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Michelle_Richer

Simply Adult Ballet

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15 minutes ago, Colman said:

There's a new term of them: https://www.rad.org.uk/events/, search with keyword Adult.

 

The Dream, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia.

still a bit of a nightmare  as you have to work through the listings  where it's mixed in with the  CPD for teachers  and examiners  stuff 

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Earlier criticism nonetheless, I was back in my regular class tonight and discovered it's possible to grande battement on demi pointe until your ears pop, so there's that!

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At last after waiting months I have finally had my MRI scan on the ankle on Monday, the scan lasted as best as I tell somewhere between 20 and 30 minutes. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to chat to the operators of the MRI unit as they literally wheeled another one in immediately I was finished. However I did have a bit of a strange effect hat evening which may have just been coincidence, the injured leg was ok but the other one which was not scanned seamed to have developed little shooting pains going down the whole of the inside of the leg, these would last a few seconds and ten subside , it occurred many many times. I have never had those before and the following morning had completely gone.

 

I don’t get the results of the MRI scan until I see my specialist on the 5 of Feb.

 

Although the main pain region of the ankle and shin is greatly diminished to what it was a few weeks ago, some pain is still present, but so is a sense of numbness, a lack of feeling to the touch which is a little worrying, otherwise functionally its more or less ok other than a complete lack of strength which I think is basically down to inactivity against what was my normal ballet schedule .

 

At least I’m doing a few sessions a day now, I really notice the lack of strength on my body conditioning classes, at least now I’m getting back to doing full plie’s, however fondu’s  are a bit too shallow still and releve definitely lack strength. On of the pieces of rep I am doing for taking up to Ballet West which requires 3 x 8 sets of releve passe’s, for me that snatch is not just there, particularly with the right. At least running through this piece should provide some strengthening of the ankles.

 

I guess what is the most frustrating thing is getting cramp at the top of my thigh every time I attempt to lift my right leg devant, even a fondu above 45 degrees is enough to catch it, its really annoying as I have the old muscle memory of what I could do before the injury, my body seams to assume it still can, but it catches me out for such things as Developpe’s and Rond de jambe l’air when circling round to the front. I was caught out several times last night at class and that top muscle really begins hurts, Ive heard it said in the past that I may not be using the correct muscle, I need to use the one underneath but I have no sensation of that to contact it and utilise it.

 

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Glad you have now had an MRI, Michelle.  Two questions for you; has anyone referred you for or suggested an MRI of your lumbar spine? I'm thinking of the shooting pains in your other ankle and going back to that feeling of fluid/water down your leg(s).  If the ankle MRI is normal I would be inclined to ask if you can have a lumbar spine MRI.

 

Also, can you swim and do you like the water? Because doing simple barre exercises in a pool can be hugely beneficial for recovery and strengthening post injury.  It allows the joints to work without too much gravity, so doing rises and releves (then adding in fondus etc) in waist high water are done with some assistance from the water.  Then as you progress, you can increase your extensions gradually.  

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I often do ballet exercises in the pool!! I particularly like doing grand ronde de Jambe en L'air as its such a nice feeling doing it all the way round at 90!! Bit of a disappointment when doesn't stay at 90 back at the barre lol! But when I had a back injury a few years back I invented a new swimming stroke ( well it felt like I invented it) just lying on your back and gently pulling both legs towards chest and straightening them with a little push ....managed to get from one end of the pool to the other like this when couldn't do my usual strokes! 

 

I never do hundreds of lengths at the pool just a few of each stroke ...then the ballet/gym bit ..even including walking just rising up on one leg stretching the other forward and doing a sort of giant step stretching the other leg as much as possible behind etc as you change legs ....where everything in slow motion sort of thing ......

I then finish with just a couple of speed laps against the pool clock.....for the aerobic bit..... So far just cannot beat 35 seconds for the length of the pool....for crawl and 40 for breast stroke!! 

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When I used to swim lengths, I would back stoke up and breast stroke down. My crawl was slower than my breast stroke. My swimming technique is rubbish, even though I just about lived on the beach in Australia.

 

You're in good company (Muhammad Ali) training in water.  OK so he didn't really - http://hoaxes.org/weblog/comments/ali_underwater

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The prince may not have done, but Rugby League players definitely do, very often as injury rehab.

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Hi Anna C

 

You appear to have 3 questions:

Q1: “has anyone referred you for or suggested an MRI of your lumber spine ?” Not directly, however both physio’s I visited did check my spine. However the strange feeling in my left leg hasn’t reoccurred since the evening after the MRI on the right, my thought are that it may have been induced by being placed in close proximity to the right, the pain itself was quite odd, it almost seamed like a shower of little shooting pain going down my leg, they sort of peaked in intensity then it would fade away only lasting a few seconds, but it did repeat many times. Since that evening it hasn’t reoccurred.

 

Q2 "Can I swim ?" yes

 

Q3" Do I like water?” I guess so, I have 400feet of river frontage, however I haven’t been in a swimming pool for many years, in saying that, within the last year or so, I had to rescue my boyfriend and PDD partner who accidentally tried doing the splits between my landing stage and one of my boats, as he attempted to step into the boat with on leg, ithe boat went out. Although I can see the funny side now, it could have been very tragic as Adrian cant swim. When he fell in he went strait under and I couldn’t see him, I went in after him and luckily I was able to locate him by touch and get him on his back to get him out, fortunately he didn’t struggle, but it really had shaken him up.

 

As for rises and releves, they are not really an issue when done with both feet together, however I do need an efficient snap-up one foot releve passé for a piece of rep I’m doing, ideally working reasonably well for my next session on that rep, which is Monday morning. That consists of 3 sets of 8 releve passes, but the pattern isn’t linear only the last set, then we need to add the tricky port de bra, a real brain and memory teaser.

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I finally got my MRI results from my Orthopaedic surgeon today, they found inflammation and tares around the ankle but no damage to the bone, he was happy it would heal by itself with time and no surgery was necessary. He also made the comment he was happy what I was already doing with body conditioning and ballet,  offering physiotherapy would be pointless, it was just be sensible and listen to your body, you know it best. With that he discharged me.

 

My dilemma now is when to drop in to my full schedule of up to 5 sessions a day. Also I want to prep for pointe as I need to push my PDD’s that into pointe, certainly for Ballet West in 2019. My gut feeling is another 6 months recovery for that one.

 

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Although I’m still not up to my full schedule of ballet, I’m adding another hour/week in for pre prep for our  “Alive “rehearsals as we started last week on our neo classical piece for The Ultimate Dance Showcase at The Greenwood Theatre at the end of April.

 

A really nice piece of good news after chasing the company doing the upvc build, mine is the very next job, they should be with me in a couple of weeks or so. Unfortunately we couldn’t clear the existing studio last week as Adrian and I was attending Ballet West’s performance of Giselle at the EICC in Edinburgh.

 

The performance was fabulous as usual, before the performance we manage a brief chat to Uyu Hiromoto principle dancer who I met last time, this time she was dancing as Myrtha Queen of the Willis, I also had a really nice chat to Jonathan Barton one of their main teachers and principle dancer, unfortunately he is not dancing as he sustained an injury a couple of weeks ago. He partnered me at one of there summer school body conditioning classes a few years ago, this is the first time I have seen him other than on stage.  Finally Gillian principle of Ballet West and our rep coach arrive back at their stand, I asked the date for our annual session with her, that is still up in the air somewhat, she’s still waiting for conformation of dates for Ballet West’s Malaysian tour in August, so we will need to work around them.

 

After the performance we went to the champagne reception, there we get to meet most of the cast, so I managed to meet their Choreographer and Artistic Adviser “Daniel” for the first time. I also had a really nice chat to other principle female dancer Natasha Watson who was dancing as Giselle, Natasha also teaches for Ballet West too.

 

It gets to feel almost like family, especially when Tony, Gillian’s new husband, said to Adrian and I," I will follow you two, to the reception" as neither of us knew where it was in the building, needless to say I found it.  It really was a fantastic night and both Adrian and I enjoyed it enormously.

 

The downside was to journey home the following day, it was just over 4 hours on the train with one change. My right leg stiffened up enormously where I could hardly walk, let alone dance, I was really worried and cancelled my Monday classes , by Tuesday is was somewhat better and I really had to attend our first rehearsal, things seam to have cleared up but it feels like a warning Im not quite  fully recovered from my injury just yet.

 

No ballet this weekend, its totally clear my existing studio of all equipment and electrics ready for the extension installation, then the real work begins.

 

 

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Elmhurst closed Sunday, all classes cancelled, so no Adult classes or rep. Have to hope my flight is cancelled so I get a refund!

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Oh what a week with the beast from the east. Its entrance to South Lincolnshire was early Tuesday morning when we were greeted with about 4 inches of snow, although not unusual in itself it was also my most important ballet day of the week with rehearsal in London. Although it meant we had to shovel the snow out of the drive to move my car, I though it would be prudent to keep the shovel in the car with me as there was some talk about high winds and in the flat Lincolnshire fens where I live are liable to drifting.

 

Not only was Tuesday rehearsal day, it was also the day I had promised to take a selection of costumes in to our dancers so they could best decide what type of costume would best be suited to the neoclassical piece we were to dance at the Ultimate Dance Showcase, It was important that I made the effort to be there.

 

Although I did a pre-run practice in my local hall of the neoclassical rep we had learnt the previous week, access to the premises was no problem. I checked that trains were running as normal for the East-Coast main line before setting out.  My journey to London began early in the afternoon with a car journey first to drop Adrian off to his flat and then on to Peterborough train station, as I got closer to Peterborough the snow fall had been less, only an inch or two, but most of the main dual carriage I was using, only had one carriageway clear.

 

At the station I spoke to a lady who said her husband was convinced that the snow storms predicted for later that evening would miss us, at that time I had an open mind. After travelling between 10-15miles south of Peterborough, the landscape was totally free of snow and the sun shining just like a beautiful spring day, then I started to think about what that lady had said.

 

I arrived in London about 4.30pm, the ground outside King Cross was wet but no real trace of snow.

However once I got to Oxford Street although there was barely a sprinkling of snow the pavement, they were extremely icy, particularly the roads running off Oxford street.

 

Rehearsal was quite uneventful, there was a consensus on the type of costume our dancers desired, our teacher / rep coach was in general agreement, so mission accomplished. I was back at Kings Cross just before the train was due to leave just before 11pm, so I range Adrian to check on the weather, as there was no more snow in London. To my surprise it was snowing heavily back in Lincolnshire, oh poo I knew I was not in for a nice journey home, just hoped Adrian was exaggerating things a bit.

 

When I arrived back at Peterborough station there had been 3 to 4 inches of snow, my care was completely covered with at least 3 inches of it, including all window and the temperature was bitterly cold. I opened the driver side passenger door to put my case full of ballet costumes in; the door wouldn’t fasten closed properly, although I couldn’t see anything to stop it. I ended up using my scarf to tie the door closed, by tying the door to my headrest, it did the job but left the car quite drafty and cold.  I started the engine up to warm up the car while I was clearing it of snow, even the headlights were covered. At least the window screen had a cover over it so it was free of ice, once the windows etc were free of snow I turned the headlight on, they remained on for a second or two then one went off and the lights alarm indicate came on, a bulb had failed, that’s all I needed on a really awful night. At least I still had the fog lights to assist me driving home. The journey home was absolutely horrendous, many places barely passable, even though I went through several blizzard conditions the wind speed was quite low and  drifting hadn’t really started, the closer to home I got, the deeper the snow, the final piece of the A16 (Spalding bypass) I met a slow moving convoy of lorries going about 10-15 miles/h, I followed them for about 3 miles before turn off down an industrial estate, the road there was reasonable clear from the volume of traffic, my last 2 miles out the other side of the estate was through newly laid snow and very slippery.

 

Normally I arrive home just before 1am, but Tuesday it was well after 2am and I was really shattered.

I unloaded the car, and somehow managed to close the passenger door, and virtually went strait to bed.

 

The following morning there had been a little more snow so I decided to cancel my fitness class, and went out to check the vehicle, this time the passenger wouldn’t open, rather than try and force it, I left it until temperatures rise significantly( back to around 0 on Friday and the door now functions normal). I also noticed both front wheel arches were absolutely jam packed full of ice, I had to chisel it out.

 

The one good thing that happened Wednesday was Ballet West has confirmed my Intensive Rep week, so Hotels are now booked while accommodation is still available.

 

Thursday, two of my ballet classes cancelled due to severe weather, which luckily meant I would be able to picking Adrian up much earlier, it was lucky because snowdrifts by this time had become a serious problem and many of the roads to him had drifting.

 

Friday I think was my best day of the week, not necessary what had been achieved, but more so what had been avoided. Friday is reserved for our PDD rep practice for the material Adrian and I are presenting at Ballet West, currently the Nutcracker GPDD. Adrian at the moment has been finding it quite difficult in remembering it all, we got to about 3 minute of 5.45min of rep and things were reasonably ok, but the later stuff seams to be overloading him. Today I thing he was on the verge of throwing the towel in and believing it was just too much and too difficult to remember. The last half an hour is usually spent running through from the top all that we have that is reasonable clean, and we don’t add to it until any new piece is reasonable well understood. However today I tried something new, walking it through from the top with no music, instead of stopping at the new material, I carried on, and on until we are literally seconds from the end. We managed to repeat it three times and I know now he feels much more comfortable with the whole of the rep, another week or so I will add the music as need him to be totally familiar with its signatures and timing to get our best joint musicality out of this piece. This potentially could be his best piece yet to take to Ballet West.

 

 

I guess the awful weather has set back my studio extension again, oh poo.

 

 

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Glad you got back safely in the end. The things we do for ballet!!

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Thank you Linda

Yes its amazing what we do for ballet.

Even today now the weather is a lot calmer it was a pleasure to be working outside. Adrian an I put scaffolding around a tree that would have overhanging branches over my new studio. I was taking some scaffold boards up and placing them on the top, one of our neighbours came past and asked Adrian if I was building a tree house ha ha. The overhanging branches were remove as well as branches that were likely to become a hazard in the future. Adrian turned the removed branches into logs for one of our neighbours. We have a similar operation to perform on an almost overhanging willow tree tomorrow if the weather holds.

 

For me this makes very good sense as one day I will not be able to do this, so its a case of future proofing as best as I can the arrival of the new studio.

 

Today also had what could have been a nasty mishap, yesterday I inadvertently walked on to our snow covered out-door porcelain practice turning area for PDD pirouettes and promenades which normally is extra slippy, yesterday it was extremely slippery, I slipped on it and nearly went over. With that I cleared it of snow so it could be seen and avoided .

 

Overnight we had a little more snow about half an inch, but enough to cover about half of it. Silly me, without thinking I strayed on part of the snow covered porcelain with both feet, needless to say they shot out from under me and I fell flat on my back with a real bang. I was really really lucky I didn’t sustain any injury , but I felt so stupid, especially after the prolonged recovery after my last injury incurred by jumping off a wall.

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Hi Linda

 

Your comment “The things we do for Ballet”, almost bit me in the bum this weekend.

 

Sunday morning Adrian and I was travelling into my local town of Spalding , suddenly the car lost power and I pulled up on the verge very close to a drop pavement, also about a hundred metres in front the road changed to double white lines and not a good place to stop. I tried to restart the car; it would run for 3 or 4 seconds and die, seams like a fuel pump problem. I really didn’t want to risk having to stop on a road with double white lines, so we stayed put with our hazard warning lights on.

As I have breakdown cover it was no problem, I phoned the helpline and someone was with us within 45mins.

I had the car dropped back at my local garage and Adrian and I walked the short distance home, unfortunately as it was Sunday we could not contact the Garage.

 

The next problem was sorting out ballet for this week, Monday there was not time to make any arrangements as my first session was at 10am, and my only option was to cancel both sessions. Tuesday rehearsal is another issue, that isn’t something I would miss if at all possible. Adrian and I downloaded bus and train time tables to look at the feasibility of using public transport, getting to London for rehearsal wasn’t a problem, other than I would miss my pre-rehearsal practice down the hall that morning and Adrian would have to catch buses to find his own way home to his flat.

 

For me the problem was the return journey, which meant I would be stuck at Peterborough station between midnight and 6.30am for the first train from Peterborough to Spalding. From there I had 10minute to walk to the bus station and catch the bus home, anther 20minutes at home to get changed and clean myself up and on the next bus to Spalding for an hair appointment at 9am, that bus gets in to Spalding at 8.30am, so time for a coffee and a little breakfast if I can keep awake.

 

I think the worst of it would be feeling like a vagrant dossing down for the night in one of Peterborough station waiting rooms and likely to get moved on by station staff, that would feel awful. I wonder how many dancers other would go that far for ballet, needless to I most definitely would.

 

You can’t image how I felt this morning when I went over to the garage to see “Barry” the owner, about what had happened to my car, and he said “would you like to borrow the little KA while your car is in for repair”, I was so so grateful. Apart from missing Monday’s classes, the rest of the week will run as planned, whoopee.

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Well very glad you've now had the luck to solve the problem.

I certainly wouldn't advise staying on a station overnight though Michelle especially if on your own with no station staff around etc.

Wouldnt it have been better to just get a taxi.....an annoying expense yes...but definitely preferable to 6 and a half hours on a station!! 

Im trying to remember Peterborogh station as spent an hour waiting there last July. There was a waiting room but not a particularly warm one in winter I would think!!

Im not sure what time the staff there would be off for the night .....around midnight I should think as not sure any passenger trains would stop there after that time.

it is great to be so dedicated but not at the expense of putting yourself at such risk I think.

Ditto about cars though. 

We will be without ours from tomorrow till next Monday!! On week days there is a really good bus service into Brighton though. But it will  mean having to walk up a VERY steep hill with all my paraphanaelia when returning home. 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by LinMM
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Hi Linda

 

I wouldn’t be overly worried about being on the station for 6 and a half hours in the early hours, Peterborough has at least 3 waiting rooms, one on platform 1, patform 2 and 3 share, platform 4 and 5 share and I think 6 and 7 share too, but I have never been on 6 or 7.

Ive just checked London trains through the night, it appears the Northern rail  trains stay running at least one each hour thru the night, so I guess there must be some staff on duty during the night but I don’t see very many when I get back at midnight each Tuesday.

 

My worry was getting kicked off the station, as that happened to me once when I went to a Salsa party in your neck of the woods.

I was staying at Eastbourne at the time and went to a Salsa party at Hassocks by train. I enjoyed the dancing and left much later than I had planned, I managed to catch the train back to Brighton, it was around midnight, the situation was similar to Peterborough, there wasn’t a train until around 6am, however Brighton closes the station just after midnight and anyone on there is escorted to gates other than staff and locket out, that happened to me. Outside the station gates were seats but there were guys sat on them drinking, so I couldn’t even wait there for the early morning train, I really felt extremely uncomfortable apart from all that, I was dress for a dance party and not being outside for hours, in the early hours in March. I guess it was pretty stupid of me, so nothing has changed there.

Fortunately I see a sign which said something like “When the trains go to bed, the busses keep going”, I finally found and got on to a bus for Eastbourne around 2am, needless to say when I got back to my hotel the doors were locked but thankfully someone was still on reception and let me in.

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It doesn't seem as if there is an hourly train to me Michelle.

The last train to leave Kings Cross to Peterborough  is just after 1.30....it takes TWO hours to get to Peterborough!! ......So there is a train in at 3,30 ish but then there is a nearly four hour gap!! 

All the trains going much further....Leeds York Newcastle Edinburgh etc leave London by 11.30 pm ....or very shortly after ...so would be through Peterborough by about 12.30 am . That's probably why you don't see many staff at Midnight!!  

I doubt whether any staff would be employed just to wait for the train which gets in at 3.30 am 

I did a lot of investigating of trains through Peterborough last July when trying to accompany some dance students up to York from Stansted.....in case of flight delays etc etc. The last train from Kings Cross to York was around 11.20pm .....and it's a similar time for other northern cities. 

 

I would be pretty sure Brighton Station would close around midnightish because there aren't any trains then!! And it would be too dangerous to allow access to the station with no staff around. 

If you were ever in the position you were describing above you would probably be safer in fact staying at Kings Cross station and getting an early morning train to Peterborough. 

 

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Hi Linda

 

You should have checked trains going the other way from Peterborough to Kings Cross , those alone are at 3.25am, 4.10am, 5.10am, 5.40am, 5.47am, 6.10am , 6.15am and 6.37am. There are also trains to and from major destinations across country too.

 

As for staying in a waiting room, even if these trains were not running , wouldn’t be a big issue for me and I really wouldn’t feel particularly unsafe to the pointe of spending an unnecessary £60 on taxi fares.

 

If I were put out on the street as I once was in Brighton, particularly in our present winter climate, then that would be a risk too far, not from being hurt by anyone but exposure to the elements as I’m not accustomed or equipped with sheltering for hours in shop doorways, that would really be degrading.

 

I am more concerned about the risk I am taking this week, rather that staying for a few hours in a waiting room.

 

I have put off practicing a challenging solo (at least for me) for my week at Ballet West in the summer. It is an unusual Black Swan solo, that has a promenade and two fouettes repeated three times in succession. I know that this will be extremely wearing on my legs since my injury last year. I have started it this week, and said to my coach that we will give it until the end of next week, if it looks like its likely to result in further injury, then we will drop it until next year as damage limitation and drop in the Bluebird female solo instead which is far less challenging, plus I have danced a couple of different versions of Bluebird before.

 

So far I have found technically excluding the ménage at the end very doable, I love it. My only real issue is the stamina to consistently repeat the promenade / fouette section for three times. Although I have done it, it is extremely tiring, usually after the first set I’m starting to get extremely bushed. The plan now is to try and do a small number of these sets each day to build sufficient strength by my session on Thursday, so I can at least sustain these for a few solo run-throughs.

The ending of the solo I will be changing, not that it is too difficult, Its simply I  really don’t like the musicality of it, otherwise it is a really beautiful piece.

 

 

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Thursday was the end of the period I gave myself to see if my body had recovered sufficiently to take on an unusual version of the Black Swan solo for my stint at Ballet West this summer.

 

The first Thursday was spend by myself and my coach learning the choreography excluding the menege at the end, as I had rejected that part as having poor musicality.

 

The first session went better than anticipated, as we had covered all we had intended, however I miss interpreted the three promenade / Fouette combination. I assumed after the 3 step promenade, the gesturing leg was taken through a passe into prep for the first fouette, then followed into a second fouette. That I could do, but with the loss of strength and stamina since my injury, it was always going to be challenging.

 

It became apparent on my second session the following Monday with Emma my coach, that the solo dances the promenade / fouette combination a little differently. The first fouette could be thought of as not a fouette at all, however it does rely on momentum from the promenade, to sustain the first full turn as there is little additional momentum created from the arabesque of the promenade to the to retire for a the full turn. Only then is the second fouette launched in the usual way with extending the gesturing leg in front and whipping it round into retire to create momentum. Although on the third turn the gesturing leg is extended in a similar way, this time as rotates around  and is extended into arabesque to commence the next promenade. In some ways it’s a if the second fouette it a convention fouette, but the other is almost formed in two halves, then end movement from the first and the launch from the end or third piece.  My main issue with this in learning it, there is no time to stop and think between the promenade and first fouette, otherwise you have lost the momentum to carry the turn around at retire, arms and head are not sufficient on there own. At the end of my second session I still really hadn’t cracked this, the main reason I think, I was still in think mode breaking partially, and tying to break doing it wrong in the first place as two conventional fouettes and not having enough strength to sustain it, as the whole period of doing the 3 promenade / fouette combinations are done on the same supporting leg all the way through, the only time the gesturing leg come down to ground is for a coupe to launch the first promenade.

 

My thoughts at this time was, I would not be in a position by the third and final session to make any significant progress to carry this forward, it was far too soon after my injury, I just didn’t have the strength. I left that session very disillusioned, but by this time I really had fallen in love with the piece.

 

I knew to continue practice wasn’t enough. I had some serious ankle strengthening to do, but that wouldn’t be without risk, I virtually needed a miracle as I basically needed to get up on releve to sustain that full turn in retire with virtually no momentum to even stand a chance.

 

For ankle strengthening I went back to Alfredsons heal drop protocol which I used some years ago for an Achilles overuse injury that was very effective. Well I used my variation of it by including rises as well as the drops, but with the same number of repetitions as the protocol. But I only had 4 days to get some form of positive result.

 

Thursday the day for my final session came, I did a pre-run session down my local hall, although I thought there may be some minor improvement in ankle strength I was still of the opinion that I was going to have to drop this solo for this year, although I did look at altering the position promenade, to reduce the travel of the first fouette in retire, I know it was a bit of a cheat, but I was getting desperate to carry it on.

 

When I finally see Emma my coach, I mentioned altering the promenade positioning to reduce the travel of the first fouette and showed her, then she said show me from the start and I want to watch and see what’s going wrong.   Essentially I was stopping even if only momentarily in think mode, and then literally hurling myself around for the fouette, I just simply didn’t have enough momentum. I think part of the problem was psychological and confidence, as my brain knew what I had to done, but my body used to slow or stop while I thought about it, Grrrr it was really annoying.

 

Emma came up with a brilliant idea, dance it from the top so as not to get too pre occupied with that particular step, but just keep going. After a few full tries it really was starting to get better and better. Whilst I can’t 100% consistently execute this piece, I have achieve a several successful run though's and know what it feels like. Emma was really pleased with the breakthrough and has agreed to extend this piece for a further week (two more session) as she and I now believe this stands a good chance of success. We did spend a few moments on Thursday looking at the menage music at the end as I really don’t like the musicality of choreography of this piece. I tried a few combinations but it will need to be a menege of some kind to fit the length of the remaining music, for the moment that’s still on the back burner.

 

Progress with the Nutcracker Grand PDD seamed to be struggling this week, both Adrian and myself had been working pruning trees all day until our 2 hour session down the hall that evening, I think we were both over tired to make any real progress but never the less we danced it through several time , but it did give us ideas how to layout the new studio when the extension if finally built.

 

At least I did get to enjoy one of my favourite winter jobs when its really cold as it was with the beast from the east No 2 this weekend.  That was standing round an incineration bin in the garden burning tree small tree branches and cuttings, and being really warm and cosy  in defiant of the weather.

 

 

 

 

 

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STUDIO

Its beginning to look like progress at last with my studio extension, I’ve had an email from the Conservatory company to say they have all the uPVC materials in for my four meter studio extension and they are planning to install on the Wednesday after Easter and will confirm on the Tuesday. I will chase them on the Tuesday as that’s my Rehearsal day in London and would hate to miss their call.

 

I took the opportunity today to revalidate Harlequin dance floors quote and check possible delivery dates, as I will not place the order until I have definitely got the uPVC installers on site. If all goes to plan the floor will be delivered on the 24th.

 

Although once the uPVC installation has taken place, to some extent the studio will be partly usable.

 

At the end if the month when the remaining floor installed it will be more utilised.

 

Never the less the spend is still not over, we have additional mirrors to buy, venetian blinds for the extended sides and 3 sides fully curtained to give practice videos taken a real sense of theatre, well that’s the plan.

 

BLACK SWAN SOLO 

On the down side my Black Swan solo is still fighting back, sadly I am without Emma my rep coach until the 16th, due to her Ballet Schools show and the Easter break. I thought the break would be useful to allow me to get on and finish this piece. In practice the promenade fouette combination needs a lot of strength in the supporting leg as you are on it for three whole repetitions of that combination, its extremely tiring.

Although the adapted Alfredsons heel drop protocol has show significant improvements of the ankle, the strength behind the plie to assist the snap-up of the releve and sustain it through the repetitions needs greatly strengthening without sustaining repetition strain injury which I’m very mindful of.

 

Similarly re-choreographing the menege used at the end to improve its musicality is defiantly challenging, its got somewhat of a strange count that I cant get my head round unless there is something I’m missing. The count goes something like this:

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 and 1, 2,3,4,5,6,7,8 and1,and 2 and 3, and 4 and 5 , slow single blast on each of 6 7 & 8. Then 8 fast counts which the artist uses chaines to finish into the final pose, I will most probably utilise that ending, but the other appears to be danced through.

 

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Finally I have my studio installers on site to install the 4 meter uPVC extension, unfortunately things haven’t gone as anticipated, as there is some compatibility issues between the existing structure and that of the new that wasn’t picked up by their designer. It has meant all but the door end the end section of the old structure has been scrapped. Fortunately as the error has been theirs, there is no additional cost to me, but it will have extended their time on site for a further day. As thing are now, the old structure has completely gone and  the existing sprung floor covered by tarpaulins to keep it dry. The loss of the old structure leave me quite sad, however they are hopeful that the roof will be on by the weekend if the weather holds but they will be one uPVC section short, which they expect delivery in the next two to three days.

 

The new structure is slightly higher than the existing one was, so hopefully the two spars that extend across the room at ceiling height will give enough clearance so as not to foul the top of the mirror slides,

 

I really hope there is no more surprises this week, as the week started off badly when I had to cancel my hall booking on Tuesday for a practice pre-run of our rehearsal Tuesday evening. This was due to flooding of the River Glen that flows past my property. Although the property itself is on quite high ground, my path and seating area next to the river was flooded, part of both landing stages were floating precariously off the river bed, which also posed a problem to one of my boats, when Adrian an I see that, that took immediate priority and the river was running fast and still rising. We did manage to get lines attached to both landing stage to secure them, should that attempt to float away.

 

Just before leaving for London we checked the river again, part of the boat was sitting on the edge of the landing stage as the water had fallen, it was listing quite badly, at least we were there in time to gently push it off . As the water was likely to rise again on the next tide, I would then be in London at rehearsal, it was necessary to prevent that happening again with a large pole for the boat to slide up and down on.

 

The loss of the pre-run through that morning really showed up at rehearsal, I felt I was rubbish, even though I had watched our video of last weeks rehearsal on the train to London, its just not the same as doing it.

 

At least most tings are in place now for the new studio, sprung floor ordered, additional venetian blinds ordered, ballerina statue ordered for the entrance, only items outstanding are 6 mirrors which will be ordered once I can check clearance with the spars, and curtains to give it the theatre feel to videos taken in there, but there is no hurry for the curtains.

 

  

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So you went through with the statue?

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On ‎06‎/‎04‎/‎2018 at 12:55, TYR said:

So you went through with the statue?

 

 

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Oh yes, its normally made to order, however they had one in stock so I bought it and arranged delivery for the 18th. My only real shortage now is the 6 mirrors, on Friday (Day3 of the uPVC build as in the picture) when the roof was installed, I was able to check the track clearance, and there is no problem at all. Unfortunately when I went to order the mirrors, the supplier is out of stock and so is the manufacturer. At the moment I’m not too worried as I can’t install them until the Harlequin sprung is installed, it’s not due for delivery until the 25th.

One thing I hadn’t anticipated, I will need scaffolding to install the ceiling lights and rotating mirror ball from the old installation. Luckily that’s no problem.

 

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Performed in my school's ballet production tonight with Wayne Sleep in the audience! I could have danced better and didn't manage my pirouette on pointe but I loved every second of it.

I've done nothing but dance, eat and sleep since Thursday afternoon so now I've stopped, everything hurts. Not sure I'll be able to move tomorrow and it'll take at least a week for my feet to forgive me.

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Well ballet gremlin we have something in common! A very long time ago back in the 80's I danced in a performance of the Sorcerers Apprentice as the Broom ...with the Chelsea Ballet. It was at the old Commonwealth Institute Theatre on Kensington High st ( now sadly gone) 

Wayne Sleep and a couple of dancers from the RB at the time( he was still dancing then and was well known) were in the audience on one of the nights and I just remember feeling so nervous!! Have no idea whether I danced well or not too long ago now but am sure gave it a little extra something that night once the adrenalin kicked in!!

And I think it's the adrenalin which somehow prevents the aches and pains coming through until you've finally stopped......it's amazing what you can get through when you have to!! But as long as there's no injury they usually only last a couple of days and you will be as right as rain I'm sure!!

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Exam results are supposed to come out today. I'm so impatient and keep checking my phone every 5 second for a message from my teacher. I've heard of results coming out early but never late before.

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Fingers crossed for you ballet gremlin 🍀

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