Category Archives: intensives

Summer Heats Up!

I know I said I was probably going to do Mam-Luft’s intensive again, but it turns out I’m not.

Instead, I’m taking a four-day ballet masterclass taught by BW right here at home. Huzzah!

I’m pretty excited about that (in case you weren’t sure what I meant by “Huzzah!”). They decided to individually evaluate students for eligibility and sent me an invitation, so w00t. Makes me feel fairly decent about myself, which is good, because yesterday after class I was like I CANNOT REMEMBER COMBINATIONS AND MY FOOT HURTS.

I went to the doc today for Regularly Scheduled Maintenance and discovered that A) they can now submit my prescription for Adderall electronically, B) …but I have to pee in a cup from time to time (which was only a problem because I was kinda dehydrated, but I juuuuust managed a sufficient sample) because Regulations[1], and C) my foot looks normal on X-rays, so it’s just soft tissue BS sorting itself out at this point.

  1. …Which is fine: honestly, it’s less onerous to be a person with ADHD who has to pee in a cup once in a while than one who has to remember to request a paper prescription, remember to go get the paper prescription, NOT LOSE THE PAPER PRESCRIPTION!!!, carry it by hand to a pharmacy, then remember to go back and pick up the medication later on … yeeeeeah.

As such, though it made me sad, I didn’t jump in BW’s class tonight (nor did anyone else, since I was All By My-seeeee-eee-eeeelf again). We opted instead for another stretch-n-kvetch, in which we discussed the assertion (made by neither of us) that dancers shouldn’t stretch, to which I responded that A] some dancers shouldn’t stretch some things (hip ligaments, kids), B] but we should stretch the other things, and C] if stretching wasn’t good, cats wouldn’t do it, because let’s be real, cats only do things that are really worth doing.

House cats, anyway. The ones that don’t have to worry about hunting and whatevs. The ones that are given their due as, at very least, minor deities, &c.


Take Mercutious T. Lawndrey-Tubbs, here. Whatever he’s doing, it’s obviously worth doing, or he wouldn’t be doing it. Also, pretty sure he’s #UpToNoGood, based on those eyeballs.

We also did lots of fondu-y things, as ever, and at center a nice adagio that began with a backwards pas de basque (or, more formally, pas de basque en arrière).

This has been a week of combinations with interesting beginnings. We did one yesterday that began waltz turn and waltz turn, devloppé croissé avant, tombé… It was starting right into the waltz turns that was the interesting bit. We don’t do that very often (more often, one encounters balancé, balancé, waltz turn and waltz turn and…).

Personally, I quite like pas de basque en arrière as a way to launch a combination. It’s at once a bit diffident (since, by the very nature of the step, you’re kind of bowing to the audience and backing away from them) but also a bit impressive, as it’s one of those steps that looks like it should probably be difficult (and, of course, you get a nice  allongé effacé moment).

BW says I am making good progress, which makes me very happy. I actually felt like a more effective dancer today, particularly at the barre, where I was much more able to notice when my shoulders were being dumb and (literally) put them back in their place.

The interesting thing about not being able to jump is that it forces me to buckle down and work harder in the other parts of class (…imagine that ._.).

Revelations at the barre today: I can now feel when I’m temps-liéing into too wide a fourth. I also figured out what it does that makes life so terrifically difficult (beyond just having to tap basically All The Mana to get back up on your leg to do turns): it turns off your turnouts (and all the other stuff that holds you together as a ballet person).

A more obvious example of the same phenomenon involves doing grand plié in second until your butt drops below your knees. The rotators and … well, basically all the muscles that aren’t the quads … say, “Feck this noise, we’re outies,” and then it’s difficult to get back up, let alone anything useful. (Meanwhile, the quads be like “AIGHT WE GOT THIS BOYS! PULLLLLLLL!”)

Turns out that when your fourth is ridiculously big (because you are a travelly go-er who likes to absorb all the space), the same basic thing can happen.

Who knew?

…People who aren’t idiots. Specifically, I’m pretty sure Mikhail Baryshnikov wasn’t constantly unspooling his rotators.

Anyway, that’s what’s what for now.

During Masterclass Week, I plan to hit up my normal morning classes, unless my foot is like SCREW YOU NO. I’m hoping I’ll be back to normal by then, though. I plan to take a week or so to rest[2] it after Orpheus.

  1. …By which I probably mean “just do barre and flat center-work,” because let’s be reals.

Anyway, here’s my Updated Summer Plan:

  • Ballet Week At Home!!!
  • Lexington Ballet Intensive
  • Possibly Pilobolus (depending on finances and stuff)

BW said the Master Class will be “Hard, but good.” Which pretty much describes most classes with him, and is what I need anyway.

Whoa, This Summer Is Going To Be Intens(iv)e! 

I’m not going to any intensives on other continents this summer because, in short, I’m not even sure right now that I’ll be able to afford the ones I’ve planned on this continent (for positive reasons, though, which I won’t be discussing in this particular post because #ToKnowToWillToDareToKeepSilent). 

That said, in case you’re looking for dance intensives all over the planet, HERE THEY ARE. You can basically go anywhere and dance this summer (I know someone who’s going to the Canary Islands! #envy). 

It would take me all week to check all of these out and write them up on my Intensives page, so I’ll just add the link later on and call it good. 

BTW, I happened upon this link via Dancing Opportunities (@dancingopps) on the Tweeters, which which highly recommend following if you’re of dancing persuasion.

It’s a dance world, after all! [(c) Dancing Opportunities, via The Tweeters]

So there you have it. Intensives for everyone!!! Huzzah!  

One Moar For The Road

In the interest of reminding myself that, yes, I have progressed in the last six months, I cringed my way through the videos from last year’s ballet intensive the other night. Here are some screen shots so we can commiserate or what have you. 

First one is definitely from Albrecht’s variation (with Don Quixote hands because #fml); second one is also, I think, but from the opening sequence with the gigantic sissones ouverts of doom, maybe? I think it’s also the part where I’m going, “Oh, shizzle, I’m way down stage from my mark!” 

I used up too much of my ballet mojo in class and rehearsal, and my legs were dead (note complete turnout failure and shoulder feckery), but I did manage to swing the straight-pirouette-right-into-attitude-turn bit through sheer force of all our a minor miracle or something. And, yes, I looked 12 years old the whole time. I promise I’m not really 12.

I’m including this one as proof that you REALLY should always pull your tights up until the word “Nutcracker” takes on an entirely different meaning. Dat sag, doh. (Big obnoxious box is a screenshot-process artifact; stupid tablet.)

Off to Rep!


I know I have danced enough for the day when…:

A. class is over. 

B. the third class of the day is over.

C. I have officially burned enough calories that I need to eat breakfast again. And lunch. And dinner. 

D. I lie in bed reading and can still feel my muscles firing while my brain works through the choreography. 

E. My legs are on fire, O G-d, whhyyyyyyyy
…The correct answer, of course, is, “F. NEVAR.”

(In reality, this post was inspired by the thought, “I’ve only put in six hours today, my legs should definitely not feel this sore.O NOES I HAZ AN OUT OF SHAPE!”

Yes, I am ridiculous. Also, pretty sure sure there’s ground glass in my turnouts.) 

How to Survive Your Dance Intensive for Grown-A** Adults (Version 1)

Now that I’ve got a whopping two (2!! Like the number of exclamation points I just used!!) adult dance intensives under my belt, I have lots of facts intel opinions about things you should do to make sure you get through in one piece — and, of course, as your faithful Danseur Ignoble, I am duty bound to share them.

You know, for the good of humankind, or at least dancer-kind, and all that stuff.

So, without further ado, here they are.


First, know that you’re capable of more than you think you are.

Let me say that again, with fancy formatting:

You are capable of more than you think you are.

Read the rest of this entry

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