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Michelle_Richer

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About Michelle_Richer

  • Birthday March 26

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  • Gender
    Female
  • Location:
    Spalding, South Lincolnshire, England
  • Interests
    Social Dancing and Ballet

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  1. Michelle_Richer

    Simply Adult Ballet

    The plot thickens; originally both my orthopaedic surgeon and my physio suggested too much time had passed since the injury for any clinical solution. Basically I had resigned myself to that providing the diagnosis was accurate, hence my insistence of the Ultra-scan to confirm the diagnosis. I now have the report and Ultra-scan images too The essential part of the report said: “Scanned over the anterior right thigh with leg both relaxed and extended reveals a small area of scar tissue measuring approximately 5mm by 11mm within the anterior medial aspect of the rectus femoralis muscle. On dynamic scan the muscle moves as a whole. I note the injury was 18months ago, appearances suggest a healing partial tear of the rectus femoralis muscle. Although I was unhappy with the way the scan with an extended leg took place, as far as I was concerned the matter was closed. However today I have a further appointment with the Orthopaedic surgeon on the 4th March which is totally unexpected. I guess if nothing else he can try and explain why full leg extension wasn’t used which produces the irrupted swelling, which takes time to recover when relaxed. Juliet’s Variation I’ve come across quite a challenging little turns piece that spans 1.08 to 1.19, however I am using a slightly more elegant clip to the one posted by Lily_883, its basically a gallop into a step over (for pivoting foot), for a one and a half turn en dehors pirouette where the arms are taken to fifth, but the end of the turn ends with the gesturing led extended en l air and the arms open to high “V” (palms down). My issue is controlling the stop without a sort of juddering finish which I guess is a little too much power to dissipate during breaking through the floor, needless to say too little and you simple don’t complete the turn. Any advice would be most welcome, as this piece is virtually done and is most likely to be incorporated in the rep I take up to Ballet West in the summer. This Saturday Adrian and I will be visiting Ballet West at there performance of Nutcracker in Edinburgh, at the same time we should get this years date set for our intensive week with them during the summer.
  2. Michelle_Richer

    Simply Adult Ballet

    I went to the Ultrasound department on Thursday and met the lady that was going to do the test, she said she needed to get at my knee, I said no problem I have my leotard on and went to remove my shoes, she said quite abruptly you don’t need to take those off just take your jeans down. I also informed her that my orthopaedic surgeon said the scan should be done after my leg had been lifted to highlight the muscle swelling/ irruption. She said I know what to do I have the orthopaedic surgeon instructions, which she waved in front of me, the only thing I thought I saw was a grade 5 rupture, but looking at the grades of muscle ruptures / tears there are only 3 grades which I found out later: Grade 1: Mild damage to individual muscle fibers (less than 5% of fibers) that causes minimal loss of strength and motion. These injuries generally take about 2-3 weeks to improve. Grade 2: More extensive damage with more muscle fibers involved. However, the muscle is not completely ruptured. These injuries present with significant loss of strength and motion. These injuries may require 2-3 months before a complete return to athletics. Grade 3: Complete rupture of a muscle or tendon. These can present with a palpable defect in the muscle or tendon. However, swelling in the area may make this difficult to appreciate. These injuries sometimes require surgery to reattach the damaged muscle and tendon. So I guess my interpretation from the brief glance at her guidance must have been incorrect. However there was a test that was carried out by my orthopaedic surgeon is a muscle strength test which he used by asking me to push my leg against the resistance of this hand and then also pull back on to it. This has a scale of 0 to 5 for muscle activation: That was the point at which I indicated that particular test didn’t illustrate the problem I had and that’s where I showed my orthopaedic surgeon the irruption of the muscle swelling with extension. The Ultrasound lady ask me to sit on the side of this examination bed with my jeans around my ankles and my shoes still on, she started to run the ultra scan sensor over my upper leg, then she ask me to raise it. I felt really stupid as I had to raise both feet, again I tried to take my shoes off, but she insisted they stay on. With the leg only just raise there was slight bunching of the muscle, I really didn’t think it had done the test justice but she said she could see the tear, it was on the top quad muscle the “Rectus Femoris”, from her manor I was beginning to think it was treatable, but when I tried to probe into what she had found she clammed up and said her report would be submitted to my orthopaedic surgeon. I then ask her if I could have a copy of the report together with images of the scan. She asked why did I need it and what was it for, it seamed as if she didn’t want me to have it, but I insisted, she then went see someone about it, I guess to take advice. When she returned I was told there would be a form to fill in and I would need to go to the reception at X-Ray and they would sort it out for me. Even that wasn’t strait forward, but it’s now on its way Sophie Very well done on your performance in America, you certainly have come along way. I’m so envious of your adventure. I also love your choice for the next one “Gamzatti”, that a gorgeous piece I took that up to Ballet West about 3 years ago. Sadly I missed an opportunity to dance in a Gala that would really have loved too, It was to be at the end of a course run by teachers of the Vaganova Academy and also some of Vaganova model students, initially this was to be held by Pro Viva La Dance Ballet Academy in Mikkeli Finland. I waited ages for them to confirm the date as we had previously met their Artistic Director in Saint Petersburg at an International Dance Council event were our company “The Alive Ballet Company” performed extracts from the ballet Don Quixote at their Gala. Unfortunately when the date came through it was the week immediately after our summer show in London, so that was a non-starter. The Pro Viva La Dance Ballet Academy had a later course, this time in Saint Petersburg, unfortunately that got cancelled. Beyond that we lost too many dancers to fund a similar trip, but I still keep in contact with that Academy as I also do by remaining a member of the International Dance Council CID-UNESCO. I know they have events in the USA but I think they are only in Florida.
  3. Michelle_Richer

    Simply Adult Ballet

    Thank you Lily_883 you are absolutely right, furthermore that is the Youtube clip we were give to base our rep on, but as always I tend to base mine on a number, as there are few aspects of this that are not quite as nice as they may have been. Thank goodness today the right knee seems much better and after a 2 hour stint on this, so far tonight there are no ill effects. Originally the combination was gallop upstage with the right leg in front, step left in front and renversé to face the audience, then grand rond the right leg front to back creating an ellipse with height with its crest just after a la seconde, left arm would follow the leg by bringing it up through first , through 5th on the crest in a sort of circular port de bra (see the clip), on landing the gesturing leg derriere, then another renversé to face upstage for next gallop. Today’s version for me which I guess has just developed by feel rather than design although we did try a couple of ideas. The rond starts with the gesturing foot on the ground but slightly over-crossed with the supporting leg, the action of the opposite arm and for want of a better word flinging the leg up to the crest of the ellipse give it some additional acceleration to achieve a respectable height. Then turning like a pirouette on the fall, thus removing the need for the renversé to orientate the body upstage for next gallop. With this I had no ill effects on the knee thank goodness and the who movement doesn't look unattractive.
  4. Michelle_Richer

    Simply Adult Ballet

    This coming Thursday (7th Feb) is the day for my ultrasound scan to confirm / or not the detached muscle above my right knee. The exercises given to me by my Physio in Northern Ballet certainly seam the help with strengthening, I can now developpe with the right leg to almost 90 degree and hold it for a good many counts. However something appears to have bitten me in the bum. Recently I’ve started to learn Juliet’s solo for a rep workshop I’m doing with Sarah Lamb, most of it was going fine until I came across a turn which is repeated 3 times, the correct name of the turn I’m really not sure of. It appears to be a Grand Rond de jame en l’air en dehors en turnant, although many artists performing this piece tend to take the gesturing leg through an ellipse in terms of height. Although I can just about get the height initially in devant, but with the detached muscle in rotation I can’t sustain it and the movement looks awful. After struggling for quite a while, I had the bright idea of launching the Rond from just in front of second in an ellipse and then taking round to the back. I know it a bit of a cheat but it gives me some additional height above 90 degrees and a nice shape. Wow I thought that will get me by, however on the next day (Friday) I was starting to get pain in the right leg around the knee. Saturday was worse and Sunday today not much better. Too be fair I have had this before about 4 years ago when I was doing a piece from Le Corsair which had Fouette’s in it, that needed a trip to the physio too, and it turns out I was overturning (going too far round with the gesturing leg before whipping it in to retire). The down side of that was it took along time to clear up. Monday I have a 2 hour rep session on this piece as I’m at the Ultra Scan department on Thursday which is normally my second session. I will check out with my teacher other options as it may be possible to treat it a bit like a grand pirouette and rotate the body during the turn, rather than afterwards. I just hope this incident doesn’t mask the detached muscle in the scan due to possible additional swelling.
  5. Michelle_Richer

    Simply Adult Ballet

    Since visiting to my Physio at Northern Ballet I managed to get a referral from my GP back to see the same Orthopaedic surgeon that organised my MRI scan. The appointment arrived in the post soon after, only to be followed a few days later with over 20 duplicates of a cancellation and rebooking of another Orthopaedic specialist on the same date. That has now taken place and that person has concurred with my physio’s assessment and has also said he can not offer a clinical solution to the rupture of the muscle as it has been too long since the injury. Initially he checked my strength pushing the leg forward and back but its height was far less than 45 degrees and he thought that was OK. I then demonstrated the bunching of the muscle with a slow sustained lift at not much more than 45degrees, the muscle bunching into a solid lump soon occurred and even when I dropped the leg, it took a second or too to subside and still considerable painful. I have ask for an ultra scan to be done and he has agreed, he has also suggested I ask the ultra scan people to scan it during the severe cramping. I now have a date for that too in early February as it couldn’t be done on the day. I will also be asking for the images of the ultra scan to help define properly the best course of action in strengthening what’s left with my Physio at Northern Ballet. As it is my physio gave me a set of exercises to help with strengthening, I have combined them with various other exercises which include strengthening for pointe, which is really where the observation was first made by my teacher( the differences between the two legs) . As time has gone on we have taken a more holistic approach by incorporating some of exercises learnt from Ballet West last year and my also stretch class with Sander Blommaert. Although its only part way done, its being documented, set to music and ultimately each exercise will illustrate the muscle groups being targeted. At the moment this program take around 2 hours to complete, but its more likely to be nearer 3 by the time we are finished, so I’m not likely to run it for more than 3 times a week. For the moment I’m doing this in conjunction with one of my teachers but ultimately with the help of my Physio at Northern Ballet too.
  6. Michelle_Richer

    Simply Adult Ballet

    Almost back to normal after the Christmas break, the break was very welcome but not without its incidents. I managed to get to ENB’s Nutcracker workshop which is always fun on the Coliseum stage just before Christmas itself. As a bit of a thank you to my partner Adrian for all his efforts doing PDD’s at Ballet West with me during the summer, I took him to Liverpool on boxing day to watch his favourite football team play while I went shopping, however on the way home the day after, one of the cars front wheel baring's started to make a horrible noise . I never thought we would get home without calling the recovery service, but we did. Unfortunately the garage that looks after my car didn’t return to work until the first Thursday in the new year and I was supposed to be in London the following Saturday for ENB’s Swan Lake workshop that morning, and a meeting with My Artistic Directory of the Alive Ballet Company with some of our ex dancers, to say our goodbyes before she emigrates to Australia. It was late Friday night before I got the car back (wheel baring replaced), I went to check on the train time for the early start at ENB, as I had already purchased the ticket, only to find they were running a strange schedule, a journey that normally takes 50 minute was taking over 2 hours and there were less trains running too. It would mean I would have to be up at 3.30am to make ENB, so I decided to skip it and just make our meeting with my Artistic Director. Even that was a disaster, I tried to start the car, and the battery was virtually flat. As I was all dress up ready to travel, there was no way I was going to call anyone out to jump start the car, as I could easily end up at the same problem in Peterborough Train station when it was time to come home. I just had to resign myself to the fact I want going to make it. I was pretty choked-up at not being able to meet her to say our goodbyes in person, however I did have a lovely half an hour conversation with her prior to the other dancers arriving. One of the tings she mentioned in her goodbye email was that when she gets settled there should be dancing and performance opportunities down under for her dances from the UK, wow how exiting. I guess other piece of good news that came out of this day; one of my friends was able to take my place at the ENB workshop. Well that wasn’t all the bad luck for this festive period, I was expecting to return after Christmas to our BBT rehearsals with our existing teacher and Artistic Director even though he was starting work at Elmhurst full time in the new year, but the Body Conditioning class that follow would be run by a new lady. It seams for the time being there is no body conditioning and James Butcher with take over our rehearsals but the Company with remain BBT with guidance from our founder. Looking on the brighter side, BBT have organised a 2 day Easter workshop on Juliet’s variation with the rep being taught by RB’s Sarah Lamb, needless to say I’m already booked on it and really looking forward to it. This is the type of workshop I love, it really works for me especially when I know what we are going to be taught, rather that the RAD culture where its something (unknown) from a particular ballet.
  7. Michelle_Richer

    Simply Adult Ballet

    I managed to combine a Northern Ballet Nutcracker workshop on Leeds Grand Theatre stage, with a visit to Liz Atha, physio at Northern Ballet. The workshop was real fun as usual and its always nice to meet many of the ladies that I have either done similar workshops with or class in Northern Ballets studios. I was surprised when our workshop teacher said she thought it must have been a couple of years since I was last there. Like most workshops provided by professional ballet companies there is an opportunity to stay a watch company class take place on the stage. I left before that for my physio appointment at Northern Ballet. I had pre-empted the appointment by submitting a 3 page detailed report that had led to my injury and the resulting history, my physio meticulously went through it, then became lots of tests and exercises which I of cause I didn’t do the exercises exactly as instructed , and was told not to think ballet, but to do exactly as she has said, and of course she would demonstrate it to make it clear, especially with no turnout, and no stacking of hips, grrrr that's not natural. It seams I have a suspected detached muscle at the top left side of my right knee, as I developpe the thigh quickly cramps and the muscle looks like a localised knotted protruding lump, and of course soon begins hurts like hell. What I didn’t notice when contrasting developpe between the two legs, the left leg above the top of the knee remains smooth. However the right on the left inside has a depression as if something is missing (the possible detached muscle which has retracted back) . She also felt that the Glutes that side were showing signs of muscle wastage too. The outcome of the meeting has two courses of action for me. The first is to see my GP to get a referral to a Musculoskeletal Specialist for an Ultra-scan, even if the detachment is confirmed my physio seams to think its probably been left too long (18 months) for them to recommend operating, also if they do operate it likely to result in a lot of scare tissue. But essentially we will not know for certain without the Ultra-scan conformation. The other course of action is a series of 6 different types of exercise to be done up to the point of fatigue in order to strengthen what is left, that I am doing. The exercise program has been documented and emailed to me together with a short video of each of the exercises for clarity. On a lighter note, after I left Northern Ballet I called in to the indoor market and found a supply of white strait feathers, rather than the more common fluffy ones, in fact I bought the lot all 6 packets. These are needed for our Silver Swans head dresses for their Swan Lake piece, I also managed to find a nice tiara in the main shopping marl for my Odette head dress as I will be dancing Odette’s solo for them.
  8. Michelle_Richer

    Simply Adult Ballet

    I assume the 50minutes is to allow smooth changeover between classes. I must confess 50minutes does ring a distant bell of when I used to do the old Wednesday drop in class and Stretch and Tone in the same evening, at least one of them was I think was 50mins. I checked the Sleaford timetable but that only states the start time, however Adult Ballet has in brackets 1.5hrs. This class was lengthened a year or so ago as a request from some of the dancers taking the UKA exams, all the dancers within the class were then asked if they wanted the extended class and of course it would cost more and everyone agreed. I guess there was no conflict of studio space as Sleaford has 3 studios. Another interesting point is the Sleaford Adult Ballet class has no grade / level marker associated with it
  9. Michelle_Richer

    Simply Adult Ballet

    Although I attend GoDance at Sleaford, Lincoln and Sleaford Ballet classes operate quite differently, so I took the opportunity of speaking to Lincoln. Lincoln has two ballet classes: Beginner/ beginner plus on Thursdays 8-8.50pm with approximately 8 dancers. Intermediate on Tuesdays 7-7.50pm with approximately 18 dancers No mention of pointe class and I didn’t ask, however they did mention a Cardio ballet barre fitness class at 3pm on Mondays. Payment: It possible to trial the first class and pay for that as a drop in for either the beginners or intermediate. Payment is otherwise monthly. Sleaford differs in there is only one class, but there is talk of raising it to Intermediate after the Christmas break and starting a new beginners. The existing class is Thursdays 7-8.30pm, payment is half termly, although Adult ballet doesn’t usually have an half term break where the regular children’s classes do. For those dancer who wish to follow a recognised award scheme, the UKA is offered as an option but it’s not in any way compulsory. The two classes a Lincoln are taught by different teacher, neither of which I know. Contact details; GoDance 21 Carlton Mews The Carlton Centre Lincoln LN2 4FJ Tel 01522 524875 Hope that helps
  10. Michelle_Richer

    Simply Adult Ballet

    Although this is a long shot, you might try Kat Anderson-Hendy, I think now has dropped her former (Anderson) name, to Kat Hendy. Kat used to run Adult Ballet in Lincoln under the name “Classes with Kat”, that was around 2013/14, I used to attend them and for a short period after that used Kat as one-to-one at GoDance in Sleaford, as the venue was half way between each of us. I see Kat is Owner and Teacher at Elev8 Dance Academy and Principal of Hykeham School at Stagecoach Performing Arts Schools.
  11. Michelle_Richer

    Simply Adult Ballet

    Finally last Friday I got the Air Conditioning installed, however returning the studio back to normal did take a little longer than anticipated with repositioning the mirror that had to be removed and fitting new uPVC cladding etc. However although it was unplanned I did get an additional day in the Sunday which is normally our ballet rehearsal in London, but it had unexpectedly been cancelled late last week, so that helped enormously. Now the studio is the warmest room in the house and a delight to use. Now I can do some real catching up of rep which seams to have slipped in recent months. The real downside for me of loosing Sunday in London, is our stretch class that follows rehearsal, the previous week we did partner assisted extension to seconde, even in my injured leg the extension looked quite good. However I almost pushed it too far with my left (good leg), although it wasn’t a 180, it wasn’t that far off until something gave a little “eek” at the back of my knee, and my partner let go. I tried a few developpe’s immediately afterwards as my teacher was somewhat concerned that I may have injured it, but it was fine. For the moment I’m being just a little bit gentle with that leg as it’s a little bit stiff and not all studio’s this time of year are particularly warm. At least with our London stretch class the sweat is usually pouring off us before we attempt such things, I just love it as it extends ones horizon of what is possible.
  12. Michelle_Richer

    Simply Adult Ballet

    Last Sunday’s BBT rehearsal and its stretch class that follows, I had a couple of very pleasant surprises for me. Firstly during rehearsal the guys were learning a piece from La Sylphides, I and some of the other girls were marking it at the back of the studio, to my surprise it had a couple of Cabriole’s derriere in it using both leg combinations. The last class I did those in must be at least 5years ago, possibly 6, on the odd occasion I have attempted them very unsuccessfully, but last Sunday night they just fell into place, which is really lucky for me as I know I will need these for the second part of the Le Corsaire Odalisques piece which contains three solo’s and the ending Pas de Trios. I just need to consolidate these now. The second surprise was the front splits exercise in the stretch class. This consisted of standing with the legs in fourth open and squeezing a ball as hard as we could between our legs for approximately half a minute, then going down into front splits, for a similar period of time, this sequence was repeated 3 times. I did these three iterations with my right leg in front first, by the third iteration there was less than 2 inches between me and the floor, that is the lowest I have ever been by along way. However when I repeated the three iterations with my left leg in front, the gap was a little disappointing at about 4 inches. I tried to repeat this in my own studio, first the ball was different, it was one of Adrian’s old footballs, the surface was circled and hard, it seamed to stick into my thigh and was very uncomfortable, when I went down into front splits with the right leg in front, I was about 9 inches off the floor. I think the essential difference was, I wasn’t properly warmed up, as on Sunday the sweat was literally poring off me as the class is quite energetic. At least it has given me some insight as to what is possible. Unfortunately my home studio is temporarily out of action as we have had to take a large mirror down from what was the house wall and disconnect the main supply that ran round it, to make way for the installation of the Air Conditioning next Friday (16th) whoopee. That should be the last of the big spends on the studio.
  13. Michelle_Richer

    Adult Ballet: The Ballet Retreat 2019

    Hi Developped Best add City Academy to your list, possibly a little expensive at £80 a month, follow the link for further details, scroll down as it also has a video example of one of there showcase ballet performances at Sadlers. Follow the Link https://www.city-academy.com/ballet-dance-company
  14. Michelle_Richer

    Simply Adult Ballet

    Phew, I’m really glad Half term is finally over and I can get back into some form of normality and actually know what day it is. Although it wasn’t organised that way, it was really useful for moving Adrian in, however on the down side I lost the studio for all practical purposes until today (Friday). Another downside of the move was, a beautiful base containing 3 ballerina figurines got accidentally damaged, one of them lost its head. Unfortunately we don’t know exactly when so its head was never found, sadly it was something I really treasured. At least last Sunday the normal weekly schedule was restored with BBT rehearsal in London, however initially over half of the dancers were absent, so we couldn’t properly rehears the PDT we had be learning, especially as we had no guy’s. Instead we learnt a new solo, The first Shades variation from La Bayadere, not ever so difficult, but very fast. Later that evening two of our guys arrive back from the Ballet Retreat, so we also ran through the Bayadere PDT and the PDT from Raymonda to keep it fresh in our bodies. The icing on the cake for me was our stretch class which some of us attend after rehearsal, we did the partner assisted leg raises devant. This consists of your partner supporting your leg at 90 degree while you try and push down as hard and consistently as you can (contracting your muscles) this last for several seconds, then your partner list your foot as far as its comfortable for you, while you try and keep both the extended and supporting leg strait. We repeat this procedure 3 times trying to take it progressively higher, my partner was lifting my leg for the third time and my teacher Sander came along and ask me if that was my good leg, to which I replied “yes”, he looked at my partner and said, I think Michelle could go a little high, and Sander helped my partner to get another inch. I’m really not sure what happened next, as the leg felt relaxed but strait, I took hold of the leg and pulled it even further in, it must have been another couple of inches. I have never ever had it that close to my face before. The right leg is another story its range devant isn’t quite so good and to be fair Im quite protective of it since my injury over a year ago. The right leg extended derrier and partner stretched in a similar fashion is seriously restricted in comparison to the left, also I can feel the numbness left after the injury in the side of my lower calf. The only thing that shows up in dance class after the injury to my right leg, is a developpe devant, especially if its done slowly, it ok until near to 90 degrees then it cramps and the thigh muscle appears to swell into a solid lump, I showed this to my local rep coach who is also one of my body conditioning teachers, she was a little shocked as not only could she feel it by touch, bit it was quite noticeable to the eye, and needless to say when its like that it hurts like hell. She offered to make arrangements to see a sports physio that she uses, but I have used similar physios before and I’m never really sure that their experience is appropriate. As its been well over a year now, its unlikely that this will fix itself naturally, for that reason I have now made an appointment with Liz Atha a chartered physiotherapist that runs the specialist dance, sports and spinal clinic based within the new home of Northern Ballet in Leeds City Centre. Hopefully I should get some meaningful advise from her. Although most things was back to normal this week, my Monday classes were still on half term break which included my one-to-one Le Corsaire rep, so we switched that to Thursday instead of strengthening for pointe. I guess next week it time to play catch-up. At least the studio is back, the electricians have been in today, Air Conditioning is being installed on the 16th so everything is good to go, only a large mirror to take down and reinstall slightly lower when the Air-Con is in place.
  15. Michelle_Richer

    Simply Adult Ballet

    It seams ages since I last posted on this forum, its not that I’ve lost interest in ballet, I seam to have very little time now ballet has been stretched to 7 days a week, also what little time I have has been spent moving furniture and things around to accommodate Adrian and his possessions into my home. Although it was really nice but hard work with the major move this Friday, at least we had his son helping us. I guess I also learnt a new skill too and Adrian reminded me of my favourite catch phase “I’m a ballerina and could do anything”, I had to drive the Luton removal van we had hired and had to do quite a lot of reversing in narrow openings, something I wasn’t accustomed to. I’m really sad that the Alive Ballet Company to which I was a dancer is unlikely to be reformed in the near future. Initially due to falling dancer numbers it was necessary to move out of the Danceworks largest studio in Central London to something more affordable, unfortunately some of our dancers were not happy to travel outside Central London for rehearsal even though a couple of years before we were based at CBAT near Holloway Road tube station. We did have the opportunity to keep rehearsals going with a sustainable studio at Finsbury Park, but that support and commitment from some of our dancers just wasn’t there, so it failed. It seamed such a shame when most of us had leant quite a lot of chorography for our next show from Act 1 of Giselle, Act 2 from Swan lake and a Neo-classical piece too, which all went to down the drain. As it was, everything was contained in the one day (Tuesdays) for me, Hair appointment at 9am, 10.30- 11.30am pre-rehearsal run thru at my local hall (before my studio), leave home for London 2pm, and return home just before 1am Wednesday morning, also with the time I was travelling by train in both direction, seats were always available, so I could do additional ballet study / documentation during the journey. Now I’m with BBT, hair and pre-rehearsal takes place on Saturdays, rehearsal takes place on Sundays, but there are a couple of major drawbacks, firstly the trains are busy in both directions and often there is no seat. Also once I arrive in London at Kings Cross station, it still takes me another hour to get to the BBO studio’s at Battersea Reach, I just wish those Alive Ballet Company dancers who were reluctant to travel outside of Central London had this level of commitment. Rehearsals at BBT are brilliant but quite fast moving, so far we have done the Pas de Trios from Raymonda and most of the Pas de Trios from La Bayadere, when everyone is there we have 4 guys in the company and at least 2 girls per guy, so an awful lot of partnering. The Christmas show with BBT is not now taking place but will go into the summer show some time in June. I ask if I could perform my Le Corsaire piece I have for Ballet West in the BBT show and our Artistic Director said yes, whoopee. Our Artistic Director is Sander Bloomhaert an ex Royal Ballet first soloist and a really nice guy and fantastic teacher. After rehearsal on Sunday evenings there is a stretch and tone class with some quite extreme partner stretching, just love it. However on Sunday we did a progressive splits type of stretch with our legs akimbo up the wall, where our teach went round to each of us in turn and adjusted the opening position by another half an inch or so, I think I counted about 4 iterations, before he closed our position. Although I have done this before I could feel it in the hamstring of my left leg, it didn’t hurt as such but a dull presents of something especially when moving into certain positions. On the journey I was just a bit worried it might develop further as I had a UKA ballet exam the following morning. Although the exam wasn’t important to me, it arose as a couple of dancers from one of my local classes ask if they could sit some form of ballet exam, I guess the class would be rated as improver level. The reason I started to attend it in the first place was I used their studios at one time several times a week for my own practice and of course they let me run my rep group “Glen Ballet” there. That was about 18 months ago, and as a thank you I always attended their adult ballet class. I guess there was no way I could retain my street cred as a dancer if I didn’t take the exam with those of my class, however in reality for me it was quite different. Initially there were 6 other girls taking the exam as a group but 2 dropped. The four remaining did the exam together as a group; I guess they took confidence from each other. I did it on my own, but that was my preference, it also allowed me to approach my teacher about allowing me to change bits of her choreography, she was happy with that providing I kept the key movement for that grade, and of course she see me dance the finished version before she gave me her final ok. I also ask her if I could perform it in a tutu as it had to be formal ballet wear, she oked that too, however one of our girls ask me if it sparkled because of the restrictions of wearing jewellery, that cast dought in my mind so I took 2 tutu’s on the day. My first choice was my Blue bird highly decorated professional tutu, the second another professional tutu by Just Ballet in White but quite plain other than some black decoration around the outer circumference of the skirt. I think on the day most were probably in shock at me turning up in my Bluebird tutu, but for me it was just another performance. I was first to go in to see the examiner, I think she was just a little bit shocked too, but in a nice way. She said “Gosh just look at you”, “give us a twirl then” , I did a pirouette into a full down curtsy. She was really nice, but my favourite bit of the exam was the reverence which of course carries no marks, again I did my own thing as I really didn’t like the set piece, but that was very much last minute, so I looked on you tube for inspiration but didn’t really find anything that stood out. Finally I remember a beautiful reverence from David Howard’s “Ballet Class for Beginners DVD”, but the music contained David’s commentary. I found a lovely piece of music from one of Craig Wingrove CD’s (Variation IV La Neige from The Seasons), however the music lasted a little longer that David Howard’s example which allowed me to do a Rond de Jambe into an elegant full down curtsy and on the rise open right arm acknowledging my examiner and then opening my left arm to my teacher, just loved it. I even got to use the same version of Reverence at a different class the next day, this was at the Silver Swans at Bourne-to-Dance, in Bourne in Lincolnshire. This was another ballet school that I hired the studio for a couple of hours a week and then attended their ballet class as a little thank you. I stopped attending that school when I had my injury in the summer of 2017, so I contacted the school about going back about a month ago. Sadly adult ballet and adult tap has for this year been replace by exam classes for youngster, however I was offered Silver Swans, at first I was a bit reluctant to go as it really isn’t my thing, however its turned out to be quite fun. Needless to say I am a bit of a miss fit there as I am the only on in proper ballet gear and also an active ballet dancer. The class itself is quite large around 17 or 18. At the end of class this week we did a sort of basic reverence with two at a time coming down the centre of the room. The music sounded like the opening of Swan Lake Act2, it ran out before the last two ladies did there reverence, after they went I just couldn’t help myself, I just had to do my version, I started it off as the classes set piece, when I got to the from our teacher knew I was up to mischief and said “go for it girl”, I did my version of the reverence this time ending in open arm, my teacher opened her arms too and I got a wonderful applause from our Silver Swans, that was a lovely end to class that day.
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