Sunday, January 29, 2023

The Audition

Today, I auditioned for a supporting role in a ballet production of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream".

I haven't auditioned for any sort of theatrical production in over 40 years, and never one that involved dancing. It's an odd feeling. In class, the instructor is watching to provide corrections. In an audition, you're being evaluated for suitability for a performance; basically a job interview.

Monday, January 23, 2023


For the last couple of months I've been taking three and sometimes four ballet classes every week, aside from holiday interruptions. I've been doing pretty well, with satisfying but irregular progress. Until a couple of weeks ago.

I'd come home from my Wednesday class, eaten dinner, and was relaxing in my recliner chair while watching TV. Suddenly there was a snap and a momentary stab of pain near my right hip. Not in the joint itself, but in the upper front of the lilac crest (hip bone)

Fearing I'd done something really bad, I eased myself out of the chair and carefully checked that I could support my weight on that hip without instability or serious pain. Then I gently checked range of motion. Finally I took a few steps. Nothing really hurt, but the area was sore, like I'd strained a muscle.

Courtesy Wikimedia

Although as a former EMT I'm pretty familiar with skeletal bones, I'm not an expert on muscles. Fortunately I know someone who is, and she suggested I might have strained the tensor  fascia latae (see pic). That seems to attach in the spot that hurt, as does sartorius.

Frankly, I find it pretty embarrassing to have injured myself relaxing in a recliner. 

I read some informative articles on such injuries, which all recommended starting with rest, ice (or heat, depending), and an anti-inflammatory (NSAID). I canceled my next scheduled class reservation, giving myself three full days off, and took care not to do anything that might worsen the situation. It was a bit sore when I walked for the first day or two, but that seemed to subside by the third day.

Four days after this event I went to my regular Sunday class, ready to stop if anything felt wrong. I was careful to warm up gently and slowly before class, and the class itself was uneventful. There was a bit of lingering soreness in that hip, but nothing unusual.

My next scheduled class was the following day, Monday. I notified the instructor of the situation (saying this was "don't pick on Reece day") and warning her that I might need to quit class unexpectedly. She, of course, told me to do what I needed to do to take care of myself. Pre-class warm-up seemed fine, but about half way through barre the side of my hip began to ache. I picked up my stuff, and with a bow to the instructor I left. The ache went away, and I decided my hip just wasn't ready yet.

Two days later I gave it another try. Again, I warned the instructor that I might have to leave, but this time I felt fine. The same on Friday, and again Sunday. Ah! I'm healed!

Nope! Monday came and I got through the first exercise in centre before I started feeling sore in the hip. Seeing no benefit to pressing my luck, I bailed out of class again. However, I felt file after the following Wednesday and Friday classes. From this I concluded that I needed the day off between classes.

This weekend I had something else to do on Sunday (yesterday), so I wasn't registered for class. I thought about going to class Saturday, but decided against it. So after two days off I was back in class today. Aside from being out of breath after the petit allegro exercise, I really had no problems with class. I felt really on balance during pirouettes, completing three single turns en dehor in rapid succession, though I was getting a bit sloppy toward the end. 

As much as I enjoy the Sunday class, I think other activities will keep me out of it for a while, and I'll probably skip the Saturday classes until my hip is fully recovered.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Seamus Finnigan is my avatar

Seamus blows up a feather 
Everyone knows who Seamus Finnigan is: he's the Griffyndor wizard who has a propensity for having his spells randomly explode, usually leaving him singed and soot-covered.

Allow me to explain.

Thursday, December 1, 2022


Mostly due to the US Thanksgiving holiday, I only made it to two classes last week. I'm already three classes in for this week (Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday) and have two more scheduled (Friday and Saturday) because I have a scheduling conflict Sunday. I'm really enjoying the opportunity to take so many classes, and am envious of a former regular classmate who used to live only a short walk from the studios. It would be nice if I didn't have an hour-plus of round-trip commute time and weekday parking fees.

Friday, November 18, 2022

Four Classes!

When I first saw my ballet school's fall adult class schedule, I was excited to see that there was an advanced beginner class every weekday at noon, and each class had a different instructor. I had already been taking an advanced beginner class with one of these instructors for several months, and I started thinking about making it a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule.  For various reasons, some of which I've touched on before, this hasn't happened.

Until now.