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The Power of Plié

"Plié is the first thing you learn and the last thing you master." -Suzanne Farrell This has always been one of my favorite dance quotes, because its so true. Throughout my dance training, teachers have always emphasized how important a good plié is. When I was teaching, I really made an effort to pass that advice onto my own students, though I don't think I really realized how far reaching it is.

I'm currently struggling with an uneven plié and its making my life difficult. The flexibility of my right ankle (that'd be the Ankle of Doom) still needs work. I can't get the same deep plié I can get on the other side. Landing jumps doesn't have the same squishy feel, and in pointe class recently, I struggled doing a simple tendu fondu to sous-sus en pointe (which requires a bit of a spring)--it was such a mess! I felt like I just could NOT push off the floor enough. Not to mention my complete inability to get off the floor for petit allegro.

It's been a …
Recent posts

Returning to Pointe

Good news, everyone!

Despite my complete lack of blogging (merp), I have actually been dancing. I've even performed in my home studio's winter and spring shows!

Back in January I did a pointe assessment with my dance PT and managed to pass. She's been having me do relevés in pointe shoes on a reformer (and later at a barre) as part of my PT for awhile now, but it was still surprising to get the official "OK."

That being said, I wasn't taking enough classes at the time (we're required to take three technique classes each week to do pointe), so I've been slowly adding to my class load, and only started doing pointe in class this month.

The ankle is not 100%--it still gets quite grumpy from time to time, but its definitely better. It's been a very (painfully) slow process for sure.

Anyway: the pointe shoe saga continues, more or less. When I started doing pointe as part of PT, I went and got a fitting, and was put into a Capezio Aria. This was not ev…

All the Relevés!

As many of you my know, World Ballet Day was last week, and like any proper ballet nerd I watched parts of the stream throughout the day.

At some point during the broadcast, one of the hosts mentioned something about the Australian Ballet and relevés. This sounded vaguely familiar, and Googling brought up this video with Dr. Nancy Kadel briefly talking about it, and I recalled discussing it with my own dance PT. The theory is that doing 24 relevés (one foot at a time in parallel with control) helps build the calf and lower leg muscles thereby preventing injury and things like posterior impingement (oh hey!).

During the Australian Ballet's broadcast during World Ballet Day this year, they also talked about it a bit, and showed the company class actually doing the relevés before leaving the barre (they have since removed the video, grr).

Doing rises/relevés is actually part of my PT regimen, but to be honest I've been a little more lax about it lately because of the flare up a m…

Backtracking, Alignment, & Pilates, Oh My!

Good News: I'm still taking dance class. Bad News: As suspected, I've had to cut back on classes.

I was originally attempting to take three ballet classes and one tap class but apparently this was TOO MUCH for the ankle to deal with (grumble), so I've had to cut back to just two ballet classes for the time being. I'm still getting tight in my peroneals/calf, and the PT also thinks that I still have some scar tissue from surgery to work out, but I feel like we're finally making a little progress again, though it was very much "two steps forward, one step back," for a bit. Definitely feel like I had to rewind and start over, but at least I'm still dancing.


My PT has been working closely with the artistic director of another ballet school in town regarding dance medicine and injury prevention, and she suggested I try taking class with that AD because she would be able to really keep an eye on my shenanigans. I met with the AD yesterday, and it was intere…

More realistic goals and expectations?

My last post was super uplifting, I know.  I was trying to think of something more fun to blog about afterwards, but my mood hasn't been helping.

I'm feeling less depressed than I was, but still not great and now I'm super unmotivated. I've been really good about doing my PT since I started in December, but the last couple of weeks (since my leg/ankle flared up again) I've kind of been thinking to myself, "WHY am I torturing myself by doing all these things everyday when its doing NOTHING?"  That's not exactly a great frame of mind to be in.



Anyway, I spotted this article from Pointe magazine on Facebook today: Got Goals? Here's How to Effectively Reach Them.

It got me thinking, because I have given myself a fairly long-term goal and part of the reason I'm so frustrated is because I feel like the ankle is putting me behind schedule to reach said goal.

To TL:DR the Pointe article, its better to set realistic short term goals than very specific …

Feeling Lost

My dancing blog has turned into an ankle blog, but it can't be helped.

This shit is rough, you guys.

I have moments where I feel hopeful and excited, only to have something go sideways and I get depressed.

I'm almost nine months post-op, and the sucker still hurts. Doing relevé hurts. Pointing my foot still hurts. PLIÉ hurts. I'm beginning to think I'm going to be in pain forever--I've had constant, varying amounts of pain since August/September 2015 (and before that it came and went depending on injections). That's TWO YEARS (plus). When will it end???

I have diligently done my PT exercises nearly every day since December. I've started retaking classes, only to have to cut back because it hurts too much. I don't know what to do anymore...

I'm so depressed.





Goals and Expectations

I had an epiphany last year, in the middle of all the ankle trials, that there will come a day when I won't be able to dance anymore.  I'm not ready for it to be quite so soon, so I promised myself that I would try to do something amazing when my ankle healed.

My goal? To audition for the Rockettes. I'm mildly insane, I know (those ladies work HARD, and long hours. But they also get to wear amazing costumes.)

I'm still working my way through my feelings about this decision:
Me: Why not? I have a strong ballet background and do decently in jazz and tap (though I need to work on the latter two a bit). I definitely won't embarrass myself.Also Me: I'm insane, everyone else who auditions is 10+ years younger than I am. I'm too old, I definitely won't make it.Me: But maybe I could?Also Me: Girl, no , you can't even do wings in tap yet.Me: Whatever. It would still be an amazing experience to go to Radio City and dance!My larger plan is to have a whole New Y…