Monday, February 18, 2013

ballet your way to a better ski trip

i just got back from skiing in steamboat, colorado with my family. it's my third time skiing, and before this trip i'd say i was... ok? i was terrified of falling, always very cautious - only skiing the super easy runs and stopping all along the way just to be sure that i could... but somehow this trip i had a breakthrough. the fear melted away and i found myself zipping down the mountain, bored with the ease of the 'green' trails, falling a lot less, and recovering more easily when i encountered unexpected terrain. what was scary became fun. i wasn't tired and ready to call it a day after a couple of hours like i have been in the past. it was awesome! i know it probably had something to do with having a little more experience this trip, but i also know that my improved balance, flexibility, and the strength in my legs came from practicing ballet. THANKS, BALLET! finally felt like i earned those après-ski beverages!!

Friday, February 8, 2013

getting noticed

yesterday in class i felt like i was kinda doing better at the barre. and then when we moved to the center of the room, i had a really difficult time with the glissade --> pas de chat (as always). i need to practice that on my own. oh, hey! we did fourth position for the first time! eee! we also learned our first "turn". it's really a half turn. errr soutenu? or something? there was definitely a sou something in there. i was completely not getting it in class, but later at work as i was walking through the halls i practiced a couple of times and something clicked. i was doing the demi-pointe version with the plié and everything!! it was amazing! and i can still do it correctly today which is even more amazing!

so anyway, immediately after class i met my husband for lunch at a sandwich shop. i was dressed in my favourite black leotard, pink ballet tights, and slippers with a pair of shorts and a hoodie on top. while i was waiting for him, a sweet middle-aged lady named helen walked up to my table and asked if i was a dancer. i said yes. her face immediately lit up... and then we spiraled into weird territory. with a thick accent and some gaps in her phrases, she proceeded to tell me how she had just watched a ballet documentary, and she knows how hard i work, and she kisses my feet (she emphasized that she has SEEN ballet feet). then she somehow managed to work jesus in there - she said "you know, jesus died for our sins...and i think it's so beautiful how you dance to make other people happy." and i was just thinking to myself this entire time "ABORT! ABORT! TYLER, YOU MORON! NEVER ENGAGE IN CONVERSATIONS WITH STRANGERS!" but it was way too late.

so, clearly, she thought i was a professional ballerina. when she started elaborating and gushing about how hard ballerinas work and how much she admires me and how impressed she was by me for dancing... i just did not have the heart to crush her and tell her i just started in like september. so, on behalf of actual ballerinas everywhere, i kindly accepted her over-the-top compliments and let her enjoy getting to talk to a dancer. much as it weirded me out, it seemed to really brighten her day.