Ballet Recital and Some Life Updates

Kristen_ballet_showIf you’re friends with me on Facebook, then you’ve probably seen some of the photos from my short ballet recital that happened last weekend. It was part of National Dance Day and we performed a short routine to Lana Del Rey’s “Young and Beautiful.”

It was a lot of fun, although I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for it. I was out of ballet class the second to last week before the performance because work was crazy and I was stressed (see here). But I went to five classes (plus a rehearsal) and managed to get somewhat up to speed. I wasn’t totally pleased with how I did during the actual performance–but it was all right given the circumstances. Here’s another photo (via Philly Dance Fitness’s Facebook page) of me making a totally awkward face:

I’m excited because post-performance my ballet teacher is going back to the basics with a lot of the steps and combinations that we haven’t had a chance to practice in a while–something I really need still post-injury. I can tell that my feet and calves aren’t as strong as they were pre-stress fracture diagnosis.  I’m going to work on doing some at home exercises too not that I’ve finished the crazy process of moving apartments.

How has your summer been going so far?

Refueling Before, During and After Workout Tips!

My local dance studio recently ran an article about how to fuel, before, during and after dance workouts, Eat While You Workout?

The article has great tips such as making sure you aren’t running on empty when you show up to class–I’ll admit, I’m  guilty of this a lot of time. To prevent this,   munch on some fruit, an apple, a granola bar, or even some gels or gummies like many of us use for running (I love Clif Shot Bloks)!  You should also consider eating during (again, the gels or shot bloks are great for this) if you’re taking classes back to back. As always, make sure you refuel afterwards, too. And don’t forget to hydrate!

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Handling a Bad Class

Between walking all over center city Thursday evening and the impending rain–HQ and I cancelled our plans to go to ballet. Plus, I felt horrible–I had been having pretty bad headaches all day,  so it made sense to relax and take it easy.

On Friday I was having a series of bad migraines too–probably as a result of the start of allergy season.  But this time, I decided to go to class anyway in hopes the headache would go away. Unfortunately, it didn’t.

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“There’s a reason why we do the boring exercises.”

“There’s a reason why we do the boring exercises.”

One of the instructors says this in Dance Academy, demonstrating how simple quarter turns eventually adds up to multiple pirouettes and fouettes. I was reminded of the value of the “boring exercises” in my class last Monday.

Despite being pretty tired from the weekend and work, I decided to try out Philly Dance Fitness’s new Monday night beginner ballet class. The instructor has been with Philly Dance Fitness for a while, but she just started teaching a new ballet class. I’m always nervous about taking classes with new instructors (since I never know what to expect), but luckily the class was at least in a familiar studio.

It was a super back-to-basics class, which I feel like I really needed. Currently, I’m trying really hard to focus on not over-pronating, which can be really tough to do when we’re doing more difficult combinations. The simple combinations allowed me to really focus in on this (although wearing too tight ballet slippers made this a little tougher). In addition, it was a pretty small class (there was only about five of us), which was nice. My only qualm about the class was that it was so late (8 to 9:15pm).

Overall, it was really nice to focus on the basics and work on positioning my body properly and having better technique.

I’ll definitely be keeping this class in my rotation so that I can keep working on the basics and really focus on not over-pronating.

Have you taken a “back-to-basics” class lately?

Boyfriend Does Ballet: Second ballet class in…3 years?

It has definitely been a long time since I’ve done any ballet or taken a ballet class. I have to admit–I miss it. I’ve been relatively inactive since graduation: I became so used to being in college and going to the gym all the time because it was convenient. Once I graduated (and moved off campus), it wasn’t.

Now that I have a job I can start going to dance classes again and that’s what I intend to do.

Being at the barre felt bizarre. When I “started” ballet in high school through my schools theater program, we never did barre work. Now I know most of you are thinking “Blasphemy! How could you not work at the barre?!?!” but the dance classes were mostly there so we could gain exposure to different styles of dance. It also served as time to work on dances for our yearly musical and teach us the fundamentals. I definitely don’t miss doing jazz squares for 2 minutes in our musicals.

Back on topic: I forgot how tiring barre exercises are and how easy it is to forget form when trying to remember the entire combination.  When we were on the floor for our center combination I felt a little better about the combination, but still felt extremely lacking due to my terrible form.I have a lot of catching up to do in terms of technique and fitness.

All in all, I definitely want to start dancing more. It’s expensive, yes, but I feel that it’s worth it for how different it exercises the body and the mind compared to just going to the gym.

Why do you take ballet classes?

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