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diary of a sparkly kid
By SeniorLadyPremium member
On Wed Jan 02, 2013 04:26 PM
Bumped by imadanseur (79325) on 2013-09-03 17:41:55
Bumped by Sumayah (204191) on 2014-04-29 14:48:37
Bumped by imadanseur (79325) on 2014-12-02 08:40:10
Bumped by hummingbird (128773) on 2014-12-02 09:13:21

Happy new year, Faithful Reader! I strayed from my usual NYE tradition of drinking tea with a splash of Bailey’s and falling asleep on my couch while waiting for the ball drop in Times Square by ringing in the new year with ACTUAL LIVE PEOPLE! Because my new year’s resolutions are nearly always to be more social, to acknowledge the existence of my non-dancer friends more, and to leave my house more often for events that aren’t necessarily dance-related, I thought it was only fitting that I was out and about until 2:00am on the first day of the new year. (Of course I needed a full day to recover, which meant spending all of yesterday in my pajamas watching TLC, eating peanut butter pancakes, and perusing various Best of 2012 lists in magazines I subscribe to -- but I totes deserved it because I WENT OUTSIDE.)

ANYWAY. I know that this first entry of 2013 should be my reflection on the past year and my outlook for the coming year, but the thought of doing either makes me anxious (like I’m truly not ready to put things into perspective because I live in fear of discovering that I didn’t actually accomplish anything), so I’m going to put that off for a little while longer and will leave you instead with SeniorLady’s Playlist for the Public Servant Part II (my version of a “best of” list, or A Mixtape of Songs I Annoyed my Coworkers with Most in 2012). For your sanity, I did not include any Selena Gomez, Carly Rae Jepsen, or One Direction. You’ll thank me later.

1. Firewater -- Django Django (Django Django)
2. Laura -- Bat for Lashes (The Haunted Man)
3. Paradise -- Wild Nothing (Nocturne)
4. The Apostate -- Swans (The Seer)
5. Running -- Jessie Ware (Devotion)
6. New Year -- Beach House (Bloom)
7. Shark Song -- Stealing Sheep (Into the Paper Moon)
8. Gun Has No Trigger -- Dirty Projectors (Swing Lo Magellan)
9. Leader of the Pack -- Sleigh Bells (Reign of Terror)
10. State Hospital -- Frightened Rabbit (State Hospital)

39 Replies to diary of a sparkly kid

re: diary of a sparkly kid
By SeniorLadyPremium member
On Mon Jan 07, 2013 05:46 PM
Aaaaand we’re back. Back at dance, that is, after what truly did seem like a break because I didn’t make it to any weeknight classes over the holidays although a few were offered. I didn’t feel particularly rested amidst the general holiday chaos, but at least I had one less thing to worry about. I started to get a bit restless though, so I’m happy to be back even if it feels like I’ve forgotten everything. Secretly hoping my Irish hornpipe magically engrained itself in my feet during the many hours I spent in a sloth-like stupor watching marathons of Iron Chef and eating holiday baking, but I somehow don’t think that’s the case -- ditto all of the other stuff that’s supposed to be second nature by now but isn’t.

On Saturday, I taught my first primary class of 2013, and it was a surprisingly good one. One of the moms had told me previously that her daughter was going stir-crazy and was antsy to get back to class, so I had mistakenly assumed that all of my little ones would be bouncing off the walls, but they were attentive and really pleasant. They remembered everything from three weeks ago, which was a relief (I’d been worried I’d have to start again from scratch), and my newest dancer, who started this weekend, got caught up with the others in a matter of minutes. I’m feeling pretty confident that they’ll be ready to take their Starlite I/II exams this spring; some might even be ready to take First Steps. I’m really excited to see how they’ll progress this term. I also taught an adult class on Saturday, but only two of my students showed up. They worked hard, and most importantly, both remembered their choreography well enough that it only needed a quick review before we were able to move on to adding arms to the first part. I’m still feeling a bit nervous about this piece because I have yet to see all nine of my dancers together, and with a little over a month to go, I’m going to have to whip out my sack of avocados and start administering some beatings -- or at least call a mandatory rehearsal. I should be seeing four of my adult dancers tonight, however, so I’ll see how much they can accomplish in those 90 minutes.

Also on tonight’s agenda is an Irish class (see the aforementioned non-magical hornpipe) and a brief but hopefully productive theory study session. If you’ve been following my sparkly diary for some time, Faithful Reader, you’ll no doubt be aware that a recurring theme is my complete lack of dedication to another teaching exam. Mostly I just hate hornpipes, and the Scottish one is daunting. I’ve resolved to do the exam this year, though, and that means scheduling actual time to study. Tonight I’m going to memorise the step names and numbers, those feet and arm positions that are unique to the hornpipe, and all of its arm actions. For reference, there are 16 steps (and a few have alternates), five additional feet positions, four arm positions, and eight arm actions. That's all really basic information, but I figure the beginning is a good place to start.
re: diary of a sparkly kid
By SeniorLadyPremium member
On Tue Jan 08, 2013 01:02 PM
Edited by SeniorLady (72324) on 2013-01-08 13:06:17
It’s less than a week into my first month back, and I’m already stressed. I’m stressed about choreographies -- the one I’m teaching and the ones I’m in. I’m worried that only two of my nine dancers know their group piece and that three don’t know it at all. And I’d hoped to have a lot more free time in 2013, but that’s looking less and less likely, and that REALLY worries me. Simply thinking about stress results in even more stress, so I’m not going think about it; instead, I’m going to think about all the good things that are happening, however trivial:

--of the two dancers that know their choreography all the way through, one knows it extremely well (and knows the arm positions and some of the formations too);
--I have so many social events coming up, I’m practically Paris Hilton;
--I’m drinking tea that shimmers when brewed and is therefore extra awesome and delicious;
--my adorable friend is organising a field trip to Boston for Worlds, and I’m really excited to live vicariously on the big stage;
--my little study session yesterday was successful, and I think I’ve committed hornpipe steps, additional positions, and arm actions to memory;
--I didn’t forget how to Irish dance after two weeks of slothfulness, and I was actually pretty happy with my reel yesterday because I haven’t been able to dance the second step to music, and yesterday I did; and
--I learned a new word! Slothfulness! It means inclined to sloth! That’s meeeeeee!

This evening, I have step dance, and I’m hoping we’ll finally finish the jig (or jigs, I should say -- the 21-step jig and the shorter jig that’s part of our new clog/jig/reel routine). Also hoping our teacher will consent to letting us try the two-step again once we’ve finished the jigs. Afterwards, it’s straight to Highland for a semi-private with my duet partner followed by our regular class time then home before 9:30 (hopefully) to tidy up my house, cook a big batch of sweet potato soup, and study.

Little dance goal for tonight: dance forward crabwalk to music. Maybe even try it with arms.
Little theory goal for tonight: commit basic hornpipe movements, of which there are 16, to memory. Might be ambitious, but worth a shot.
re: diary of a sparkly kid
By SeniorLadyPremium member
On Wed Jan 09, 2013 03:16 PM
Let’s see what I accomplished then, shall we?

--dance forward crabwalk to music and attempt arms: tried but couldn’t quite dance it up to speed. I think the step is progressing well without music, but once the music starts, it’s a hot mess again. I have neither the agility nor the brain capacity to move my feet that quickly yet. Arms, obviously, did not happen. I think they may have been flailing all over. Going to try again tonight. And probably also tomorrow night. And the one after that, sigh.

--commit all 16 basic hornpipe movements to memory: sort of. I went through the text, rewrote those definitions in my own words, and found suitable examples for each. I didn’t practice dancing them, describing them out loud, or counting them, however, so that’s my little dance theory goal for this evening.

--finish all the jigs: well, no. But the 21-step jig is SO CLOSE! We have 20 steps now, but that’s mostly because I may have taken advantage of the fact that my teacher relies on us to remember how far we’ve gotten. As a class, I think we’ve only made it to the 14th or 15th step, but I’d learned several others last spring when we were working on a condensed version of the jig, and as we were reviewing our steps last night, I just decided to pretend like we had learned more than we had. I know this sounds pretentious, ‘cause I’m hardly a step dancing superstar, but who’s going to argue with me? I’m pretty sure I’m the only one that practices. Anyway, the tl;dr version of this is that I really wanted to learn this jig because I wanted to be able to dance with seannetta (and have the audience watch us and think, “awwww, look at the little one, she thinks she’s people!”), so please review your 21-step jig, seannetta, ‘cause I know we have a concert coming up. (The jig that’s part of our new clog/jig/reel routine has six steps, not four as I’d thought, so we didn’t finish it obviously. We actually didn’t even learn a new step because, out of the four of us, I was the only one who remembered all three.)

--cook a big batch of soup: definitely not. I had dance for four hours last night, and when I got home I was ravenous and exhausted. Briefly considered eating leftovers straight from the container while sitting in front of my fridge, but I thought better of that; I heated up some canned soup instead and popped a few pieces of bread into the toaster for a toasted cheese sandwich (too tired for grilling). As a result, today’s lunch offering is more canned soup.

seannetta posted about her frustrations at having to have the shoes she wears for one dance fixed already, and I have to add my own broken shoe anecdote. Before Christmas, I took my step shoes to the cobbler’s and had him reattached the taps. I’ve worn them twice since then: for less than 2 minutes at a gig on new year’s eve and yesterday for my 60-minute class. Well, one of the shoes is completely destroyed again. I really, really, really don’t want to have to buy new shoes, but it’s not looking good for them. The taps are barely hanging on, and they randomly make awful crunching noises when I step onto the balls of my feet, which is, you know, pretty darn often. Pretty sure I’ve put holes into my teacher’s flooring too because the taps are so busted. Debating whether to replace the taps or bite the bullet and get all new shoes. Dance isn’t just hard; it’s expensive!
re: diary of a sparkly kid
By SeniorLadyPremium member
On Thu Jan 10, 2013 08:47 PM
It’s all forward crabwalk all the time around here. Also discovered I haven’t been dancing lookout properly (not moving enough/at all, not bringing my working foot up on the spring, inconsistent timing). Not a fan of the premiership hornpipe AT ALL. Oftentimes I’ll start to get impatient when I don’t see immediate improvement, and this is one of those times. I’m really bored of slowly marking “Jump. Twist your heel. Step.” over and over and over again. I know that’s how you get better. But I don’t want to wait!

A few good things:
--practiced describing basic hornpipe movements to myself and was about 90% correct on all my definitions;
--practiced COUNTING basic hornpipe movements and only got tripped up by low cutting, which I can only mark and not dance at this point, so it stands to reason that I can’t properly count it yet;
--gave a private lesson to one of my adult students to walk her through the group piece, and she picked it up quickly, so now another dancer knows all of it;
--got paid for said private in chocolate-covered potato chips;
--today is mine and the Boy’s seven-year anniversary, and tonight we’re celebrating with dinner, which he’s going to cook (actually not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing considering the Boy doesn’t actually ever cook, but I’m curious and excited); and
--will be heading to a work meeting in 30 minutes where there’s going to be cake.

On the agenda for tonight, I’ve got 30 minutes of private studio time to use as I see fit (forward crabwalk, lookout, maybe another attempt at dancing/counting low cutting, some one-on-one time with my Irish hornpipe unless the rest of the practice wears me out), and then I’m seeing my Thursday Night Pre-Teens for 75 minutes and my adults for 90. No plans to crack open a textbook tonight though I plan to add those basic hornpipe movements to my flashcards, so that I can drill them on the bus (and on a lengthy drive to North Conway later this month and lengthier drives to Boston and Manhattan in the coming months -- hooray for field trips!)
re: diary of a sparkly kid
By SeniorLadyPremium member
On Fri Jan 11, 2013 07:59 PM
Thursdays With The Pre-Teens might very well be my least-favourite class to teach. It makes me anxious in ways my other classes don’t. I know I’ve talked about my stress with my Monday-night class before, but those dancers are adults, and they don’t need my undivided attention for 90 minutes, so while I do fret about whether I’m giving each dancer the same amount of feedback and attention, I know that they’re capable of working on their own too without my watchful eye looming over them. And while my babies can be a handful, they’re so keen and totally unaffected by any sort of drama or stress that it’s hard not to leave class with a beaming smile. Every milestone, no matter how minute, is akin to climbing Mount Everest with them. “Wow! You found your feet! That’s so AWESOME! I can’t believe you found your feet! Way to go! Way to grab hold of those feet!”

I guess my biggest issue with the Pre-Teens is that I’m juggling, I think somewhat unsuccessfully, a whole lot of levels and ages, and it’s trickier than with an adult class, where I can take someone aside to work with them individually without having to worry about keeping the others occupied (‘cause you know they’ll be climbing the cabinets or building towers out of stacking chairs or trying to fit four skirts around their heads like veils). One dancer in particular is at the age where she’s perpetually morose, a pint-sized Daria, and every criticism, comment, or suggestion is met with a look of disdain. It’s gotten to the point where I’m not convinced she wants to dance at all, but then there are moments when she’s totally on, like yesterday when she danced her Flora with more passion and strength and energy than I’ve seen from her all year, that make me wonder whether it’s just me that’s not doing enough to keep her mind and heart in it. And on that note, yesterday one of the moms told me she was pulling her daughter from the class, and although she assured me it had nothing to do with me and everything to do with scheduling conflicts, I couldn’t help but take it personally. Her daughter, although not as advanced as her classmates, continued to surprise me with her hard work and dedication and the ease with which she committed new material to memory, and I’m truly sorry to see her go, sigh.

Moving on.

Five of my seven adult dancers now know their choreography in full, and six of the seven came to class yesterday to start working on staging. I’m really pleased with how well they work together and how dedicated they’ve been, and I have to admit seeing my choreography come to life is REALLY exciting. They’ve been really great at indulging my every whims too.

Came home afterwards to a home cooked meal courtesy of the Boy. He made tilapia with steamed veggies and strawberry-rhubarb pie (storebought) and even set the table with proper silverware and candles and everything. Afterwards we celebrated our anniversary by watching Sweet Genius on the Food Network and setting up a wedding registry over at Etsy because that’s what hipsters do. And then he watched me dutifully write out my flashcards as well as a list of questions I want to ask my teacher when I see her tomorrow.

Things to do tonight:
--purchase enough groceries to get us through the weekend (a house is not a home unless there is peanut butter);
--wash a load of laundry (desperately needed!);
--buy a friend I haven't seen in ages a birthday gift;
--attend a social outing; and
--make an appetizer or desert for a party tomorrow.

Not feeling stressed AT ALL about the coming days. Let's hope I can keep it that way, shall we?
re: diary of a sparkly kid
By SeniorLadyPremium member
On Thu Jan 17, 2013 01:46 PM
Edited by SeniorLady (72324) on 2013-01-17 14:07:38
Last Thursday, I was told that one of my Thursday-night Pre-Teens would no longer be coming to my class. On Saturday, I was caught completely off guard when the mother of my keenest baby, the one who brings me drawings that say “I love you Miss SeniorLady” on them, who taught herself how to dance Pas de Basque by watching her older sister, and who practices clapping and counting in time with music while sitting in the backseat of parents’ car, has suddenly decided she doesn’t want to dance anymore. And yesterday, I learned that my perpetually morose pint-size Daria will likely not keep dancing once the new term starts. I’m seriously bummed about having potentially lost three dancers in less than a week. This entire week of dance has completely worn me out actually. Last week, I was really pleased with my dancers’ progress with their group piece, but on Monday, it looked lacklustre and not all where I’d like it to be at this point. I gave them all homework and told them I expected a clean dance by next week, so we’ll see. I started teaching this dance before Christmas, and I don’t think it's asking too much wanting them to at least know their steps by now. (Afterwards at Irish, one of my classmates jokingly said, about the choreography we’re learning in THAT class, “No one knows where we’re going because we’re all watching you to remember what comes next.” Well. Maybe everyone needs to practice then?!) And then on Tuesday, we didn’t learn a single new thing at step, which is unusual. Normally we keep a pretty steady pace of one new step each week (except for those weeks where I’m there on my own and for whatever reason learn two or three), but this week no one could get through anything -- including me. I actually did a terrible job with all of my more basic dances, which is pretty embarrassing for me (not because I think I’m brilliant at step and shouldn’t be making mistakes – it’s hardly that -- but because after a year of not being able to commit my dances to memory at all, this year I finally just GOT IT, and not being able to get through the basic or first reel again really bums me out). Afterwards, my teacher asked to see the two steps my classmate taught me that weekend, which we’ll need for a gig in April, and I did them, but apparently not to her satisfaction because she gave me a ton of corrections (this happens so infrequently that it always catches me off-guard when it does), and actually spent about ten minutes making me do the very first beat of the first step over and over again because it wasn’t how she wanted it. Then she explained the idea behind the choreo and noted that there would be one part where my classmate would be doing a step “she’s really good at” in front while my teacher and I stayed in the back doing something else, and it totally dawned on me that I’m easily the worst dancer in our little trifecta, so now I have to drill those steps EVERY SINGLE DAY so I don’t end up looking like I don’t belong. Step dancing has a way of making me feel like I should take up a different hobby. I don’t always remember my steps in Irish, but I’m pretty confident I never look out of place, and I know Highland so well that I rarely have days where I feel like I didn’t at least accomplish something, no matter how small and seemingly insignificant. But step dance is a bully.

(I know, I know. We all suck at the beginning, right? But it’s kind of no secret that I’m not a very patient person when it comes to getting results.)

In other life news, I bought a wedding dress, and it’s sassy and fabulous and totally me. So it’s not all a pity party for me this week. And this weekend should be a good one, so I can look forward to that.

After I practice, of course.
re: diary of a sparkly kid
By SeniorLadyPremium member
On Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:27 PM
I haven't updated in a while, and I'm not super motivated to do so right now either. I'm actually not super motivated to do anything -- I'm kind of a sad sack these days. I can't really explain it. It's just that I'm not really deriving a whole lot of pleasure out of life. A lot of changes are imminent at my dance school, and that worries me some. My present teacher is the reason why I am where I am today. She's the one that supported me from the beginning, pushed me to work harder, and saw something in me that others didn't. I'm not sure I want to be taught by anyone else. I've been looking for a way to decrease the number of classes I take, to enter fewer competitions (or none at all), to try other things. Highland might be seeing a lot less of this SeniorLady. And I've been absentmindedly looking at job ads because it's becoming clearer every day that I can't go on doing mine. I just don't know where I'd go if I left. The economy's not great, and there aren't many openings. I don't think I'm brave enough to leave the public service altogether because it offers a job security that the private sector doesn't. I'm not brave enough for a lot of things it seems.

I don't want to end on a sad note, though, so here are a few things I'm happy about:
--one of my adult students won a trophy this weekend at only her second novice competition;
--I made delicious cookies with chocolate chips and hints of ginger, nutmeg, vanilla, and cardamom, and they are just divine;
--I'm watching Cold Case while wrapped in an electric blanket and wearing flannel socks; and
--the Boy and I ordered $50 worth of Chinese takeout, which we are expecting in a big box any minute now (this is how gluttons eat).
re: diary of a sparkly kid
By SeniorLadyPremium member
On Tue Feb 26, 2013 04:18 PM
A lot has happened since I last updated, and that seems to be a common theme with the sparkly kid diary this year. It’s not that I don’t have anything to write about – on the contrary, I have SO MUCH to write about that I don’t know where to start! I don’t have time to even consider where to start, which is the bigger issue. I signed on to perform a brief (very, very, very brief) dance number in a campy musical that’s being put on in my city, and I’m excited, of course, because everything’s better with song and dance, but our rehearsal schedule is intense, and while it hasn’t started yet, it’s already proven problematic. I have to miss five weeks of Monday-night Irish and six weeks of Wednesday-night Irish. I have to find a sub for one of my Monday-night Highland classes and subs for a whole month of Thursday and Saturday Highland classes. This makes me uneasy because the show dates coincide with the last week of classes before Highland exams. I’m weary of leaving my dancers in the hands of another teacher at such a crucial time, although most of them are sufficiently prepared already and could take -- and pass -- their exams tomorrow. Of course, the knowledge that I’m about to have so little free time didn’t deter me from auditioning for a second production: a cool performance art piece that’s going to take place this summer. The audition process was exciting, and it had me momentarily feeling like a professional dancer. The producers assured us that they’ve never turned anyone away before (the idea is a gathering of amateur dancers from varied backgrounds and all walks of life), but I’m not convinced I won’t be the first one they don’t accept. Contemporary dance is not my friend. If I do end up being selected, however, it will mean even less free time, and I’m not totally sure yet how I’m going to deal with that. Luckily, the Boy has joined a third band, so he’s out most evenings too, and neither one of us has to feel bad about ignoring the other, but still.

He and I are making progress on the wedding front. We ordered his kilt last week, and he’s working with a local shop to arrange a fitting for himself, my father, and our one solitary usher for Prince Charlie jackets, shirts, hose, sporrans, and ghillie brogues. We also ordered extra tartan material for a sash for me, possible accessories for my bridesmaids and maid of honour, and potentially some sort of headpiece. I’m leaning towards a sparkly fascinator in lieu of a veil or a tiara, but I don’t know yet. The Boy’s parents want to throw a small gathering the night before the wedding, so that out-of-town guests will have a chance to meet and mingle before the big day. This event is scheduled to take place immediately following the rehearsal dinner, which I think is a lovely idea. Guests can come for a few hours, enjoy drinks and pub fare (on the house), and get to know each other before the wedding. This weekend, we visited a few pubs, and they’ve found one they like. It’s not my first choice, which they hated because they couldn’t get a sense of it (the windows were covered with garbage bags to block out light since they were showing a rugby game when we stopped by). I’m not opposed to the venue they’ve selected, but I’m going to keep pushing for the other one. One thought I had, since the venue we chose for our wedding and reception is so small, was that I could invite my dancers to perform at this meet and greet the night before. The Boy’s parents, I think, are envisioning a classy affair, but I’m picture more of a ceilidh: people drinking Guinness, sampling a platter of various deep fried pub delicacies, ha, Celtic music in the background, some impromptu dancing and live music. There are certainly enough performers being invited, and it would solve my small dilemma of not knowing how to include my dance school, which is my second home, in a ceremony or reception that simply won’t have the space to accommodate it.

In other life news, I feel like a 97-year-old woman. My left hip is acting up, and so is my left knee (likely related). I have a weird pain on the top of my left foot (likely NOT related), and a weird pain on the BOTTOM of my left foot (also not related). And then my usual pains, you know, the shins and the arches and the brain. Definitely the brain, yes.
re: diary of a sparkly kid
By SeniorLadyPremium member
On Thu Feb 28, 2013 09:50 PM
A positive note to counteract all the recent negative ones:

--being one of the few people whose commute was not affected by yesterday’s snowpocalypse (yes, those are commuters helping push their bus out of a snowbank);
--having freshly-cleaned laundry after days of scavenging for work-appropriate outfits in my closet and drawers;
--baking three dozen chewy chocolate cookies with chocolate chips, chocolate-covered pretzels, and mini peanut butter cups inside;
--finally knowing all 21 steps of the jig well enough to dance them to music that’s slightly faster than snail speed without any obvious mistakes;
--getting to dance in the big kid step class from now on;
--working with various event organisers to book lots of fun gigs for the performance group I’m co-director of (like a 10k kilt run in New York City and a street carnival in Ireland);
--that video of Taylor Swift’s I Knew You Were Trouble dubbed by goats; and
--a giant mug of lemony tea to get me through the last 30 minutes of my work day.
re: diary of a sparkly kid
By SeniorLadyPremium member
On Wed Mar 13, 2013 04:35 AM
It's past midnight, and I should be in bed, but I'm not. I've been feeling sick and just had a nap so now am wide awake. That's a problem because I have to be up for work in less than an six hours (at which point I'll also have to accomplish all the other things I neglected to do in favour of the aforementioned nap; important grown up things like pay bills, make my lunch, and hunt down matching socks and a clean top for tomorrow night's rehearsal). Granted, I could do all of those things now, but I won't. I'm awesome like that. Instead, here's another quick update of mostly positive stuff. Maybe in writing it I'll tire myself out.

--it's nearly St Patrick's Day, and my friends and I have lots of cool gigs lined up for the weekend that I'm really looking forward to;
--I survived my first big kid step class mostly because that class is learning a dance I already know the first ten steps of, but the same thing can't be said about my poor shoes, which I'm evidently going to have to replace before this weekend's shenanigans despite my steadfast refusal to spend money on new dancewear;
--these two fling steps (I like the leap and entrechat -- sneaky);
--the tartan I ordered for my wedding dress and bridesmaids accessories showed up in the mail, and it looks fantastic; and
--I made my own tagalongs.
re: diary of a sparkly kid
By SeniorLadyPremium member
On Tue Apr 30, 2013 08:15 PM
Woah, long time no see, Faithful Reader. I'm a slacker, it's true. I've been so busy doing things I just haven't had a chance to write about them. Since my last update, I had my big musical debut in a production of Gilbert & Sullivan's HMS Pinafore in which I played a showgirl; it's kind of no secret that I wish my life were a musical, and I enjoyed the entire process tremendously (yes, even the long hours of waiting around for my fewer-than-five minutes on stage). I'm genuinely bummed that the run wasn't longer -- I'd gotten used to the routine of heading to the theatre, eating dinner in the green room, having my hair and make up done, and warming up in the hall during intermission. It was a new and completely different experience for me, and I'm really glad I had the opportunity to be a part of it. Unfortunately, I'm not sure how many of Gilbert & Sullivan's musicals have room for step dancers in them, so this may have very well been my one and only, ha.

Because I'm all about new experiences lately, I'm also taking part in another cool production that'll be happening in my city this summer: a performance that'll bring together nearly 120 dancers and non-dancers alike for a 30-minute choreography that we're going to perform in the streets. I'm really excited about this one both because the choreo is such a departure for me and because I think the idea is wonderful. The choreo is simple enough that anyone can learn it and diverse enough to be interesting to an audience, and I really like the idea of bringing together people from all backgrounds and with varied levels of experience (from very little or none at all to professionals). I wish I could be both a participant and an observer when it comes time to perform it.

All these new things mean I have a lot less time for the usual suspects -- Irish, Highland, and step dance. Although I'm still teaching Highland, albeit somewhat sporadically, I've only been to one class since my last competition in February, and until this weekend, I really hadn't missed it at all. (This weekend, our school hosted its annual dance exams, and because the majority of my students are adults and require very little coaching, I really didn't have a job, per se, throughout the weekend -- watching everyone get ready to dance made me wish I was taking exams too. Teaching exams are so final! I can never take another amateur exam again, not even one that's for a different branch. The only thing I CAN do is take another teaching exam... This morning I threw a study guide in my purse, you know, for good measure?)

I haven't been to Irish either, save for one or two classes before the run of Pinafore. I have been dutifully practicing my hornpipe however, though I'm pretty sure I have some sort of left foot deficiency because I legitimately (for serious!) understand the timing and can do it on my right foot, but my left foot is all, like, LOL NOPE and then proceeds to just detach itself from my body and do whatever it feels like. I'm not sure that my teacher will accept "left leg not receiving signals from brain" as an excuse, though I'm pretty sure that's true. Right now, that leg is just dangling stupidly off the couch, probably planning the next time it's going to not do what it's supposed to.

Step dance is the only class I've managed to keep up with, though the timing of the big kid class didn't work out, and I genuinely like it. I don't know if it's my Irish teacher beating things into me, or if I'm finally just getting good at something, but I can hear rhythms much better now than when I first started, and I can tell when I'm missing even beat, which is saying a lot. I can also pick up new steps, if they're fairly simple, just by watching, whereas before everything looked the same (confusing and indecipherable). We're working on a clog/jig/reel routine that has a lot of interesting rhythms and really cool steps and that I think I'm pretty good at.

Except for my left foot.
re: diary of a sparkly kid
By SeniorLadyPremium member
On Mon May 13, 2013 09:54 PM
Edited by SeniorLady (72324) on 2013-05-13 21:55:38
Everything hurts, Faithful Reader, and the pain in my hips, knees, and feet is equal only to the unrelenting throbbing pain in my head that's plagued me for two days. I blame our manic weather, gusting winds that scattered trash all over our parking lot and toppled a fence onto a minivan, and inactivity, sort of: my body grows accustomed to routine, and I'm a firm believe that routine is what keeps it in check. When my life gets derailed, even slightly, it's like an open invitation for opportunistic germs and all of their assorted aches and pains to take up residence. I desperately need a day off, but my apartment building is undergoing renovations, which means drills and chainsaws and general disruptions ALL DAY LONG, and that's not conducive to sleep. I can't take a day off anyway, not when I've got this thirty-minute choreo to commit to memory before the upcoming dance festival, which is now approximately one month away. And not when I have to choreograph and teach dances to my students and my classmates for upcoming concerts and recitals. And not when I need to go, go, go all the time if I want to get things accomplished.

Except tonight. Tonight I'm watching E! Talk and reading Go Fug Yourself. Tonight I'm thinking about a friend's wedding, what I'll wear, and what gift I'll bring. Tonight I'm rocking out my pajamas and electric blanket. I can worry tomorrow.
re: diary of a sparkly kid
By SeniorLadyPremium member
On Thu May 16, 2013 02:55 PM
Edited by SeniorLady (72324) on 2013-05-16 14:56:31
Edited by SeniorLady (72324) on 2013-05-16 14:57:16 sorry, internets! I will never write entries in Word before publishing them here again.
It’s just dawned on me, Faithful Reader, than I’m getting married a little over two months from now. That’s such a responsible adult thing to do, isn’t it? There’s no turning back now either; the venue is booked; the dress has been purchased; the guests have been invited. Not that I’m having second thoughts at all -- it’s just really weird, picturing us taking this traditional, almost rite-of-passage step, when we’re not at all your typical conventional couple. Everyone else seems way more preoccupied with wedding preparations than I am. I’m getting ready the best way I know how: by making a list, checking it twice, and maybe having a bowl or two of ice cream in between. I found an online checklist that provides items and tasks that are typical for most weddings -- some are practical (must not forget to apply for wedding licence); some I wasn’t expecting (do the Boy and I really need to buy gifts for each other and our wedding party and our parents?); and some have me completely flabbergasted (escort cards? table runners? signature cocktails?) But I’m slowly checking most things off (or, in some cases, scratching them off entirely -- ain’t nobody got time for that). The Boy and I are working with our officiant to plan a short but unique ceremony, which will include a couple of readings by our families and friends (one in English, one in French, and one in Gaelic, ‘cause we’re cool like that), and some tunes on the fiddle and the small pipes. I’m told we need a receiving line, so that’ll happen outside in the courtyard immediately following the ceremony. Then we’ll be whisked off for pictures while our guests enjoy cocktail hour, and then we’ll have dinner and the reception. Any hardcore partiers can sneak down to a neighbouring pub afterwards. According to wedding etiquette, it’s customary for the newlywed couple to host a brunch the following morning where family and friends can watch them open gifts; I think this is a totally bizarre idea, and I hated watching my friends unwrap their gifts and add up all the cash they were given. I just think it’s tacky to make your guests sit around and politely watch while you open up your new toaster oven or your third set of matching dish towels. I do love brunch, however, so I’ve been scouting for places that will accommodate a large group of people on a Sunday morning. Next on my list is making centrepieces, and that will involve trips to Michael’s and the Dollar Store. I’m obviously a class act.

In dance news, this year, unlike past years, I’m only dancing in one recital! Well, one-and-a-bit, I should say, because I’ll have to be on stage with my primaries as they do their dance, but my schedule has been such that I really haven’t been able to make it to Highland at all since February, and I won’t be attending another class until mid-June at the earliest, which gives me no time to learn the senior choreo. So this year I’m just going to watch. I didn’t dance in the recital for my Wednesday-night Irish class either because I’d missed too many classes, and I wasn’t even able to watch that one since I had to be in Montreal for a competition. I do get to dance at the step recital, however, and because my teacher encourages all manners of the ridiculous, I’m going to wear a sparkly skirt and end everything with jazz hands. And just to avoid feeling like this is too few recitals, I’m also going to watch my friend in hers. In being dancing/sorta dancing at a couple of recitals and being a spectator at others, I also have to commit to memory the choreography for this cool production that I’m involved in; so far, the choreo hasn’t proven too difficult to retain, although it’s certainly different from what I’m used, but there’s a lot of it, and we haven’t started stringing anything together yet. Instead, we’re learning the dance one section at a time in no particular order. This is has me somewhat worried because my brain works in a very sequential way. I need to keep order in my brain. Here’s a short list, actually, of what’s clouding my brain right now: the aforementioned 30-minute choreo, the recital dance I’m currently putting together for my primaries, the recital dance my adults are doing (which I immediately forgot once they finished competing it in February), the itty bitty 8-bar Highland choreo I have to dance in the step recital, the piece my friend and I are putting together for summer performances in Scotland, and all of the traditional steps and dances I feel like I’ve been neglecting. On Saturday, I’ll be dancing the Seann Triubhas at a friend’s wedding, so I’d better get on that. That’s the one with the pants, right?
re: diary of a sparkly kid
By SeniorLadyPremium member
On Thu May 23, 2013 06:08 AM
Today's schedule:
--work from 7am to 3pm;
--volunteer to help tape flooring for a production I'm in from 3pm to 6pm (we need to mark 120 equidistant spots on the floor);
--teach my disinterested pre-teens from 6pm to 7pm; and
--rehearse from 7pm to 9pm.

Tomorrow's schedule:
--work from 9am to 5pm;
--scour the city for cute twine and tiny plastic spoons to decorate 36 mason jars for a bake sale this weekend; and
--review as many choreographies as my brain can handle.

Saturday's schedule:
--garage/bake sale from 6:15am to 8:15am;
--teachers' meeting from 8:30am to 9:00am;
--teaching from 9:00am to 11:45am;
--garage/bake sale from noon to 2:30pm;
--cheering for all the friends running various races; and
--copious amounts of beers.

Sunday's schedule:
--sleep for an undeterminate length of time;
--rehearse from 2pm-4pm;
--attend a workshop from 4pm to 5:30pm;
--rehearse again from 5:30pm to 8:30pm; and
--call it a day.

No amount of coffee can explain this kind of tired.
re: diary of a sparkly kid
By SeniorLadyPremium member
On Mon Jun 10, 2013 09:50 AM
Edited by SeniorLady (72324) on 2013-06-10 09:51:35
This weekend totally did me in. It’s funny how our bodies respond to stress and increased responsibility; mine is kind of unpredictable in that some days I can TACKLE ALL THE THINGS like a boss and be totally energised by it while others have me in bed at 7pm after a busy weekend. This was one of those weekends -- it started off on a bad note anyway ‘cause I had absolutely no desire for it to even happen in the first place. I was late to my teachers’ meeting because the Boy forgot to set his alarm, so I had to rush out of my house like a ninja, which is not my preferred way to start a Saturday morning. I taught my primary class and then had to sneak away to a rehearsal for my step dance recital, which I expected would take no more than 15 minutes, ‘cause that’s literally all the time I had, but it ended up taking nearly an hour. Luckily, I had asked one of the other teachers to start my adult class for me, and she ended up having to teach most of it; in fact, the only reason she didn’t teach it in its entirety is because we cut it short due to low attendance (she only had one student). I felt bad for having cornered her and more or less forced her to take over my class, and having to sit around the rehearsal without actually rehearsing anything for the longest time made me angry and anxious. I love my step dancing teacher, but she’s my total opposite -- she’s so easygoing it sometimes stresses me out. I always want to follow her around with a day planner and sticky notes.

After the rehearsal, we had the first of three performances, and I was actually super pleased with how well it went. Unlike at last year’s performance, this year we had we had a fairly large, attentive, and appreciative audience. Everyone danced well, too; it was a genuinely enjoyable gig for everyone, I think, and that improved my mood quite a bit … but then we had to go to a festival, which is actually less of a festival and more of a glorified year end recital for a variety of folk groups in our city. It’s somewhat unfortunate, actually, because I think the event could be so much better than it is. There’s a lot of potential that’s just being poorly managed. Anyway, because I’m actually the stupidest person that ever existed, I somehow missed the memo that music had to be provided on a CD and not an iPod, which meant that when we showed up for our first set, we didn’t have any music. I was really embarrassed and apologised profusely to my dancers probably a hundred times because that was such a stupid mistake. I never want to be in that position again, having to tell my dancers that I’ve forgotten their music, and they won’t be performing. Gah. We ended up doing an a capella number for our first set, thanks to my responsible friend who is much more of a problem-solver than I am (she also saved my butt by taking my playlist home and burning it onto a CD for our second set, though the sound guy STILL yelled at me because I only brought him one CD and no backup, grr). Our second set went well, though, and I’m proud of my dancers for being flexible and understanding and nonetheless enthusiastic, sort of. We got some nice compliments including accolades from a man who runs a weekly folk dance troupe -- and from one of my step dancing classmates, a four-year-old who ran up to me at Sunday’s recital with a flurry of questions. “Do you do Highland dancing? I saw you yesterday! You’re pretty! Why is your skirt pink? Do you do step dancing? What’s a jig?” I have to say I have a soft spot for little kids who like my dancing, awwww.

On Sunday, I went for a decidedly half-assed run, ‘cause the Boy decided that running should be that cutesy, couple-y thing we do together, and consequently I’ve signed up for all these races this year in addition to the one that happened a few weeks ago. (Did I not mention that, Faithful Reader? No? Well, that’s not altogether surprising -- it’s like everyone and their moms are into running, and I can’t mention running to anyone without being immediately asked, “Oh, what’s your time?” and then being told theirs is, like, 30 minutes faster on a bad day. I just want to do one thing that isn’t a competition, you know? And I know a race is technically a competition, but it’s also not really because I have no hope of ever winning one, so it’s really just about, “am I going to make it to the finish line without my feet falling off?” So I don’t tell people. Plus I didn’t really want anyone to come watch me in case I did fall on my face and had to crawl through the finish line like 97 minutes later. I heard someone yelling “Go SeniorLady” as I was nearing the finish line, actually, and I incorrectly assumed they had just read my name on my bib and felt I looked like I was basically dying and needed encouragement, but I later learned it was actually a friend, argh. I have mixed feelings about running, but I actually really enjoyed this race: there’s something totally energising about being in a crowd of enthusiastic people. My time was, like, ten minutes faster than when I’m just “training” on my own, ‘cause I just stood behind someone and followed them the whole way, buoyed by their good mood and infectious enthusiasm.) Anyway, the Boy is really keen about the possibility of us having an activity in common, probably because so many of our couple friends are forever updating their Facebook statutes with sickening things like, “So excited to go to cooking class with hubby tonight!!!!!! Such a great fantastic amazing bonding experience that you should all be jealous about!!!! I LOVE YOU HUBBY!!!!” Well, Faithful Reader, you’re going to be super jealous of ME when I update my status in August, “Freezing ass at 8AM in Manhattan; about to run 5k on our honeymoon.” SO THERE.

Back to Sunday, though. My run was decidedly half-assed because I wasn’t feeling it right from the start, and I was looking for an excuse to stop before I’d even made it past the 0.5k mark. I made it to 4k before a legitimate excuse came up: geese. A whole lot of them. Now some people aren’t afraid to just run through a gaggle of geese, but I’m terrified of them, and I actually can’t imagine anything worse than running through a gaggle of those bitches. Like, what if they think that by running I’m actually chasing them? And then they start chasing ME? I would seriously freak out. So I had to detour around them, all alert and ninja-like, at which point I realised I was near a coffee shop and felt I should reward having left my house with a latte. Then I bussed home, showered, packed my dance bag for my step recital, and wrestled a cooler filled with soft drinks out the door and into my friend’s car. The recital was nice, albeit long, but I do appreciate that my teacher gives everyone equal opportunity to showcase what they’ve been working on during the year even if it means that the audience has to sit through the same three dances for two hours. Plus I got to dance my 21-step jig with seannetta, which we’ve all established is basically the only reason I started step dancing in the first place. Well, that and the jazz hands.

Now it’s Monday, and I’m exhausted. I haven’t accomplished any grown up chores, and I have the following going on this week: teaching and a 90-minute rehearsal tonight; teaching and a 2-hour rehearsal tomorrow; dress fitting then class on Wednesday if I can muster up the energy to attend (or nap time if I can’t); teaching and a 2-hour rehearsal on Thursday; wedding planning meeting and a bridal shower Friday; teaching, a rehearsal, a performance, a dance competition, a fitness competition, and a social event on Saturday; and two performances on Sunday. No big deal, just your average week, argh.
re: diary of a sparkly kid
By imadanseurPremium member
On Tue Sep 03, 2013 05:42 PM
Hope I worked my magic and you can post on your diary now. =)
re: diary of a sparkly kid
By SeniorLadyPremium member
On Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:18 AM
Labour day weekend has come and gone and so too with it the end of summer. Before long, it will be all J. Crew cardigans, pumpkin spice lattes, an assortment of 5k races I haven’t properly trained for -- and dance. My dance schedule for the fall is significantly less overwhelming than it has been in the past, primarily because I want to avoid feeling like I’ve taken on too much and becoming burned out. A few of my friends have noted recently that I’ve seemed much more stressed out than usual, and I consider that a very bad sign, so this year, I’ve limited my dancing obligations to three nights a week -- and no plans on weekends! Mondays will be for teaching Highland and taking Irish; Tuesdays will be for Highland and step; and Thursdays will be for teaching Highland and theory. Seems pretty straightforward, right? And it leaves me lots of time for other things, like the aforementioned races I’ve signed up for, one each in September, October, and November. I don’t quite know when I became a runner, but somewhere along the way, amidst the shin splints and the boring pathways and the bloodthirsty geese, I decided I didn’t hate it. It’s the perfect activity for the introvert: you don’t have to talk to anyone! (The Boy is really keen too; he did his first race in Manhattan this summer, and he loved it. He loved it so much that I don’t have the heart to ask him to please not run beside me, and also could he maybe not talk at all?!) ANYWAY, not necessarily living at the studio also means more free time for staying up all night for cool dusk-until-dawn celebrations of local art and culture and learning how to knit, possibly even ON THE SAME WEEKEND. That’s crazy, I know. Better stop me now before I do something really insane, like attend a concert that doesn’t even start until 11pm. ON A SCHOOL NIGHT. (LOL joke I would never do that.)

A lot has happened since I last updated, and while I know that’s been a regular theme for my sparkly diary this year, in this case it’s actually true: a lot HAS happened. In fact, it’s been so long that I needed a mod to unlock my dear dumb diary for me. I got married, which obviously is the biggest thing that’s happened, and the wedding went well; I was worried, I admit, because we did a lot of the planning and preparation ourselves, and we had this idea in mind of what we hoped our wedding day would be, and there were some anxieties about whether it would turn out as we wanted it to. And living it was a surreal experience, much in the same way that any other event I’ve planned feels surreal -- you do all this work leading up to it, and then it happens, and then it’s over. For two weeks following our wedding, I had to look at pictures to remind myself that it had actually happened. It was really great though, and I’m super pleased with how well all the little details came together. The venue was perfect, with a great atmosphere reminiscent of a castle in Ireland (which we did not intend for at all, but which fit in perfectly with everything else). The food was amazing (we even had a late-night poutine bar). And the little things: soda bread favours, a cool cake with the Irish flag inside, a bodhran centrepiece, tables named after places in Ireland (that were also set dances), and the Highland fling as a first dance. And incredible company too -- only our closest friends and family as guests and the most amazing and incredible wedding party we could have ever hoped for.

The other big monumental thing that happened this summer is that my dancers and I traveled to Scotland to visit, compete, and perform -- including a performance at Balmoral Castle for her Majesty the Queen. The trip was a lot of work; besides doing the choreography for our various pieces and scheduling and running rehearsals/sessions on protocol/costume talks, etc., my friend and I also coordinated performances IN Scotland, ran around putting playlists together and getting sound gear, acted as peacekeepers between the various groups and the go-to persons whenever something was unclear. In some ways, it wasn’t really a vacation in the truest sense of the word: I only ever felt rested during the three-day trip we took to Ireland where I had no obligations. But the trip had a purpose -- the performance at Balmoral -- and I’m really pleased with how it turned out. I’m proud of how hard my dancers worked leading up to this trip and how professional they were throughout. It makes me really happy to be part of such a talented, hardworking, and dynamic group. I’m really excited to see what next year will bring.
re: diary of a sparkly kid
By SeniorLadyPremium member
On Sun Sep 15, 2013 07:15 PM
Things I have accomplished by not being at dance:
--Two loads of laundry (colours AND whites, which otherwise never happens);
--A small mountain of dishes that was obscuring my view of my kitchen counters;
--Two homecooked meals eaten like a proper adult at my kitchen table;
--Two more homecooked meals prepared for weekday lunches and dinners;
--Grocery shopping at an hour where a variety of produce still remained (I bought a pitaya and some kumquats; I don't know what to do with either, but I don't care because I HAD OPTIONS);
--A trip to the bookstore for "one quick household item" that turned into a $100 book-buying spree;
--A 6.18K run that was a first for me, 'cause I'm lazy and don't typically like to use my legs for anything other than 5K, but YOLO;
--A Pinterest frenzy of recipe-searching and pinning that quickly morphed into my usual trolling for tattoos and piercings that I would get if I wasn't afraid of needles and wasn't prone to regretsies;
--Two separate social outings (with the Boy on Friday and with the Boy, my fierce friend K, her Boy, and another friend on Saturday); and
--Sleeping in. BOTH DAYS.

I'm pretty pleased with my time-management, Faithful Reader, but part of me feels a little unsettled, like I didn't accomplish as much as I could have (or would have if dance had taken up a significant portion of my weekend and had left me with no other choice but to scramble to get things done). My SO already called me to ask if I could teach the first Saturday in October -- I already have plans with friends that day, so I can't, but that made me realise that despite my best intentions, my free days might be numbered. Am I ok with that? I don't know. I need to find that perfect balance between being bored and being overwhelmed. Just to make sure I'm on the right track, I'm going to set my alarm a little later, and I'm going to join the executive of a local dance organisation. That seems like a good start.
re: diary of a sparkly kid
By SeniorLadyPremium member
On Tue Sep 17, 2013 09:43 PM
Edited by SeniorLady (72324) on 2013-09-17 21:49:47
So I don't know what happened to the update I just wrote, but here's a video of a basset hound dressed like Sherlock Holmes running in slow motion. You're welcome.
re: diary of a sparkly kid
By SeniorLadyPremium member
On Fri Sep 27, 2013 08:03 PM
The new dance season is underway, and I’m surviving, for the most part. One of my goals for the new year is to do less -- to dance less, to volunteer less, to organise less, and to worry less. It’s not that I don’t want the school to have a role in my life; it’s simply that I want its role to be less significant. I don’t want to spend my lunch breaks drafting newsletters aided by barely-decipherable notes. I don’t want to undertake the tedious task of organising concerts when only a handful of dancers will even sign up for them (and often times only when I’ve contacted them directly and begged them to please participate, please, just this once). I don’t want to be a supply teacher who gets called into the studio for 9am only to find out that there isn’t even a class for her to teach. Those things aren’t fun for me. I do want to go to my own class and work on my dancing without feeling the pressure of competition and without being tied down to multiple classes each week. I think this is a system that’s going to work for me, eventually. But in the meantime? I’m surviving.

Last weekend, I was of course asked to come to the studio for 9am to help teach the littlest hellions, but there was only a handful of them, so I felt like I wasn’t needed; instead, I sat in the lobby at the registration table (no one registered) and organised the registration book in numerical order, took it apart, and reorganised again in alphabetical order. Then I taught a class of really delightful beginner/advanced beginner teens before going to a conditioning class taught by my fierce friend K., which turned out to be really hard work (and left the older and more broken ones among us sweaty and exhausted). The rest of my Saturday was taken up with an attempt at Irish dance that resulted in a pretty pathetic faceplant (a fall that happened not on landing a leap but immediately afterwards off two feet while standing). My foot didn’t swell or turn that awful shade of purple it has in the past when I’ve sprained it in a similar way, but it hurt enough that I spent the rest of the class not dancing at all and later that weekend had to opt out of a 5k race because it hurt too much to walk. (I didn’t think I would be too disappointed about having to miss the race, but I was; there’s just something about running alongside 10 000 others that’s kind of unparalleled -- it’s certainly nothing like my lonesome treks along the geese-filled path. I went and cheered for the Boy, who had never until that moment given me any indication that he could run fast, but he sprinted the entire distance and finished in 22:21, which is a time 10 minutes faster than my own comfortable pace, and I was momentarily mad at him for pretending to be slow and for encroaching on my hobby, making it his own, and being better at it than I am. He posted about the race on Facebook, and now his fitness-obsessed friend has taken to inviting us for runs, but the only thing worse than being a couple who does things together is being a couple who does things with other couples, so I have been politely declining all invitations. I have two races coming up in the next few weeks, though I won’t try to better the Boy’s time at either of them because doing so will leave me for dead, and I have a third race where I actually will be dead -- undead, that is. It’s a zombie run, ha.)

These are my evening plans:
--cake after work in honour of a friend’s baby’s;
--a cursory glance at the contents of my cupboards, freezer, and fridge to determine this weekend’s grocery list; and

These are my Saturday plans:
--laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping;
--brunch with friends;
--finally addressing all of our overdue thank you cards from our wedding;
--dinner for a friend’s 39th; and
--a screening of Sharknado.

These are my Sunday plans:
--go to the farmers’ market for in-season produce;
--knitting class (where a cowl is supposed to spring forth from my uncrafty hands, although I’m starting to doubt this because it took two hours for me knit six rows last week, so am I going to, like, have to finish this project at home unassisted?);
--food prep for the upcoming week;
--something related to dance (finding a place to momentarily stash my cat in order to practice leaps in my hallway OR finding a way to somehow practice my new step dance reel to get it up to speed without having to put on shoes and without hopping or getting evicted OR something related to theory like reviewing the six Flora steps or making practice questions for my diligent little student); and
re: diary of a sparkly kid
By SeniorLadyPremium member
On Mon Sep 30, 2013 09:55 PM
I totally owned this past weekend. No, really, I did. I accomplished nearly everything on my to-do list, and the only thing I didn't get to, a run to the farmers' market, was in favour of a few more hours of sleep, and I think that's totally fair, isn't it? I got my laundry done; I cleaned my house; I bought groceries; I cooked food; I wrote thank you cards; and I even went to Bed Bath & Beyond and bought loads of little things to better organise my apartment. I even had time for a couple of social outings (with friends who don't even dance if you can believe it). I don't know whether I have a knack for handling weekends like a proper person (you know, the sort that doesn't spend seven hours at the studio every Saturday?), or whether this was beginner's luck, but I'm hoping to replicate ACCOMPLISHING ALL THE THINGS next weekend. We'll see how that plays out -- I just have to get through this week first.

It's not like I don't have a lot to do dance-wise, though. I can't do my new step dance reel to music at all unless it's played at sloth speed. I only have three steps so far, but the first I always mess up on the left foot; the second has a little move in it I don't fully understand and consequently can't do; and the third has a rhythm I can't figure out. I don't quite know how to practice at home either besides marking the steps in my socks. I can't dance full out, and I certainly can't dance in shoes -- my neighbours would have me evicted. How do people in apartments ever become good at anything? I've walked through and sang and talked through everything so often I'm sure I could do all of those things in my sleep. Getting my feet to catch up though? Not so much. I similarly have no idea how to practice Irish dancing in my apartment either; I can sometimes practice leaps if I'm home during the day and don't think my crash-landings will disturb anyone, and I'm basically a pro at downloading cute hornpipes on itunes and walking through my little step, which I can pretty much consistently dance on time now, but definitely not well enough to warrant getting a more complicated step, ahem. But I seriously have no idea how to practice anything else. I've been thinking of grabbing my dance sneakers and using my apartment's little gym to practice. It wouldn't give me much more space, but at least I could jump around and not worry about management knocking on my door. The gym is kind of dodgy though, so I dunno.

On my plate this week, besides pondering where exactly I'm supposed to practice anything (tips from fellow apartment-dwellers are welcome, by the way), is choreographing a small solo for myself to be included in a trio my friends and I are working on, putting together a few more quiz questions for my theory student, and thinking about ways I can tweak my group choreography to improve it for this year's competition. And fun stuff too, like a screening of Jurassic Shark, a visit to a nearby village for Oktoberfest, shopping at a bazaar with friends, and maybe even some knitting too -- 'cause that cowl isn't going to finish itself, you know.
re: diary of a sparkly kid
By SeniorLadyPremium member
On Tue Oct 15, 2013 09:54 PM
My laptop is fickle and sensitive; sometimes I hit backspace looking to erase a sentence or two and accidentally go back a couple of pages instead. It's only annoying when I've written a lengthy journal entry that gets deleted and becomes forever lost in cyberspace, like the one I wrote a few minutes ago and which I'm too lazy to start up again, sigh. Here's the Coles Notes version instead -- all my whining in condensed form for your reading pleasure.

1) Several parts of me hurt, most notably my left hip, my right foot, and both my knees. I need a friend to nag me until I make an appointment with a PT, so nag me, Faithful Reader, ok?

2) I don't want to renege on the promise I made myself to dance less in the new year, but this weekend I taught the little hellions, and it made me realise how much I miss my little guys from last year and how I'm genuinely sad I won't see their progress this year. One of them, my littlest five-year-old, has somehow learned to use half points in her pas de basque without needing to be told. At this time last year, she couldn't find her feet, much less use them for anything. It makes me both proud and seriously bummed. My kids are all grown up! And not just the little ones either. Two of my adults are assistant teachers this year, and two more are my CLASSMATES. I don't know what's weirder: the dancer who is my classmate on Tuesdays but my student on Thursdays? Or the classmate who isn't my student at all anymore? I'm proud of all my kids, young and old, and I know that they can only benefit from having new teachers and different challenges, but I miss teaching a bunch of them. I saw one of my Thursday-night preteens this evening, and I'd forgotten her perpetually grumpy face, the one that fools people into thinking she's not actually stoked on dancing and life.

3) Being in the Big Kid step class means that I'm regularly flabbergasted when my teacher makes us dance to what I consider to be fast music (I was going to say turbo speed, but that's a special kind of fast reserved for seannetta) -- and everyone nods and agrees that it's a perfect speed to learn to. WHAT. It also means my teacher often turns to me and says, "oh, right, I've never taught you this/that/those before." Step dance makes me feel like a hippopotamus with legs like lead. How do I move them quickly so I can stop dancing like I'm stampeding through peanut butter?

4) Physio, though. Seriously, this needs to happen.
re: diary of a sparkly kid
By seannettaPremium member
On Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:07 AM
Go see my PT already! She knows dancers, and she'll kick your ass, but you'll feel somewhat grateful as you grow stronger in between bouts of collapsing into a puddle of quivering muscle on the floor.

The secret to near-turbo speed in stepdance is just kind of loosely flailing your legs and hoping they make the right sounds eventually. It's a highly refined technique.
re: diary of a sparkly kid
By SeniorLadyPremium member
On Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:43 AM
I'll make it a priority to head to the clinic to get a prescription for physio ... just not this evening. This evening there is baking to be done -- and lots of it. Our school is hosting a bake sale this weekend, and I plan to fill everyone's bellies with tasty treats. In between frosting cupcakes and sampling some homemade Oreos, I may try flailing my legs a little, and I've definitely got to start memorising some of that hornpipe theory, so maybe I'll bake, flail, and study all at once. Look at me, I'm like a multitask ninja, ha.
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