Forum: Ballet / Ballet - Adult Dancers

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re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By BDCballetbabii93member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Oct 22, 2009 02:01 PM
Congratulations on making it through your class! Sounds like you had a rough time, but I hope you had fun!
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By Attitude1407
On Thu Oct 22, 2009 02:42 PM
Serendipity, congratulations on your pirouettes en pointe!!! YAY for you! *high five* :D
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By mustangdancer
On Thu Oct 22, 2009 03:54 PM
Serendipity, congrats on the pirouettes en pointe! That is fantastic!! :)

And hee - I find all the class drama really entertaining. Glad my classes are small. We're all so worried about stumbling or forgetting the combinations that we don't have time to gossip or cause trouble. LOL :D
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By MsCatt
On Sun Oct 25, 2009 06:47 PM
And just to think I have a student in my class that is 29 and afraid of taking pointe again after an 8 year break! I want her to read your story. You are phenomenal. Be encouraged.
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By nycsylphmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Oct 26, 2009 09:48 PM
mustangdancer wrote:

And hee - I find all the class drama really entertaining. Glad my classes are small. We're all so worried about stumbling or forgetting the combinations that we don't have time to gossip or cause trouble. LOL

mustangdancer -

Lucky you! And the tales are all in good fun. They give a glimpse into the twisted world of adult ballet where passions fly high and grande jetes are all an all-time low!


MsCatt wrote:

And just to think I have a student in my class that is 29 and afraid of taking pointe again after an 8 year break! I want her to read your story. You are phenomenal. Be encouraged.


Mscatt -

Well, thank you so much.

I had another one of "those" [holds nose to avoid smelling the stink] classes, so what I'm doing is not all that impressive. Believe me!

And that gal is a spring chicken. No reason in the world why she shouldn't try things if she wants to - provided there are no hidden health issues.

Thanks for your post and for dropping in!
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By nycsylphmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:20 PM
Okay, took on Monday and then tonight and the Sylph is back!

Monday was pretty depressing, but I knew I had to start taking more than once a week. Today my body was just feeling terrific so I ran out of here and took a pretty hard class. I messed up a few times, but found a lot of muscles I used to use. I also did really a not bad at all double turn. I felt so centered when I took off and I did it at an adagio speed and stayed up there not falling out of it.

Of course, I had to screw up the end when I completely forgot how to do grand fouettes, but hey! I give myself a pass!

Felt good. My body felt pretty sound and I think I can plunge into taking class again on a regular basis.

Woo-hoo!!!!!!
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By Serendipity42Premium member
On Thu Nov 05, 2009 04:35 AM
I worked my way back up to full schedule this week, too Nyc, after being ill. Take your time - it was about 2 weeks from end of illness to finally being okay this week.

I tried the paste shoes last night. No go. Although they felt okay overall in terms of fit, I didn't feel very supported at all, and the platform is smaller than my Gaynors. Went back to Gaynors partway through the barre to compare and no problems. I really am NOT sinking in those shoes, after all.

The barre work itself was godawful, but I did VERY well in the center - including pirouettes en pointe right in combinations without falling on my face. I saw my teacher's eyes light up when she looked at me doing one of the combos fully on pointe - and it felt great to be able to DANCE en pointe instead of just executing the steps! :D
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By odile53
On Thu Nov 05, 2009 07:56 PM
Great to hear it's going well for both of you!

Tonight there was no class: My teacher is sick. Class should resume Saturday if her fever is down. The cable is out through my neighborhood, and my husband is on the road. The commute home tonight was a nightmare because of a light coating of slush on the roads.

So it's just me, the computer, and the dogs. Did a short barre at the kitchen counter, and stretched, then did some dinner (meatloaf and vegetables.) I drowned my sorrows by shopping on line for a new leotard, got one of the Degas ones in black (what else.) I might go to a different studio tomorrow night just to take a drop-in class. But then again I may just slack off for the evening. Sometimes a little down time is a good thing.
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By nycsylphmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Nov 14, 2009 10:36 AM
Serendipity42 wrote:

I saw my teacher's eyes light up when she looked at me doing one of the combos fully on pointe - and it felt great to be able to DANCE en pointe instead of just executing the steps! :D


Serendipity42 -

Yes, there is a huge difference! Right now I'd settle for just executing a combo. Just one! Is that too much to ask? I'll answer my own question here ... apparently so.

So it's just me, the computer, and the dogs. Did a short barre at the kitchen counter, and stretched, then did some dinner (meatloaf and vegetables.) I drowned my sorrows by shopping on line for a new leotard, got one of the Degas ones in black (what else.) I might go to a different studio tomorrow night just to take a drop-in class. But then again I may just slack off for the evening. Sometimes a little down time is a good thing.


You, the computer and the dogs? Sounds like a nice convivial grouping you got there! Congrats on being so motivated to do a short barre at the kitchen counter. What is it about the kitchen and doing ballet moves? You're right in that it must be the counter height. It's just so perfect!

Love the new leotard idea. Since mine is buried under tons of warm-up clothing, I don't think it would matter if I got one, but at least "I" would know!

Sooooo my classes are not so good. Mostly dreadful. Have no idea why. A couple of days ago I showed up for my advanced class and found a substitute was teaching. There was just one other person in the class with me so it was semi-private ... in other words ... NO PLACE TO HIDE!!!! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

I hate not having a few people in class for another reason ... it means I can't rely on the person next to me to cheat off of and I have to memorize the movements all by myself! I'm still not too sure about doing that, but I'm trying more and more to memorize on my own.

Anywho, it turned out that the teacher was terrific. The girl taking with me was recovering from an injury so she left early and then ... IT WAS JUST ME!!!! A private class!!! It could have been a disaster, but really the teacher was great. Just her staring in horror at what I was doing, but then what else is new? Considering my age, she was amazed I didn't just run out of steam and fall over backward on the ground from lack of oxygen, but this old girl is still going strong! Yeah!

Now if I could just get things to look good! So many things to correct, and so little time.

After class, I really started commiserating with these teachers. Some of the ones in NY go from teaching young, soon-to-be superstars at NYCB and the Joffrey to coming at having to give a class to an old biddie. Must be very unpleasant. Sort of like having a good meal and then having the dessert be stale bread or something that leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

Oh, well, I tried! It was fun for me which is unusual cause I usually would crawl under junkyard, rusted cars to avoid being in the spotlight and having a teacher staring at me.

And the quest is still on for my turnout and arabesque. Where did they go? Oh, where did they go?

Cheers and a big BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By Serendipity42Premium member
On Sat Nov 14, 2009 02:43 PM
LOL! I swear you must be my twin! :)

I have a Saturday class that may be cancelled due to lack of students. They need 6 to make a real class. We only have 3 on a good day. Today was two. I had a good class in spite of my achilles now bothering me. I'm angry about that because the reason it hurts is due to getting cold, then having to do pointe with it still cold. I should have gone with my instincts and not done the pointe work after, but stupid ole me didn't do that. I just hope this isn't going to be an ongoing thing. I don't NORMALLY have achilles issues.... :(

Anyway, today I managed double piques and they actually went well (as in, I didn't fall over onto the floor, which HAS happened before!). AND....was able to step out of a "lame duck" into a normal pique. My teacher actually said, "That was EXCELLENT, S!!!" My leg in the retire has to be higher was the only correction. It'll be a forever correction because I don't think I can do that with my hips being what they are.

My teacher felt she'd accomplished something when she finally got through to me not to JUMP my balances, too. They feel weird just stepping into them. Don't know why I got into that habit of jumping them, but hey, since all 5 of my teachers have said it to me, it must be wrong. Finally, though, my fave teacher managed to make me understand exactly what to do. I think it made her day! LOL!

So now my ankle's on ice, just to deal with the achilles. Am out this evening but will be working on the achilles for the rest of the weekend, with a night brace (specially designed for this issue - was given to me to make sure my previously broken ankle didn't atrophy in one direction - that was the other foot!), TENS unit, ice, and ultrasound. *sigh*

I hate being old!
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By Attitude1407
On Sat Nov 14, 2009 04:19 PM
Sylph, I love small classes because of the individual attention you get... Although I do understand how you feel about having to memorize the combinations and having nowhere to hide! LOL!

Serendipity, OUCH -- are you sure you should be icing your Achilles?? I always have Achilles tendonitis and I couldn't imagine icing it. Keeping it warm is important for me.
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By Serendipity42Premium member
On Sat Nov 14, 2009 08:49 PM
Am I doing it wrong? I was assuming swelling=icing. I warm it up before class. I'll google for more info, though.

Just sewed criss-cross elastic on my shoes. Hopefully it'll make me feel more stable in the heel area. Felt okay on the try-on.

When my foot is warmed up, the achilles doesn't bother me on pointe.
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By odile53
On Sat Nov 14, 2009 08:50 PM
Serendipity, keep on icing that tendon, especially right after class. For information's sake, just about anything with the ending -itis is an inflammation.

Inflammation is the body's response to irritants of any sort, whether from overuse (like in tendonitis,) infection, foreign bodies, and so forth. In the inflammatory response, the first thing that occurs is there is an increase of blood flow to the irritated site. Inflammatory responses which occur near the skin, as in the Achilles tendon, can be relieved to a degree by the application of cold. Applying heat to a site can actually make the inflammation worse. While heat is a great local anesthetic, it increases the blood flow to the area which will continue the inflammation. This is why people feel the need to repeatedly apply heat.

No intentions of hijacking this thread, but I hate to see people inadvertently make things worse!
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By hummingbird
On Sat Nov 14, 2009 10:24 PM
Keep icing it, just keep icing it if I have an achilles flare up the only thing I like to do apart from that is wear a sock at night so that it gets a bit of support and that keeps it cosy but not too warm, it helps keep it comfy so that you get a good nights sleep.

On another note I'm feeling all nostalgic at the moment as my daughter has just got her first pair of pointe shoes, now she can join the 'bearable discomfort club' with the rest of us lol.... Ok I'm not nostalgic enough to go back onto pointe again, I don't think the knees would take that !

Serendipity42, YOU GO GIRL!!! Bluebird is such a lovely variation. You almost make me feel like donning the old pointe shoes... but not quite :)
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By Attitude1407
On Sun Nov 15, 2009 08:21 AM
Edited by Attitude1407 (186517) on 2009-11-15 08:25:48
Hmm, should I have been icing my Achilles all along? :? It just seems to me that ice would hurt, but maybe I have the wrong idea.

Hummingbird, congratulations to your daughter! This must be an exciting moment for her. :)
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By luceroblanco
On Sun Nov 15, 2009 09:35 AM
I think it depends with the achilles. I did some research on it because I was having an achilles problem--I did not go to the doctor as it did not seem to be that serious. I danced on it for about a week or two before I realized that I had a problem. Then I used heat (an aromatherapy pad) and it did take a while for the soreness to dissipate--probably about a week. I rested it about 2 weeks before returning to class but did not dance full out or jump or releve. I had no problems. Then a week later I took a class and I did dance full out and it bothered me some. That night heat seemed to only irritate it so instead I used an aromatherapy pad I had in the FREEZER. It was very soothing and the next day I felt a little stiff but the day after I was fine. I think based on my own experience that cold therapy is probably better.

However, I have read some stuff that says that says that the achilles does not always become inflamed but sometimes it is a tear or small tears that cause the problem. They are calling it tendonopathy.
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By Serendipity42Premium member
On Sun Nov 15, 2009 10:29 AM
I can't tell if it's inflamed or not, but ice is safer than heat. I did more reading and all the sites I read agreed with icing. So I'm doing the right thing.

I'm lucky, I guess, because I have most of the electric/electronic PT equipment here at home - ice packs, EMS systems and ultrasound, as well as a night brace designed especially for stretching the achilles. I just have to be consistent.

I'm not really sure it IS the achilles, today. In any case, I have an appointment with the doc on the 23rd so will ask him to examine it. I would hate to stop dancing on pointe now after having made such progress!! Grrrr....!!

If my fave teacher's class does get cancelled, then I'll hire her for private lessons on that day instead. If anything, she'll likely make more money that way. *sigh*
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By nycsylphmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Nov 15, 2009 11:27 AM
Wow, a lot of good information here! Thanks, Odile53 for the information. And, anecdotal information is information, too!

Hummingbird, so exciting about your daughter! I'm sure it brings back memories mixed with the knowledge of how much she'll love being up there! It's a wonderful experience for a mother and daughter to share. Such good times to come.

Serendipity42 -

Well, you know we might be twins!

And you have a win-win situation with that teacher of yours. Right now you have a fabulous class and if you need a private lesson, you'll still have a fabulous class! Can't lose either way.

Hope Serendipity42 and Attitude1407 that your Achilles' problems are cleared up soon. And I really hope that you, Serendipity, don't have to miss any time after you've come this far! But if you have to, just think of it as another hurdle. And I refuse to even think of the possibility that it would mean stopping pointe! You said yourself that you came this far in a very short time. Your body is probably just complaining a bit. A lot of very young dancers have tendonitis problems just because of ballet's unique demands and they go on to have very, very long careers.

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you and send you good vibes.

Love everyone helping each other out this way. Thank each of you for being so kind as to pass along what you know.
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By Serendipity42Premium member
On Sun Nov 15, 2009 02:06 PM
Thanks so much for your good wishes and support. I am so pleased you started this thread!! It's really good therapy for all of us, I think!

I'm desperate to do the pointe work in this year's recital, especially after hearing the piece my teacher's planning to use. Don't ask me what it's called - even she can't remember - but I have heard it before. It's going to be classical and technically challenging. :)

I just do not want months out like last year....:-(
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By nycsylphmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Nov 15, 2009 04:58 PM
Serendipity42 wrote:

Thanks so much for your good wishes and support. I am so pleased you started this thread!! It's really good therapy for all of us, I think!


Thanks and I need all the therapy I can get! LOL

I'm desperate to do the pointe work in this year's recital, especially after hearing the piece my teacher's planning to use. Don't ask me what it's called - even she can't remember - but I have heard it before. It's going to be classical and technically challenging. :)


Totally understand! I'm sure you'll be able to do it! I'm just basing that prediction on the way you described things. Hopefully, the doctor will concur with that assessment - not that he needs my input!

Are you going to tape the recital? I would so love to see you dancing your little heart out! I suppose it would be grand to see yourself strutting your stuff also!

Keeping my fingers crossed for you as I'm sure everyone is.



I just do not want months out like last year....:-(
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By lalalovestodance
On Sat Nov 21, 2009 05:38 PM
Your legs absolutely fantastic! Kudos to you for taking class after 20 years, I could only be so lucky to have a similar experience when I begin dancing again!
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By nycsylphmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Nov 22, 2009 10:17 AM
lalalovestodance wrote:

Your legs absolutely fantastic! Kudos to you for taking class after 20 years, I could only be so lucky to have a similar experience when I begin dancing again!


lalalovestodance -

You are waaayyyy too kind. They're much less impressive in person ... and I do mean MUCH. And as for you getting up on those pink satiny slippers, you never know!!!

----

Everyone -

Woo-hoo!!!!! In the midst of bad, I had some good happen!

Okay, last Saturday I was playing with my cat. It was around midnight and I had somehow gotten a second wind. My cavorting just goes to show you that the mind NEVER grows up! The body may age and become decrepit, but the mind? Still thinks it's about 16 years old! Anyway, because I am still remarkably immature and love to play, I began chasing and rollicking around the living room with my beloved kitty cat. This included running, jumping and leaping onto furniture - like chairs and sofas. Yeah I know. I'm sure everyone will just be super surprised when you find out that yes, I did hurt myself. At one point, I was running sideways up and down the length of the living room, and felt something funny in my knee. I must have wrenched it. It felt hurt and the next day had trouble even walking down the stairs. I could walk though, but more than that, something behind the knee was obviously not right. Soooooo I took the week off to heal and see if it would right itself. It did. It felt better immediately and now it's fine, but I'll start on Monday. Was going to start this weekend, but I'll give it the extra couple of days just to make sure. Okay, now here comes the point of the story:

Yesterday, I was checking my email. I was standing leaning over the back of the chair I sit in when I work at my computer. I clicked the mouse and the emails came up and I settled back standing there and reading them. I put my hands on the back of the chair and began using it as a barre. I leaned a bit forward and did an atttitude and .... here's the great part ... I felt my pelvis!!!!!!! My psoas and my legs pushing against one another!!!!! My inner thigh ..... just like I used to!! I swear I haven't been able to feel any of this since I started! I began to wonder what the heck I used to do, but I FELT EVERYTHING! I lifted my leg from underneath and the leg on the ground was pushing into it and there was that opposition! And my back was in position and allowing the leg to go waaaayyy up!!!

I tried it again last night in the kitchen to make sure I didn't just dream that and I really had gotten those atrophied muscles back into some sort of condition and it was all true! I held the attitude on both legs and could feel it in my back, pelvis and inner thighs.

You all probably know how happy this makes me! It means I no longer have to settle and just give up on being able to do a proper attitude and arabesque! And now I can work on it!! Everytime I do it correctly, it'll just get better and better and the correct muscles will get stronger and stronger!

So happy! A big virtual hug for everyone just because I am!!!
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By Tyterope
On Sun Nov 22, 2009 05:47 PM
Whoa! Congratulations to you! That is huge! Isn't it so cool when you find muscles and muscle memory that was buried someplace that you just for your life could not locate? I anticipate these days... (but I haven't had enough practice yet). Nonetheless, since I am living a bit vicariously through all of you, I am soooo glad for you... Now when you practice, you'll just be grinning ear to ear at how your extensions improve and get stronger.... Gotta love that! It's like its very own little celebration! T.
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By Serendipity42Premium member
On Sun Nov 22, 2009 06:42 PM
I think I'm jealous, NYCSylph. I'm still looking for mine!

Thanks for the encouraging words, NYC...I'm scary on tape, so while I'll probably buy and watch the dvd, I won't post it, and certainly won't watch it without a good bar of chocolate beside me. ;)

Need some advice - or rather, information. I'm up to about 4 hours of pointe a week - soon to be five after Christmas. This week was my first week with that somewhat punishing schedule - five hours this past week, that is: Tuesday an hour (essentially regular classes on pointe, all these, by the way), Wednesday 2 hours, Friday an hour, Saturday an hour. My toes were very sore and seem to be callusing. Is that normal?

It's been SO long since I did this much. I'm losing my Saturday class so can't do that one on pointe, but two of my teachers told me I could use my pointe shoes in THEIR classes, so it'll be 5 hours all told (2 hours each on Wed. and Fri.). It wasn't earthshakingly painful - just sore. Enough that I had some trouble erm, "enjoying" the experience, if you get my meaning, but not enough to keep me from being able to do it.

For those who have been on pointe for ages, do you do anything for sore toes? No blisters, no nail issues, as far as I can tell, just plain sore and what looks to be calluses forming on the tips of my big toes.

Thanks for any help!
S.
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By odile53
On Sun Nov 22, 2009 07:51 PM
Fabulous that you found all those muscles, and how to engage them. I'm really proud of you!

Serendipity, since you're doing four pointe classes a week, those toes will toughen up fast. Yeah, it's normal to get calluses. Leave them alone unless they get too thick, then just gently buff them down with a pedicure stone. Don't cut them, and try not to soak your feet too long (you don't want to soften them.)
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