At Long Last

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So after all that drama, we finally moved house last Wednesday!!! Although I had Tuesday-Friday booked as annual leave from work, I ended up being ill from the Sunday and off work sick on the Monday before moving. Not surprising really as buying/selling/moving house is one of the most stressful things EVER. I have actually been ripping out the grey hairs that have been springing up from my head throughout the year.

I was still feeling pretty rough on move day, but got through it on adrenaline…and sugar! But, I think that full-on day has set me back because I returned to work on the following Monday, still not feeling all that great and ended up worse for dragging myself in, so I was in bed Tuesday and Wednesday this week. I was about to email my ballet teacher to tell him I wouldn’t be there again this Wednesday, but before I got around to it, I received an email (and voicemail) from the college to let me know that the class was cancelled because our teacher had an emergency and couldn’t get cover, but he’s going to chat about an extra class when we meet next week. Result!

 

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Knees Up

Last night I went to my ballet class with knee support in tow. Bumped into my teacher on the stairs, so I explained that I have a dodgy left knee, and he told me to take it easy.  I managed it until performing a fondue derriere, using the weaker left leg as the supporting leg. I didn’t fondue as far as when performing it on the other leg, but the very action upset my knee. Thankfully we weren’t working on jumps this week!

Besides that, it was another great class. We did some exercises using 4th position (where I had to be a bit careful and reduce the turnout), battement glisses, and I particularly enjoyed the sequence of attitude avant, through 1st position to attitude derriere and back again, fairly quickly. With speed, it was a challenge to control the working leg! This was part of a longer sequence that began facing the barre and rolling the knee in, passing the working leg through first position and sweeping the foot out behind in a figure of 8, if that makes any sense. Then on the 8th time of doing it we turned to the side with a sweep of the leg into a grande battement forward and HOLD.

My pint-sized Italian class colleague told me when I get home to get some olive oil and rub it into the knee. Good advice! In the end I didn’t use olive oil, but an aromatic massage oil from Neal’s Yard.

I have to say the walk back to Charing Cross station after the class was a bit on the achy side, but I will probably be taking a break next week…to hopefully move house!

Tap Factory 

On Friday evening my SO, his sister and I went to see Tap Factory at the Watford Colosseum! There were loads of young dancers in the audience eagerly awaiting the start.

The show was not what I expected at all! All the dialogue was in that kind of mime speak (think Tony Hart’s plasticine figure Morph, if you used to watch that), coupled with exaggerated facial expressions and physicality that made it so funny and captivating.

The setting was an industrial chemical factory, with scaffolding, ladders and oil drums, which served as just some of the percussive instruments. The guys (the workers) were wearing overalls and the boss and supervisor wore army camouflage trousers – the star of the show was a comedic little guy (Small Joe) who arrived late for the first day of work and had to prove himself amongst the others and their strength and masculinity.

The show was a mixture of amazing tap dance, incredible acrobatics (from a very smooth smiley guy who popped up every now and then), contemporary, break and street dance, flute playing, singing, and some audience participation with some call-and-response clapping…There was so much variety! My SO said it reminded him of Stomp if you’ve ever seen that show.

A great night out!

Ballet ‘n’ Beans

This evening I left work early to prepare myself for Ballet at City Lit…by stopping at Grind in Covent Garden to wake myself up with a coffee LOL.
Once I got to the college I layered up with black vest and smoky blue t-shirt, plus black leggings and cool netted socks with rose detail 🌹…

It was a full house this week so I was glad to get there early enough to get a space on the barre by the window because I always get too hot.

We ran through the usual exercises but with added content, creating longer sequences. It must have been the caffeine because I pretty much remembered everything! Well, apart from the retire-passe at the very end of the class. But you know how it is, you just style it out! 😉

My left knee gave me a bit of trouble again because I realised a while ago that it is weaker and I find it hard to keep that leg straight when doing, say, the grand battement exercise. Still, I really enjoyed the class tonight and really worked on my arms and hands this week. I think because I’ve been watching Strictly and loving the expression you get in Latin-style arms and fingers. I’ve never thought about putting that into my ballet practice before, but it has actually helped me to understand expression in the fingers a lot more, and placing. Obviously you don’t want to put the arms behind your shoulders when in second position, or have a straight arm in fifth, but I was able to apply the expression in the hands as we are doing a lot more port de bras than I’ve done before. Still, I mustn’t go crazy and exaggerate…

Image courtesy of Dancing with the Stars

So much fun –  looking forward to next week 🙂

Actually

I had a bad day at work and was hacked off and overwhelmed by the fact I’ve basically been left on my own in the office for most of the week while everyone else bogged off to a conference (held biennially)/took holiday/worked from home/were off sick… All at the same time! Okay, the person who was ill couldn’t help that, but apart from him,  there was no planning, communication or thought for cover. So I had a melt down and left the office 2 hours early. Left my dancewear under my desk and didn’t want to go back, so I missed the La La Land Tap Workshop. My head was (and still is) frazzled. Arghhh.

On the plus side (there’s ALWAYS a positive!) I stopped by Bloch in Covent Garden and tried on the new tap shoes designed by Chloe and Maud Arnold of the Syncopated Ladies! They didn’t have the black and white ones in my size in stock, so I tried the black ones for size. Chloe and Maud are over in the UK this week and were actually at the store yesterday talking about the shoe! I didn’t go because I’ve done a class with Maud in Brighton (remember Afro Funk? LOL) They are sooo comfortable and will be an easy transition from my current Bloch Sync tap shoes. They are going to be a Christmas present from my SO and his parents. Very excited to return to Rhythm Tap 2 in January wearing them!

Anyway, I’m going to rest this weekend.  And cuddle my cat.