Ok, I did it…I redeemed my City Lit discount voucher and booked a place on the Ballet at the Barre course starting on Wednesday 20th September! It starts a week after tap begins, and runs for 12 weeks. Tap runs in 6 week blocks (Thursday lunchtime) so I may pause after the first block is finished and concentrate on ballet until January.
I wasn’t going to enrol, but all year I’ve felt like my body has seized up a bit and I’ve lost my core muscles, posture and ankle strength since solely doing tap, and I really like the strengthening and flexibility that ballet provides.
I’ve forgotten everything I learned, so I’d better refresh my memory while I’m away in Cornwall next week!
In all my obsessing over whether or not I should return to ballet, I sat down with my notebook at lunchtime and found there my list of things to practice for tap dance over the Summer! These were:
Time step (single, double & triple)
New time step (can’t remember what this was – doh!)
Pick-ups (no claw toes please)
Pickup-hop-step (travelling backwards)
Suzy-Q (master the left)
The SHIM SHAM!!!
Although I have been distracted, I have actually been practicing the Shim Sham at every opportunity. This has often been at work either in the ladies toilets or the corridor to the stairs ha-ha!
Now that I’ve reminded myself of this list, I can get on with practicing some of these steps before we resume in September. My goal is to try to master some of these basic steps and then get a little bit quicker…
Did you set yourself any dance goals to achieve this summer? How about for next term?
Last week I got an email with a £10 voucher code to entice me back to Covent Garden’s City Lit. I have been considering booking onto Ballet at the Barre on Wednesday nights, which I absolutely loved and miss the discipline (and conditioning) of, but:
a) last time I tried to do that and tap the day after, I was exhausted and my memory wouldn’t extend to two different routines, even though the ballet one was ridiculously easy.
b) I need to cut back on my spending as the house move approaches and all the (many) expenses that go with that.
I think I might have to delete that email and just wait until next year :(((
At lunchtime today I went to the gym and finally used my PAYG pass! (I had intended to go last wednesday, but I was too tired and didn’t want to run myself down).
Although I didn’t train mean, I did do 10 minutes on the crosstrainer plus a cool-down, several reps on the leg press and hamstring curl weight machines, then I spent 10 minutes stretching on the mat.
All in all a short, sharp lunch hour workout! I have to say I felt much more energised afterwards. Unlike this guy:
Something that has been on my mind recently – while I agree it is good to eat healthily, this ‘clean eating’ thing has become a bit annoying. As well as the current OBSESSION with ‘smashed avocado’, there is also a huge trend at the moment of only eating a raw, plant-based diet and juice-cleansing at every opportunity. If you want to do that, great. However, I think it can become another food-focussed obsession that feeds into the realm of disordered eating where you may view certain foods to be ‘good’ or ‘clean’ and (most) other foods to be bad or ‘dirty’.
I recently read about a wellness blogger who had a best selling book called $25 Five Day Cleanse, but by obsessively following her own advice of raw food veganism and juice cleanses, her hair fell out and her periods stopped.
A quote from her blog:
“I was on a quest for perfection. I was laser-focused on being my healthiest, cleanest, most pure self. But eventually, that focus started to dominate my life. My desire for “perfect health” trumped everything else, and for a long time, I didn’t even realize it.”
Maybe it’s the Instagram effect, but there’s a real pressure to be your best self at all times. I don’t have an Instagram account and I don’t want one, but I think any online social media presence can start to have a similar effect, which then creeps into everyday life…especially more so if you have more perfectionist tendencies and/or are unhappy in your current self. Thankfully the blogger got the help she needed.
As dancers we need to fuel our bodies (or “power-up” as I like to say), but dancers can also become obsessed with better, more, perfect… especially in the ballet world. There’s definitely nothing wrong with being vegetarian or vegan. I even went pescetarian for a while because I wanted to consume more fish, less meat and feel a bit healthier (didn’t last!). But it definitely shouldn’t be to the detriment of your health and enjoyment of life.
(While I am not a nutritionist, I have a real interest in sports nutrition and studied this as part of a fitness qualification I did a few years ago, so I could talk about this all day…)
Today I have decided to do what I did last summer and go to the gym at lunchtime! I don’t have any dance classes until mid-September, and I am starting to feel really sluggish and unfit (I know, Rambert was only last week), so I think a short workout will be good, especially as it’s a really dreary day out there.
Watching the IAAF Athletics World Championships has also spurred me on (I was at the Olympic Stadium on Sunday morning). I keep seeing adverts everywhere at the moment for how to get your “best body ever!” and a “pert peachy bum!” because it’s bikini-mankini season, but that’s not really my motivation. I just want to feel a bit fitter so that September’s return to dance isn’t a shock!
Don’t worry, I haven’t signed up for a silly gym membership that I’ll never use…I bought a Pay As You Gym pass 🙂
What do you do to stay fit when you’re not dancing?