White Water Rafting

College has been so busy!! I haven’t exactly been keeping up with this blog because of it. Of course nothing too exciting has happened, except this last weekend I went on a white water rafting trip with the IA Scholars.

It wasn’t as fun as I had hoped it would be.

Part of the reason I didn’t enjoy myself had to do with the “forced socialization” aspect of it. I didn’t get to choose who was in my cabin, I didn’t get to choose who was in my “pod” which also caused me to have very little choice over who I got to raft with. I mean, I lucked out because 2 of my friends were in my pod and we rafter together, but our other friend was stuck all by herself.

I understand why adults think “forced socialization” will work, but I hate to break it to them, it has never worked. I have experienced a lot of it in my short time, and I can tell you, it does nothing to stop cliques from forming; and in many cases, it makes them worse.

But of course, I could write a whole blog on just that topic, so moving on…
The actual rafting part wasn’t as fun as I has hoped as well. I thought it was going to be rapids the entire time. Instead it was rapids for 2 seconds, followed by several minutes of calm water paddling to the next rapids. I blame part of it on the fact that the water level was low and caused some of the higher classed rapids to be less dangerous and exciting.

I also didn’t get soaked the way I thought I was. I showed up in full rain gear, waterproof everything – expecting to get drenched. I didn’t. My arm got wet twice I think. granted I did have water go down my pants several times, but I still didn’t get soaked. I think everyone hyped up the experience way too much.

I mean, don’t get me wrong. I didn’t hate the trip. It was enjoyable. It just wasn’t what I expected.

One reason I am glad I went though, is that fact that West Virginia reminds me slightly or Georgia, and it curbed my homesickness for my home state. It was nice to hear some people with Southern-ish accents!!

Being out on the river though made me miss the marshes off the coast of Georgia a lot. I don’t get to go there often, but man I love the marshes!! And it was surprising to me to think they don’t have to worry about alligators in West Virginia. I kept expecting to see one, but obviously I never did.

But it was an experience. And it’s not like it cost me and arm and a leg to go. At least now I can say I’ve been white water rafting. I think in the future though, I’d much rather go kayaking or canoeing, or even rock climbing.

Anyways, an update on the rest of college life:
All of my classes are going pretty well. I’m slowly getting the hang of Turkish and we’re starting to learn more complex sentences. I really latched on to the Turkish numbers though. For some reason their numbering system really makes sense to me.

Modern dance is also going well. We’ve been slowly adding on more complicated movements to basic phrases we already learned. I told y’all I was one of the “advanced” dancers right?? So I think I’m progressing quite nicely. I now have to decide though if I want to continue to take modern dance classes in the upcoming quarters. I’m on the fence. Part of me feels like I won’t have room for it on my schedule with trying to get all my GECs and major & minor prerequisites in. But part of me also feels like I need a class which encourages physical activity. I still haven’t managed to motivate myself enough to go to the gym. I’m getting so out of shape.

And Econ and Political Science are going the same. I’m having difficulty staying awake in my Econ lecture – it’s so boring!! Luckily, most of what she is teaching I can understand pretty well from reading the book. We have our first midterm next Monday. In Political Science I had to give a debate. I think my group did really well, though I can’t be sure because she still hasn’t put our grades up yet.

So that’s how college is now. Exciting isn’t it??

**On a side note, this is my 100th post.

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Continuing Ballet??

I’m still really unsure whether or not I should continue ballet after high school.

I mean, I was thinking I shouldn’t tonight. Why should I continue to subject myself to this superficial world?? What’s the point if I’m not going to do this for a career?? I get tired of having to worry about my flexibility and how I look in a leotard. I get tired of wearing the leotard period.

But i want to keep going because I’m committed and i want to follow through. And then tonight at ballet, we did a grand allegro and it was so much fun. I was so proud of myself because I managed to do a saut de basque correctly the first time I tried. And I want to keep doing ballet so I can keep learning these things and keep feeling proud of myself.

So what do I do?? It sure seems like ballet has more negatives than positives. It’s expense and time consuming. And it’s emotionally taxing. But I like doing it. And that reason seems to outweigh all the others.

Maybe I should just not plan on doing it in college first?? So I don’t have to worry about it while I’m getting adjusted to college. It’s a big change.

I want to try different sports and activities and stuff, and I can’t do that if all my time is taken up by ballet.

What will I do??

. . . . .

Little Update: I was talking to my mom and she thinks it would be a bad idea to continue with ballet in college, at least at first. She thinks I should spend my time trying to make friends and get connected first.

Theater Week

So…theater week starts next Tuesday!! Talk about crazy. I can’t believe it’s almost time for my first performance!!

I still haven’t learned one of my parts, but the guy in charge said he’d teach it to me Saturday. He better!! I’m going to hold him to it!!

They also decided to put flowers in the finale of velveteen. I’m proud of myself at how fast I learned it (though it is an easy part). Now I’m basically dancing in the whole ballet. That’s exciting. I love stage time!! Haha.

And we’re doing school performances this year. So that means, I’ll be doing 4 performances of the velveteen rabbit in 2 days. Crazy!!

I’m really excited after this is over to start the nutcracker though. Since I got promoted and all that, I’m very curious to see what part I’ll get. I hope it’s something good, maybe even on pointe?? I’m still not great, but I’m getting better!!

And back to my previous post – “Conflicted” – I don’t know why I get like that sometimes. Some days I’m okay with not being a pro and others I’m not. It’s back and forth, back and forth.

Like right now, I’m looking forward to being a normal college student who does ballet for fun. Honestly, I don’t know if I have the stamina to be a pro dancer. I get tired with just the 8 hours of dance I’m doing a week!!

But in terms of being a pro dancer, i think this quote by Robert Brault sums it up quite well: “How do you achieve success? Well, for one thing, you don’t define it before you achieve it.” I think I need to just stop worrying about planning out my “success” and everything right now. I think I just need to go with the flow and see where life takes me.

But either way I’ll be glad to move out and go to a new city. :D Especially a city as big as Columbus. Wow!!

Anyways, I’m glad we’ve got this labor day holiday coming up. I’ve got some school work and sleep that I need to catch up on!! :P

Oh and might I add that I finally got up the courage to go to juniors class this past week. It was definitely more challenging than my regular class, but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle. There are a lot more people who take it, and a lot of them are closer to my age. I still haven’t decided if I’m going to take it once or twice a week though.

But yeah, life is moving right along, I’m very busy!!

Conflicted

You know, part of me still hasn’t given up on my dream – to be a professional dancer.

I want to go to school at Ohio State. It’s in Columbus. You know what else is in Columbus?? BalletMet. One of the places I wanted to audition for the preprofessional program.

I still want to dance while I’m in college, but I feel like a part of me will never be content with just dancing recreationally.

I still want to be a professional dancer. But I also want to go to college and get a degree and all that. But part of me feels like I’m giving up by not trying to pursue a dance a career. But really…how realistic is that??

I just feel so angry sometimes at the way things have turned out. Like, why couldn’t I have started ballet earlier?? Why couldn’t I have taken more classes and gotten better faster?? Why am I talented at music and art but apparently not talented at dance?? I don’t understand.

I just want to partner and be good at pointe and be flexible and do all of that. Why is it so hard?? Why do I have to make this decision??

I’m getting ready to go to college next year. I say that I’m planning on majoring in arabic and minoring in turkish so that I can get a job in international affairs. But I don’t know if that will make me happy. I don’t know what I want.

Because half of me loves dance, and wants to be a professional. But the other half doubts if I’m really committed, and thinks trying to pursue a professional career is a waste of time and money.

I just want to be happy, but right now I don’t know what choice will make me happy. I wish I had someone who could give me advice about this but it really feels like no one is on my side.

I really wished I believed in a personal god, so that way I could have someone all knowing counsel me.

Any advice??

New School Year

So today was Open House for school. I don’t know if I’m ready to start school. Blah. My brain feels on overdrive.

It’s been about 2 weeks since summer intensives ended, and it’s really taken a toll on my confidence and surety in my decision to pursue dance. Since I haven’t been dancing, I keep wondering if I’m making a mistake. Is this really what I’m supposed to do??

I’m sure that I once I start dancing again, my passion will return – my confidence in what I’m trying to achieve. It’s just scary to be feeling this way.

It’s just my parents keep bringing up college and it’s really stressing me out. I don’t think they really want me to pursue this dream. They want me to pursue a “safe” career. I just wish they’d be more supportive.

I’m just ready to get dancing again. My meeting with my studio director is in about 2 days (holy crap!!) and I’m really nervous about it. I don’t want him to crush my dreams. I don’t know if I could handle that.

Anyways, this year looks like it’s gonna be pretty stressful and busy.

Blah. :/

The Joffery Ballet School?!?

Well…I’ve been looking a summer intensives for next year and I found out that the Joffery Ballet School has southern summer intensive right here in Georgia!!

You know – I think if I worked really hard this year (especially on pointe), I would be able to make it.

For a video submission, you have to film a “short technical demonstration at the barre or center. The student must include plies, tendues, degages (from fifth position, both straight and with plie), ronde de jambe, passé developpe en croix, grand battements, and balances on one leg.” And I can do all that stuff. You also have to include a 1-2 minute classical variation en pointe – which is what I would need major work on.

But that’s doable in a year, right?? I’m 17. My bones have already done all their major growing – so I don’t have to worry about screwing them up. I also go to the gym 2 – 3 times a week. I’m strong enough, and getting stronger everyday.

Again, like everything I’m dreaming up right now, I’ll have to wait and talk to my studio director about it.

But I know I can do it – I just need someone to give me the chance.

The way I see it is, what’s the point of dreaming if you’re not gonna dream big?? I might as well train like I’m trying to get in to ABT or NYCB, even though I probably never actually will.

“Your attitude, not your aptitude, determines your altitude.” – Zig Ziglar

Yard Sale & Senior Project

So today, my ballet studio had a yard sale to help with funding, and now that I’m a company member, I’m required to help out at all fundraisers.

So this morning, me and my mom went to help out. There wasn’t much to do, it was rather boring. They had enough people helping out already. But when it came time to pack up, we were needed, so it wasn’t a total waste. It was funny because my mom kept packing things up that weren’t supposed to be taken away.

A lot of the stuff we donated didn’t sell though. Oh well. It’s out of our house now at least.

But anyways…what’s really been on my mind lately has been senior project. I’ve been trying to figure out what I’m going to do for it since junior year.

I’ve been considering trying to choreograph a dance. I’ve thought about it before, but it just seemed like an unlikely choice. I feel like it will be a really difficult thing to accomplish. I’d like to preform it too.

I already have a song picked out: Almost Lover by A Fine Frenzy. I love that song. It’s really emotional and has a good steady beat to it.

It would be a solo piece, and I was thinking about it being done barefoot. I would choreograph it so that I could preform it, but it would still be challenging for me. I would need help from our studio director, or someone more experienced, because there’s still a lot about ballet that I don’t know.

I feel like the reason I want to do this is so I can prove myself as a dancer, to the people at the studio and myself. I feel like I haven’t had a chance to “show off.” And I’m just really eager to show people that, yes, even though I started dancing really late, I’m still a good dancer. And I know I’d be good at a slow lyrical piece. That’s what I enjoy. Plus, I figured since I would be so busy with dance this year, I might as well try to center my senior project around dance as well – to make things easier.

But I don’t know. I figure I’ll talk to my studio director about it when I talk to him about college and all that. I’m sure he would have to best advice and would even be willing to help me.

We’ll see….but either way, this should be an eventful year.