Ballet Intensive Day 1 - In Which Pilates Tries to Kill Me

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

First day of the week-long Ballet intensive was yesterday! Here's how they day went.

I'm on "schedule as usual" up until about 11am everyday, so I'm still trying to get my morning chores done (laundry, unload dishwasher, etc.)

Since yesterday was the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary, we also squeezed morning mass in there! A little bit of a circus when it's just me with the preschooler and toddler. But we made it!

I set John up with a puzzle, and let Therese get her much desired nap, when we got back from mass. Double load of laundry to fold and lunch to pack!

I'm a little over-excited about getting to pack lunch. I normally just eat leftovers/whatever I create out of leftovers. Now I have a real opportunity to try out all the cute Pinterest lunch ideas!

Mason Jar Salad - Vinaigrette, Carrot, Barley, Greens, Feta
Smoothie - Banana, Orange Juice, Raspberries, Tumeric, Ginger, Chia Seeds

With short breaks (lunch is 30 minutes, and other breaks between classes only 15 minutes) I ended up only eating the salad, smoothie, and apple.

Found a use for my detested toe socks! It stops the jars from clinking around in my bag.

The hardest part of the intensive is the first 2 hours. This is the initial class.
A typical class, even as a professional, is 1.5 hours so this is quite long. I've never worked with this instructor before, and I'm trying to learn his style and choreography while working longer and harder than normal.

This intensive is open to both beginners and more advanced students, and there was a parting of groups into Intro and Advanced. Even coming off an injury - I somehow ranked in the more advanced group. I really think I'm somewhere between those, but that wasn't an option. I'll just have to get that much better even faster!

My ankle made it, but it was a little touch and go sometimes.

I got to the end of barre and the pain really hit me. This is how far I could go without pain before too. I put the brace on and took ibuprofen (per doctors orders) and kept going.

But I've never tried to dance with the brace on, so there was a little learning curve to figure out how to articulate through my foot and releve with the added resistance.
If I pull this week off - I'm going to have amazing, developed muscles in my feet!

After morning class, we get our 30 minute lunch break. I make a point to try and take breaks AWAY from the studio space. A few minutes in the sun and fresh air does wonders.

For me the really fun part of the day are the afternoon classes.

We have an hour long speciality class. Yesterday we focused on some basic turns and "across the floor" steps: ballet waltz, balance, tombe, and pas de chat.

Pas de Chat
This is the stuff that will REALLY help later. Tons of combinations use these steps, and they just have to be muscle memory in your body to really *dance* them.
But after this class my ankle had swollen up significantly more than the other. Ice time!
10 minutes of icing, it was back to being about the same size as the other. That left me less than 5 minutes to get warmed up for Choreography class!

I love working on choreography!
We BLEW through the hour. A good rehearsal pace is 1 hour for every 1 minute of choreography. We did 2.5 minutes of choreography in the hour. We might have a lot of pieces to perform on Friday if we keep moving at this rate!

I was feeling really good after that class, and actually had a minute to text my husband back!

Then we got to Pilates. I'm not a newbie to Pilates, and I was ready to have this be the less difficult part of the day.
10 minutes in I got the worst cramp of my life in my right leg. Imagine a charley-horse, but in your upper leg and involving every muscle in your thigh and through your knee. Now make it last over 10 minutes at a time. Eventually the left leg started misbehaving too. 45 minutes of cramping later, and the painful attempt to roll it out, I was so ready to go home and recup.

Foam Roller - hurts so good!
Today my legs are sore, but they feel like workable sore. I'll have to be extra careful warming up and stretching. Much of our morning class is done on demi-pointe, and that can be a cramp inducer by itself.

We were told that on Friday, we can invite family and friends to come observe this class and see our pieces. Having a goal beyond just "getting better at Ballet" is very helpful for me.

Onto Day 2!

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