Ballet talk

Bye bye 2017 and Awaiting 2018

Happy New Year Everyone!

2017 was my hardest year by far and I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t my best year but I’m grateful for the lessons it has taught me. From dancing in my first intensive, turning 18, finding a job, finding myself passionless in my major it certainly is and was one of the most pivotal part of my life.

What it taught me is that things take time to develop. I’ll admit I’m not the most patient person in the world. However, I am working on it consistently. I think ballet has taught me this because of the slow improvements I see and actually I feel so much more appreciation for these small achievement. Just recently I can actually understand how to engage my leg muscles when standing next to the barre. I can feel more control in my movements and I now notice some mistakes that I have been doing that I didn’t realize at all. I always seem to arch my back and not engage my pelvis, I don’t know why but it seems to just happen so now I am focusing diligently on fixing this.

Flexibility:

This year I really want to focus on increasing my flexibility. It didn’t take me long to get both sides of my splits but there is no other improvement. I want to overcome this by stretching every day if not every other day doing splits against the wall and middle splits and a better leg hold! I want to be able to hold my leg closer to my head in a standing position. Currently it is 45 degrees ways from my head and I would like to improve this.

Strength:

As for strength I would like to increase the height of my developpe which is a little below 90 degrees. With more practice I can certainly achieve this! If you haven’t read my post about my goals.Β You can read it by clicking on the link if you want. These goals are still my goals, nothing has really changed except maybe knowing more than I previously did.

What I didn’t include was my pointe work in the post from the link. I’m still trying to get over the box. Anyone have any tips for this? I would very much appreciate the help. I have been consistently doing relevees on one foot for the last week. Hopefully it will stay consistent. I really hope it does improve. I will admit 2017 hasn’t been my most motivated period and I did spend more time as a couch potato than practicing and improving myself. There certainly have been times of lows when I feel like giving up and believing maybe being a dancer isn’t for me? But it never leaves me, the dream follows me and though I may say otherwise, I can’t seem to let it go….

This is my 4 month progress since I got my first pointe shoes in August 2017 to now. I am definitely more over the box. My feet look more stronger and my control is much more noticeable.

My turmoil leaves me stagnant and unmotivated to dance. On a brighter note, I will hopefully be taking my intermediate RAD exam this summer. Though my teacher believes I may not be strong enough or know the setting enough unless I keep working as I have now. I will definitely try and I honestly am a bit nervous and excited since I haven’t taken a ballet exam before.

Wishing everyone a hopeful beginning and a fresh start.

Love,

May- xx

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Ballet talk

why I started…

Hi eveyone! Happy holidays and only 11 days left until Christmas!

Recently I have been distracted and a bit mind-blown about life. At the moment I am trying to find myself and it seems only dance is the real rock for me that keeps me grounded and sure of myself. Then it got me thinking, how did I come to realize it was something I wanted to do?

In all honesty, I don’t know how it started. I have never been to a ballet before or either to a ballet studio so how did it happen? It might have been the t.v that made me intrigued and fascinated with this art form. Maybe a commercial here and there that conveyed a picture perfect image of a ballerina in her moment of true excitement and passion on stage?

What I do know is that I grew up watching a cartoon, an anime to be exact that showed a beautiful girl with a beautiful but sad story. And yes, ballet was a pivotal part of it. It was after all, called “Princess Tutu”. (Really go check it out and you will understand why I was so inspired ;))

Image result for princess tutu
this was my childhood! ❀

Granted, now that I am a bit older I not naive to the world of Dance, which can hard, cruel and extremely difficult. But even so, I feel like in every dancer there is sort of magic that exists that sparks significance into a show. Perhaps that is why ballet still exists today because it reminds us of a part of ourselves that is truly magical and hopeful.Β  A world where we can appreciate and become our inner child and dream like we once did.

Of course, I wasn’t just inspired by the magic that exists on stage, but by the beautiful way people moved and the story they often told. Whether it was Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Cinderella, I truly loved each and every one of them. How were you inspired to be a dancer? Was it by watching a ballet? Or maybe a part of you already knew you wanted to be a dancer…the stage is yours…


A short and sweet post but hopefully a little bit insightful. πŸ˜‰ And can you believe there is only 11 days until Christmas, time seems to be flying by so quickly and the end of the week is also drawing near..

As always see you in my next post,

Adieu,

May- xx

Image result for cinderella dreams come true quote
Beautiful words with a beautiful meaning. πŸ™‚
Ballet talk · Life encounters · Studio life

Lost

Happy first of December! Weather is getting cold and staying in bed is something I look forward to each day. Hby?

Some Christmas inspiration for you all! βœ¨πŸŽ…πŸΌπŸ€ΆπŸΌπŸŒ²

Today I went out and took these amazing photos. Aren’t they beautiful?

Its has been a while since my last post. How are you all doing?I haven’t reviewed class in a while either. I just had one the other day and one soon! (Saturday)

As usual class was great and though it was hard at times I really enjoyed it.; For the first time I did the whole class in my pointe shoes. My teacher recommended it to help break my pointe shoes because they were and still are, rock hard. πŸ˜‚ Every time I walk or jump my shoes would be ringing and I am terribly flustered by it. You see I am usually the unnoticeable one in the classroom and it is not any different in the studio.

Just as I was getting the hang of balancing on flat shoes the pointe shoes took it to another level. 😭 But I’m so happy with the progress I am getting from wearing them. My legs are aching especially my calves after the other night’s class and it doesn’t usually happen often. Also I have noticed I hold my breath a lot during class and it always make me red in the face. Anyone else do this too?

Below represents well how I feel at the moment in regards to my mental and physical body. Tired. Confused. In turmoil.

I haven’t been quite honest with you guys. I have been awfully lost these past few weeks trying to discover what I am truly want to pursue in the future. Hence, for not posting in a while. I have mentioned previously I was attending college majoring in Computer Science. After several weeks into the course-maybe 2 months and a few weeks I have realised it just wasn’t for me. I was struggling a lot and it stressed me out so much. I hate to think of what I would be like if I survived 1st and started 2nd year.

I hated that ballet was placed in the back seat of my mind. All I was doing was going to class anxiously waiting for the next exam and waiting for the next day to arrive. I lacked motivation to practice my dancing and I wasn’t even happy.

In all honesty, I had previously told people close to me countless times during the last two months that I didn’t think it was the right choice for me but right after these conversations I would decide to continue on…

This is NOT a good thing to do! One thing I would say to anyone out there is that if you are ever doubting something whether you should do something or not don’t do it. It will save you time and you will be much happier.

Last week, I went to my programme office and told them of what I wanted to do, that was to withdraw from my course. This means I’m course-less at the moment! 😭 I will have to wait until next year to reapply for another uni. Right now, I’m thinking of finding a much needed job to supplement me. Wish me luck!

On a brighter note, dancing will be of greater focus since I am officially-(kind of) taking a gap year? Still I know I will be returning to uni soon. I also think I may have found the right course after countless days of research and YouTube videos. πŸ˜‚ And this time I really feel it is something I see myself doing. I guess only time will tell what will happen in the future. I am also not forgetting my dream of being a dancer. But I have realised it is not a firing passion as it once was for me to become professional. Of course I will continue with dancing throughout my life and with this I will grow and develop my technique. I think a part of me is already accepting the fact that my chances are pretty slim now. But that doesn’t stop me from dancing. It would be a pleasure though if I had a fighting chance. A part of me is hopeful yet accepting too.

Somehow something clicked in me. Yes I want to pursue this dream but is it realistic?

A heartfelt post for you all and a tiny bit depressing.

I was debating whether to post this as I feel it is way too personal but I think all my followers (who are amazing!) have the right to know. It’s incredible the people you can meet through just writing. I am extremely grateful for you all.

As always,

Lots of ❀️

See you in my next post!

May- Xx

Ballet talk · Studio life

Two places at once

 

First and foremost Happy November Everybody! Hope everyone had an enjoyable Halloween!


Do you ever get that feeling you live two lives? Where you feel like those two lives are yours yet when you compare them they are so far apart that it almost feels like there were two people living those lives?

Good news today is that I’m going back to my old studio to take class with a guest teacher/dancer who will be teaching us today!  Super excited about it.

A little biography about this guest teacher is that she attended northern ballet as a student in Manchester and she graduated from the conservatory of Scotland.  Her name is Haley Cunningham and currently a dancer with Ballet Ireland.

 

Next day….

By now, I have had the masterclass, let me tell you it was a superb experience! I really loved seeing everyone. It was so nice to be back again. Of course, class started with Barre work, which I was pretty happy about. I did, however, receive one correction from Haley and that was to push my knees out more as I bend in grande plie, which is definitely something that can be fixed quite quickly. Other than that I was happy with myself.

During this masterclass -which was open to our class and also students outside of my ballet studio, I met a girl who also, coincidentally lived in the same town as me and attended the local ballet school there. When I first started ballet I actually emailed this local ballet school to see if they had a class catered to my level, unfortunately, they did not but they did recommend my now- old/current ballet studio.  My teacher, Ms. S was actually a student of this ballet school too! After this class I went home to finish my dreaded programming homework…ugh, it was such a pain, perhaps even more painful than ballet physically is, I’m serious! Anyways, of course knowing me I got distracted right away and ended up looking at my facebook, then noticing a friend request from someone. I took the time to see if I could recognize this person and was aware of how familiar she looked. Then it clicked I knew who she was and sent her a message asking if she was the girl who attended the masterclass. She replied within minutes. We started chatting and realized we were more alike than we thought. She told me she was in her last year of secondary school (or high school for y’all American friends out there!), in intermediate level and grade 5 in ballet, and also was a late starter to ballet (she started two years ago). I told her I also started late; now it is a year since ballet has been in my life and since then I have been put in grade 5 and intermediate. Both of us were of similar age although I am a year older than her.

What I couldn’t believe was how fast I have progressed.  I went from not knowing any ballet to intermediate after just a year into it. Now knowing how I CAN catch up makes me so optimistic. I can’t tell you how happy I am about this!

But what made my day the most was the comment she gave me. She asked me how long I have been dancing and when I told her she was quite surprised and asked if I have had any previous experience in gymnastics. I told her no, then she responded by saying she wouldn’t have known I was a late starter.

You have no idea how much that meant to me.

On the other hand, Uni is another story. In the previous posts, I have made I promised a little insight on the course I’m doing in the previous post. To be honest, it probably the most difficult thing I have done in my life. There are countless times where I would stay up until 1am to finish an assignment. Every assignment I get takes up my time, so much so that I barely have any time to myself let alone practice ballet. I’m still trying to stand on my two feet despite it being two months already. Good thing is, I’m not one for parties and I prefer to spend time in solitude and practice Ballet any chance I get. πŸ˜πŸ˜‰

I’m back home for the weekend meaning more time spent doing ballet and stretching. Yes!
Have a nice weekend everyone!!

As always, 

see you in my next post.

May- Xx

 

 

Ballet talk

Testing the Waters

It’s been a while since my last post, I have been quite busy this past week with a lot of uni-related things.  Especially settling in; I’ve moved to a new location to make transport easier and a new studio to make my life easier too.

So far I really find Computer Science interesting. Whilst the male to female ratio may be a little bizarre it’s tolerable. Having moved from an all-girl school all through primary and secondary school it was a bit overwhelming to suddenly be part of a male-dominated field.  At the same time, it has made the girls (18 girls so far in a sea of more than 100+ boys) more close-knit and we all have gotten to know each other well.  This semester, most classes usually end after 50 minutes and most days I have class starting from 9:00am to 16:50pm.

Campus picture I really love! ❀️
Ballet is still ongoing, I will be taking two classes a week both on Monday and if I can I will try out an hour class on Saturdays too, provided that uni does not give me too much to handle. πŸ˜–   My ballet teacher got married this week thus we didn’t have ballet. It seems like such a long while since I danced. I am really looking forward to this Monday’s class.

Last Sunday, I also auditioned for a ballet Youth Company, despite not really wanting to join. I knew Uni would render me with a busy schedule,  also the cost per term was too much for me to afford as a student. But I went that day, mostly for the experience and feel of how an audition is like. The teacher was super sweet and it was a small audition class thus the teacher was able to focus on us a lot more. We learned a Giselle variation and a Nikiya variation. It was my first time learning a variation so it was super new to me and I really loved it., though picking up steps needs a little work. πŸ€”

Audition class.
Also, I noticed, I barely breathe during Ballet classes or anything physical in all honestly. I always seem to forget to breathe, because of this the ballet teacher told us to breathe very deeply, in and out. I know understand why I’m always sweating buckets and red in the face while everyone is calm and composed. I also learned how to keep my shoulders down.  I have had previous teachers tell me to keep my shoulders down and I always try to, but I didn’t really understand what they meant. Until this ballet teacher told me how to do it.

Essentially, you have to try and imagine pushing your shoulder blades down. It really helped me with correcting myself. Perhaps you might find it helpful too!

Also, this month I have set myself for a new challenge. Since I got mirrors in my studio now I can see how my feet look and they are not pretty. πŸ˜‚ I definitely have more biscuit feet than Banana! I began with doing a lot of releveΓ©s in first and then doing reverse toe presses then toe presses. It’s been a few weeks and I think it looks a little better. 😎

 

 

 

Also, if you haven’t seen the new trailer for World Ballet Day 2017 you should! It got me so excited. It also inspires me to dance too and to keep on going with my journey. πŸ™‚

 

 


I hope you enjoyed this post. I love jotting down my life as not only to show you guys but for me to look back on and remember these beautiful and sometimes not so beautiful times.

 

See you in my next post! πŸ˜‰

Lots of love,

May-

Ballet talk

A wish without a goal is only a dream

Happy September Everyone!

Tomorrow marks the start of a new term for me in Ballet. Since the intensive I had in TDI, I have learnt so much. Even though it was only 5 days, I honestly felt like I improved faster than in a normal weekly class which takes a few weeks for me to see improvement. This post is inspired by Alessia and her post: “My eight goals to start with the right attitude.” Please go and check out Alessia’s blog, she’s a fabulous and mature individual who I believe, will achieve great things in the future and her journey is certainly an interesting one I wouldn’t miss. πŸ˜‰

So let’s start! These are my goals for this year.

  1. Better Turnout. Turnout is a huge problem for me. My technique is not bad but Related imagewhat makes it look horrible is my 150-degree turnout. At my old studio, we didn’t have any mirrors or Marley floors, so we sufficed with only corrections from my teacher. At the intensive, I was able to see myself for the very first time while at the barre. Now, I realize why mirrors are so important. Corrections from teachers are good but to be able to physically see what you are doing wrong is important.

How I will achieve my goal: Do a lot of exercises to target the glutes eg. Clam shell, butt lifts etc. Kathyrn Morgan’s turnout improvement and Goulet Ballet’s video.  Also, stretching out your glutes is important so I will aim to stretch them after every ballet class. Tension can certainly inhibit movement in the hip.

 

2.  Better feet flexibility. Since I have started Ballet not so long ago, above anything else I knew perfect feet is desirable in ballet. I have been implementing some foot exercises using the Thera-band and also a tennis ball for a few days and I can definitely say there is a  noticeable difference in my feet.

How I will achieve my goals: Every morning/ Before a workout do feet exercises, flexing and pointing also using the Thera-band. Seated arch stretches, toes stretch, toe presses, and toe presses in reverse.

 

Image result for feet flexibility ballet
Dreaming I can be strong and flexible as her. ❀

3. Better back flexibility and strength.  Back flexibility is something I have been working on for a while and to some degree, I have a decent amount of flexibility in my back. While I was in the dance intensive I was given the correction of not pushing myRelated image hips forward, but engaging my core while bending back in fifth position. This has made me realize that back strength and also the core is very important.

How I will achieve my goal: Back strengthing exercises eg. supermans, swimmers ( swimming motion with your legs and shoulders raised from the ground), pilates. Kathryn Morgan’s back workout.

 

4. Better straddle/Middle Splits. Middle splits and straddle is a struggle for me. Flexibility comes quite easily to me once my muscles are extremely warm and sometimes I’m able to do things my mind believes I can’t so I tend to hold back. But middle splits is something I really need to work on. I recently strained a part of my upper right thigh, I think the pain stems from a glute problem, so I can’t stretch that side much. Hopefully, it will get better soon! I’m one of those people who loves to stretch. Are you? πŸ˜‰

How will I achieve my goal: sitting in straddle and stretching each hamstring in that position, doing hip stretches eg. butterfly, pigeon pose, pliΓ© in second, opening my legs in straddle against the wall. Hold middle splits for a min.

Image result for middle splits ballet

5. Improve Arabesque. If I follow through with the previous goals I believe my arabesque will certainly be achievable. Hopefully if I can, I will be auditioning for more summer intensives this year and I really would like to get this arabesque.

Image result for arabesque ballet

There you go dancers, these are my goals for this year. They certainly are achievable if I work hard. I realize strength and flexibility are very important to achieve the results of the above pictures. Many of these dancers train a lot to achieve such amazing results, it certainly didn’t take a day!

As much as I love the final end goal I love the progress even more. Ballet is a journey, an unforgettable one.


What are your goals for this year? It doesn’t have to be dance it could be academic or relating to work. Shoot them to me! 

Dream big everyone! Don’t stay in your bubble, you’ve got one life to live.

May- xx

Ballet talk

Getting my first pointe shoes

First pointe shoes- 26/08/17

Unexpected thing arrives when you least expect them to. That’s what happened to me this Saturday (three days ago) when I got my first pointe shoes. I wasn’t expecting it to be so soon but it happened and I’m really happy now! πŸ˜› 


My teacher made an appointment for us to get fitted together. I went with another girl in my class, and it took around 20 minutes for each of us to get fitted. I probably tried on nine pairs of pointe shoes before settling down for one.

Initially the fitter thought I had a 1XX width and made me try on a few but when I stood up I knew it didn’t feel right since I kept on sinking into my shoe. My toes are actually pretty spaced out and that gives the impression that my feet are wide but when they are actually compacted together my feet is pretty narrow. 

The picture above is a Bloch shoe, European Balance, 1X, size 5.5. I’m currently in the process of sewing  them. Finally a little bit of my dream is becoming my reality. 😍

More pictures! πŸ’«
Picture from the back before they get destroyed by dirty floors! β˜€οΈ

Hope you enjoyed reading about my experience. I have a question I would like you to answer yourself, are you living the life you want or are you just doing it because that’s what people want you to do? 

What makes you not look forward to going home? Or better yet not looking at your phone?

My answer would be dance and sometimes I forget to eat! (I do eat but the way if you want to know!)  

See you! 🌻 And dream big everyone!

May