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Fri Oct 10, 2008 03:17 PM
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Thu Jan 15, 2015 10:45 PM
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1939-12-11
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toroandbruin's Bio

For the summers that I was ages 10 and 11 I lived near a civic center which offered ballet, modern and tap dance as part of a summer youth program. I danced 2 or 3 hours every day and loved it. During my 12th and 13th years my parents put me in ballroom dancing classes where I learned just about every step invented except for jitterbug styles which, when I got to High School, was the only kind of dancing anybody did. The lessons weren't a complete waste because they, along with playing the clarinet, improved my ability to hear musical phrasing and count beats. The summer I was 16 I went to a teen camp which included dance taught by a very good teacher. At this point I realized how very little ballet technique I had been taught when younger even though I had memorized a large number of French terms.

Much later, in middle age, after sustaining a sciatic nerve injury which kept coming back, my doctor suggested a regular exercise program. Since my daughter was taking dance classes, I started taking an adult jazz exercise class at the same time and also began a serious walking program. As her schedule progressed over the next few years I continued too, taking whatever adult jazz or ballet classes were available at the schools she attended. As you might guess this type of dance education was a bit haphazard; however I had some excellent teachers, each of whom picked up where the last left off. Even after my daughter left home I kept up with my own classes for a few years. Around 1993 I became so busy at work that I had no time or energy left over for dance and, unfortunately, let it drop. Then several years ago when I found I had osteoporosis and started taking Fosamex, I decided that my occasional walking was not enough to help cure the condition. You really need more weight-bearing movements. I settled on daily Jazzercise as the most sensible and fun combination of dance aerobics and toning (including weight lifting). Plus, all Jazzercise instructors stress correct body alignment and safe movement techniques. (Now my bones are back to normal but I'm continuing with the calcium & weight-lifting and making them better than normal.)

A few winters ago when my muscles had returned to the point that I was jumping ever higher in class, I noticed some foot/ankle pain. I was shocked to discover I had plantar faciitis. I had always thought of my feet and ankles as being pretty darn strong and my ability to land correctly as being good. Well, in addition to foot stretches there's only one way I know of to really improve feet and ankles and that's ballet. So I hauled out some old ballet class videos I'd collected, bought a few more, rolled up the living-room rug and started doing a barre on weekends in addition to Jazzercise. (Luckily I have a really great floor: formica over cushioning over wood suspended over a crawl space.) In addition, I enjoying the center work because I like choreography more challenging than the inventive but not really complex Jazzercise routines.

Over the summer of 2009 I started an adult jazz/lyrical/contemporary dance technique class with the local parks and rec department. Then in Fall 2009 their catalog actually offered an adult ballet class which I started taking. I also found a couple of other classes at area studios which were available outside of work hours, Now, with 3 ballet sources, I can get an average of 2 ballet classes a week (in addition to daily Jazzercise).

So here I am, back into dance again "seriously". Progress is glacially slow but at least I am improving.

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Comments about toroandbruin

By miraclefrmheavn
On Thu Jul 08, 2010 01:36 PM
Hello my friend, did you ever receive the PM's that I sent to you recently? Just kinda wondering if you did or didn't. If you didn't, let me know and I will tell Andrew about it, as there have been issues before people not receiving my messages.
By Odessa
On Sun Feb 01, 2009 11:07 PM
I really like that your username matches your avatar. Every time I see your avatar it makes me smile :)
By miraclefrmheavn
On Wed Dec 10, 2008 08:51 AM
Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday Dear Toroandbruin, Happy Birthday to You... and many more! I hope your birthday is filled with love, happiness, and joy! *HUGS* to you my friend. Welcome to DDN! :D

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