It’s totally normal to go to ballet class and come back with an avocado, right?

Went to class somewhere not my usual place with a friend (who is usually my dance teacher) another friend. We took class the way you do in a semi hostile or at least indifferent environment. 

Then I got a ride back to my car, a motherly I love you, and an  avocado from said dance teacher.


Weekend plans

Gotta decide whether to take a ballet class on Sunday or go to one of the first tournament of the season.

It’s my Saturday to work so that ruins my Saturday workout plans. I like starting Saturday morning with class even though I only wake up about halfway through the class. A knows not to correct me much until at least 10 am.

There’s a Sunday class at another dance studio and the company is infinitely worse but they have Sunday hours and so I will sometimes go as long as I have company to not be corrected in the corner with.

Late night self debriefing

The double feature of Wednesday night ballet class, rehearsal, and fencing lesson continues. We had a summer hiatus from the rehearsal, although the rest continued.

I was 20 minutes late for class due to Reasons. It was an unwelcome throwback to the time I had to walk in 20 minutes late because of remote work location. Closer work situation is much closer. Being on time for class, having time to eat and warm up has made a huge difference in my quality of life.

Tonight was the second night of the regular fall session.  It was weird music night –musical theater and pop songs set to the piano. No idea if that is the correct phrase and can’t be arsed to look it up or care that I’m not British enough to use that phrase. The music is both eyebrow raising and oddly stirring.  Stupid music.  Stupid emotions.

We had a good laugh tonight about a combination that involved a develope turned slightly towards the barre. After marking it, about a third of the class was under the impression that the combination included placing the leg on the barre for a stretch.  It came back in the center and because I’m a smartass, I asked if the leg was up on the barre this time.

In rehearsal,  we worked on variations for our upcoming outreaches. I’m still determined to get the timing right for the beginning of Bluebird.  We’re learning the Pas de Trois (which autocorrect wants to be Pas De Trout’s) from Paquita.   We’ve just turned all the men’s roles into women’s because it’s not really a  super partner-y variation and we can just split up into groups of three girls.  We’ve danced male roles before and it usually doesn’t work too well although there certainly have been exceptions. 

Had a fencing lesson with different coach tonight  because as my usual coach says, he “fucked up the time”
It was cool. Substitute coach taught me for the month of August while regular coach was on his annual, epic vacation.  He was all, it’s me again and I was all hello!  Are you going to call me Killer again because that was awesome?

The inevitable,  weird-ass conversation that resulted at the end of the night involved technology to help paralyzed folks and pseudopodic breasts. AAAAANND that was the level of the room that made everyone realize they needed to go home.

Fencing quotes of nights past

Context forgotten but it was jovial as fuck: “I revel in your pain!” Guy walking past, “Jesus…” Mad laughter.

Regularly to those (adults) who have said something suggestive: “Safesport!”

To, or perhaps AT me, while stretching, “Ballerinas!”

Sung while stretching on the floor another time and pounding the floor rhythmically “Stretching time…”

“You didn’t eat your pickles today”, The Maestro says this to me whenever I am in a bad mood.

“Good night, Killer”.


Learned something important abour how to hold my pinkies when dancing. If I don’t let them trail all willy-nilly they look purposeful and supported and my upper body is 16 percent less dippy looking.

Also, I am having remedial head training.  Chasse, pas de bourre, head RIGHT LEFT.

Performance Day! (Recap)

This recap of the performance is ridiculously late. but I’ve fallen into a bit of a hole the past month or so.
It involved the usual bringing all the shoes, safety pins, and hairpins to the theater. 
Significant other made me a gooey delicious breakfast sandwich and coffee to go.
Stopped by my dad’s place to catsit briefly. Just long enough to get cat hair all over my performance tights and spill water all over the floor.

First performance,  we nearly dropped the teen playing the lead role on her head.  We were abducting her to the underworld and she was on her back, with raised arms and one extended leg looking scared. We were missing one of the lifters that performance and she was apparently carrying much of the weight of the shoulders and head because as we turned the girl around, her head and shoulders jerked unexpectedly towards the ground.  Fortunately,  her shoulders hit my head, which stopped her descent and once the two of us at her head and shoulders realized more oomph was needed, we pushed her back up. 

I then broke the rule about talking on stage to reassure her in what I hope was a quiet voice, that she was good and we had her. I am certain that at the moment,  her look of terror was absolutely genuine.

Second performance,  I was feeling weird and having moments of terrifying blankness where I couldn’t remember steps. This never happens to me and I was wondering if I would be the youngest person ever diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I had to change some steps near the end because I felt unsteady and that I would fall if I turned.  Fortunately,  most of the end involved me standing still.  I did so, imagining how embarrassing it would be to pass out on stage. I didn’t and I found it later when the headache started that it was a migraine. Horrendous timing but at least a known phenomenon.  Never had one while dancing before. Apparently the aura stage, which sometimes messes up my ability to spell and type correctly,  messes up my recall for steps. A fascinating fact I would rather have learned in class than on stage.

Next performance went swimmingly, although I was ‘hungover’ from the migraine. I had a bunch of fencing friends come out to support me that weekend.  It was heartwarming to have this gaggle of fencing people take the time to see me dance.  Unfortunately they saw the migraine performance but I was so moved that I could almost forget that.

We are now in summer mode. Classes for the spring have finished.  We have a couple weeks break and then resume classes for the summer session.  No Saturday classes, no rehearsal of any sort until September. I may come take class in the morning at some of the summer camps A runs during the day. A friend of mine is working there this summer and it would be nice to start the day with class. Almost seems a pity to ruin a day started well by going to work.
Time to focus on fencing.  I’m going to summer nationals and although I have no delusions of glory,  I’d at least like to not embarrass myself. I did two tournaments over the weekend, one on purpose  (epee) and one accidentally  (sabre). But that’s another story.

Fifty Shades of Footwork recap and a bigass tangent

Vulcan couldn’t come, which was a shame. She had to work late. So I went to the club as is the normal Monday night ritual (when I’m not working), I usually intend on getting there a few minutes early but usually walk in 15 minutes late for the footwork class. It’s hard to leave home again after you get home and in my mind, fencing is this late night thing that I can show up to whenever I like. It’s perhaps a bit of a rebellion against years of ballet class, because fencing is this balletic anti-ballet activity for me and ballet is the antidote or the complementary side of the coin that makes it whole. Please excuse the garbled thoughts — I am extremely tired but want to get this down,

But first a quick aside. Fencing is…like when you work in parallel in ballet class to activate those other muscles that don’t get love when you are holding that turned out position and it feels amazing and kinda weird and wrong. This is what fencing does for me. It allows me to use those other muscles — both literal and metaphorical. There’s enough alike that I can jump comfortably from one to the next. There’s enough different that each activity shores me up enough to face the other. Same coin. Different sides. I enjoy that fencing doesn’t care about aesthetics, that it’s filled with moments of explosive power, cunning strategy, and weird crab-stepping/bouncing on a narrow strip. I celebrate ballet’s artistry, harmonious symmetry, and joyful precision.

When I left ballet and performing a few years back, I left it under a cloud. I drifted for a bit. Curling was not in the cards for me at that time and sports that happen in the cold will never fully sustain me. Ballet and I were seriously on the rocks and I had said goodbye to performing.

Fencing allowed me to go back. It was like my inner fencer shored me up and shadowed me in a way that I felt like I had backup. I remember being at fencing and being wistful for ballet but also angry at the thought of it.

Ballet helps me deal with being a novice in fencing and fencing helps me deal with my bad ballet memories and some of the personality mismatches I’ve had with it. I am on two different journeys in each and when I weary of one of them, the other is there. Basically I cheat on each with the other.

So, Fifty Shades. Yeah. I got a little off topic there. Oops. The Legit Nerd selected excellent songs – excellent both for doing footwork too and also excellent for capturing the creepy feel of Fifty Shades. A harder rock cover of Every Step You Take for example. The songs had clips from Jenny Trout’s excellently snarky recaps or from podcasts dissecting the text.

I laughed hard when one of the clips had to do with the infamous Christian Grey flavored popsicle line. Legit Nerd had had to cut it quickly to make it family friendly – we have many teens and kids at the club.

Speaking of families, I was talking to Mensch on the bench before footwork started and gushing like an idiot about how much I enjoyed Jenny Trout’s recaps and a mother who, I later found out was bringing her daughter to the footwork class for the first time, turned to us and said she was sorry to interrupt but she had also read those and loved them. It was cool to talk to her about it and it was also a nice segue to welcoming her and her kid to the club. She wasn’t sure how the class would be and her daughter was nervous I think so it was nice to be able to reassure her that it was a casual, congenial, and occasionally silly affair.
Legit Nerd likes to dance to 70s and 80s music in a way that embarrasses the teens and makes them exclaim proudly that they weren’t born when this music came out. Enjoy it, kids. It won’t last. 😉