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Simply Adult Ballet: the progress of one adult dancer who took up ballet later in life


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I think I’ve just had a friend request from the same young lady as you Michelle!! 
I will message you with her name in case it’s a different person but have already deleted the request because I cannot see why on Earth this very young lady would want to be friends with an old lady like me who she is never likely to meet lol!! 
I usually only accept friend requests from people I know already or from somebody I know really well who knows them. 
 

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On 01/11/2020 at 17:56, SissonneDoublee said:

It’s good to hear that your Pilates teacher has been given the all clear. I imagine they, like so many others are working out how to navigate the new restrictions whilst keeping their business afloat. My heart goes out to anyone that finds themself in this position again, especially as they really haven’t had time to recover from the impact of the last lockdown.

 

It sounds like your little toe will benefit from this period away from class, as a toe that is extremely painful really shouldn’t be used for ongoing pointe work, and possibly other aspects of your dance regime such as demi pointe/ relevés etc also need to be suspended until it has had a chance to recover. As frustrating as it is to rest, the damage done by continuing to dance on an injured toe will almost certainly be more serious than the original injury, and possibly wider reaching as the body tries to compensate.!

Hi SissonneDoublee

My Pilates teacher was back tonight and I did class with her, it was not quite what I was expecting, it was quite slow paced with a nice bunch of ladies and one guy. Like all classes its now closed going forward until the restrictions are lifted. They are not doing any on-line work in the meantime, if they were I would certainly be looking for something better.

 

As for my little toe benefiting from this period away from class, the pointe class is an on-line class and we are now down to only 4 dancers, I wouldn't want it to fail because too few attended it and I was the reason it ran out of steam.

As it is, the toe has calmed down a lot, normally I would have been doing a little pointe work practice today but I have refrained, but I think I will be back up on pointe tomorrow (Tuesday) so I'm ready again for another practice and then my pointe class on Thursday.

 

As for suspending other aspects of my dance, both me and my teacher needs to get to grips now with the new syllabus for my Cecchetti Advanced 2, now the DVD has finally been released, we are starting on-line on Wednesday at least we can both sing from the same song sheet, so a busy day tomorrow split between pointe and Cecchetti, and another body conditioning in the evening.

At the end of the day I know I have to listen to my body, but often when one stops, its so difficult psychologically to get started at the same intensity as you were forced to stop. Anyway one of my physios jokingly said to me, ”Pain is weakness leaving the body”, somehow that's stuck.

 

 

Hi LinMM

I cant make any sense out of the approach with that young lady, It doesn't appear to be a spoof account as my like has been registered on her facebook on-line ballet company and its there to see. As suggested by Peony having a “nosy round pictures etc.” , mine are not restricted anyway, so there is little point there, just very weird and sad.

If she hadn't of blocked me or had replied to my email via her company, there is a good chance I may have joined one of her early morning fitness classes.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sadly I didn’t make my pointe class last Thursday, I had rested the foot all week from pointe work but still carried on with my on-line fitness classes and my Cecchetti ballet. I tried going up on pointe on the Wednesday evening but my little pinky toe on the right foot was still quite angry, it was now time to seek help. Fortunately one of my Physios are still working as the clinic he works for comes under medical, although I have two others that are qualified sports massage therapist come under the same as beauty therapist which I guess is regarded as recreational.

 

Although I did not go there for my foot issue, I mentioned it and ask if there was anyone there that could help, he mentioned a couple of Podiatrists and said he would get one of them to ring me on the Friday, it didn’t happen.

 

Immediately I finished my Monday morning fitness class I phoned the clinic, hey presto they could fit me in at 12.00 mid day, I had an hour to get tidied up and travel into my local town. My podiatrist diagnosed a soft corn between my pinky and the next toe to it with some athletes foot, I ask if she could treat it, and of course she said yes, as she got as scalpel and proceeded to remove most of it, I have to go back in two week when the athletes foot has cleared up with the application of some cream, before she can remove the rest.

 

Unfortunately at the moment the little toe is still very sore, however last night I discovered that if I lift the little toe a little, then press in the side of it to represent pressure in the pointe shoe, its was almost pain free. I then proceeded to tape it in that position, and put that pointe shoe on, I can take my full weight on that single foot, although it feels different to how it normally felt. I haven't had chance to research that further today as I have had a full day going through new Cecchetti Advanced 2 syllabus, ending with my one to one class with my teacher. If all goes well with a few short practice sessions Thursday morning, I should be back at my pointe class that evening.

 

I must confess I really beginning to like the new syllabus, although it does contain some of the old with a few tweaks, but generally its much more challenging. I least I had a bit of a taster with a halfway position when I was using the Australian Cecchetti video downloads, which were more challenging than the old UK syllabus, but not quite as our new syllabus.

 

Needless to say me and my teacher are learning it together, so I get lots of home study.

 

 

One of the advantages of this latest lock-down, it has given me the opportunity to draw up the system diagram of my studio. In the past there has been various attempts, but then the system evolved and changed. This time its all gone down on paper ( be it hand drawn) and to a degree some of the facilities have expanded because it raised visibly of what additional link through options was possible.

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Taping my pinky toe to point slightly upwards did the trick and I managed to do Thursday nights pointe class and a couple of short practice runs too, although it does feel a bit odd. Unfortunately the tape doesn’t last very long before it appears to stretch and the toe begin to release, but it will get me by in the short term, at least its not painful now, I've another week to go before I go back to the clinic for the remainder of the soft corn to be removed by scalpel.

Hopefully after that I can start to loose the toe tape and it begins to fully heal.

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Today I just had my 2nd visit at the clinic to have the remainder of the soft corn removed, this visit was completely different, I guess because I was paying for it, the first was like a free assessment. Not only did she remove the rest of the offending corn, she cut my toe nails, well trimmed them a little, as I told her about where they needed to be for pointe work, before she started on them. She also checked the other foot and said there was signs of a soft corn forming in the same space on that foot too, but I told her to leave that one as its not causing me any issues at the moment.

 

She then rubbed what looked like conducting gel on the offending foot and place a sensor on it connected to a small hand held instrument. I could hear what sounded like my heart beat, she checked several places on that foot, so I ask her to try above my ankle, that has a bit of a dead zone since an injury about 3 or 4 years ago, she said it was fine. She then went on to do the other leg, by this time I was getting concerned she had found something. Needless to say I ask her, she was surprised at the response, it was a Doppler measurement of the elasticity of the veins in my leg and foot, it scored 3, normally when you get older you loose some of that elasticity and the score falls, so I ask what was a typical reading of an 18 year old? She said 3, I really don’t know what to make of that. There was another reading she had noted which was 61, which I don’t know what that corresponded too, I can only assume it was my pulse rate, but whatever it was she said it was good.

 

Last weeks pointe class went without pain with the little toe taped up, prior to the pointe class I must have done at least half a dozen short 10 minute practice sessions on pointe that day, with quite a long period between for recovery. I must admit by the end of the 20 minute pointe class, virtually every toe was a little sore. At least during the class I did get a bit of a complement about the straightness of my legs in second, but I did get another remake too, when we going down into a plie, but still on a rise that I looked as if I was laying an egg. I hoped it was because I can get quite low, rather than I was sticking my bum out. Although my legs are strait from the front view as seen by the teacher via my Zoom camera, I know the ankle isn't quite there yet, but its getting there. At least I don’t get told by my teacher that dancers don’t have knees, as I did when I first started.

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OH SHOCK HORROR THE NEW TIER SYSTEM

 

During the first part of last week I was especially pleased the end of lock-down 2 insight, particularly when my hair stylist confirmed they would be open on the Wednesday, as was my original booking, the day before the general lifting of the lock-down. That was particularly important for me as it was for colour and re-bun, and the following day I was due to start working in studio on my own rep with my new coach, whoopee.

 

Wednesday evening after my Cecchetti class my teacher said it will be good to get back to the studio next week as we can both be dancing to the same music, as she is finding difficult to accurately assess my timing. The issue is, my teacher’s system is the source of the music, generally we both dance to it as we are both learning the new Advanced 2 syllabus from the recently released DVD, the music I hear is slightly delayed by the internet and my systems processing, similarly the video my teacher sees of me is further delayed in a similar way, which doesn't make for good accurate feedback for critique. I guess as well my teacher this last week must have spent about two thirds of the time watching, rather than dancing with me.

 

Also my partner Adrian had organised our restaurant rota for an evening meal of Friday nights, something that is through-back from when I was on rehearsal in London at the weekends, we would go out for a meal together one night in the week. He was keen to get that set up again as our local pub/restaurants were taking bookings, bless him he got everything in place.

 

We knew that the rate of infection in our own area was well below the national average, we had previously been in Tier 1 and was expecting at the worst we would be allocated to Tier 2.

We certainly wasn't prepare for what was allocated Tier 3, as we were grouped with the rest of the county of Lincolnshire.

Lincolnshire is the 2nd largest county in England, which is divided into 7 districts, our own district is South Holland with about 90,000 people including my nearest town of Spalding. South Holland infection rate is around 140 per 100000, many of those in Tier 2 are well over 200, including our nearest city of Peterborough, it just beggars belief.

 

Strangely in Tier 3 Gyms and Dance studio can remain open, however group exercise and group activities are not permitted. I have a query running about my one-to-one rep coaching, whilst my teacher is keen as I am for us to start, I have asked her to take it up with studio owner as to how she interprets this. For my perspective I think we would still be operating within the set of rules.

One thing that really niggles me, during the last period when we were allowed back in studios, in my body conditioning class that followed my Cecchetti class, we all wore masks while we were in the studio for all of those weeks. I know for my one-to-one we relaxed it about half way through as the norm for ballet in studios became without masks or optional.

 

As far as I am concerned the allocation of Tier 3 for my area does not follow the science, or my support.

 

 

 

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Yes I do feel sorry for anyone who dances who is in Tier 3 it’s a long time to be on zoom however good the classes are ....Lots of commiserations. 
But here in Brighton Michelle it’s only 66 cases per 100,000 Only marginally below Cornwall and we are still put into Tier 2 .....so lots of people unhappy and there is also confusion about what we can do in Tier 2 as well ( there’s been discussion on this on another Doing Dance thread here which you may not follow) 

At the moment it seems to imply you can attend an exercise class with your family bubble so you and Adrian will be okay when you get to Tier 2 lol! 
At least our pubs ( after a fashion) and cafes and restaurants are open. 
Hairdressers are still open in Tier 3 though. 
You should be able to do one to one I’m not sure because personally I interpret the not mixing of households rule as not socially mixing ..getting too close....so if social distance is in place it should be okay ...as Covid secure spaces were before lockdown etc. 
It’s why I think in Tier 2 as long as socially distanced throughout the class you should be okay. Anyway why would they assume any exercise classes only take place in family groups as part of normal practice .....weird! 
Anyway it is all a bit disappointing and so many businesses and jobs ruined across large areas 😢
I think they will have a re think nearer to Christmas probably keeping heavy lockdowns in place before the “Christmas bonanza”....which most people won’t be having anyway 🙄


 

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Classes in Dublin won’t be back in the studio before March from what I can see: system is different here but it’s basically going to be a full year without proper studio classes. Possibly more, depending on how vaccine rollout goes. 🤷🏻‍♂️

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4 hours ago, LinMM said:

Anyway why would they assume any exercise classes only take place in family groups as part of normal practice .....weird! 

Well, it could work for us, with all four dancing, but I realise that’s not entirely typical. (And at least one centre we dance at has already had a meltdown at the idea of two - my wife and I - of us being not socially distanced during class.)

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Unfortunately Michelle you’re near Boston which has one of the highest infection rates in the country at 450 or something. Hopefully they’ll employ some of the rapid testing that seemed to work so well in Liverpool as the whole of North Lincs is looking pretty dire. County wide restrictions are really the easiest to administer but unfortunately it does mean that some are being unfairly penalised. With some of the places in lincs being so high hopefully that means that more resource will be directed your way and things will improve. Our rates managed to more than halve over a week period so there is hope!

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My daughter works in a hospital and is refusing to visit us in case she brings Covid 19 with her. Unless there’s a miracle we probably won’t see her at Christmas. My brother can’t come because we are in different tiers and I don’t know know if we will see our younger daughter as she doesn’t know if the restaurant she works in will reopen before Christmas and she says people here are very cavalier in their attitude to wearing a mask. I really don’t see the problem.

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I have just learned that we will be in Tier 2 except for Boston, Michelle. I hope this helps. I have just looked at the website this was on and it has vanished so I think this is wrong. Sorry! 

Edited by Fiz
Incorrect information.
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23 hours ago, Peony said:

Unfortunately Michelle you’re near Boston which has one of the highest infection rates in the country at 450 or something. Hopefully they’ll employ some of the rapid testing that seemed to work so well in Liverpool as the whole of North Lincs is looking pretty dire. County wide restrictions are really the easiest to administer but unfortunately it does mean that some are being unfairly penalised. With some of the places in lincs being so high hopefully that means that more resource will be directed your way and things will improve. Our rates managed to more than halve over a week period so there is hope!


unfortunately   it seems that    there is a pattern in the east midlands  and it's elephant in the room time 
 

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Hi Linda

Thanks for the link, to be honest its not very helpful as its mostly about group activity, if not then classes neither of which is applicable to what I'm doing.

 

Peony

Yes I'm well aware that Boston with 450 is close to me but so is Peterborough in the opposite direction and its in Tier 2 with its rate above ours. My district of South Holland in Lincolnshire isn't a small collection of villages, we are around 90,000 people.

 

So far we haven't heard anything back from our studio owner, where I referred that decision too.

 

If we don't get a "yes" decision, then that completely screws up next year for my one-to-one intensive week in Scotland where Adrian and I showcase our rep work.

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Yes I see now they don’t mention one to one coaching in Tier 3 ....I wonder if that’s  what they are still in discussion about? 
But otherwise implies no mixing indoors at all  not even socially distanced mixing though I would have thought if just one person teaching another and keeping well apart it should be okay but I guess they want to discourage Tier 3 going out too much ... you will have to take up running Michelle!! Hope it changes soon for you. 

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Peterborough is only at about 200 and not seeing huge increases though Michelle. And being in Cambridgeshire all the surrounding is low and there is good availability of beds as it has 2 general hospitals nearby and two large specialist hospitals (Addenbrookes and  Papworth) which have much higher numbers of ITU beds than most. It is going to be unfair for some but the previous system wasn’t working. Hopefully you’ll be able to get at least your private lessons back

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Managed to get properly back in a studio last night for the first time since March (after a lobbying effort got the guidance for sports practice in our Level 3 extended to ballet) and my balance is right off. I’m going to have to learn to focus on objects more distant than the ornaments on our bookcase again. 

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On 09/12/2020 at 13:28, Colman said:

Managed to get properly back in a studio last night for the first time since March (after a lobbying effort got the guidance for sports practice in our Level 3 extended to ballet) and my balance is right off. I’m going to have to learn to focus on objects more distant than the ornaments on our bookcase again. 

Well done Colman.

 

Today was my first day back in studio working one-to-one on rep from Le Corsaire, it was brilliant and such a change from not working on the new syllabus of Cecchetti Advanced 2. It almost felt like the gods were looking after me this week, my Cecchetti teacher had to cancel our classes this week, yesterday morning I received an email giving us clearance to use the Lincoln studio. Even though it was short notice as the scheduled slot for rep there was 10am on Thursdays. Naturally I assumed we were not going to get into those studios until the new year and the rep activity periods had be shared between Cecchetti and pointe work. Fortunately I has already documented the rep and managed to run through enough last night to cover today. Today went like a dream, it so so good to be back and at least I have found a really nice coach with the right chemistry to work with, really looking forward to next weeks session now.

 

I feels a bit like a new era, as its been just over a year since I lost my last rep coach who I had been with for over 6 years. Adrian and I will still be showcasing our work in Scotland again next summer.

Edited by Michelle_Richer
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  • 2 weeks later...

A little bit of Christmas normality crept in at the end of this term to brighten things up, I was able to dust down on of my Tutu’s (Blue Bird) for Karis Scarlette’s Tutu and Tinsel Masterclass, although for me it was on line. She did run one for a limited number of dancers, a few days before at Pineapple. For me the on-line class wasn't a patch on last years in-studio at the Place, with mince pies and Champagne at the pub down the road where we all met after class.

 

I had quite a Christmassy red leo and skirt trimmed with white furry stuff that I used for my last Ballet Fit class and my last pointe class, that was quite fun.

 

I guess that is where the fun ended especially with the Governments unplanned announcement of restriction to come in on Boxing day. For the time being my area is still at Tier 3, although we were expecting to be dropped to Tier 2 with a fairly low consistent level at 140 – 130, however it was said we remained at Tier 3 as Peterborough has risen and is now placed into Tier 4.

 

I have very little confidence now that Tier 3 will hold to allow my one-to-one coaching, not necessarily because our own area will rise, but Lincoln must be dangerously close to Tier 4 with almost 500 cases per 100,000 where my in-studio coaching is done. So my on going plans for Adrian and I to present our rep in Scotland next August, to say the least is very shaky.

 

If all else fails, I can drop the pieces from La Bayadere, in spite of all the PDD work I have already done with Adrian and just focus on Le Corsair. However I will need a proper PDD for Adrian, unfortunately the main one from the Pirates cave scene between Medora and Conrad, we've already done. I've been looking at a particular version of Pas d' Esclaves with Gulnare and Lankendem, that wont take too much reworking for us, however I would intend to dance this piece on pointe, which for the time being is probably a step too far, as I'm unlikely be ready on pointe, however for the time being I will consider it as a just may be option.

 

I'm anxiously waiting to see what happens at the next Government panic review meeting on the 30th, otherwise all my on line classes are already booked.

 

 

Edited by Michelle_Richer
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Unlikely any Tiers will be lowered before end of Jan to be honest. 
Brighton is just about to jump from Tier 2 to Tier 4 though nowhere near the figures of Lincoln and Peterborough but that’s just the way it is! 
More cynically am wondering that  now the Trade Agreement with EU has been done whether the case numbers will start to reduce quite a lot ....will message you what I think is going on. 
Regards dancing it’s a blow for all dancers who have managed to get back to the studio or were hoping to in Jan. 
Im sure you can get something done even if you take and polish a piece already performed. What about Don Q? Could you get something together from that? 
Hopefully by end of April this will all be behind us 😊 

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Peterborough is already tier 4. I don’t think you can fake the huge increase in hospital admissions/ in ITU which has unfortunately gone along with the increased numbers in the East/ South East. Glad you’ve got your online lessons booked Michelle, hopefully the 1 to 1s can continue, I thought they could in the current tier 4

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Hi Linda

To some extent this is what I'm doing, as I have already performed the Odalisque PDT and the associated solo’s by never showcased them in Scotland, I have all the costumes for that. Similarly I have learnt the one of the La bayadere solo’s at BBT, you probably remember it, I did learn the other two with my previous coach Emma but never presented them in Scotland, The PDD has started with Adrian its from Act 1 between Nikiya and Solor, again I have my costume for that too, I just have to sort out the detail for Adrian's, as I have a lady poised to make it.

 

As for choosing something from Don Q, I have already presented the Entrance of Kitri solo (Act 1), and Kiti’s solo from Act 3 (loved that one, fast and firy), I did teach Adrian and the other guys in my Glen Ballet group at Sleaford, the Torridors Cape dance which then went into a short PDD, that has always been in my back pocket, but that was along time ago.

Similarly I have already showcased quite a lot of the Swan Lake solos in Scotland, including from Act 2 Entrance of Odette including the Mime Scene, Odettes solo, From Act 3 Black Swan Solo and Black Swan PDD.

 

My strategy at the moment is to focus on one ballet only, as we missed last year I decided to wrap two ballets into this year, but its taken me just over a year since loosing Emma my previous coach to find a suitable coach with the right chemistry going forward in spite of looking at several ballet teachers.

 

One ballet I do particularly like the look of, that has several short solo pieces and a nice PDT is Paquita, you should remember when we performed it with Alive.

 

What ever happened with Lock down, If I have to learn it on my own, then I will, but I know from experience that I will make more progress working will someone, perhaps its having to pay for it that provides that little bit more motivation to keep with the schedule, as I hate to waste money.

 

Le Corsaire for me would still be achievable with what I have but would leave Adrian a bit thin on his content that Ive choreographed in on what was the Odalisque’s PTD to a long solo re-characterized for Medora being presented to Sied Pasha by Lankendem at the Slave Market. Hense the need to add a new PDD that we haven't showcased before.

 

Hi Peony

Doing one to one in- studio inTier 4 is news to me, do tell me more.

 

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2 hours ago, Peony said:

Think it depends on whether you meet the criteria for professional dancer/ education/ rehearsal in theatre/ someone teaching you at home in your studio Michelle 

nothing at all to do with it , if Gyms are allowed to open and personal trainers are allowed to work , then  private classes  ( or PDD with a bubblemate/ housemate )  are allowed 

the professional / education  allows  socially distanced / covid scure  group  classes to continue in tiers 3 and 4  as  seen in tier 1 and 2 

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