Tuesday, January 17, 2017

So, It's Been FOREVER

Um, my bad.

So, things have been crazy busy lately. Like...insanely busy. I'm on break from school though for the holidays and the Spring semester doesn't start again until February 13th. Praise The Doctor.

Things have been going...fine, I guess. Not bad, not excellent, just fine. I am back to teaching at one studio. The management at the "new" studio was interesting. The owner was sweet as pie but her assistant, the artistic director, or whatever her title was, didn't seem to like me and I'm really unsure as of why. It wasn't a good fit. I didn't have many students there, and I liked the "kids" I taught, but the Artistic Director (AD) wasn't happy about my moving one girl up to pointe even though she was beyond ready. Apparently, the old teacher told the Pre-Pointe class that she would move them all up at the same time and I don't understand why. One girl was around 12 and definitely wasn't ready. She was getting there but I'd have had her in Pre-Pointe another season or so, probably. One girl was 18 and the AD didn't seem to like her at all. The girl was very sweet and had incredible technique. I did all of the usual tests (pencil test, strength, core test in center, etc) and she passed all of them. Apparently, she was told she wasn't flexible enough by her old teacher. This kid was pretty flexible, though not as flexible as the other girls there. I don't see why that should be a reason to hold her back. Anyways, it was a bummer, but I wasn't really at easy there and felt like AD was just pissy about me moving the 18 year old up, even though the owner was totally fine with my decisions and supportive. I had gathered that AD was a big donor to the studio and cares more about competition and I care more about good technique than competition. As I said, it was a bummer but not a good fit for me anyways. I'm much more at ease at the studio I've now been at for almost 3 years.

So! Things have been going alright in the college dance world for me. I've had decent parts. Not always the parts I want, but that's because of my weight solely and that sucks. I get the villain parts because of it (and Teacher N has basically made it clear that's what is holding me back).

I've started really buckling down again on working on it. I started a bullet journal for 2017 and it's really helped with my tracking progress with everything, as I can tailor it however I like. What made me gain weight in the first place was my depression and eating disorder. I've gotten a little better but not as good as I'd like. It's just not my way to wake up, eat, and eat little bits every few hours or so. I'm more of a not-eat-all-day-then-eat-and-throw-up person. I have gotten better with not throwing up for years now but it's still hard to not just wait til I get home at night to finally eat. I make myself so that I can dance though, but it's not enough, so my body is storing fat. I'm working on it.

I had some fun dances at the college. Didn't have any pointe in the Spring show but did again in the Fall one. I had to get my pointe back up where it was before and I'm still working on it. Not where I want to be but that's life. ha. My favorite number from the fall semester was a piece about suicide. The song was For My Help and the number was amazing. My spots in Teacher L's class are getting better. I was in the second row for that number and I was thrilled because it was my absolute favotite and one of my favorite dances ever. I do well with emotional and even more so when I can connect so much. I put my everything into that number. It was just incredible.  I was also in the second row for her jazz number and it was one of my favorite jazz numbers ever too. The song was Telephone by Lady Gaga ft. Beyonce. Music for jazz tends to be shallow pop but the number was just fun. I had a front and center spot in her modern piece so that was awesome. I was in the non-partner section but sometimes I really don't mind being a partner if I'm in the front. I felt I did well with that number. I'm really feeling myself with most genre these days. I just love dancing.

As for the studio, everything is going fine there too. I would say it's fantastic if we could get class numbers up. It's not in the best area and get flaky parents too often. We had to have our show at a college the studio owner goes to and it was around an hour away so I lost students due to that. That caused me to have TWO WHOLE NUMBERS I had to pull from the show because parents didn't want to make the drive and pulled their kids out, which was devastating. One feel-good thing for me is that the studio owner (SO) and I get along well and she knows I know my technique and likes my choreography so she has been taking my classes. I'll be honest--I have a lot more training than she does. Her father had the money to buy a studio that was going to be turned into a furniture store. She had only taken Ballet Folklorico before this. She is really good with the little ones though, and I honestly don't love teaching babies. So I'm super psyched that she is taking my classes because it gives me more people to teach and it helps her as well. She hasn't had much technique and if she looks better, the studio benefits. She really is a sweet person though and is getting much better at being the owner. I'm proud of her. :)

SO performed in my Ballet 5 number in our winter show and did pretty well. I need to work on ballones with her but other than those, she really did well. I had three students in the number. One was male and is excellent at Dance Improv so I ended up getting him a job teaching it there. I also had this fresh face that started in the fall. She is 18, and super energetic/bouncy. She is my spirit animal. haha. And then SO made three. I used music by the Transylvanian Orchestra and it really fell together nicely. It was difficult but they did really well with it. :D

Lastly, my stepdaughter (5) is now taking jazz and tumbling. She had had around a year and a half of ballet and tap but was leveled up into the next age group this fall, around the time she started kindergarten. Every other kid in ballet was also on the competition team and the class was much harder and she wanted to try tumbling, so she was switched into jazz and tumbling. Well, I'm happy to say that that little one is really maturing lately, and with that, has also really expressed missing ballet. So me and her dad added ballet back into her schedule. So now on Wednesdays, she has 30 minutes of ballet at 4, a half hour break, and then 30 minutes of jazz followed by 30 minutes of tumbling. The break is needed and gives her time to chill before going back in. It works out nicely and she is doing really well! I give her little tips with encouragement and then she tries so hard and gives me a thumbs-up through the window. It's really adorable. I just love her.

Well, that was long as hell, so I'm calling this done right here. I hope everyone is well. I want to do a blog with 2017 goals so stay tuned for that, if anyone even reads this. haha.

-Bearika Ballerina

Saturday, September 12, 2015


     So today, I had one of my dance performance classes and learned one of my new roles. I was cast (alongside another person) in the Russian section of (excerpts from) Nutcracker! We learned the HOLYSHITFAST 45 second solo-turned-duet today. Wow. Have you seen men do those really high changements? We do those. Have you done pirouettes from 5th? We've got three fast ones in a row, the last being a double. On my bad side. We'll see. hahaha.

     I was also cast as Myrtha in our Giselle piece. It's a good semester already. :)

     I also got a job job! A new dance company is opening up here Monday and they had auditions for instructors. I had to interview, teach some barre work and across the floor, then danced myself. Honestly, I bombed the dance I did. haha. My right ankle did a THING the other day and it hurts. The solo was en pointe. It was bad. Take my word for it. Suckage to the max. BUT I GOT IT.

     I'll be teaching the senior level ballet, pre-pointe, and pointe classes on Friday nights. Now, mind you, I teach at the other studio on Fridays. I have to switch that around somehow. But I'll make it happen. I can't pass up this opportunity. It's a really good studio. And the building was on Abby's Studio Rescue. The owner that was on the show ended up giving up the studio because it wasn't for her, but then someone else bought it and that person is now my boss. I'm so excited. SO EXCITED.

Thursday, September 3, 2015


     So, classes started up again. If I can sum up how week ONE is going so far, it would be this: OW.

I've already clocked 6 hours of Dance Performance this week and I have about 4 hours of it tomorrow.

     Ballet II and Modern II just about killed me yesterday (the first dancing day in those classes). In Ballet II, we had a shorter than normal barre because the college and surrounding community was having power issues. No joke...the first combination was plies and we had to restart them because the power went out again and therefore, no music. I kept humming the song (a piano version of From My First Moment) but the teacher (N) said we were starting over and she just counted it.

Plies: Demi, demi, port de bras (arm in, out, in, out), grand plie, cambre (different depending on which position we were in). 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th.

Tendus: Tendu devant, close in plie. Tendu derriere with inside leg, close in plie. Tendu side, heel down, tendu inside foot, close away from barre, tendu toward barre with inside leg, heel down, tendu outside foot, close in sous-sus, demi detourne.

We also did degage, but I can't remember the combination.

For frappes, we did them with a flexed working foot (grrr) because it was the first day. I hate flexed but okay. We basically did en croix. We also did a barre stretch. I loooove a good barre stretch. My right leg hates me but my left leg and I are friends.


And then there was Modern II. I loooove modern, but the modern II barre is hard!! No matter how many times I take it (3 or 4 semesters now?) it's always so difficult.

We start with a choreographed warm up. I can't remember it yet.

Then we did barre, starting with tendus. I know it was one slower tendu and two quick ones. Then repeat. Then tendu devant, heel down in 4th with plie, straighten and close, tendu derriere, heel down with plie, straighten and close, slooow tendu devant, slow pas de cheval.

THAT'S JUST ONE DIRECTION. Repeat en croix. Then reverse it on the other side. Then turn to the barre and do 8 suuuuper fast tendus in 1st on each foot, 8 suuuuper fast tendus closing in 5th on each foot, plie releve with each foot in coupe (2 on each foot).

And that's one combination.

We also did degages, rond de jambes, battements, attitude battements, developpes, and probably something else I'm forgetting. Just at barre and that combination was probably the easiest to remember. lol. Ahhhh! The good thing is the combinations don't change too much over the first half of the semester. She switches certain things maybe once a week, like making something in plie instead of straight kneed or in releve instead of flat. This class is insanely hard but it really helps me and I SWEAT SO MUCH.

Whew. We have a holiday on Monday but will be back in class Wednesday.  *dies*

Friday, August 28, 2015

Fall Schedule...I Already Want A Nap

So, fall semester starts back up on Monday. While I'm excited, because hello, dance, I didn't get the break I normally do between semesters. Okay, well, I don't always anyways, because I take class over summer if possible. But this summer, I was teaching more than I ever had, started another job, and had draaaaama to stress me out and leave me feeling the opposite of rested.

But fall! My favorite season, my favorite shows normally (because SOME Christmas music is tolerable), and WINTER IS COMING. I started typing that before realizing what it was. hahaha.

So, here is my schedule. It's actually not bad, because I've taken semesters where I had 8 dance classes, but honestly, with my car situation, my job situation, my aging body, and other reasons I won't name, I am not able to pull that off anymore. I'm not working AT the college and therefore, can't have my job completely schedule around classes. Luckily, my studio allows me to schedule my own taught classes, for the most part, and the other job is weekends. I can always add more once my car is fixed (IT PASSED SMOG! A christmas miracle! lol) and I can take my ass to school.

Okay, I'll shut up. Here it is:

  • Dance Performance - 9:35-11:00
  • Ballet II - 11:10-12:35
  • (I might squeeze another class here if I can find one I want)

Studio (teaching):
  • Jazz - 5:00-6:00
  • Ballet 1b - 6:00-7:00
  • Ballet 3 - 7:00-8:00

(I have to be there at 8am because the boyfriend has class that early. Waaaaa!)
  • Intro To Theatre - 9:35-11:00 (Boyfriend is taking it and it's a theatre class I actually haven't taken!)
  • Dance Performance - 3:55-8:45 (Nope, not kidding)

  • Dance Performance - 9:35-11:00
  • Ballet II - 11:10-12:35
  • Modern II - 3:55-5:20 (Can only take once a week since I teach on Mondays)

  • Intro To Theatre - 9:35-11:00
  • Dance Performance - 3:55-8:45

  • Dance Performance - 9:35-1:00
Studio (teaching):
  • Ballet 5 - 4:00-5:00
  • Lyrical - 5:00-6:00

Job #2 - 3:00-8:00

Job #2 - 1:00-6:00

Send help.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Fall Classes

     Over summer, I have *only* (pfft) been teaching dance and I'm so excited that classes at the JC start back up Monday. I'm in serious need of technique. I feel that I haven't lost too much, as I usually dance with my students, for the most part, but it's still not as tough as taking class. I'm signed up for Dance Performance, Ballet II, and Modern II.

My birthday is the first day of fall (the season, not the semester), so yay for that too!

I love cold weather. I'm over summer.

Over. It.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

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Wednesday, July 8, 2015


     Besides being a lover of dance, I am also a lover of musical theatre. I've been in a few musicals (Beauty and the Beast, Brigadoon, and Hairspray). The director of Hairspray messaged me one day last fall and asked if I would be in her company's 10 year anniversary show. She was doing a number from Hairspray and wanted to know if I could be in it. I said yes, because I loved being in the show, and again, I love musical theatre.

     I was told that we were doing Mama, I'm A Big Girl Now and Without Love (later was cut because Seaweed couldn't make it). I was thinking about what part I would be doing because in the show, I wasn't in that number. It was just the lead girls and their mamas. Plus some young girls in the scaffolding dressed in jammies. I'm 29 so I was starting to think "There's no way I'm playing a kid, right? I apparently look 18ish but I can't see playing a kid. Could I be Tracy?!" but pushed that aside because NO WAY.

     I turned up for the first rehearsal for this number and the only people there were the women playing Penny and Amber, and their stage moms. Inside, I'm dancing because again, NO WAY.

    I was Tracy. I was cast as Tracy. Because I was asked specifically to be in this and was a lead, I was treated almost like VIP. I only was expected to be at a few rehearsals and one was the dress rehearsal. Then we had two weekends of performances. Eight shows. It was awesome!

Some photos:

My costume. I looooved it! Made just for me!

The 'do.

It's TRACY!!

Tracy and her bff Penny

Tracy and Velma Von Tussle...

...who are basically sworn enemies.

Me (back there) singing "I know that you want what's best(...but mother please, GIVE IT A REST!)"

hahaha Here I am, singing "Once upon a time, I was a shy, young thing. Could barely walk and talk, so much as dance and sing. (But let me hit that stage, I wanna take my bow, 'cause, Mama, I'm a big girl now!)

"Mama, I'm a big girl now!" *end pose*

                   I will never forget this experience. I want to be in 5038275 more shows!