Week one of CPYB’s Summer Intensive, is officially over and I must say, it’s been filled with adventures. So, I will attempt to briefly summarize it for you in a blog post of tolerable length.
1. Top things I learned in class
Our bodies are so complex and the way that our muscles must function in order to succeed in ballet is very specific. There is such a thing as over working the muscles. Yes, I know, hard to believe, right(?)! I was repeatedly challenged “to be a dancer who doesn’t work harder than she has to.” Instead, it’s much better to be a smart dancer, who utilizes the muscles in the correct manner and keeps her body injury free. I also learned how many muscles I wasn’t really using correctly.
2. Top corrections for our class
I, along with my classmates, was quite unaware of how much we didn’t hold our upper bodies, especially our backsides correctly. The whole week, we worked on really holding our core strong, not relaxing those muscles, and also not looking tense. Another big issue…TURN OUT. (Yes, I have been given this correction before but it apparently hadn’t taken root, sigh.) If there is one thing you will improve when you attend CPYB – it is your turn out. I honestly thought that I was holding my turn out correctly and come to realize, painfully so, that I was missing the mark. 🙂 Remember: never, ever, ever, sacrifice turn out for anything in ballet. It is your greatest asset!
3. Amount of exercise
This year, my body is handling the large amount of dancing much better than it did last year. Thank you, AABD! I’m happy that I can walk up the stairs to my room instead of crawling like I did last year. Sadly, though, I am walking so much between classes. For someone who despises walking and any other cross training, it’s a struggle. Oh, did I mention that my classes start at 9:00 am? Yep, I have gotten up at seven every morning this week. Getting up that early during the academic year is one thing, being ready to dance at that time is a little different.
4. June Series
Ok. Have you ever watched a piece and were brought to tears by the beauty, the perfection, and technique involved? That was me watching the June Series at CPYB. All the dancers are extraordinary! Also watching George Balanchine’s “Western Symphony” was such a treat. I’m afraid by the end of that ballet, I became that annoying audience member who knows that it is rude to scream while at the theater, so instead chooses to clap really loud!
5. The weekend arrived
The much needed break arrived today and I’m enjoying every minute of it. Some friends and I went to Issei Noodles where we ordered “Beef Pho” and a “Vietnamese Iced Coffee.” I can’t even begin to describe how delicious it all was! Afterward, right on the lawns of Dickinson there was this wonderful fair/market. It had live music, booths with handmade jewelry, pottery, clothes, and food. So, of course, I spent a good two hours there with my friend, Amber, looking around and taking pictures!
This week, although challenging, has been a good one. I’ve grown a lot in just one week physically, emotionally, and mentally. I can’t wait to see where I will be by the end of this intensive!