and do something you have always wanted to) its great to get out of my comfort zone and to focus. I shall post my experience when I get back.

 

 

New skirt – homemade yeah!

So yesterday when I was supposed to be doing a million jobs I decided to procrastinate and make a ballet skirt. I have been wanting to make one for ages. So with the help of my very basic and cheap sewing machine, my old ballet skirt and a little inspiration from the Selfish seamstress I made a skirt. It was a little on the small size but ok for a first go. I admit to not following the pattern. I am a lazy when it comes to sewing and so I went for a straight edged top and then cut around my own skirt for the shape. I then used bias binding for the tie. Et Voila.

 

So here I am in my new skirt.  I am 5 foot nothing and not skinny, but I am ok with it. I am working on toning up and slimming down a bit after surgery in December. But there is nothing like wearing  a leotard and tights in class to make you suck everything in and work a bit harder (admittedly it was not a leotard only night, but we all have those days).

I am also wearing my old shoes which I cut the vamp down on and they were great, I could actually roll up through demi. Yeah! But more about that another night.20150205_194750

Time to whip myself into shape and morning routines

So a lot of work is needed in order to be ready for the exam and for the first time just relaying on more ballet classes is not going to cut it. So I need to work on the full body approach to fitness, utilising not only class but stretching, Pilates, cardio and strength training. What’s the plan?

  • 2 ballet classes a week
  • 1 personal trainer session for strength
  • Incorporate stretching, balance and feet exercise into my day
  • Swiss ball work for core and posture and correction
  • Walking – as much as possible

So I’m not sure how I am going to fit it all into my day. I need a strategy. I also travel for work and so need to make sure when I’m away I don’t drop the ball. I also need to find the inner motivation to actually do all of this and keep up the momentum. Last week my husband and I decided what we need is a morning routine.  My I Quit Sugar guru Sarah Wilson swears by it along with many other wonderfully clean and healthy people.  So why is it so hard? It shouldn’t be, but it is.  We got up at 6am on Monday morning and it was awesome, we  did 20 minutes of exercise together, 10 minutes of mindfulness and sat outside with a green tea. We then had a lovely breakfast with the children before all heading off for the day. It was great. We felt so zen and pleased with ourselves. Yeah our new thing… until the next morning. Oh it was so hard to get out of bed, the rest of the week was an epic fail. Time to start all over again. I really want to make this work.  Apparently successful people just get out of bed and do it, no matter the day, how they feel, the weather etc. arghhh I want that.

 

 

 

 

I have ordered new pointes- yeah

I have finally done it. I know it is frowned upon but I have ordered pointe shoes online and I am so excited.  I have however done my homework:

  • I have tried on every brand and make of pointe shoes in my city
  • I have read as much as possible
  • I have done online fitting surveys
  • I have read www.pointeperfect.com over and over again
  • I have had numerous in-depth emails with the fitter overseas including photos, measurements and descriptions of my dancing.

Of course I don’t recommend it to others but desperate times call for desperate measures. I would have to fly to another city in order to get a new pair of shoes and well I can always sell them online if I (and my teacher) am not happy with them. So I have ordered Grishko 2007.  Hurry up postie.gr%202007_-800x800

Very sore ballet dancers

Wow, first syllabus class of the year and it was tough.  Yeah, great just what we need 🙂  So why were such happy ballet dancers?

  • Our ballet teacher was on form; lots of corrections, great flow, hardly any stopping, lots of repeated exercise to get the techniques right
  • Lovely hot night so we were warm and working our bodies
  • Nice number of dancers in the class
  • Full commitment of the class to learning the syllabus
  • We were pushed hard to perform

and we saw some improvement. Yeah!

  • Not so many wobbles in the degages in the centre
  • Double pirouettes (average ones but a good starting pointe)
  • Actually over my pointe shoes

By the end of 2 hours we were all begging for reverence with sore bodies and painful feet. The pointe work was very hard. I borrowed my friends shoes and although I could get over on them they were still painful so I am definitely getting new shoes.

So a good start. We have along way to go but I think its possible.  In order to achieve though we need to build up our fitness (to make it though the centre work), strength and flexibility. That is my project to start next week once the kids go back to school. A program for both.  Time to start getting out of bed early.

 

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