Check Out My Fancy Hospital Pasties

I’m officially decompressing!

It turns out that what was driving me so crazy was the combination of uber-tight compression wrap and surgical drain tubing, which conspired to irritate the living daylights out of my intercostal cartilage and muscles. Those are still a bit angry, but sooooooo much better sans poky tubing and with relaxed compression.

During my surgery, I got trimmed down and liposuctioned and so forth, and now I’m all taped up and decorated with ridiculously large hospital pasties (I feel like perhaps I should decorate them?[1]) … And, yes, I still have nipples 😛

  1. Made an attempt. Didn’t bring any wide Sharpies, though. SOON.

I debated whether or not to post pictures, but I’m going to bite the bullet and do it. 

First, I’m really stoked about how clean everything looks already. My body just looks like, you know, my body. I don’t know what exactly I was expecting? But I think it involved bruises and stuff.

Second, I’m not the first guy who’s had to undertake this kind of surgery, nor will I be the last—and I was okay with it in part because I saw photos in various phases of the healing process from other guys who’d had the same thing done. Maybe mine will help someone down the line—another dancer, even—feel okay with it, too.

A note about the dancer-specific end of that: I hemmed and hawed about which surgical approach to pursue in part because of the potential for scarring and the fact that, as a male dancer, I’ll have more options if I feel like I can take roles that require me to dance shirtless [2]. 

  1. Like, for example, I’ll be able to work in modern dance, which is apparently code for “Topless Boys Live!”, ever at all

Ultimately, I opted for an approach that would leave longer scars, but in more discreet places, and would be a sure shot in terms of removing extra skin in awkward spots. Having seen myself this afternoon with no shirt and no medical pasties, I know I made the right decision.

Speaking of that, I got to see myself sans Hospital Pasties this afternoon, and I’m quite happy with the results—though as a good citizen of the internet I’m kicking myself for failing to grab a photo. 

Anyway, I had a bunch of extra skin before (thanks, collagen disorder!), but you’d never know at this point. Also, I appear to have normal tactile sensation everywhere, which is great. It wasn’t terribly likely in my case, but I was a little worried about ending up with tactile “dead zones” that could be awkward for some kinds off partnering.

There will be narrow scars below my pecs extending from about 4 cm to either side of the center of my chest (looks closer to the center in the shot below due to tape and guidelines) to a point straight down from my armpits. They probably won’t be very visible. The upside of the collagen thing is that I tend towards hypotrophic scarring, which in turn tends not to stand out too much against my ultra-pasty pallor.

Me in my super-sexy hospital pasties.

How do you like these gigantic pasties? You can also still see some of the guidelines my surgeon drew before surgery 😛

I’ve also got extra gauzy stuff and even moar tape going on under my arms where my drains came out today. Those will be there for about a week. (You guys, I really should’ve purchased stock in 3M’s medical supply division.)

I have some sutures in my aureolae, so I’m supposed to wear some kind of medical pasties for a couple of weeks whilst those heal up, but my surgeon suggests the big, square band-aids with adhesive all the way around. There’s no need for them to be huge like the current ones; 4×4 gauze just happens to be ubiquitous in US medical practices.

I feel like I should thank my ballet and aerials teachers for making my surgeon’s job and my life easier. He had zero trouble locating the margins of my pecs, and my blood supply and overall fitness are basically stellar, which made everything smoother and easier in every way.

That’s it for now. We’re heading home tomorrow, so I might even make it back in time to stand around idly at rehearsal on Wednesday, learning by osmosis.

PS: I am greatly enjoying wearing just one shirt at a time. I cannot explain how amazing that feels.

PPS: Still heckin’ itchy, though, because omg so much tape. At least the stuff under my pecs will fall off on its own in about a week.

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Post-Surgical Thoughts

  1. I thought I understood annoying compression situations. I did not (to be fair, my moobs were mostly loose skin, and didn’t require much compression). Post-Surgical dressings are fierce o_O’

  2. It turns out that I normally put my hands up above my head a lot. I’m not permitted to do that at the moment, and it’s driving me crazy.
  3. Itching: the struggle is real.
  4. Surgical drains are a great invention, and the ones I currently have are super-easy to work with. That said, by the end of the day, the tubing under the compression bandage feels like someone poking me between the ribs with malice aforethought and extreme prejudice.
  5. For whatever reason, the compression dressing was applied with my shoulders scrunched up around my neck. It is impossible to express how much I’m looking forward to being able to relax them down where they normally live.
  6. This whole process has been fairly smooth, and actually quite a bit less itchy than I anticipated.
  7. But still itchy enough.

    In all, I’m grateful as all heck that I’ve finally got this sorted. Follow-up visit today (maybe I get to put my shoulders down!), so I’ll finally get to see the results, though I expect things still look a bit sore and lumpy.

    Don’t worry, little dinosaur, I feel your pain!

    Dances With*out* Moobs (Eventually)

    I have trouble keeping my mouth shut about Big Giant News, but I’m also apparently horribly superstitious about jinxing myself, so I apologise for my recent bout of vague hint-dropping. I promise I’m not going to turn into one of those annoying hinty bloggers who try to keep readers hooked in by being annoyingly vague about things that turn out not to be all that amazing after all 😛

    Anyway, yesterday I finally (FINALLY!) went “under the knife” to shed my moobs. Last week, I was super stressed-out about the upcoming surgery—not because I was worried about the surgery itself, but because I did a bunch of research and chose a doctor in Fort Lauderdale, Florida—right in the path of Bad Girl Irma.

    I called their office last week to find out if they might need to reschedule, and they said, “Nah, we should be fine,” which was both a relief and a little alarming, since I was worried about the potential for last-minute changes of plans.

    Anyway, no rescheduling was needed, and I did indeed have the surgery yesterday.

    Evidently, it went very well, and except for the fact that I puked a couple of times shortly after I awoke from anesthesia(1), I’m recovering really well.

    1. Not terribly surprising, as I’m pretty sensitive to sedatives in general 😛

    The weirdest bits of the surgical experience were: 

    • Thinking, shortly after the anaesthesiologist added the “Momma said knock you out” drip to my IV, “Huh, I’m not falling asleep yet,” and then immediately falling asleep.
    • Going under with my underwear on; waking up without them (still not sure why they had to take them off for this, but no worries, I got them back).

    The funny part was that the nursing staff couldn’t figure out how to put my undies back on 😛 Admittedly, the undies in question are a tad unusual. They’re jock-strap stylie, because I’m queer like that. You probably didn’t really need to know, but there you have it 😛

    Anyway, I semi-slept all the way back to our hotel, then slept some more, woke up at 10 PM, ate some yoghurt and sourdough bread (which, it turns out, is very easy on the stomach), and promptly went back to sleep and stayed that way with brief awakenings until 6:30 AM.

    I’m feeling pretty chipper today, though the post-surgical compression dressing is not very comfortable (could be worse, though).

    So that’s finally done, anyway. I’ll be on full R&R for a couple of weeks, dance-wise, then slowly working back in so I’ll be in shape enough to perform in November and fully on form for audition season in January/February.

    I’m looking forward to dancing without moobs, finally. It’s weird, in a way, because everyone I’ve mentioned it to has said, “Huh, I never would have known,” so obviously my compression vests have been doing their job well—but it’ll be nice to live life without the extra layer.

    I have, by the way, been really pleased with my surgeon and his staff. I chose a doctor who has extensive experience working on intersex and trans guys as well as other guys with gynecomastia, and I feel like he really has it down to an art.

    And, of course, being able to hang out in Fort Lauderdale for a week doesn’t hurt, either, even if I can’t go swimming (I can wade, though!).

    So that’s it for now.

    “Help! I’m bein’ compressed!” (With apologies to Monty Python :D)

    Chaines: Bring The Party (Side)

    At Suspend, where I train in aerials, there’s a cute shorthand for differentiating one’s dominant side from one’s non-dominant side: we call the dominant (usually right) side the “business side” and the non-dominant (usually left) side the “party side.”

    This means that if, for example, you start an exercise on your dominant side, when your instructor says, “…And, now let’s do the party side!” you’ll know what to do regardless of which side is which for you (or, if you’re a giant mess of cross-dominant feels like me, you’ll just do whichever one you didn’t already do).

    I mention all this largely to apologize for the fact that I’m about to lamely use the same terminology to mean “something completely different,” as it were, all apologies to Cirque Volant du Monty Python.

    and-now-for-something-completely-different-1

    Shamelessly stolen via Teh G00gs.

    Anyway, as you all know by now, I have what one might call a chequered past with regard to chaîné turns. I have been known to refer to them as “hell turns,” “devil turns,” and “Can’t we just leave that part out?”

    In short, I used to hate chaîné turns avec le feu de mille soleils(1).

    1. That’s “with the fire of a thousand suns,” for those playing along in only one language, or at any rate in a pastiche of languages that doesn’t include French.

    Then I learned, or possibly re-learned, to approach them from tombé and began to make peace with them (the fact that BW makes me do roughly a billion chaînés every class probably doesn’t hurt, either: that’s what happens when you have 90 minutes and only one student).

    I’ve spent the last several months tweaking things: bringing the chest forward, doing away with the swayback bit, actually spotting at the same rate I’m turning, etc. All of this has greatly improved my relationship with the much-hated chaîné.

    On this past Friday, BG added a really sound correction (given to the entire class) to the mix—one very similar, in fact, to that which Killer B gave me on my grand assemblé en tournant. BG said, in essence,

    Don’t let the second side trail behind. Snap it around. Think about actively bringing the opposite shoulder and hip around.

    It turns out that this helps immensely—but, as with almost everything in ballet, it requires that you’ve first laid down the groundwork.

    In this case, the groundwork is cross-lateral activation. If you’ve got decent pirouettes and piqué turns, chances are good that you have the groundwork in place.

    It just so happens, though, that we tend to forget to use it when doing chaînés, probably because we’re too busy grumbling to ourselves about how horrible they are.

    Anyway, when you consciously think about bringing the trailing shoulder and hip along with you, which you do by activating the muscles that connect diagonally across your body, not only do you prevent the annoying swayback effect, but you also get faster turns with less effort.

    So, really, while the term “chaîné” refers to the fact that you’re chaining together a series of turns, you can also think about it as if you’re chaining the trailing side of your body to the leading side, or perhaps better, activating the chains of muscles that connect across your body, as you turn.

    I was actually quite surprised at how immediate and clear a difference this made for me: it got me a “Good, Asher!” from BG, which is always welcome (and, for once, did not immediately cause me to forget how to walk, let alone dance).

    So, basically, if you think of your business side as the side that’s leading, make sure you intentionally bring the party side along with it: because all business and no party makes Jack terrible at chaînés. Or something like that.

    One more semi-pro tip: I find it helpful to imagine that something is pushing my trailing side around from behind. For whatever reason, this helps me keep shoulders and hips (and, presumably, body and soul) together.

    So, there you have it. My current bit of helpful advice for chaînés, which (as it turns out) are not beyond help after all.

    I may not be quite as ridiculously fast at them as Rudolf Nureyev was, but dangit, I’m improving. So there.

    ~

    PS: I am likely to be more or less incognito for a week or so. I have a Big Thing Happening, and I’m keeping my hecking mouth shut about it until it’s done, and might just kind of keep my big hecking mouth shut period for a bit and take a break from the written variety of Social Meteors.

    Back From The Back of Beyond

    I’m back from the Desert now, and catching up on life. Today was my first full day home, and I hit it hard—did a bunch of administrative life stuff, then booked it out to a 3-hour rehearsal.

    Speaking of which, now that my name’s on the official cast list (or, as Autocorrupt suggests, “the official cat list”) I feel like I can stop being silent about one thing, anyway!

    Cirque Louis: Kaleidoscope

    I’m seriously stoked about the fact that we’re performing in the Bomhard, which is one of my two favorite local theaters.

    Sadly, I missed our headshot shoot (it got moved), so my headshot won’t be in the program, but it’ll be on the website. I’m performing on hammock in this show, in addition to other things, which is pretty exciting. It’s like silks for trapeze people 😀 There will, of course, also be dancing.
    Rehearsal today went really well. I’m excited about working with this cat … I mean, cast … and I’m rather a fan of our AD.

    That’s it for now. Insanely busy week this week, and next week will be huge if Irma doesn’t completely destroy Fort Lauderdale.

    How to Get a Dancer’s Body: Two Strategies*

    I: The Slow-and-Steady Approach

    1. If you don’t live in a locality with a good professional company, move to one
    2. Go to performances. Identify a dancer whose body you wouldn’t mind having.
    3. Find a teacher. No, not a dance teacher; that takes way too long. I’m talking about a teacher of the obscure occult arts.
    4. Gather such materials as you may require: the black goat, newts’ tongues, and rooster’s egg may be difficult to source in urban areas.
    5. Using the materials and methods  already acquired, become incorporeal.
    6. Once you have become incorporeal, locate your chosen dancer and cause him or her to become incorporeal as well.
    7. Take over the body of the dancer in question.
    8. Congratulations! You now have a dancer’s body.

    II: The “Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That” Approach

    1. Start dancing. No, seriously, right now, to any kind of music or none.
    2. Are you dancing? Are you in your body? Congratulations! You now have a dancer’s body!

    *for best results, attempt with tongue held firmly in cheek

    This Mammoth Moment

    Class was decent today.

    My allergies were, as they have been, off the chain—but that’s par for the course, and no small part of the reason that I bother working on my cardio. The more fit my cardiovascular system is, the less it hates me when I can barely inhale because my nose and the back of my throat are full of goop but I dance anyway.

    It wasn’t flat-out the best class I’ve had recently (that was Sunday, I think), but I still feel like every single day I make progress, which is something. Even last Thursday, when my allergies were so bad I thought my head would explode and I had to beg off of grand allegro (to my great and undying humiliation), I made progress.

    After class, I reviewed Siegfried’s variation. I had meant to just mark it, but instead after the first phrase I found myself running it: contretemps-tombé-pas de bourrée-glissade-saut de chat, repeat. I was watching my port de bras and my turnout in the mirror and heading back to “stage left” suddenly I noticed that I was, as the song[1] goes, “Way up in the middle of the air,” without actually trying, in this surprisingly nice saut de chat.

    1. The song in question being “Ezekiel Saw The Wheel,” a folk song which I’d never heard until I met my last roommate, who used to sing it: Ezekiel saw the wheel, way up, way up, Ezekiel saw the wheel, way up in the middle of the air.

    Anyway, that saut de chat startled the heck out of me and I landed like a mammoth, but it’s really good to feel like I’ve regained the best of my “Terpsichorean powers[2],” so to speak.

    1. Why, yes, of course I’m referencing T.S. Elliot. Also, the musical Cats.

    On the other hand, I don’t recommend landing like a mammoth even on good floors. I went back to marking, though with a little more vigor than your usual mark.

    I also realized that I tend to fail to bring my second leg to the party when I do assemblés in the context of petit allegro.

    I mean, it’s not that it doesn’t get there. It’s that I fail to really actively transport it. Like the first leg gets on the train, but the second one has to walk to the party.

    I had somehow failed to notice that … no doubt in part because when I do grand allegro assemblés—especially porté—I really snap that puppy right the heck up there. But, in case you were wondering, petit allegro is not, in fact, grand allegro, only smaller,” no matter what its name might imply. It requires its own approach (they do it like nobody’s business in Copenhagen).

    But, anyway, I haven’t been really pushing the second foot through the plié and snapping it up there, and Killer B schooled me over it this morning.

    So Killer B’s advice is to think of glissade-assemblé as a compound word; a hyphenated phrase like tombé-pas de bourée, (or, if you’re a guy, tombé-chaîné-chaîné-chaîné-chaîné-chaîné). You have to really push the trailing leg through the bottom of the plié that’s sort of the hyphen so the momentum doesn’t get lost[3].

    1. When you lose the momentum, you wind up with two separate words, one of them mumbled: “Glissade. Assemblah.”

    So I tried it, and wouldn’t you know, it worked like a charm.

    So that’s today’s bit of technical advice. Since glissade-assemblé is a petit-allegro stock phrase, think of it with a hyphen and pushpushpush the second leg through the plié in the middle, so when it leaves the ground again all the momentum is there.

    And use your plié. And use your plié. And use your plié.

    Which, coincidentally, will also stop you landing your saut de chat like a mammoth, which you will appreciate when you’re seventy and haven’t yet had to put in new knees, or so I’ve heard.

    ~

    On Monday I found myself reading some old posts in the bath (because reading in the bath is what I would do basically 90% of the time that I’m not dancing, if I had my way … well, that and swimming in the ocean).

    It was surprising to look back on where I was only three and a half years ago: to realize that, really, I had no idea I’d be doing what I’m doing now—or maybe just a glimmer of the idea; something that felt like the vaguest of pipe dreams, I suppose.

    It was weird to read the words, “If I ever get a chance to perform,” or however I phrased it. At the time, it seemed like gift one distantly hopes to receive: perhaps if I’m really good, someone will give me–no, not a pony, but maybe a hobby horse?

    Now the chance to perform is something I pursue and lay hold of with both hands and create for myself. It’s something I am beginning not to feel weird about getting paid to do, like, “Maybe if I keep my head down they won’t notice that they’re paying me money for this.”

    And yet I realize, still, that in a way the chance to live the life that I’m living right now is a gift—a gift, I suppose, I’ve worked hard to be worthy of, and will continue to work hard to be worthy of, but still one that depends upon the goodwill of so many people other than myself.

    ~

    Friday, early, we leave for the Playa again.

    This year, a group is staging The Rite of Spring. I’ve never seen it live, so I’m looking forward to that. Perhaps I can find other dancers and do class with them.

    As for me and my camp, we’re doing Open Barre, with Mimosas, twice. Contact improv, twice. And all the other things that my camp does, but that’s what I’m in charge of. My gift to the Playa, along with whatever I wind up feeding people, as so often I do.

    My feelings are mixed about going this year. I’m working, so that’s a challenge—learning the choreography at a distance will be interesting—and I’m afraid of coming back with a respiratory infection again. I’ll have to be careful this year.

    But there are always things to be learned, and what was it I was saying about learning not to constantly try to control the outcomes?

    So there it is. This is the outcome right now. I’m strung between two loyalties, but perhaps it’s okay. If things work out as I hope they will in the coming months, I most likely won’t be able to go to the Burn in 2018.

    Because, as D told me so many times, there is something in the world for which I will sacrifice all other things—even Burning Man, as much as I love it.

    When all this is over, the desert will be there still (unless we blow up the world before then, in which case it’s all a moot point anyway).

    As Yet Untitled

    We spend all our lives
    making monsters of ourselves:
    the tender feet
    hard-trained until they arch like dolphins’ backs,
    their bones like bridges spanned
    by calloused skin.
    The knees’ inverted arc
    sails bony ankles heavenward;
    the thighs like steely hawsers
    cast the whole ship off,
    cast it heavenward–
    the collarbones like ploughshares
    carve the air.

    Hard to explain this,
    though G-d knows I’ve tried.
    What makes us do
    all that the unseen god requires of us?
    The music speaks
    and stirs the weary dead:
    go wake the living in their stalls!
    The royal box looms empty
    lonesome in the night.
    Lone and strong we leap
    now miracles, now golems,
    in the light.

    –14 August, 2017

    …You Stop When The Gorilla Gets Tired

    (File under: Every Aphorism I Know I Learned In Bike Racing)

    I’ve been having a tough time with re-entry following this summer’s intensives.

    Not that I’m, like, pining for the fjords. Just…

    Hmm. How do I explain it?

    Going to a dance intensive is, in a way, very much like going to summer camp. You’re essentially excused from most of the responsibilities of adulting. Your daily activities are heavily programmed for you. You don’t have to juggle variables, interruptions, or random transportation disasters.

    If you forget your ADHD meds, you make it through the day pretty well because all you’re doing, really, is dancing, and your brain works best when you’re in motion. You don’t have to remember a bunch of discrete, unrelated tasks and somehow accomplish them.

    If you stay up really late bonding with your new dance family, it’s no big deal. You get up the next day, pour some strong coffee into your face, hit the studio, dance your butt off, and sleep like the dead when you get back to the dorms or your AirBnB.

    And then you come home, and your body is adapted to an 8-hours-per-day-plus physical workload that you’re unlikely to match except during the most intense periods of rehearsal or performance, and you have to get back to Adulting (with or without ADHD).

    For me, this illuminates one of the central challenges in living with ADHD: it never goes away.

    To borrow a quote from Kiwi bike racer Greg Henderson [1]:

    Greg Henderson quote:

    Swap “ADHD” for “training” and you’re good. (Shamelessly stolen from Pinterest, of course.)

    1. or a quote about success from Robert Strauss, who presumably doesn’t race bikes but could feasibly be a Kiwi; can’t be arsed to look him up right now.

    You don’t stop when you’re tired. You stop when the gorilla is tired.

    ADHD is, in some ways, a gorilla that never gets tired. Instead, you have to learn to manage your gorilla—and managing is largely a question of automation.

    When I’m doing it right, I manage my ADHD by making it as hard as possible for myself to screw up the basics.

    I lay out each day’s clothes the night before, so I never have to fumble around looking for clothes before my brain is working.

    My morning and afternoon doses of Adderall are right there in my 7-day pillbox, so I don’t find myself thinking, “Feck, did I take my meds?”

    My keys, wallet, sunglasses, and other important small things live on a shelf by the door, so I will always put them there when I walk in and never have to wonder where they are.

    My phone lives next to the bed, where it acts as an alarm clock. Once I get out of bed, I either leave it tethered to one of its chargers or keep it nearby. That way, I never have to look for it.

    My class and rehearsal schedules get written out on the whiteboard on the refrigerator door. Writing them down helps me remember what’s coming up; it also gives me a hard-copy reference when I’m not sure and lets D know where I am, when.

    While I cook, I clean as I go and streamline general dishwashing into those moments when there’s nothing that requires attention.

    I run errands before, after, or between classes so I won’t have to take extra trips out of the house. I maintain shopping lists on Google Keep so I don’t have to remember anything, including the shopping list.

    I burn a ton of energy, knowing that it’s the only way I’m going to be able to sleep on anything resembling a normal, diurnal schedule. I run Twilight on my phone and f.lux on my PCs to cut out blue rays (this really does make a huge difference, for me). I don’t play video games or peruse social media in bed, because those get my brain ticking over too fast.

    I pay really close attention to things like caffeine intake: and if I’m having a rough time sleeping, I avoid any caffeine at all after about 2 PM.

    These are all fairly small things, but they add right the heck up.

    The problem is, they’re all routine-driven, and once I get out of a routine, it can be really hard getting back in.

    This week, I’m struggling really hard with insomnia. After being sick for most of last week (during which all I actually did was sleep), I’m left with a surplus of energy, but not enough on the schedule to burn it off.

    Since it only takes one sleepless night to torpedo weeks of careful sleep programming, I’m currently in the midst of a really unpleasant cycle of sleeping two hours one night, then nine the next.

    Last night was one of those two hour nights. I missed class today because of it: I finally got to sleep around 8 AM. Turned off the alarm at 9 AM, when I realized it would be foolish to try to do modern on one hour of sleep. Woke up at 10, when I should’ve been starting class, anyway.

    I’ve realized I need to get back to negotiating with my gorilla. I’m home for one more week, then off to That Thing In The Desert[2] after all, then back for a week, then off for a medical thing[3], then possibly starting rehearsals for a thing, depending[4].

    1. In addition to the usual Open Barre sessions with mimosas, I’ll be leading some contact improv playshops at our camp this year.
    2. I’m going to apply my “to know, to will, to dare, to keep silent” clause here. This is a minor medical procedure but a huge freaking deal for me, so I’m trying not to  feck it up.
    3. Here, too. I’m actually okay with waiting and auditioning for the next thing this company does, but it’s sort of up in the air right now whether we can work around my temporary restrictions after The Secret Medical Thing.

    None of this makes it easier to figure out where to start rebuilding my Life Management Protocols, so I’m just going to do what I normally do: fumble forward and hope for the best.

    In other words, just pick something and start where you are.

    In that vein, I’m hoping to get a class in tomorrow to make up for missing today’s (though tomorrow’s class will be ballet, not modern).

    I’ve got a doctor’s appointment at 8-o-freaking-clock in the morning for which I have to check in at 7-goshdarn-30, which means getting up at 6-what-even-is-sixthirty-30 because I kind of need D with me for this one and he needs more than 20 minutes to get out the door 😛

    As such, I need to actually get my tuchas in bed at a reasonable hour tonight and, if necessary, hit myself with a whacking great dose of doxylamine succinate to make sure I don’t stay awake all night.

    Those are some easy start-where-I-am steps that I can actually do (along with getting audition video links to the AD for the Secret Dance Thing and signing some documents for The Secret Medical Thing and emailing them back to the practice in question).

    So, there you have it. I think I really wanted this post to be more of a thought-piece about managing ADHD than me scrabbling on about how I’ve managed to hose everything up for myself (though I did plan to mention that), so I suppose I’ll add that to my queueueueueueue of posts to actually write sooner or later as well.

    Until then, I’ll be here, negotiating with my gorilla.

    ~

    Oh: in other news, I successfully gave a bit of advice to a new guy in class last night, which felt really good.

    Back to Class: The Perversity of Petit Allegro

    I took class on Monday and found that, although my feet and Achilles’ tendons were still a little tight, I was mostly functional. I even got some nice turns in.

    As such, I hit the studio again tonight (didn’t make morning class because D’s truck overheated, so he needed my car, and I was too late to catch the bus) feeling fairly confident about things.

    My confidence was, in fact, well-placed. Class was good, all things considered—I’m still a tad wheezy, but with adequate oceans of medication that stayed under control.

    Anyway, tonight’s class was essentially built around petit allegro—not that we didn’t do anything else, because we absolutely did, but the ultimate goal was to improve our petit allegro by improving our use of pliés.

    When we finally did get around to petit allegro, BG gave us a very, very helpful note: if the music is fast, focus on getting down into the floor with the pliés.

    It’s counter-intuitive as all heck, but it works a treat. I am one of those people who can milk a fair bit of elevation out of a jump by brushing hard and really springing through the feet, so I don’t always use my deepest demi-plié in preparation.

    This is not at all helpful in fast petit allegro combinations—it just takes too freaking long, especially when you factor in hyperextended knees and really flexible feet.

    Turns out that if I get deep into my demi-plié, I can actually get there faster. I suppose it comes down to employing the entire bottom of the foot—I suspect that when I’m struggling with petit allegro, my heels are probably just skimming the ground when they should be doing some actual work.

    Anyway, this feels revelatory, as things do of late. I’m going to have to practice the hell out of it in order to overcome a lifetime of attempting to do petit allegro the way I do grand battement.

    Anyway, that’s it for now. In short: never be afraid to get down when it’s time to boogie.

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