Refresh 

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! 

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Goals

_20170823_155823In 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:

  • Flaps
  • Shuffles
  • Shuffle-step-heel
  • 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?

Good things…

…come to those who wait

 

Citylit
Image courtesy of Hotcourses

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 :(((

I’ll let you know.

Train Mean 

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A T-Shirt I own

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:

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Okay, he’s a member of staff.

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’.

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Last night’s peanut pork – definitely 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.”

Read more here: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/aug/11/why-we-fell-for-clean-eating

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…)

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Avoiding fad diets with a quick stretch

Peachy

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.

Peachy

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?