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


Michelle_Richer
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Although my hairdresser is self employed, she works as part of a collective that uses the same salon, I guess they hire the chair. I've known my hairdresser now for around 15 years, since she first started as an apprentice and was only allowed to wash hair, how time flies.  Now she is a real expert with ballet buns, there is a couple of other hair stylist I get sometimes if she is on holiday, the bun isn't half as nice and soon falls out.

 

As I understand it, this requirement came from the insurers, although you don’t actually need to have the ColourStart passport, each and every time you have your hair coloured a patch test MUST be done. To be fair I cant remember when my last patch test was done although my hair dye has remained the same over many years, as I have it coloured once a month and go to the hairdresser once a week. This would normally be done first thing in the morning on my day of my rehearsal.

 

I'm waiting on the patch test kit to arrive in the post to get it done, as not only have I an appointment in the first week the hairdressers are back, I've ask my hairdresser if she can start half an hour earlier than normal, thankfully she has obliged as my busy Wednesday schedule would have become compromised and I would have had to drop a class I really don’t want to loose.

 

I know how you feel Jan about the cost of hair-styling, the costs have risen significantly from before Lock-down 1, I don’t think I will get much change out of £100 for my next visit to the hairdressers.

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Talking of hairdressers mine contacted me today and I can’t get my hair done until May 4th 😳😳😳
Of course she has had to be fair and do all the December January and February appointments first so as my original one was for March 4th that’s now become May. 
I’ve promised to drop in and give her a scare before then though 😱 

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10 hours ago, Michelle_Richer said:

I know how you feel Jan about the cost of hair-styling, the costs have risen significantly from before Lock-down 1, I don’t think I will get much change out of £100 for my next visit to the hairdressers.

 

My goodness, Michelle, you’ll have to teach yourself how to do a ballet bun, then they’ll only have to charge you for the colour!

 

7 hours ago, LinMM said:

Talking of hairdressers mine contacted me today and I can’t get my hair done until May 4th 😳😳😳
Of course she has had to be fair and do all the December January and February appointments first so as my original one was for March 4th that’s now become May. 
I’ve promised to drop in and give her a scare before then though 😱 

 

I sympathise, Lin - I only managed one haircut last year in between lockdowns and my hair is now halfway down my back, with another month until my appointment.  I’ve had to resort to plaits!

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So you’ve now got the Heidi look Anna C! 
probably marginally better than the teddy boy look! 
Still I wouldn’t need to wear a wig for the Gold and Silver Fairies in Sleeping Beauty lol! 

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1 hour ago, LinMM said:

So you’ve now got the Heidi look Anna C! 
probably marginally better than the teddy boy look! 
Still I wouldn’t need to wear a wig for the Gold and Silver Fairies in Sleeping Beauty lol! 

 

☺️ My neighbour said I look like Laura Ingalls! 

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12 hours ago, Anna C said:

 

My goodness, Michelle, you’ll have to teach yourself how to do a ballet bun, then they’ll only have to charge you for the colour!

The bun itself isn't really the issue, its the time it takes when I do my hair myself. Hair during lock-down has consisted of shampooing and conditioning my hair whilst in the shower, toweling it dry. Popping on my dressing gown, then sitting in front of the fire in our lounge, then I would start untangling the front of my hair, whist Adrian would untangle the whist coming through, that in itself is rather uncomfortable even though we do use a spay on detangler. But that said when its fully untangled, I really do like Adrian to comb my damp hair down my back, that feeling is really super gorgeous and I could let him do it for hours, but sadly his arm aches after a few minutes, so its then finished off with the hair dryer. I usually then re-bun it, or no later than first thing the following morning. I must say I prefer a bun, but only occasionally do I do it differently for the odd special occasion.

 

In any case my hairdresser seams to glide through my hair with next to no tangles, and it always looks really nice when she’s finished and holds well for days and of course it take her a lot less time that it would take me.

For me that's a more efficient use of my time and fits into my weekly ballet and fitness schedule well. I guess at the end of the day, for me, its about time management, just as if I was still at work.

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Anna C said:

Do you have a Tangle Teezer brush, Michelle?  My hair is wavy and knots itself up constantly, but as well as detangling spray, I have one of these and it makes brushing wet hair an absolute breeze:  https://www.boots.com/tangle-teezer-millennial-pink-wet-detangler-hairbrush-10248119

I do have a detangler brush from boots, I bought it some time ago and there was a huge choice, I will certainly pop into my local boots and give your one a whirl, thank you for that Anna C. 

Edited by Michelle_Richer
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TOP SECRET: I have enjoyed doing my girlfriend's hair through the lockdowns enormously, and repeatedly surprised people on zoom calls with the results.

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An update on the ColourStart saga

 

This is an extract of an email I received from my salon after I had registered directly with colour start, this was a general email issued to all there clients.

 

A few queries have come in because quite frankly it's alot for people to get their heads around and even being in the industry we have struggled at times.

But the long and short of it is... •every hair and beauty professional must allergy test for your safety and for insurance purposes

 

by using colourstart you are free to change, adjust or tweak your colour without further testing

this means we can all just carry on as we were before covid (and that is something we are all striving for)

 

So what's next? •By using the invite button below you can sign up for an account with Colourstart.

Answer the 6 questions and share with the Salon or your stylist by typing in the search box.

You will then receive a link from your stylist/salon to pay for your test.

Once payment is complete we will send the test in the post.

Log back into your account for instructions when applying the patch, you need the batch number on the packet.

After 2 days you'll receive a reminder to remove it.

After another 3 days you'll receive a reminder link to share your results.

 

Colourstart will keep a record of all of this for us so that we know you are ready to have your colour. Hooray!

 

 

 

My first response was shock horror as I had only two weeks to the day for my next colour appointment and with waiting to get a link from my salon/ stylist to pay for the test, and the time in the post to receive the test kit, it looked quite possible I could miss my first appointment, and I'm a stickler for planning and maintaining a schedule.

 

Fortunately my stylist is a close personal friend, so I contacted her directly, bless her, she sent me the payment link strait away, I paid and text her back to confirm and she delivered it to my home that evening (Wednesday), the patch kit had instructions with it, so I fitted it at 10pm that evening.

 

Needless to say I didn’t register fitting the patch with ColourStart until the following day.

My next problem was finding out where to log in as an existing Colourstart customer and required a bit of faffing about. I had to go in via the New Customer route, ignore the new customer fields and navigate to the bottom of the page to find the Log in illustrated in a small blue font Grrr.

This did not allow me to enter date and time, but just took the current date where I had already been wearing the patch for around 12 hours. Furthermore the site also took a photo of the patch on my arm, at least I did have a little bit of control, as I was using the main PC within my studio and it brought up the wrong camera, so I could easily select the right one. It must have had some checking behind it, as it said the picture was ok before I pressed the button to take the photo, I was then asked to upload it from within the site. It then set a counter to going for its removal.

 

48hours later I received a removal email, I was half expecting another photo to be taken, but not this time, however it did ask that once the patch is removed to check the area again 20minutes after removal, needless to say no reaction to the patch. Then things get a little bit confusing as different parts of the site suggests I will get another email in 3 day’s and other places in 2 days.

Today the email came 48 hours after patch removal and another request for a photo of the area, when it had taken it, the response was a bit in-determinant as it followed it with a yes / no as to if I had uncured a reaction, redness or a rash. I wondered if it had detected some of the freckles on my upper arm, I simply pressed the no button and it said I was free to have my hair coloured. It then ask me to share the results with the salon / Stylist, I shared it with the salon so anyone there can do it should my stylist be away. Unfortunately the site didn’t seam to have a proper exit route and left one wondering if the operation had been fully completed.

 

All the issues I have found with the ColourStart site have been fed back to my salon as I know the stylists have had issues navigating it too.

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I still don’t understand all this Michelle. 
When I was new to my hairdresser a couple of years back she gave me a free allergy test to the dye being used. 
If there was any extra concern right now I’m sure she would offer me another free test now 😊

I’m not sure what all this ColourStart thing is 🤔

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What a week this week ,Whoopee!.

 

Yesterday I attended my first group class, Pilates outside. Fortunately we were in the sunshine although it was quite cool at 12 deg C and fell to 9 deg C towards the end with a cold wind. I guess the high light at the end was our relaxation session, which was filled with bird song from real birds, it was absolutely gorgeous.

 

Tomorrow is my long awaited visit to my hair dresser for my hair colouring.

 

Thursday for my first in-studio one-to-one session on my own rep, I will start to feel like a dancer again

 

This should keep me going until the 17May when things become a little more normalized with group classes inside.

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It is feeling a little more normal this week as it’s been a very long haul this time. 
Im just about to go in for first Pilates 1-1 since October and tomorrow meeting a friend for the first time in 15 months for a walk and garden coffee and on Friday have my first massage since October as well so it’s all looking up!! 
My hair is a sorry story though and driving me mad at the moment and still until May 4th to go 😢

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Ouch, the cost of my hairdressing has risen again, before this last lock-down for colour, cut, blow dry and redo my bun was £79, today it cost £91. At least it looks nice for my in-studio session tomorrow.

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Yes I used to pay around £80 ( started at £60 but went up over ten years) Anyway the hairdresser I used to have 2 years ago left to finally have a baby ( they had been trying for ten years so it’s a lovely story in the end with a baby girl arriving on the scene)

I started to look around Lewes for another hairdresser and just couldn’t find one for less than about £85-90 😳 

I then came across my current one who 2 years ago was charging £48!!! It’s now £55

But was amazed the charges were so low by comparison. I can only assume they or the main lady (who I have)  must own the property( it’s just the two hairdressers) 

I’m really glad I found them though as was wondering if I might have to drive to Seaford to get the cheaper prices. 
Brighton is expensive most seem around £90 for colour cut and blow dry. 
One very well known chain there was charging over £100 and it annoyed me to see that they effectively were charging for the blow dry twice..... as they added a cut and blow dry to a colour and blow dry to get the price.....unbelievable and literally daylight robbery 😬 

I look like a bedraggled and straggly granny at the moment 😱 

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21 hours ago, Jan McNulty said:

I pay £75 for a cut and blow so your colour, cut & blow sounds very reasonable to me!

 

Blimey! 😳😳 That’s like London prices, Jan!  

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9 minutes ago, Anna C said:

 

Blimey! 😳😳 That’s like London prices, Jan!  

I paid £120 in one salon where I used to live for the same cut and blow dry! They had moved to a larger salon in the town and were handing out glasses of wine to the customers as routine. I was shocked rigid when I was told the cost. I never went back there again.

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I went back through my on-line banking to find the comparable cost just before the first lock-down, it was £55.00, after first lock-down £79.00, now after last lock-down £91.00, its almost doubled in not much more than a year, hence my ouch!

 

Do I begrudge it, no. As it was it did give me a lift for my in-studio rep session in Lincoln. I went through the rep on Tuesday as I thought my Cecchetti class resumed Wednesday this week, but luckily I was wrong, its next week. To be fair, I over did my Tuesday rep practice as I thought I still knew it, and had to relearn quite a lot, the other issue is, it requires a lot of stamina which I know I had lost over the year lock-downs. At the end of Tuesday after spending several hours going through the rep, I was so so stiff and though I would really be in trouble when I came to dance it in Lincoln on Thursday.

 

Surprise surprise, it went incredibly well, both me and my coach danced through the first two thirds several times, as we both had minor issues with connecting steps and orientation between sections of a PDT which I has re-choreographed into one long solo. In fact I even had time to walk through the last third with my coach for next week, needless to say that became her homework for familiarity. We both parted with a real feeling that things had gone really well, for me in particular that I hadn't tired at all which I was dreading.

I don’t know if the weather had an effect but the drive to and from Lincoln in the sunshine was incredibly nice and really gave me a buzz.

At least for the time being I can say we are on schedule as I have allowed 4 weeks for this piece, mainly because of the stamina required to dance it full on with three and a half minute of mainly grand allegro.

I’ve also allocated 2 weeks for each for the 4 solos,  but expect to continue to refresh the main piece during this time too. There are three weeks at the end to dance and polish everything for showcasing in Scotland in August.

 

Hair, weather and dance, all was well, what more could I ask, Thursday was a good day.

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3 hours ago, Anna C said:

Speaking of expensive salons, here’s the marvellous Andrew Cotter with another Olive and Mabel video:  

 

 

Chipdog did exactly that on Saturday and I had to shower his lower half when we got home.  It was disgusting, smelly stagnant water mud.

 

I never thought to charge him £80 for the privilege of being hosed down and shampooed!!!  

 

Thanks Anna for brightening my day.

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One bit of welcome news on my hair dressing saga, went on my weekly appointment on Wednesday, this time it was for wash-n-blowdry and re-bun my hair, whoopee no increase in price, still £18.00 and still below their regular price.

 

This was always done prior for rehearsal, sadly these days I have to make do with my on-line Cecchetti one-to-one class later that evening which after the Easter break was quite challenging this week with the amount my teacher packed into it.

 

Although not strictly rehearsal, Thursdays I now have my one-to-one rep coaching in studio, so my hair is still in good shape for that one too.

Another good run through this week, however I do need to modify the rep slightly as we cannot accommodate the space needed to get in 3 grand jete / arabesque combinations in the studio we have mainly due to its shape of the upstage R corner to the downstage L corner which is restricted. Although the opposite diagonal if fine for the particularly lone sequence of travelling turns which I thought we may have a problem with. Even so we have to keep the turns very tight so they don’t travel very much, at least we can accommodated them.

Due to the space restrictions for the Grand jete combination, we are now replacing the first with an introduction port de bras, although me and my coach through some ideas together, the actual port de bras is still work-in-progress for next week.

Next week we also need to add in the previous weeks rep giving us three and a half minutes of mainly grand allegro, that I will need to build my stamina for and my teacher too.

Who said Ballet was easy, not me.

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  • 3 months later...

Gosh what a term once group classes restarted, Initially I started to suffer from the effects of overuse that plagues me some years ago. I added in stretch after every class but that took about 3 weeks before I really noticed the benefits.

 

One of the things that has emerged out of the stretching, after each rep session which is quite full on, not only do we do a conventional stretch session for about 10mins but we have also added partner PNF stretching, something I experienced from Sander Blommaerts stretch class that followed our rehearsals at BBT.

 

The rep this year has come together nicely, in fact we added in an extra as a stretch objective of Gulnara’s solo from Pas de Esclave and we are pretty well up to date with it with one week to go. Our solo is loosely based on a combination of ENB, Bolshoi and Mariinsky, however in order to stretch it further mainly as a result of a restriction of the studios diagonal from upstage left corner to down-stage right corner. I have decided to restrict the travel by utilizing ENB’s spectacular travelling turns ending.

Normally we would be showcasing our work in Scotland during August, but that isn't possible this year, however we are planning to wrap this years rep and next years for showcasing together next year, so we will need to keep this years rep fresh during next year too.

 

The increased time to showcase our work has also led to another stretch objective, a few years ago I performed the Odalisque PDT as a long solo, it really did take a lot of stamina and I was so worried I would run out of steam before the end or at least I would not be able to do the final curtsy properly, so consequently in the performance I held back and didn’t really do it justice. This time round, not only do I want to dance it full on, but also the three solo in succession with no more than being escorted by Lankendem (My Adrian) to the up-stage left corner to commence the next solo.

 

The motive behind this is really to check my stamina level after the lock-down, as I feel generally when I'm out shopping I’ve lost a lot, but strangely it doesn't appear to be holding me back with ballet or fitness classes.

 

Sunday I said goodbye to my Cecchetti advanced 2 teacher at her retirement party, about 4 weeks ago she broke the news she was retiring, however she has arranged another school to take over her younger students. That school teaches to the ITDA syllabi and I think its unlikely anyone will contact me, although I left my availability with my old teacher.

In any case I'm quite happy to continue through the new Cecchetti Syllabus on my own, as quite often my old teacher would select the pieces for me to study on my own then present them to her the following week and then we would go through them together.

 

Pointe work for me seams to have plateaued, whilst I'm still gaining strength, its mobility of my ankle which is letting me down, particularly the Tibia -Talus joint. We have increased the intensity of the PNF stretching of the ankle with my Physio’s, which started off quite light, through the barriers of discomfort to the last session which was intense pain virtually to the maximum limit that I could tolerate, before saying no more.

A few week ago I also approached a Chiropractor, the initial meeting was a full body check even though I had documented the ankle mobility issue, she admitted ballet dancers feet wasn't something she was familiar with, she promised to look into it for me from some form of injury / therapy data base. A detailed report with a lot of recommended exercised followed as promised. The exercises were far to gentle to have any real merit, so I rewrote the exercise plan, but it did give me a chance to start to think about things a little more deeply and utilize some of the things from class but in a far more intense way. Essentially warm up the feet with the resistance band, at least 150 reps per foot, then forced prances with a heavy push on the front edge of the pointe shoe using imagery to sense the stretch of the ankle particularly the Tibia – Talus joint, the music track I used gives 48 prances, I run through it twice.

The other I use is coming up from a pie onto pointe before rising up with the legs, however I only use the into of the music to get onto pointe, then its 4 counts up and 4 counts down whilst focusing on pushing the ankles out under tension all the way up and all the way down. I'm not sure how many reps are involved but the music I use is a piano version of the Dream Scene from Don Q, its quite long and I take it twice through, its quite tiring. I haven't been using this for long, it it does feel as if it has merit, also my feet fit into a foot stretcher more easily than it did before.

I guess now I have just about completed my first year of beginner pointe work.

 

So any words of wisdom to increase ankle mobility would be gratefully appreciated.

 

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Hello Michelle

I had an undiagnosed fracture of my foot two years ago which I recently found out. I have been seeing a dance physiotherapist in Edinburgh and he dry needles it and then shockwaves it.  I've found this really helpful. Shockwaving is not particularly pleasant but has great results and might be worth considering - just a thought and quite a few physios use it. 

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Hi Esme

 

Thank you for that, that's really interesting, I have never come across dry needle work, reading up on it , it looks as if it may have merit and worth checking out. I'm with one of my Physio’s tomorrow, I will certainly ask him about it, he is a senior physio working between a number of clinics.

 

As for the ShockWave, he doesn't do that nor do my other two guys, I also mentioned it to my Chiropractor and I know she doesn't either.

 

However I do have a shock wave impact massager device which I haven't used yet, but once my holidays are out of the way, I can take on a more elevated risk running up to the Christmas break.

If all else fails I can call on Liz Atha, senior physio within the Northern Ballet Building in Leeds for her advice.

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Hi Esme

 

I see my physio last Thursday and he is familiar with dry needle therapy, but he wouldn't use it to increase mobility as in my case, strangely enough they already have a shock-wave devise on order.

 

I wont see him now until after my holidays at the end of September, but I will still need to keep the pointe strengthen up, jumps without plie’s including single foot, that's hard.

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, LinMM said:

What are jumps on pointe without plié? 🤔

Its probably not quite the correct term as you are launching the jump from flat feet, but just imagine you have a resistance band around your knees, it done purely for strengthening, just imagine it as a high speed rise on to pointe where with the momentum you leave the ground.

 

We also do a lot of rises on to pointe and up and down between full pointe and ¾ pointe.

 

As for jumping on pointe, we most certainly have done changements on full pointe (no flat feet at all), but of course the knees do bend in that instance.

Edited by Michelle_Richer
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