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re: Tada gan iarracht 2014
By Louisemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 17315, member since Thu Jun 06, 2002
On Thu Feb 13, 2014 09:36 AM
Ouch! Ooh I'm not sure you should ice all night, especially if it's a tendon you've damaged. My physio explained to me that tendons have a very poor blood supply so the idea is to shock it with cold, to get blood rushing to the area, then warm it up again. Get it nice and cosy, then shock it with more ice. She recommended 5 minutes on, 30 minutes off (or however long it takes for the skin to feel warm again), repeat as necessary. Of course with your schedule that might be hard :? Fingers crossed for you.
re: Tada gan iarracht 2014
By seannettaPremium member Comments: 2312, member since Fri Jul 28, 2006
On Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:16 AM
^Thank you for the advice! I have no idea if it's a ligament or what. More fodder for the PT next week, I guess, but I'll try the quick-blast icing in the meantime.
re: Tada gan iarracht 2014
By seannettaPremium member Comments: 2312, member since Fri Jul 28, 2006
On Mon Feb 17, 2014 06:10 PM
I have been largely incapable of accomplishing anything useful today, and just did the most half-assed half-clean of my apartment ever, and don't think I could slouch down any further on my couch right now and still be able to type, so it's a sure sign that this long weekend wore me out completely. I am giving myself permission to not do my laundry and not cook anything and just kind of BE for a couple of hours, until my return to work tomorrow.

There were many parts of this weekend that were enjoyable and relaxing -- going for a walk with my visiting parents, attending a beer-tasting festival, going out for dinner -- but hosting one's parents for 4 days is tiring too, no matter how pleasant the activities, and no matter how well we always get along. I didn't have any recharging "me" time, which is what I need in a weekend in order to feel ready for another busy week. I think that's why I'm rebelling against my to-do list right now.

But back to this weekend and its big dance events -- let's start with the good, which was the Saturday night ceili featuring my adult students as the entertainment. They were good! They appeared to have fun! The audience really liked it! I'm proud of them for pulling off a difficult routine, and now I'm sick of hardshoe and want to just teach them floaty softshoe dances for the rest of the year. I won't of course -- but I am crossing my fingers that they remember the solo dances we haven't worked on in months.

I have much fewer positive things to say about yesterday's competition, unfortunately. I think we danced not too badly -- it's hard to tell without seeing a video of it -- but I know that I myself was mostly worried about both of us getting the choreography right, and so paid less attention to being as sharp as I would have liked. I don't know what the 3 groups were like who were our competition, because I was too focused on my own dance to watch, but I do know that they were all from my own dance school, and that was really annoying. Not that they aren't worthy competitors -- I don't mean that at all. Just that if I wanted to compete against only my classmates, I could do that in class. I don't sign up to the big annual choreo competition to do that. It was disappointing to have no over-20 representation from other schools.

It's also disappointing to come in 4th place, when there are only 4 groups. Yep, I got a medal and everything, but it's still last, and it's embarrassing to stand in front of an audience and accept a last-place "award." I'm pretty bummed by our results. I can't say that we necessarily deserved better -- I didn't watch our competition, as I mentioned, but being my classmates I know their dancing well and know them all to be very good dancers -- but it still really sucks to work so hard since autumn to get to this one competition where we can perform this dance, and place last among my peers. In the grand scheme of things, this one competition has very little significance, but it doesn't make it feel any better at the time.

The judge's comments were unfortunately not very helpful either. Her two criticisms were aimed at two sequences right near the beginning of the dance, and even her positive comments were too. Did she not watch the other 2 minutes and 45 seconds? What did she like least about our routine, compared to the others? I do have a clue: having watched all of the competitions leading up to ours, and then watching the placements, it became clear that this judge favoured simple traditionalism. Almost all of the more "daring" (for lack of a better word) routines placed lower than the more traditional ones. I was careful in my routine to keep it Highland, but played around with movement and added some Irish and eschewed the idea that a duet has to mean two people dancing the same thing side by side, which is mostly what you see at these things. And I think I didn't come out on the judge's side by doing that. If we had more time to clean it up on a technical level, and become more sharp doing the same routine, would that have placed us higher? I have no idea, and it's of course no use to speculate about such things. These events are a weird thing where a judge has to pay attention to technique, but also balance it against the creativity and interpretation of vastly different choreographies, which is entirely subjective. I don't envy the judge's job, but it sucks to be on the unfavourable side of her judgement.

Couple positive side notes though: I felt like a kid having my parents at a dance comp with me, but I have to admit it was awfully nice hearing them say how much they enjoyed my choreo and seeing me dance. I also got a lot of nice compliments on the choreo from some people I know, and as a bonus, my mom reports that when my duet was called out as 4th place, a man standing behind my mom blurted out, "but that was my FAVOURITE!". My favourite thing is to touch an audience through dance, so if I managed that with even one person in that competition crowd, than I suppose that is small solace.

Anyway, as I mentioned before, I didn't really enjoy any part of this whole choreography-preparation process, and I didn't have any fun at the competition, and I'm disappointed in our results, so why the heck am I doing this? I'm continually compelled by my desire to be creative and take traditional dances into another realm while still being respectful to tradition, of course. It's what drives me as a dancer, that balance between pure technique and pure creativity. I'm really happy that Highland has these occasional choreo comps, 'cause perfecting my Fling is a goshdarned boring life-long procedure and I'd probably quit altogether if I didn't have this outlet and my performance group. But I don't think I want to participate in a group number again for this particular competition -- it's just too stressful for very little payoff. It'd be different if we competed it again at another choreo comp, but there's not many of those. I'm not having any fun, and dance is supposed to be fun. My day job is stressful enough as it is.

I'd consider doing a solo next year, since I can work on it in scraps of my own time. But that would seem awfully anti-social of me, wouldn't it? Anyway, I've obviously got a lot of time to see if I still feel the same next fall, so I'll leave it for now.

What next? Well, in Highland, that may have been my first and last premier-level competition. I'm just not sure I have the time, will and ambition to spend the hours and hours it would take, perfecting my technique, to even barely place. I mean, I don't want to make it sound like I have no ambition at all -- I want to continuously improve and that's why I go to class and will continue to do so. But let's be real here; I'm not getting any younger and the dance form keeps getting sharper and sharper and more and more athletic, and even with intense training it'd be awfully difficult to catch up. I may be coaxed out of retirement for one or two friendly, small comps that feature some of my fave dances (e.g. hornpipe), but that may be it for me. I've got plenty of other dance stuff to keep me busy, in Highland included.

Like my Highland exams, for example. I promised I'd start prepping for those right after this weekend, right? I will, I swear -- but I've really got to just take a wee break for a second from the stress of everything that's led to this. Once I've had a few deep breaths (and sorted out this still-occurring knee pain with my PT tomorrow morning), I'll get back on track.
re: Tada gan iarracht 2014
By seannettaPremium member Comments: 2312, member since Fri Jul 28, 2006
On Tue Feb 18, 2014 07:21 PM
OK, time to move past sad-sack-ness and decide what to focus on next. Right now I am being naughty and skipping Highland (it's so funny that, even as an adult, missing a class I paid for and voluntarily go to still feels like skipping grade 9 math or something) because I JUST DON'T WANT TO GO, OK? I might as well have stomped my foot as I made my decision to sneak out the door after stepdance, instead of staying on to torture myself with the sword dance or whatever I'm currently missing. But really I just needed a time-out for one night as I regroup.

Plus, the mobility in my left knee is somewhat limited right now, because my PT taped it up this morning. She's not entirely sure what's wrong with it, but instructed me to evaluate if the taping lessens the discomfort, try to move around as much as possible but be careful when dancing, and be sure to roll on my foam roller every single night -- quads, hamstrings, IT band, calves, and feet. Sigh, it's so boring, and also painful, which is the worst combination of outcomes to inspire me to do anything. But I'll do as I'm told. If it doesn't improve, I have to book an extra PT session next week where I won't exercise but rather just have my knee manipulated.

When I came home early, I made myself a promise that I'd still do dance-related tasks once here. And I am. My stepdance teacher wants me to find a song I like, a song for her to choreograph something for me. So I'm currently browsing my vast catalogue of Celtic-flavoured music and currently hating everything, of course.

I will also, I promise, get up and practice all my Irish dances once, so I'm not so pathetic when I return to class on Thursday.

Finally, I need to start getting organized for my Highland exams in May. First, I need to actually know my steps. So I'm devoting the rest of this post to seeing where I'm at, knowledge and comfort wise.

For all of the below, assume I'm currently terrible at dancing all of this stuff, because I haven't paid attention to any of it seriously in a few months. So if I say a step's OK, it's more that I'm very comfortable with it but there's plenty of room for technical improvement.

FLING
--Intro: normal
--1: First Shedding (OK)
--2: First Backstepping (OK, but backsteps aren't great)
--7: Shake & Turn (too much turning, too much shaking -- this needs a lot of work)
--5: Second Backstepping (the back-front isn't great, my holds are pretty good, the backsteps are awful by this point because my stamina drops by the 4th step)
--6 alt: Crossover with extension & travel (not comfortable yet)
--8 alt: Last Shedding w/ one turn (OK)

SWORD
--Intro: 6c bow w/ rise
--1: Addressing the Swords (OK)
--5: Diagonal Points (haven't done it in a while, but I actually think this step is not bad)
--7: Open Pas de Basque QT (OK)
--8: Crossing and Pointing QT (OK, but cannot do half-points in second to save my life and stamina is terrible terrible awful by the second quicktime)

SEAN TRIUBHAS
--Intro: my choice
--1: Brushing (OK, except the pattern is weird in order to finish on R, and now I totally forget the pattern, but it might be something like R R R R L L R R L R L R)
--2: Side Travel (OK)
--7: High Cut in Front & Balance (OK, but I always do HBBB for some reason instead of a HC)
--9: Double Highcutting (EVIL! EVIL! This will never look good on me in a million years and only super mega champion dancers can pull this step off, and I want to cry every time I have to practice it)
--12: Pointing and Backstepping (OK)
--14: Heel and Toe Shedding & Backstepping (OK, but have to remember the finish has no leap, but rather two turns, which is weird)

STRATHSPEY & REEL
--Intro: pivot and point (can't remember exact counts -- think it's pivot on 5 and point on 6 or something like that)
--Strathspey movement: end with two leaps, and has to be L-R (this is going to take practice -- not comfortable yet)
--S3: Toe and Heel (OK -- but I think the foot has to come round to 3rd A after finishing the fling turn, and that I need to drill)
--S7 alt: Double Shake and Rock (OK)
--Reel movement: with extension (gah!)
--R4: Brushing (OK)
--R last: highcutting (OK, but the pattern has to have a grab bag of movements, and once I again I forget the pattern, but it's something like HC HC back-front-out, HC HC back-front-out, HC-out-HC, HC-out-HC, HC HC HC HC or thereabouts)

LADDIE
--1: Half-turn, HC in Front (OK)
--4: Hop Heel Travel (OK)
--5: Brush to 2nd (awkward as hell, but I get it)
--6: Balance, Round the Leg (OK)

BLUE BONNETS
--1: Skip Change (OK)
--2: Backward Skip (super awkward bourres)
--3: Assemble & Backward Skip (often turn the wrong way; needs drilling)
--6: Assemble/Disassemble (OK)

VILLAGE MAID
--1: Hop & Travel (OK, but the extension is super awkward)
--2: Russian Bourre (OK)
--3: 2nd Hop & Travel (OK)
--6: Diamond (OK)
**Note: didn't I do these exact same steps last year? Whatever, I guess.

JIG
--Intro: 4 skips back
--1: Circle (OK)
--2: Shuffling (OK)
--4b: Chase method B (needs arms, keep forgetting direction)
--7: Donnybrook (needs arms, not comfortable yet)
--F2: Triple shuffle (needs finesse; boring step; also needs arms)
--F3: Heel Travel (OK)

HORNPIPE
--Intro: alt intro with break (I don't really remember what this is, but I have a vague idea)
--1: Circle (OK)
--2:Shuffle Over the Buckle (I am seriously awesome at this step)
--5: Scissors (haven't learned this yet)
--7: Look Out (haven't learned this yet)
--12: Rocking (I am also seriously awesome at this step)
--Highcutting (OK)

So. Lots of work. Where to begin? Not sure yet. Regular goals to hopefully commence shortly.
re: Tada gan iarracht 2014
By seannettaPremium member Comments: 2312, member since Fri Jul 28, 2006
On Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:02 AM
Just a quick note to keep me on track for tonight, my "night off" (by the time I get home and cook dinner, it's a grand total of 2 hours to spare if I want to get to bed at a decent hour, but better than nothing I guess.)

Tonight I want to:
--practice all my Irish dances at least once
--do my physio exercises
--start thinking about arms for my Highland jig steps
--narrow down the piece of music I want to use for a stepdance solo
re: Tada gan iarracht 2014
By SeniorLadyPremium member Comments: 8103, member since Sun Aug 24, 2003
On Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:20 AM
Edited by SeniorLady (72324) on 2014-02-19 10:21:19
...and now I'm sick of hardshoe and want to just teach them floaty softshoe dances for the rest of the year.

Where do I sign up for this?

I think nearly everyone in class does the following pattern for ST brushes in the first step: R R L L R R R R L L R R. I think I'm the only who does the 4-2-1 sequence you mentioned below -- I wanted to be different!

The pattern for the reel is L R RTL(L) L R L RTL(R) R L L R R L R L R. That's essentially what you wrote except it's not back-front-out, it's back-front-highcut.
re: Tada gan iarracht 2014
By newsockspookymember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 270, member since Sun Jan 09, 2005
On Wed Feb 19, 2014 04:36 PM
Music- come with me now by kongos. Maybe not your style but super fun alt-rock-countryish with a bit if zydeco accordion. And it sounds like a good tune to play around with :)
re: Tada gan iarracht 2014
By seannettaPremium member Comments: 2312, member since Fri Jul 28, 2006
On Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:26 AM
^Thanks, that's a fun one! I should definitely be thinking more Celtic-pop or folk-pop than straight up traditional; the more contemporary stuff lends itself well to stepdance. So far two of my favourite songs, though, have time signatures that I can't figure out and that are probably too slow to work anyhow ("Galway Girl" by Steve Earl and "I Know My Love" by the Corrs with the Chieftains, in case you're wondering).

Anyway...You know what's almost worse than being sick? Being sort-of-sick. I mean, not that I'm wishing I was feeling awful in bed right now. But being mostly functional means I have to be at work, and I look fine to any outside observers, but I don't feel great at all -- tired, every bone aching, sore throat, slight nausea...I'm pretty spacey right now and am just hoping I make it through the day without any major mistakes. In general, though, my body has been pretty good at fighting off viruses this year, so I'm hoping this passes without any major setbacks.

This onset of general malaise, though, meant I was pretty zonked last night, especially after an intense workday and not getting home till well after 7:30. I cooked dinner, did some work for the board of directors I'm on, and then pretty much had to call it a day after that. Even after a solid 7 hours of sleep, I felt like a nap by 10am today. So I think it'll be straight to bed for me after work today -- no Irish AGAIN, sigh. Poor Irish, always getting neglected by me when things get busy or overwhelming. I'm forever running to catch up with my teenaged classmates.

Providing I don't get any worse over the next few days, my general goals for the weekend are as follows:
--RUN! FINALLY RUN!
--Make a final decision on my stepdance solo song
--Practice Irish dances
--Review each Highland exam dance at least once, and start to brainstorm ideas for jig arms
--Start to make national theory exam study cards
--Practice my newer stepdance swing steps
--Use my foam roller every day
--Do physio exercises at least once
--Start to find my more gigs for my performance group for St Paddy's weekend
re: Tada gan iarracht 2014
By newsockspookymember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 270, member since Sun Jan 09, 2005
On Fri Feb 21, 2014 04:30 PM
The version of 'I know my love' by the Corrs and the Chieftains' seems to be mostly 9/8 timing... Not really a tappy number...
re: Tada gan iarracht 2014
By seannettaPremium member Comments: 2312, member since Fri Jul 28, 2006
On Sun Feb 23, 2014 07:26 PM
It's like my immune system is only working part-time these days or something, sending only the bare minimum of white cells necessary to keep just the worst symptoms of this vague virus away. I am left with this tiresome feeling of, well, tiredness -- today, eating brunch in a cafe in between dance classes, I suddenly felt overwhelmed by the task of eating my food, like it would take more energy then that food could provide. I also felt woozy, like I needed to nap immediately. This, after getting 10 hours of sleep on Friday night and 8 on Saturday. I also have one swollen neck gland, a sore throat that's been lingering since Wednesday, and that entire-body ache that often accompanies the flu.

It's super annoying, to be relatively functional but extremely low energy. And maybe it was my annoyance that spurred me to get even more done this weekend; I am not sure. But for whatever reason, I was gunning to complete my to-do list, and I mostly succeeded. (It may have helped that I devised a game with my friend wherein we send each other our to-do lists, and then photographic evidence of each item getting accomplished. Yep, that's what passes for fun 'round these parts, but I must admit knowing I'm accountable to someone makes me work harder for sure. Especially when our reward was fancy cocktails.)

On Friday night I planned my meals for the week and grocery shopped, then collapsed from exhaustion and my mystery virus.

On Saturday, I slept in, cooked meals for the week, cleaned the apartment from top to bottom, changed my bedclothes, did 3 loads of laundry, did some work for the board of directors on which I sit, booked some travel and responded to some emails, did a few PT exercises, dutifully rolled out my muscles on my foam roller, went through some stepdance and Irish steps, cleaned my winter boots, then finally found a song suitable for stepdance choreo (more on that in a minute). The day was capped by the aforementioned cocktails.

On Sunday I went to performance group rehearsal, had brunch in a cafe, taught a private lesson, found a gift online for a friend's new baby, read the weekend newspapers, did a few more cleaning chores, figured out arms for my Highland jig (although it's going to take me many more practices to actually do them correctly), did more PT exercises, once again rolled on the foam roller, got in contact with a Celtic band to secure a Paddy's Day gig, painted my nails, and...well, I think that's it, really.

I feel accomplished, but exhausted. Part of it is this stupid illness, but I really must build in more breaks into the day. I think I felt the need to overcompensate this weekend 'cause I haven't felt very productive lately.

You'll notice that I did not run, still. This is going to sound like excuses, but I SWEAR I was going to run until I realized how I'm not really all that well. The smallest sliver of dancing I had to do while teaching at performance rehearsal left me breathless and woozy, so that didn't seem conducive to further cardio activity. I feel cursed when it comes to running this winter -- mostly the weather has been too bad (too cold, or giant piles of snow on the ground, or giant sheets of ice), and on the days it's been passable I've been too busy or in this case, too unwell. I really don't want to start from scratch in March, but it looks like I'll have to. It's frustrating how often I start running from scratch, but my lifestyle just isn't really conducive to finding the time to run.

Today two of my friends who are also in my performance group told me that they liked my duet choreo so much they'd like to learn it themselves for our group performances. That was very sweet of them to say and it means a lot to me, as it's pretty clear I was bummed out by the results my choreo got last week. But I would love to keep performing it, as I've become rather attached to it.

Today was also the first time I taught my private student in a long while. Luckily things are looking pretty good, but I knew I needed a solid game plan for fixing her sickling/pointing issues, which is the main thing holding her back from placing in prelim. This student thrives on individual attention (hence the private lessons) and needs very specific, almost minute corrections and game plans, so she certainly keeps me busy. But I feel pretty good about what we came up with -- I just sent her a full page of notes detailing the exercises (stolen from my PT) and drills I want her to do, plus the specific parts of her lead round of her reel that I want addressed. Whew. Now it's up to her to actually do the homework. That's no easy task, for an adult dancer to carefully pick away at decade-old bad habits and build new, healthier ones.

Another thing I did not do this weekend is start studying Highland national theory, but I realized I don't actually know what to study 'cause I don't have a syllabus. So that's on hold til next weekend, I think.

And I thought I had chosen a really cool song for my stepdance choreo, but I just got a message from my teacher saying that it's "different" and will be a "challenge" to choreograph to, but that she'll like it if I really like it. Oh dear. I'm determined to stick with it though, as I'm convinced it has potential -- this is it here, if you're curious.

Finally: look at my new shoes! No no, I won't wear one of each colour at once, but I got the red ones to wear with my kilt (since they're for performance purposes, it doesn't matter that they are Irish), and the green ones to wear with my Irish skirt. It may be a small joy, coloured ghillies, but having spent almost two and a half decades wearing countless pairs of black ones, it's enough for me.

Tomorrow night: straight to bed after teaching, as I've got physio early on Tuesday morning. Sleep is the watchword for this coming week, as I've got to shake this vague-virus malaise once and for all.
re: Tada gan iarracht 2014
By seannettaPremium member Comments: 2312, member since Fri Jul 28, 2006
On Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:01 AM
I began my day by stepping out my back door at 7am, placing my foot on the first step down...and then somehow completely wiping out and sliding down the stairs on my butt/back. (I will refrain from another winter rant based on the fact that those stairs were coated with invisible ice, as I would like to adopt a new attitude of miserable-weather acceptance based on a report I just heard that we won't be getting even remotely spring-like temperatures until April, and Canada's motto at the Olympics was #WeAreWinter and I'd like to be a good Canadian and embrace that, but guys, it's HARD.)

I have a cat-like agile-ness when I fall, though, and I caught myself with one (now bruised) arm on the railing, and my overstuffed dance bag saved the day by protecting my back from the hard edges of the metal staircase. But still, I've had better starts to (freezing) mornings for sure.

At physio, I've noticed that my PT and I are less chatty these days. Not because we've run out of things to say...More like I've run out of breath to talk, with the increasing difficulty of the exercises. I am frequently reminded to "breathe!" as I do squats on an unstable bosu ball or hold myself in a bridge with only one leg as the other one does leg lifts or use my core to pull my shoulders up and down in a plank position on a sliding reformer machine...But I feel strong after a session, and kinda proud too for getting through all that with minimal whining. I'm seeing the small beginnings of muscles poking through my thighs and arms -- I just need to be more consistent with my PT homework, and not stuffing my face full of too much food when I'm hungry after dance, to see the full benefit of the tools my PT is giving me.

Sleep is the other thing I've made a priority -- being sorta-sick, and hearing a series on the serious effects of sleep-deprivation, has made me pay attention to my nighttime patterns more closely. I managed 7 hours Sunday night and 6 hours last night. Aiming for 7 tonight, which pretty much means starting to get ready for bed as soon as I get home from dance. That's the hard part -- when I get home so late from dance, I crave downtime, and don't feel ready for bed yet. I need to develop better rituals to wind myself down. I should really focus on my book more; I've been reading a 600-page novel since January, and feel sheepish for not finishing it yet, but it's a slow read because of the detail of the writing and because I find I have to be in the right frame of mind to read. I should give myself a deadline to finish it or something.

But anyway, yes, no goals tonight beyond a good sleep.
re: Tada gan iarracht 2014
By seannettaPremium member Comments: 2312, member since Fri Jul 28, 2006
On Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:20 AM
OK, so this whole sleeping thing isn't working out too well when I wake, inexplicably, at 5am, convinced that it's time to start my day. I've done this twice this week now. And while I can sorta get back to sleep for another hour, it's not the same quality of sleep for sure. I have no idea why my body/brain is doing this, but it's certainly not helping my plan to get a solid 7 hours. I will try, try again tonight (although how does one "try" not to wake up? I have no idea).

I don't have stepdance again for 3 weeks, as my teacher as an enviable propensity for jetting off to decidedly sunnier climes. So she left me with homework: to come up with choreo for the first slower 30 secs or so of the piece of music I picked. I have a deadline of March 18th. That time is going to come quickly, as March is the busiest month of the year for an Irish/Celtic dancer, of course. I'll try to find some time to start on it this weekend.

In Highland, my teacher seemed intent on proving to me that I have way more available turnout then I actually use. There is a gap, however, between being able to turn my leg one way and actually being able to hold it there. Basically all my life I trained in Irish with just the right amount of turnout I needed to get by, and then at the age of 31 decided I needed to Highland dance and was forced to start working in a flatter second position. It's damn hard to change your body after the age of 30, but my teacher is ever optimistic. And so today, I feel like my legs have kind of been wrenched in my hip sockets.

We also spent too much time, in my opinion, on the Seann Triubhas, but that's the (ever-present) whiny side of me talking. I hate almost all of the steps this year, so my tendency is to pretend the dance doesn't exist, but that isn't going to help me when it's May and I'm standing in front of an examiner. Double-highcutting is still as evil as ever, but I found it slightly less evil when holding onto a barre. Perhaps the examiner will accept a special barre-holding version of the step for those of us over 30? Wouldn't that be lovely? I can dream.

My class was redeemed by getting to learn new hornpipe steps at the end, which is my favourite dance ever because it's so ridiculous. Pretending to haul rope? Pigeon-toed steps? Sure!

Tonight, I get off early from work AND it's my night off, so it's a happy hump day for me. I have to run errands and cook and plan some baking and do some board-of-directors work, but anything left before my very strict bedtime will be spent on PT exercises and a runthrough of Irish steps, promise.
re: Tada gan iarracht 2014
By seannettaPremium member Comments: 2312, member since Fri Jul 28, 2006
On Sat Mar 01, 2014 11:17 AM
I know you're all dying for an update on my sleeping habits, right? Well, I aim to please: I'll report that on Wednesday night, I managed 7 hours but AGAIN woke up at 5 (gah, my body is clearly used to 6 hours of sleep), and Thursday night I had too much to do after dance and so only got 6, but last night I managed a full 9 'cause I let myself sleep in today. I think I'm feeling marginally better than before: I no longer feel like I need a nap every couple of hours, but I've still got some throat scratchiness.

Thurs night, though, I felt awful on the bus ride to Irish dance -- dizzy, really sore throat, generally listless -- and almost got off the bus to catch another one in the opposite direction. But I made myself keep going, and made a deal with myself that I could go home early if I felt like I needed to, but I had to at least try to dance.

And I made it through pretty well, all things considered. My TC did say that I looked pale, and in the middle of my reel asked me if I was OK (my teacher seems to enjoy having conversations in the middle of my dancing -- I actually consider it a compliment to myself that I can keep going while replying), and I was definitely low-energy the entire night. But just showing up and participating in the entire class was most of the battle for me this time around. I'm pleased to say that I can still get through 3 steps of everything without dying at the end, but my technique was definitely a little lacklustre.

Last night my performance group had a photo shoot, 'cause we don't have any professional photos of ourselves, and despite the fact that I hate posing for photos it was actually kind of fun, trying all our outfits and coming up with poses. The little thumbnail previews we saw look great, so I'm excited to see and use the full results. But holy cow was I ever tired at the end. I think it was just the fact that it was Friday, and I had come straight from work without eating dinner, and it was a long week of still not feeling the greatest...My friend and I devoured pub food at 10pm and I could barely keep my eyes open long enough to finish my beer (which is sad, because a nice craft brew is my reward for most dance-related duties).

Now I find myself in my pajamas at 1pm on a Saturday with a disaster of a house and a long to-do list. I'm reluctant to make any promises of what I can get done this weekend, or really any weekend for the next 3 weeks (March madness is beginning!). But I'll say that it'd be really great if I could find the time to run, do my PT exercises, start the Highland national theory study cards, and start to think about my stepdance choreo.
re: Tada gan iarracht 2014
By seannettaPremium member Comments: 2312, member since Fri Jul 28, 2006
On Mon Mar 03, 2014 04:42 PM
Sometimes I wonder if I have a minor case of SAD -- as in, the too-dark-all-the-time winter blues. The last few days have actually been somewhat bright, but it's just so damn cold. And like I said before, I can handle cold, and also gloomy winter days -- but it's really the cumulative effect of having so many this particular winter, of not having a break from the endless cold snap, of dragging my clunky-boot-clad-feet everywhere for 3 and a half months so far with no reprieve in sight. (An official weather report says the last time my city saw bare ground was mid-November). I really don't want to blame this slump I feel I'm in on the weather, but it's got to be a factor of some kind.

Either way, I'm definitely in a down period. I've been occasionally fighting it with bursts of productivity and fun activities, but on the whole I have zero motivation for anything -- I haven't run since November and don't feel like it, I eke out the barest minimum of PT exercises, I don't want to study for my Highland exams, I'm not particularly interested in coming up with new material for my adults...I'm just feeling overall tired. I always marvel at those super-motivated people who can bound out of bed and get an early-morning run out of the way, or otherwise doggedly work towards larger goals...It takes a LOT of effort, sometimes feeling like I'm hauling boulders, for me to chip away at my own goals. Sometimes I'm not even sure what my goals are.

I want to put it all down to the winter blues because then I have a specific scapegoat, and a possible way out. If the snow melts eventually (in April it'll start, slowly, I'm told), surely I'll want to run on those nice clear sidewalks? Surely I'll want to stay outdoors longer in the lovely early-spring light? I sure hope so.

In the meantime, I'll do what I can and celebrate small victories. Like wasting most of my day Saturday but managing to pull together enough energy to get my chores done before my fun afternoon/evening with friends yesterday.

I know I've been going on & on about sleep, but I truly believe it's one of the key elements here too. So straight to bed after teaching tonight for me. This is a busy week -- tomorrow night I've got a board meeting, Wednesday night I have to run around buying supplies and preparing for a work baby shower I'm hosting Sunday morning, Thurs night is Irish and then straight after work on Friday I'm off to an overnight trip to another city -- I'm not back til late Saturday night. Then the shower and teaching a private on Sunday. In other words, I'll only have very very small scraps of time to get things done, and so I want to both set realistic goals for myself but also not beat myself up if I just need to zone out for half an hour. We'll see how it goes.
re: Tada gan iarracht 2014
By seannettaPremium member Comments: 2312, member since Fri Jul 28, 2006
On Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:50 AM
This morning I had extreme difficulty raising my arms to put on my sweater, so I suppose I did a lot more arm work in physio yesterday than I thought. I am not complaining, though -- given that I spend 90% of my time worrying about what my lower limbs are doing, I welcome any chance to strengthen my arms.

More about PT: I was stronger in the one-legged squats and one-armed full-body pulls than I thought, so I'm quite pleased about that. But there were two areas that showed an almost embarrassing lack of strength: first, in one-footed heel raises/releves. I can jump up and down on one foot rather awesomely. But a slow raise, without hanging onto anything for balance? Awful. Secondly, a kind of variation of a side plank that's difficult to explain: foot of top leg rests in loop at the end of a TRX rope. Bottom leg attempts to raise off the ground to meet it. This is way harder than it looks and I think I moved my bottom leg about an inch at a time. I should really practice side planks at home more often, as they're a definite area of weakness. Actually, I should really just practice ANY exercises at home, but we all know how successful I am at that.

Yesterday I had a board meeting, but the awesome part was that a) I got off work early beforehand, b) I had a meal consisting of pancakes (Shrove Tuesday!) and bacon and a milkshake beforehand, and c) the meeting was about half the usual length. So all in all, not a bad day at all. Especially the part about the milkshake.

Monday's class was useful in figuring out what I need to do with my students next. They've got 3 solid treble reel steps they can perform casually at a pub on Paddy's Day, so that's good. They are in varying states of competency when it comes to the slip jig and the hornpipe. I want to re-start King of the Fairies (trad version) with them very soon, so I must leave time for that next week. I also want to introduce a treble jig at some point, but I think more immediately, the second step of the reel has to change. It's pretty old now. I have no idea when I'm going to do this, but choreographing a new step is necessary.

Tonight's my night off and I'm running around picking up items for the shower I'm hosting on Sunday. Then I must do some chores. Then it's possible I may have a small scrap of time. If so, my priorities will be a) writing out a theory cue card or two, and b) brainstorming possibilities for the beginning sequence of my stepdance solo.

Oh, and a sleep update: only 5 hours Sunday night (damn Oscars, always compelling me to stay awake but always ending up as boring as usual), 6.5 hours Monday night (but interrupted by waking up an hour early), and 6.5 hours last night (again, woke up early, and then stayed in bed too late this morning. Aiming for a solid 7 tonight. Can she do it? Stay tuned...
re: Tada gan iarracht 2014
By seannettaPremium member Comments: 2312, member since Fri Jul 28, 2006
On Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:40 AM
You know how I've been complaining of trying to sleep, but waking up early? Maybe all I needed was an insanely busy couple of days of very little sleep, and then the "spring ahead" time change on top of that. Last night I was asleep by 10pm and woke up in the exact same position at 6am. I feel MUCH better than this weekend, although still a little slow-moving. This morning I managed to cook lunch and do a little mini-clean of my apartment while getting ready as usual, and then during a brief period of downtime at work I managed to sneak out and do 3 errands, so I'm feeling rather accomplished today. I hope this continues throughout the week.

My weekend was fun though, despite being tiring. I did 800km round trip in 24 hours to do a quick visit in another town with some people, and the visits were lovely and I didn't even mind the 9 hours total I spent on a train -- it's time to read and knit and just sit still, something I don't do (without feeling guilty, anyway) very often. Then I very groggily co-hosted a baby shower, which was nice and low-key. But when I got home around 2:30pm, my body kinda gave up after that and any notions of productivity --whether it be dance practice, exercise, or studying -- went out the window.

At the near-end of this week looms the beginning of Paddy's Weekend Madness, with about 10 or so shows planned. It's exciting, and even exhausting just thinking about it, so I'm going to keep things low-key leading up to it and after. My official goal is to start getting back on track, especially in terms of running and my Highland exam preparation, around the 19th.

So tonight: I haven't even thought about what to do with my adults. More drilling of treble reels they can use for Paddy's Day, I think. Straight to bed after, 'cause I have PT at an obscenely early hour tomorrow. Tuesday night is Highland, and again straight to bed after. I'm becoming really boring, aren't I? But sigh, it's for my health...
re: Tada gan iarracht 2014
By seannettaPremium member Comments: 2312, member since Fri Jul 28, 2006
On Tue Mar 11, 2014 07:22 PM
I am feeling a small amount of guilt right now, having skipped Highland class (there was no stepdance class tonight, and so I had time to go home first after work, and we all know what happens when I go home), but really it was for the best. I have zero interest in working on my exam dances (when I have I ever this year, I know) right before 5 days straight of Paddy's Day madness. But not only that, I have a lot to do anyhow. Tonight I focused on some paperwork, filing and emailing I had to do for the board of directors on which I'm a secretary. Getting that out of the way means I will have tomorrow evening free to practice the dances I'm performing in public very soon -- a necessary task, given that many of them I haven't done in a while. My duet, for example. An Irish set of some kind. A stepdance reel I've never actually done in public.

Back to sleep talk for a second: I unfortunately ruined my glorious Sunday night slumber by not getting to bed right away last night (it's hard!), and only getting 5 hours as a result -- minus the two times I woke up, convinced it was 5am and time to spring out of bed (it was only 3 and 4, respectively). Daylight Savings, damn you anyway! Although light nights are nice and all, leaving my house in pitch darkness, trying to psych myself up to exercise before I've even properly woken, just plain sucks.

Physio was more of the same, with my PT being impressed by my slightly improved stability in one-legged raises, but then having to catch me when I fell out of one of those evil side-plank-with-unstable-top-foot-and-lower-leg-raises thingies.

Now I'm munching on hunks of halloumi cheese (proper dinners are not my forte on nights off) and trying to wrap up my evening so that I can attempt another decent rest.

Tomorrow: practice all dances I'll be performing this week. PT exercises. Bed.
re: Tada gan iarracht 2014
By seannettaPremium member Comments: 2312, member since Fri Jul 28, 2006
On Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:12 AM
This is it! Here we go! Six days of Paddy's Day madness! There are parts of this time of year that stress me out greatly (Have I brought all my shoes? Will I have time to eat between finishing work and running to the gig? When am I going to do my regular weekend chores?), but mostly I'm just excited. For roughly one week of the year, people actually care about my weird, geeky hobby! I can dance down frozen food aisles! (Yes, quite literally.)

Am I ready? I am not sure. I have brought my softshoes, stepdance shoes, performance t-shirt and shawl to work. I am wearing the bottom half of my costume already (black tights, black skirt, dance underpants). I have safety pins and a water bottle and some lipstick to brighten myself up after a long day at work. I have practised all my dances and checked in with my group co-workers.

I still have to figure out some of the dances I'll be doing on Monday, but I've got wee scraps of time -- at least, I think/hope so. I'll probably check in partway through the madness, but otherwise, I'm skipping off...
re: Tada gan iarracht 2014
By seannettaPremium member Comments: 2312, member since Fri Jul 28, 2006
On Tue Mar 18, 2014 04:25 PM
I'm still alive, dragging my heels (almost quite literally) through this day and wondering why I didn't take it off work for recovery time. My left leg is definitely begging for some rest -- or, actually, the knee in particular is begging for me to keep moving, keep it warm, because every time I sit for a while I can barely walk when I stand up again. This might be a slight problem. I will see what my PT has to say about it on Thursday, although I'm hoping I'll at least be in slightly better-than-hobbling shape by then.

I'm getting old, that's the problem! Can't keep up with the insane Paddy's Day/Week schedule with as much sprightly energy as before! You know that near-cliche of the parents who maybe drink an extra glass or two of wine 'cause the kids are elsewhere but wake up with hangovers that take days to recover from instead of the afternoons of their youth?...Or the middle-aged men who play hockey one day for old time's sake and wake up with their backs all thrown out?...I am the Irish dance equivalent of that for sure.

I had fun, though, even if I can't stop yawning right now. Things took a while to warm up (both figuratively and literally -- it's still the dead of winter here), and we had some music troubles at Friday night's performance and a sloppy execution of our choreography during our local parade. But by Saturday night I started to relax more, as that's when we went to our first casual gig at a pub with a band. Have I mentioned how much I love dancing to live music, especially in pubs with rowdy crowds? Only a hundred times, I'm sure. But I feel I really come most alive as a dancer when the music is happening right there and the crowd is right in front of my face -- I mean, I enjoy more formal performances for sure, but dancing in pubs is pretty much the root of Irish dance and where I feel most free (and I swear it's not just because of the Guinness on tap, either).

I like surprising people, too -- skipping down grocery aisles is certainly one way to do that, and it was fun, but my favourite was two times, at two different pubs, just getting up and starting to dance with no warning, and seeing/hearing the crowd react. It was pretty awesome. Let's face it: Celtic dance forms aren't the coolest/sexiest hobbies, so any chance I get to be awesome for being an Irish dancer in the eyes of the general public -- I'll gladly take it.

I've just got to get through this next performance tonight, and then I can relax a little -- I mean, I need to be practicing and to actually start training for my 10k race in May, but I have no performances for a couple of weeks, thankfully. I've got to get this knee sorted out, because it's the same pain I thought was temporary a few weeks ago, and it worries me that it has returned. So rest, yes. And sleep, oh yes. Regular programming to resume shortly.
re: Tada gan iarracht 2014
By seannettaPremium member Comments: 2312, member since Fri Jul 28, 2006
On Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:48 AM
It's a bit silly, but sometimes I view my PT's diagnoses as some kind of voodoo. Why yes, PT, I DID do an awful lot of cuts (Irish dance move) on my left side over the weekend! However did you know?

She knows, of course, because it's her job. But I find endlessly fascinating the way the body connects together in ways I still find mysterious, how a tightness in one area can manifest itself somewhere else entirely. She can find it quickly, though, my PT. When I complained of the tight, wrenching feeling in my knee, she immediately made me lie down, and then proceeded to dig her fingers under my hip bone. "Ooh, that's tight," she said. And then she had me (very awkwardly) roll out my inner thigh on the foam roller. That also did not feel so good. Then she moved my left leg and knee around a bit, and when I said it hurt when I moved my leg up and to the side, she asked if there was a dance moved that echoed that. And then it hit me...

I basically started every performance over the weekend with a variation on the same two treble reel steps I like to use 'cause they're effective, audience-pleasing-wise. The first include a cut-click thing -- like going into a kick/click/slice, but the left leg cuts instead. Kind of an old-school move, I admit, but I still like it. Anyway, I also admit that my warm-up routine for all these dozen performances was pretty much non-existent. I know, it's terrible! But we were doing performances that were pretty spontaneous a lot of the time! I know, but it's still terrible!

So I'm paying for my sins now, essentially. And I have strict orders to do the following: go a little easier on the legs; roll on my foam roller twice a day (this may not be realistic, unless I start getting up earlier); stretch out my hip flexors; and wear a warm pack on my knee when I'm sitting stationary at work (being stationary makes it agonizing when I get up; if I've been walking for a while I can barely feel the discomfort anymore). The good news is that my PT isn't too concerned overall. And now she's going on vacation for a week, so it'll be my responsibility to keep up with the upkeep and exercises until she's back. And then immediately after that, I leave for New York City to go skipping down some more concrete for Tartan Day festivities. Basically, I have no right to complain when my knees quit entirely in protest before I'm 40.

Tonight, against my better judgement, I'm still going to Irish, because I just miss so many darn classes all the time. But I'm mainly going to keep my legs moving, so I don't just sit on the couch and let my knee seize up some more. I promise, promise, promise I won't dance full-out.
re: Tada gan iarracht 2014
By seannettaPremium member Comments: 2312, member since Fri Jul 28, 2006
On Mon Mar 24, 2014 09:50 AM
I ran, I finally ran! A mere 4 months after my last run, I hit the pavement (snow-covered, slippery patches of ice, giant puddles and slush to leap over) and managed to eke out almost 6k, albeit in two chunks. Because my Sunday was so busy, I only had a chance of running if I made it my mode of transport to performance group rehearsal and back. Luckily at rehearsal I did more teaching than dancing, but still my hamstrings are very, very angry with me today. And I'm kind of embarrassed about that -- one little run and my legs are all sore! Weakling! I'll just add it to my knee pain, which came back with a vengeance when I ran, sigh.

I didn't get nearly enough done this weekend, but I did have fun and I did have two good nights of sleep (9 hours Fri, 8 hours Sat), so that's important. I went out for drinks/food both Friday and Saturday night, and spent most of the day Sunday making crafts for an upcoming wedding which was then followed by an informal dinner party. This was all after my runs, and dance rehearsal, and a very quick two loads of laundry in between. I don't actually like my Sundays being so full, as downtime before a workweek is super important to me, but I had a good sleep last night so it's not so bad.

Niggling un-accomplished tasks include choreographing the first part of my stepdance solo (I'm just going to have to explain to my teacher tomorrow I've had no time, which is true), reviewing my Highland exam dances, studying Highland national theory, coming up with a new reel step for my Monday night adults, researching the places I want to visit in NYC in a little over a week from now...I don't exactly know when I'm going to do all of these things, especially considering my new sleep mantra. But anyway, this is what my week is looking like right now...

Mon (tonight) - straight to bed after teaching -- well, actually, first I have to dutifully roll every lower part of my body on the painful foam roller.
Tue - stepdance, Highland class, then cooking lunches after classes.
Wed - normally my night off, but have agreed to teach an Irish class as a favour to a teacher with an injury.
Thu - My Irish class, unless my dad is in town for work which he might be, in which case I'll be visiting with him.

So, basically, my only time to get stuff done is on the weekend. I don't have physio this week because my PT is away, so I wanted to squeeze in some exercises too -- I just don't know when I'm going to do them unless I cut back on sleep by getting up earlier or going to bed later. It's not as effective a workout, but maybe I could compromise by doing just 2 or so of each exercise before bed? Let's try that tonight: I'll do the pikes-on-a-ball exercise, and the pushups on the ball, and maybe even the abs stabilizer on the ball too. That should only take 10 minutes total.
re: Tada gan iarracht 2014
By seannettaPremium member Comments: 2312, member since Fri Jul 28, 2006
On Tue Mar 25, 2014 09:49 AM
(Is anyone hitting "reply" in order to read this right now, or am I just talking to myself? This DDN bug is mysterious...)

We all know the main purpose of this diary is for me to moan about dance -- about how it stresses me out and ruins my body and wah-wah-wah...It's mostly for venting purposes, but sometimes I'm somewhat shamed into remembering how lucky and healthy I am -- how I have no business, in the grand scheme of things, complaining so much about one sore knee.

I was thinking about this the other day because I learned that a man named Don has just died. Don was 88, so it's sad but not unexpected news. Don was a fixture at the monthly ceilis in town for a long time, right up until a couple of months ago. He loved to dance. We're told the Kerry Set was his favourite, although after a hip replacement a couple of years ago he started to sit that one out -- but still danced many of the ceili and set dances!

I last danced with Don about a year ago (I haven't been to many of the ceilis lately). He was my partner for some set dance I can't remember. Apparently he loved that so many young people come to the ceilis -- he liked being around youth, and the youth liked dancing with him because he knew the dances and would want to participate in almost every single one. I really enjoyed having Don as my partner too. He moved very gently, very slowly, but assuredly. I admit I like whipping people around in ceili dances, but I had all the patience in the world for Don's stiffer movements. He was in his late '80s, with an artificial hip, still dancing almost every dance at the monthly ceilis he loved.

Don, I salute you. I can only hope to still be shuffling around at the age of 88.

(As an aside, tonight's goals: get through stepdance and highland without hurting my knee even more, buy groceries and cook, roll out my lower limbs on a foam roller, bed.)
re: Tada gan iarracht 2014
By seannettaPremium member Comments: 2312, member since Fri Jul 28, 2006
On Wed Mar 26, 2014 09:44 AM
First off, have a look at this:

well.blogs.nytimes.com . . .

OK, so they're talking about the best benefits coming from really high jumps, not necessarily the series of smaller hops we do in dance. But I'm still taking this as total vindication. I may be limping with a bum knee, but my hips are awesomely dense! Seriously though, I find this stuff very interesting, given the warnings that come with high-impact exercise, especially as one ages.

I still feel like an old, broken lady in class, though. Yesterday in stepdance I couldn't really emphasize the left side all that well -- or, rather, purposely tried not to, in order to preserve my knee. I didn't accomplish much in that class, considering I had not at all worked on my choreo and forgot the last part of my swing routine. I swore up and down that I'd have some choreo worked out by next Tuesday, so I absolutely have to make time for that this weekend.

In Highland, I couldn't do the left side of any shedding, backstepping, or basically any movement that involved lifting that leg sideways, so my Fling was kind of a joke. My teacher took pity on me and we spent a good chunk of the class starting a choreo for the recital (it's very cute, set to "Walk Like an Egyptian," but I don't get it at all so far), doing the relatively laid-back Village Maid, and then reviewing the Hornpipe, which needs a lot of work. I've got about 7 weeks before my exams, so knee aside it's totally way past due for me to take these exams more seriously. Step review and theory review absolutely must get done this weekend as well.

Tonight is normally my night off, but I've agreed to teach a mixed bag of Irish dancers (everything from beginner to prizewinner, I'm told) as a favour to an injured teacher. Aiming for two physio exercises at home afterwards and then, as is my new habit, straight to bed.
re: Tada gan iarracht 2014
By seannettaPremium member Comments: 2312, member since Fri Jul 28, 2006
On Sun Mar 30, 2014 07:15 AM
WHAT FRESH HELL IS THIS SERIOUSLY I CANNOT TAKE IT ANYMORE

...Sorry. I just looked out my window. I shouldn't do that, not until at least June. But I wanted (and needed, desperately) to go for a run this morning, and even dragged my ass out of bed at 8:30am (that's early for me)...Only to be confronted with a foot of snow that I swear was not there when I went to bed yesterday. Now not only do I have to find another time to run before I leave for NYC on Thursday morning, but I also have to find, deep within myself, some level of zen about this neverending winter for yet another week. I'm fresh out of that, I think.

I have a lot to do today, so I'll try to make this quick -- I've got to do my usual cooking and cleaning and laundering chores, plus run some errands, plus do my exercises, plus read the weekend papers, plus review some choreography, and then host some friends for dinner. I had meant to do some of that last night...But I kind of fell into a stupour after a busy week.

This week I substitute-taught 3 times -- twice for Irish and once for Highland. And by the end of my longer run as a teacher this week, I had a tired-but-happy feeling of "I LOVE teaching! Why the heck don't I do this ALL the time??" Thankfully, that only lasted a few minutes, as we all know I couldn't handle any more teaching obligations on my schedule and still maintain my sanity. But I do feel lucky that everyone I taught was so sweet and respectful -- there really are a good bunch of people that go to my two dance schools.

My own class, especially (I taught the class I'm normally a student in on Thurs), is very sweet to me. On the one hand, it must be weird for them to have their classmate suddenly teach -- but on the other, I'm much older than all of them so maybe it's only weird to me. In any case, older students in both the Wed and Thurs classes told me after that they really appreciate my teaching style and like having me substitute. That was really nice to hear. I pride myself on having a problem-solving approach to teaching, so it's really satisfying to hear a student say that the way I've explained something has helped them correct a technique issue.

Things are going to be a bit weird this week, because of the impending NYC trip. Sometime today I've really got to take the time to learn the choreo I'll be performing at a tattoo while we're there, and also review the steps I'm performing elsewhere in the city. The choreo especially will need reviewing every day this week. Then I've got to find the time to run about 6K, too. I should have time Wed night, which is also my night to pack and so on.

All this means that I'm STILL not practicing my Highland exam theory or steps, gah! Every time I think the way is clear to do that, another thing comes up. I'm not officially worried yet -- I still have time to pull everything together -- but this is later than I intended. After I get back from NYC on Sunday night, there is nothing else dance-related in my way, so I SWEAR exams will become my focus.
re: Tada gan iarracht 2014
By seannettaPremium member Comments: 2312, member since Fri Jul 28, 2006
On Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:31 AM
"You've got a bum!" my physio said to me this morning. Very few people in my life are allowed to comment on such things, but nobody pays attention to my glutes as much as my PT does. She actually seems to have an obsession with glutes in general -- it's kind of her answer to everyone's bodily/muscle imbalances. And it makes sense -- glutes are such a stabilizing force if they're used properly. I really wish I knew this 24 years ago when I first started dancing, sigh.

Anyway, my PT wasn't really making an aesthetic comment about my body, more of a strength one. I can hold myself up and engage my glutes so much better when balancing on one foot now. I can feel those glutes activate when I'm dancing, especially when I'm trying to better my turnout. Almost one year after starting physio, I feel stronger and more balanced. I feel so much better about my dancing and fitness, knowing I have an advocate who really understands my body and what it needs.

I've got to do better, though. The strength I'm working on would yield so much better results if I paid a little bit more attention to what I eat and made sure I actually do these PT exercises on my own, too. I'm not saying I need to drop a bunch of weight or anything, but I'm definitely not where I want to be, body and health-wise. In fact, in life in general I'm definitely not where I want to be, as I find myself having just gone through a quarter of this year with almost nothing to show for it. Remember how I meant to practice more? To exercise more? To run? To find time for more reading and such? I've done none of those things! Every time I think I can start to re-focus, something else comes up that distracts me and takes away all my time. This week it's the impending NYC trip. I still haven't choreographed a measly 16 bars for stepdance because of my split focus. Gah, I really need to reign myself in and focus on the tiniest of baby steps -- it's the only way I ever get a single thing done.

In short, I'm really disappointed with myself, but have no idea where to find the motivation to snap into action. I'm crossing my fingers that I catch spring fever soon -- at the very least, the snow is starting to melt, and with it I am hoping to banish my lethargy.

Tonight, I have stepdance (where I'll have to once again sheepishly admit I've made no progress in the choreo) and Highland (where I'll have to sheepishly admit I STILL don't know my exam dances, more than 6 months after starting to learn them). Then at home I've got to practice my Earl for performance purposes, and the choreo I have to quickly learn to perform in NYC. I will also do 3 PT exercises that I didn't do this morning. Then bed. Baby steps.
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