Quick Update

So its been a while since I posted so I figure I’ll give y’all a quick update on my life.

I had my second midterm for polisci and econ not too long ago. I did really well on my polisci exam but not so good on my econ one. I’ll really have to study for the final exam in that class. I honestly do like economics, but the math is getting to me. All the graphs and formulas are difficult for me to understand and remember. But I have to pass the class because it’s a prerequisite for my major, so I’ve really got to do some studying for the final.

This weekend was Veteran’s day weekend so all of my friends went home. Nothing much exciting happened. I spent most of the weekend with my boyfriend. I tried Ethiopian food for the first time and I have to say, it was really good. They put all of the orders in one big dish and everyone shares. And you use this really strange bread as your utensil. It’s spongy and kind of sour tasting but it goes really well with the food.

Mainly things have been pretty routine. Dance is going well. We moved on from learning the Humphrey technique to studying Cunningham’s technique. We haven’t been studying it very long so I’m not sure if I like it or not yet. The new exercises we’ve learned are really fun though. One exercise we do is set to the theme song from “House”. It’s really high energy with lots of jumping. It’s probably one of my favorite dances we’ve learned so far.

I won’t be taking any dance classes next quarter because I can’t fit any of them into my schedule, which I’m okay with. Now that I’ve gotten experience with modern, I realize, it is fun, but I love the challenge ballet provides more. I’m still not sure what I’m going to do about ballet. I really wish I could dance up here but I just don’t see it fitting into my schedule anywhere. What with classes, trying to spend time with my friends, and fulfilling the requirements to be in the International Affairs scholars program, I don’t really have free hours. But I’m still holding out hope that I’ll be able to do it over the summer at my old studio. I still occasionally pull out my pointe shoes and dance in my dorm room, but…dorm rooms aren’t really conducive to dancing. Haha.

But honestly, I’m happy up here. Regardless of the miserable weather, I really enjoy myself up here. The academics are good and there’s always things to do. For the first time in a while, I actually have a social life. :P

So yeah, not much new or exciting to report on. It’s just college. I feel bad because I haven’t been posting that often, but now that I’m so busy, there’s not as much time. For the first time in a while I don’t have any homework to do, so I figured I’d finally take the time to give y’all an update.

Oh, and turkish is going well. It’s probably my favorite class. I made an A+ on my midterm in the class. We’re still only learning the basics, but I’m slowly learning how to converse in turkish. I really need to practice my vocabulary though. The verbs are killing me. For some reason I find them so much harder to remember than spanish verbs. Probably because the spelling of many verbs is very similar. For example: “dinlemek” means to listen, whereas “dinlenmek” means to rest. There’s only one letter’s difference!!

But yeah, that’s life.


I miss Ballet!!

Modern is a fun class, but every time I’m there I wish it was ballet.

I miss ballet so much. I put on my pointe shoes and dance in my dorm room, but then I’m frustrated because I haven’t made any progress (because I haven’t done ballet in close to 6 months). It’s like this ache deep inside of me, this feeling of jumping out of my skin, I have to get back to ballet!!

I’m not going to sit here and say modern is easy for me, but it doesn’t provide a challenge like ballet does. Modern is too natural. Dancing in bare feet, rolling on the floor – while it’s difficult to coordinate my body movements, the actions in and of themselves are normal. I dance in bare feet everyday. I don’t dance in pointe shoes. Ballet is a challenge because it is so unnatural.

I want to get back to ballet class so badly. I suppose I could give my own class in my dorm room, but really?? I’ll never any serious improvement like that.

I’m just wondering how I would fit ballet into my busy college schedule. Most of the dance classes offered by OSU I can’t take because their hours conflict with my academic classes. And I really want to go to BalletMet, but that costs extra money, plus the time lost in the commute by bus.

I suppose where there’s a will there’s a way, but right now it just seems so impossibly unreachable. I want to desperately improve my ability on pointe. I don’t want to be a professional dancer anymore, but I want to be on their level (or close to it). I want being on pointe to feel as natural as being barefoot.

I long so much to be back in ballet class. Part of me wishes I had stayed home and gone to the community college so I could still keep attending my home studio. That is how much I miss ballet (because if you know me, you know I swore I’d never go to ASU).

If I decide to make this work, it’ll take some serious planning and time management on my part. And it will take serious dedication as well, because it won’t be easy. For the first time in a long time, I actually have homework – and a lot of it. I guess I could do homework on the 20-30 minute commute it takes to get to BalletMet.

But then there’s money. As a college student BalletMet offers adult classes at $7 per class. That’s not outrageous – but it adds up. I obviously cannot afford to go to school fulltime, dance, and have a job – so my parents would have to pay for it. Hm. I hate adding on more expenses to my college. But is there any other way??

I guess I’ll figure it out. But I just don’t know how much longer I can go without ballet.

Dancing at BalletMet

So I move into Ohio State on the 18th. Today I was helping pack up some nonessential items and I had to go through my dance bag to see what I would take (since I am taking modern there). It made me realize how much I love dance and how much I do not, not want to dance while in college. None of the ballet classes offered by OSU fit into my current schedule so that only leaves the option of finding an outside studio.

The best solution I have found is to take adult classes at BalletMet. They have the biggest variety of classes at the lowest price. However, I’m still not sure the price is something I can afford. It’s something I’ll have to check on once I get in Ohio, because their website doesn’t offer much payment information.

And I hope they still allow registration. Maybe the adult classes don’t have a registration cut off like the youth division does. And I wonder if they’d allow me to do some of the basic ballet classes on pointe?? I still really want to improve my skills on pointe but they don’t offer a specific pointe class for adults. I feel like if I explained my situation they might be more lenient.

But I hope it is something I can afford and that I will have time for. I really love ballet. Even though I have also developed a love for modern, ballet will always be my first and strongest love. I don’t think I can rest until I achieve the level of skill I desire in ballet. It’s just such a beautiful and elegant art form. I desire so much to dance like that.

But, on another note, I starting to get nervous about moving off to college. I’m going to be so far away!! In a city where I know NO ONE. I’ve been waiting all summer for this day to arrive and now that it’s almost here, I want to postpone it some more….I’m sure I’ll be fine. It’s just nerve-racking. I’ve never been this far from home for this love. Even though I’m excited to go and exert my independence, part of me is still not ready to grow up.

Also, you probably don’t know, but all this summer I have been making a quilt to take with me to college. I wanted to make one 1.) because I wanted to say I accomplished something this summer and 2.) I thought it would be good to have a warm quilt during the frozen Ohio winters. Haha. But amazingly, it’s finished, and with a week to spare. Now I won’t know what to do with my days. I feel like most of the packing is done, besides the last minute stuff like toiletries.

So there. I honestly haven’t been up to much lately, which is why I haven’t posted in a while. But now that college is finally drawing near, I’ll probably be posting a lot more…at least until the newness of college wears off.

Becoming an Expert

I’ve always wanted to become an expert as something, to devote myself fully to something until I became the best. I just don’t know what that something would be.

I know, what about ballet & dance?? That’s the first thing that pops into my mind too. I love ballet and the discipline it requires, but because I started so late, I don’t know if I could ever dance on pointe the way professionals do. And I’d never consider myself an expert at ballet until I learned to dance on pointe. When I started pointe, my foot bones were already fused, so I don’t know if I’d ever be able to dance on pointe relatively pain-free (because my feet are definitely not suited for pointe work naturally). Of course foot bones and some pain are no reason to give up on a dream, but it’s just a thought.

What other things could I devote myself to?? I want to become good at something athletic. I’ve never been particularly gifted in the athletics department, so I’ve always been attracted to the idea of becoming proficient at something athletic. However team sports don’t appeal to me. I like to do things by myself so I can progress at my own pace. That doesn’t leave many things. I’ve considered taking up running, or perhaps martial arts. Maybe yoga??

Anyways, I still really love dance, don’t get that part wrong. I’m just trying out different scenarios in my head. Thinking out loud. Some things (like running or yoga) could go hand in hand with dance. I’ve just always wanted to be able to do something that could wow my friends (like dancing on pointe). Oh who knows?? I’d never give up dance if I have to. And I might still finish learning how to dance on pointe, even if it hurts my feet.

Made: Ballerina

Right now, I’m watching a show called Made on MTV, where people have a coach who tries to “make” them into something. And in the episode I’m watching now, the girl is trying to become a ballerina.

It reminds me of when I first started ballet, and it also makes me realize, that I’m not as suck-y of a dancer as I thought I was. I mean, dancers are always known for being self-critical, but I feel like a lot of times I’m harder on myself than most because I started late and I feel like I have to “catch-up.”

This show is reminding me how much I love ballet. I haven’t been thinking about it much because I’ve been worrying about college. I wish I could’ve done ballet over the summer, but we need to save money. Which makes me even more anxious to get into college and start my modern class. I have absolutely convinced myself that modern is the dance style that is a perfect fit for me.

Hopefully, once I get into class and see how I like it, I can talk to my teacher about maybe auditioning for the dance department?? I don’t know. The one main issue keeping me from 100% saying I want to major in dance is money – and getting a job after graduation. My parents have estimated my monthly payment to be around $1,000 when I graduate. Add that to a $1,000 apartment bill and there goes most undergrads’ salary.

I’m honestly think I’m probably putting the cart before the horse with college. I think I just need to relax and wait until I get into college, and get into my classes and then take things from there. I just have this sense of urgency. How am I supposed to figure out what I want to do in 4 years?? And if I major in dance, how am I supposed to get my technique where it needs to be in 4 years?? And how am I supposed to afford all this??

Ugh. As I have said countless times before, I hate unknowns.

Be Great

I just read an article about the talent myth and greatness. It was really inspiring because it basically said you don’t need talent to be great – you need obsessive practice. I find this really inspiring because it confirms what I’ve believed in my head for years (but no one else seems to believe). You don’t need talent to become a great dancer. You need hard work. In fact, even an interview in Pointe magazine with the Royal Ballet’s Johan Kobborg confirms it. They asked “In reaching the top, how much is talent and how much is sweat?” He replied, “For me, it was definitely more determination than talent. I know principals all over the world who are actually not naturally talented, but have worked very hard.”

There. It’s a fact. It’s hard work, not talent, that make a great dancer (or a great anything for that matter).

While with dance certain innate abilities (like natural flexibility) can certainly help make your journey to greatness easier, they are definitely not prerequisites. No one seems to believe me when I spout this idea. When I asked my studio director about having a career in ballet, he told me “You chose dance. Dance did not choose you.”

Excuse my language, but what the fuck?? Hasn’t he ever heard of hard work and determination?? Of course, I understand now that there are other genetic factors that would limit my success in ballet (because let’s face it, ballet is sort of stuck in its ways when it comes to body types), I still felt very offended at that comment. It’s like all my hard work I had put in thus far meant nothing, all because I wasn’t “naturally talented.”

Screw that. I’ve always believed that I was going to be great, in some way, shape, or form. I fully intend to do that, whether I’m “naturally talented” or not.

Anyways, back to the article. The article really inspired me to pursue my dreams with absolute, fierce determination. It also reminded me of how much I would have to sacrifice in order to achieve such an ambitious dream. There’s so many things I want to do and experience in college, there’d have to be a trade off. Dance or a social life?? Dance or being able to afford to treat yourself?? There are so many trade offs. I think it’s worth it – but I’d have to be 100% committed.

Like I said, there are other things besides “talent” that would limit my success in the professional ballet world, namely my non-waif like body type, age, lack of pointe skills, and lack of flexibility. Flexibility and pointe work can be developed, but the others I’m stuck with. Luckily, modern offers me a solution to that problem. And I’m still feeling committed to my desire to do modern in college. Modern dancers tend to have more “normal” bodies and there’s no pointe work involved!! Plus, it seems that modern companies seem to be less strict about the age limit of their dancers.

This is just my grand plan. I waver back and forth because sometimes I think, “Oh I wouldn’t like being a professional dancer” and other times, it’s all I can think about. Like I said, I’d have to commit myself 100% to this dream. It’s still up in the air as with everything right now. I’m in a transition period in my life. I still have to find out if I like modern!!

But yes. This is just my little rant for the night. I just want everyone to know – screw the critics!! If you believe you can do it, with enough hard work and determination, you can!! As Fort Minor said, “It’s 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will. 5% pleasure and 50% pain and 100% reason to remember the name!!”


Corrections on my Technique

It’s very frustrating coming to the realization that my inability to do certain moves on pointe stems from my inability to do them on flat. It seems like a no brainer, but it hasn’t dawned on me until today.

For example: chaines turns. These are probably one of the hardest things for me to do on pointe, even more difficult than pirouettes and pique turns (which are still pretty difficult). Today, I was trying to practice my pointe work and I became very frustrated. So I decided to try these same moves on demi-pointe. When I tried to do chaines, I couldn’t even go in a straight line. How can I expect to do these on pointe if I can’t even do them on flat?!?

Chaines and pique turns are something that usually gets glossed over in regular class at my studio. How do they expect us to do these things on pointe if we never practice them in regular ballet class??!!? It’s very frustrating to me that I’ve just now figured this out.

So now, instead of working on my pointe work, I have to start all over from the beginning, practicing these things on demi-pointe,especially chaines. I’m not a strong turner to begin with. Because my technique with these turns is still sort of shaky on flat, when I try to do them on pointe, my technique completely flies out the window.

Also, I tried filming myself doing certain moves today. Yuck!! I was very disappointed with what I saw. Part of what I filmed was on pointe, and my yucky technique and appearance can be explained by the above rant. But I also filmed myself doing pirouettes and saut de chats on flat and they still looked gross!! Ugh.

After watching myself do pirouettes and then watching people on youtube do pirouettes, I have discerned certain problems and corrections to give myself. One, in my preparatory fourth position, I’m letting my butt stick out and totally releasing my core. Not only does it look bad, it’s not giving me a good firm starting base. And after watching videos of other people who are good enough to do many pirouettes on youtube, I realized there’s this strange first/second position that they all go through that I think I was leaving out. When I tried adding it in, though I didn’t pull off a double, I felt better on balance. I also have to remember the correction one of my teachers gave me a while back: think of the working leg as doing all the pushing and the standing leg as going straight up into the balance. That’s all a pirouette is, is a turning balance.

As for my saut de chat, it’s mostly related to my flexibility. It wasn’t a very split-y saut de chat buts that understandable considering I can’t do a split. But also, my legs weren’t straight – even though they felt straight. I think that’s also related to my flexibility. Because I’m trying to extend my legs to their maximum extension, its hard for me to straighten my legs fully. The only solution to that is to get more flexible. Bleh. I wish I could’ve been born with natural flexibility.

I need to get back into using my foam roller. Since I’m stuck at home all day during the summer, I really have no excuse not to use it. And possibly, by the time I leave for college I could have my splits. I feel like having the flexibility to do the splits could really help my dancing. Nowadays almost all really good dancers can do the splits.

Hopefully I can improve my dancing. I really want to become great at ballet. I want to reach a preprofessional level, regardless of whether I’m going to be a professional or not. But today makes me realize I still have a long way to go.

I’ve been contemplating ways to maximize my ballet training in college while minimizing cost and I think I’ve settled on a solution (depending on how my time works out in college.) My first year, I could take the non-major dance classes OSU offers. If I like them, maybe I’ll stick with them, but if not, here’s what I can do. As much as I hate it, I’m going to need to get a job in college. And I can save some of my money I make from a job and use it towards ballet classes at an outside studio that will have more intensive training. And I can also save some to use towards the summer intensive the studio here does (that I can’t take this summer because of finances.) I haven’t told my parents about this grand plan, but I think it’s a pretty good idea.

I just worry about having a social life in college. There are so many things I want to do in college – how much to do I want to sacrifice to better myself at ballet?? I keep telling myself that no one ever became great without sacrifice.

There are just so many unknowns right now with time and work load that I won’t know about college until I get there and get in it.
I’ll just have to wait and see.

Previous Older Entries