Ballerina Profile: Jessica Rosevear Fox

10150550_10103658194825129_715991065_n (3)When did you start doing ballet as an adult?

I started ballet when I was 31 and have been dancing for about two years now. I started pointe last September. I love it!

Did you ever take lessons as a kid?

I took ballet lessons for a few years in elementary school and quit after fifth grade. It was just something I did; I wasn’t passionate about it.

Why did you decide to take ballet as an adult?

I became really intrigued by ballet the summer I turned 31. I read a book where the mother was a former ballerina, and I sort of thought, “Oh yeah, ballet, that’s a thing.” I started watching ballet videos on YouTube, reading different ballet blogs, and looking at ballet-themed photos and posts on Pinterest. I became really interested in pointe work. It fascinated me. Finally, I decided to check out an adult ballet class with the goal of eventually getting to pointe.

Where do you take classes?

I take classes at a dance and yoga studio about ten minutes away from my house. The classes are small, and so I’ve been able to grow a lot in a short amount of time. It’s a really nice community there. I’ve taken other classes in different studios, both in the area and in the city, but nothing beats my local studio.

What is your favorite part about ballet?

I have so many! I’m really drawn to the emphasis on precision, even if I don’t always achieve it. I love the push to be both powerful and graceful simultaneously. I also love my pointe shoes. They are my prized possessions! I love the feeling of waking up the day after a great class and feeling the soreness that tells me I worked hard previous day. I also love grand allegro. Tendus are my favorite barre exercise. I have lots of favorite parts of ballet!

What is your least favorite part?

I have really tight hamstrings, so developpes and extensions in general are hard for me.

Who/What is your ballet inspiration?

I’m inspired by professional ballerinas, pointe shoes, classical ballet music, my ballet teacher, and other adult ballerinas who are out there making it happen, imperfect as we are!

What motivates you to keep dancing?

I’m motivated by my own goals. I love dancing en pointe, and it’s something you need to do consistently to keep it up.

Do you take any other dance classes?

No, just ballet.

What are your hobbies outside of ballet?

I run a literary magazine inspired by Virginia Woolf called Killing the Angel, and I recently wrote a short story called “After the Ballet”, now available on Amazon, in part inspired by the ballet world. I’m obsessed with French language, French culture, and lavender, so part of the story is set in France on a lavender farm! I also like cooking, knitting, and running.

What advice would you like to give to those who want to start ballet or have just started?

I would say to go for it! Don’t worry about the reasons not to go; just try it out. Also, if you don’t like your studio, try others until you find the right one. In my experience, having the right teacher and the right environment makes a big difference.

Do you have a blog?

I have a website for my literary magazine and indie press.

Photo by Skyler Fox

Guest Post: Inactive Recovery

5281539131_7b6bd70ed3_zInactive Recovery. Two words that can drive me in to a melt down that challenges any a toddler can throw.

Because it starts as nothing.  It stats as twinge after class. A little extra ache after a long day. So you take a few ibuprofen and maybe cut down a class or two. But it’s not helping. In fact, it’s getting worse, from a nagging little thing to a searing pain any time you jump, or do a little too much walking. It hurts when you’re doing nothing at all.

So you go to your doctor. He suggests more rest, more ibuprofen, and to let your pain be your guide. But what he doesn’t understand is that you are a  warrior, you are an athlete. You push harder, work harder and live with pain daily. You welcome it. It’s proof that you’re working hard enough.

But it’s not getting better. This time there are x-rays, and a walking boot, to slow you down. So you do the math, and start calculating how to use the rest of your muscles without using that one part of that one leg. You’re swimming and doing crunches, because those seem okay.

You’re still going to class, and just trying to hide the injury. If your teachers find out, they might not let you take class. That would be the worst. Because you just made pointe. Or mastered a decent pirouette. You’re not ready to admit defeat. You’re careful not to limp out of class, and don’t cry until you get to your car.

You don’t tell your friends, or write about it on social media, you don’t want word to get out. You don’t want the sympathy, or the empathy, you want to be back in the studio, working.

So you go to your doctor again. You discuss your fairly vague diagnosis, something about a tired tendon, and over use. Something non-specific, and there’s only one real treatment plan. Inactive recovery.

Inactive recovery means doing nothing. Inactive recovery means not fighting through it, but accepting and embracing the fact that the best thing you can do is nothing. Sit more. Walk less. There’s no war, no challenging choreography to cover, no death defying physical feat. There is nothing to do but wait.

And it’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done as a dancer.

Image via Flickr User Quinn Dombrowski

BalletNova

3443 Carlin Springs Rd.
Falls Church, VA 22041

http://www.balletnova.org/

info@balletnova.org
703.778.3008

https://www.facebook.com/BalletNovaCenterForDance
https://twitter.com/BalletNova1

They offer a 4 week Intro to Ballet workshop for adults who have little to no experience with ballet. They also offer adult pointe classes for those with 2+ years ballet experience.

Updates: Nutcracker, Back to Basics, Friends in Ballet

Back in December and early January, my ballet class was working on choreography for the Spanish dance in the Nutracker, which was really fun. My instructor even brought in fans for the final classes we practiced it in the first few days of January.

Soon after that, we dove back into the basics for the yearly crowd of newcomers as the new year began. Surprisingly, it’s been really tough going through the class relatively slow (tough but good). The first weekend of those classes I made it to three classes in one weekend and was super sore. This weekend I found myself sick and barely made it through two classes.

This weekend I did make it to a pointe class, too, despite being sick. That was tough, especially since my last class in December was really tough and painful (I’m still not sure why).

I’m happy that in this weekend’s class I managed to keep my pointe shoes on for the entire class (and not have switched to flat slippers), but I know there’s still a lot of work left to be done there. I’ve tried to keep up with strengthening exercises everyday at home and trying to make it to every class that I can.

I’ve also had one of my coworkers join me for a class, and I’m looking forward to her joining me for more. I love bringing new people to class.

How’s your first half of January been? Please share updates in the comments–I love reading them! 

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Some Updates–website update, the Nutcracker + Pointe!

So I’ve finally gotten around to doing some updates on the blog, mostly because I’ve been sick the past few days and haven’t made it to a ballet class or been able to go running. So I’ve done some messing around with a redesign to make stuff more readable and easier to find. Getting the studio stuff all in a line again is going to take a little bit longer…but we’re working on it.

On to ballet updates:

Although I’m feeling like crap for not having made it to a class since before Thanksgiving, things are going well. I’m so happy I get to learn choreography to Nutcracker music since I missed all of that last year thanks to my injury. Recently, I’ve also started doing some pre-pointe work again. I wish I had an awesome picture to share here, but I don’t. I’ll have to take one before the holidays start-up again.

HQ and I have also recently joined a gym, so hopefully I’ll get to improve my cardio more (since it really sucks right now).

Share your lovely ballet updates with me!

(PS sending out a round of emails this morning to those who submitted to be featured on the site!)