Stage Presence

May 7, 2007 - 9:29am -- swingbug

Saturday night was not your average night at the ballet.

I’ve always enjoyed going to the ballet, but since I began studying it myself five years ago, I’ve been making a concerted effort to get out to San Francisco at least once a season. I’ve been chipping away at the classics that I haven’t seen and this past Saturday found me at the War Memorial Opera House waiting for the curtain to come up on Don Quixote.

This is the Town and These are the People

January 4, 2007 - 12:36pm -- swingbug

I walk into my first pointe class last night with brand new, shiny shoes and no idea how to put them on. I change my clothes and start warming up bare-foot while class-mates around me don their shoes. These girls can dance circles around me on flat; I’m embarrassed to ask for help. One girl, a friend of mine, is sitting in the corner sewing on ribbons by hand.

My instructor quickly picks me out of the group and sits me down, expertly wrapping up my feet in elastic and ribbons. My new shoes are still stiff. They don’t bend with my arches and I can’t feel the floor.

So What's Your Pointe?

December 27, 2006 - 12:00am -- swingbug

"Slip these on."

I've been dancing for about 4 years now. I started ballet because I thought it might help me turn better when swing dancing. I haven't donned my Bleyers in a year now, I bet, but I've worn through half a dozen pairs of ballet slippers since then.

"How are they? Pleé. Can you flatten your toes?"

Cool Ballet Video

November 22, 2006 - 12:00am -- swingbug

A friend pointed me towards this music video. It features Alessandra Ferri from the ABT accompanied by Sting playing a Bach tune on an acoustic guitar. Very cool. Check out this woman's echappes. Right. So that move only looks retarded when I do it. Good to know.


June 10, 2006 - 12:00am -- swingbug

Thursday was a busy day for me. I had a field survey starting at 5:30 am on Friday and was leaving straight there for a trip to Santa Cruz for my brother's graduation party, so I had a lot to do. I had so much to do, in fact, that I didn't get my survey prep done before I had to leave for my ballet class that evening. I almost skipped class just to get it done. The idea of having to go back to work after class before I could go home and get ready for the weekend adventure was not appealing to me. I grumbled about it for awhile before I finally decided to suck it up and go to my class.

Get Out of the Way and Let the Man Dance

February 14, 2006 - 12:00am -- swingbug

I love watching men dance. Male ballet dancers are rare at the amateur level. When I first started taking ballet a few years back, we had a boy in our class and I was fascinated to watch how the same steps that looked graceful and delicate on the female form, looked totally different when performed by a male. It wasn't a deliberate change in presence. The steps were not altered in anyway. Our two body types are simply constructed differently and we carry our muscles in different ways. The distinction is markedly obvious when you push your body.

Wednesday Ramble

January 11, 2006 - 12:00am -- swingbug

I've made it through one full week back at the ballet studio after the holiday break. My instructor came back full of energy and ideas and she's stepped up the difficulty level in all her classes. After observing the change on Thursday and Saturday, I was truly afraid for last night's Intermediate II class. I made it through alright though. As per usual, if I'm feeling conflicted about something in my life, then chuck some dance at me. Our recital piece this year will be a petit allegro (read: lots of jumping) to a Vivaldi piece. That woman has a serious crush on Vivaldi.

The Halloween Report

November 4, 2005 - 12:00am -- swingbug

I had a 4 day celebration for Halloween this year. Here's the recap.

Jenny's Pumpkin Carving Party
Every year my friend and neighbor Jenny throws a pumpkin carving party. Not only does she throw a good party but it's a great opportunity to do the pumpkin mess in someone else's house. And Cheryl came up for the party which was awesome. Being the studious grad student that she is, I don't get to see enough of her. A wonderful kick-off to the weekend. And may I just say that Jenny makes the best clam dip ever?

Morning Streets

October 11, 2005 - 12:00am -- swingbug

This morning I had an ArcGIS user group meeting in Sacramento. Map geek stuff. I like these meetings. They're a little holiday for me. It was a nice morning. I like downtown Sacramento in the morning. The buildings aren't so high or so dense as to keep the sunshine off the streets like they can in San Francisco. I parked my car in a garage and walked on sunny sidewalks the 5 or 6 blocks to my meeting with a little bounce in my step. It was early. The shops were quiet. People on the streets were working towards their daily destinations, waiting at bus stops with coffee mugs.


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