Thursday, December 29, 2011

Flying physiology

No, I don't mean the bubbles in your drink -- that'd be fizzy-ology. I mean the changes a human body encounters when flying long distances in modern airliners.

How is this related to dance? Having just flown back to Washington DC from Japan, with a flight time of 12 hours, I'm particularly aware of the effects on my body. These effects (combined with having not slept in 23 hours) convinced me to skip a ballet class I'd hoped to attend. And... it's my blog. So there!

Extended holiday break

I got home from Japan in time to attend the last ballet class before the holiday, but having been awake for about 23 hours straight (12 hours of that in flight) I decided not to go. I just wasn't stable enough on my feet, and my legs were stiff and sore from the flight.

Because of all the travel I only made it to class every other week in October and November, with the last class being Dec 1st. Due to the holidays the next class isn't until Jan 10th, so it will have been more than a month. Perhaps more than that, as I may be traveling the week of the 10th. I did some stretching during my travels, but the muscles I've been using are different than those used in ballet. Clearly I need to spend some time this coming week preparing, or the first few classes are really going to be rough.

So what to do?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

"A Chorus Line" moment

I'm 2/3rds of the way though my trip, enjoying the vacation portion of it now that the work part is done. Of course, this means I haven't been to class in two weeks, and likely won't make one for another two weeks because of the holidays. There's a slight chance I might make one the evening after I get back, but that'll depend on traffic and jet-lag.

However, I did make it to class twice the week before leaving. We got yet another new student. She showed up part way through the Tuesday class and chatted with the studio owner while we warmed up. She then sat on the side watching until the instructor asked her if she'd like to join us, and she leaped out of her chair like she'd just been picked out of the audience to dance with the ABT. She gave us the usual excuses about being out of practice and not having danced in so long, then proceeded to demonstrate skills that put lie to her claims. It reminded me of the scene in the movie "A Chorus Line" where Cassie obviously stands out among the other dancers. Yeah. Just like that.

The newbie also showed up for the Thursday night class. I found it both a bit irritating and inspiring, as she has the grace and practiced movements of someone who has devoted a lot of time and energy to dance. Me, jealous? Maybe a bit. But I remind myself that I'm not trying to reach some goal; the journey is itself the goal. And I can learn from her by observation.

Having now inspired myself, I think I'll go do some stretches. I certainly need them after having spent two days wandering the streets of Kyoto. Oh! I almost forgot! I came upon a ballet studio here today. I took pictures of the signs :-) Nihon-go wakarimasen, so I didn't even think to go in, but it made me smile. I'll try to upload the pics at some point.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A little catch-up

Somehow I neglected to post an update mid-November, so I'll reconstruct one,

I made it to Yoga and both ballet classes. I'd been in Orlando on vacation for a week, and spent a lot of that walking. We did the Kennedy Space Center, Universal Studios, and Disney Epcot. A lot of good exercise, but not much stretching. Not good thing for an older, inflexible male when faced with barre stretches. I swear that if my hamstrings weren't wrapped wrapped with flesh you'd be able to take a violin bow to them and make sounds. I make screeching noises anyway, as it feels a lot like someone is running a knife along the bottom of my leg. I don't push hard enough to tear anything -- I'm not crazy -- but it's seriously intense. Seeing the women in the class comfortably draped over their legs just makes me shake my head.