Archive for January, 2017

Aside: Dance Teacher Problems

I’m on year 13 of constantly having children’s dance class music stuck in my head.


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At one of the jobs I had back in Houston: I did a good job cleaning up the place, but my boss didn’t like me and I WISH she would have shot me into space so I wouldn’t have to deal with donald trump’s* America.

(Lower caps on purpose– the man doesn’t deserve to have his name capitalized)

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Injuries and Illnesses

Our whole ballet company is passing around some kind of cold. When we videoed our Firebird rehearsal Saturday, there’s someone (usually me) coughing in the background about every five seconds.

It’s been quite a week at the studio. Just between Monday and Wednesday: Someone had to go to the hospital, someone else had to go out out of town for a family emergency, someone else had jury duty, and someone else had to be out due to contractual obligations with another school. I was subbing classes left, right, and center.

And then, yesterday, I went out for a walk after it stopped raining. During said walk, I clipped my foot on the edge of an uneven sidewalk and hit the ground like a sack of bricks. I dropped my hand weights and was able to catch myself with my hands, but my left knee still hit the cobblestones pretty hard. I jammed my kneecap and also scraped the hell out of it. My knee looked like a Quentin Tarantino movie! I went back home, showed it to my husband, and he helped me clean it (had to sit on the bathroom counter with my knee above the sink while he poured peroxide and water over it). Then I took a nap, ’cause I still had to go to the studio later.

I took only part of the 6:00 class in the interest of protecting my knee (sat out for about 20 minutes with an ice pack), and when I taught the next two classes I was careful with it (No grande plies, careful with any jumps). We had a good time, though– the contemporary class did a combination to the guitar solo in The Deads “Touch of Grey” and it was absolute fun. At the end of the night, our director told me to take tonight off and rest my knee.

My knee… looks a little less like a crime scene today, but it still hurts a bit when I walk. I might have to mark rehearsals tomorrow and Saturday (by the way, this isn’t the same knee I injured three years ago. If I keep this up I’m going to need a double knee replacement before I hit forty. :-\

Everyone cross your fingers and pray that our ballet company recovers from the plague that’s going around, that my knee recovers, and that next week will be better for all involved.

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(Note: The Shawshank Redemption was on TV last night, which is what inspired this post.)

Dear friends,

I can’t explain how fast things move in San Antonio. I saw a Spurs fan once when I was a kid, but now they’re everywhere. The city got went and got itself in a big damn hurry. My husband got us a pretty swank apartment, and I got a job teaching and dancing in a ballet company. It’s hard work. I try to keep up, but my legs hurt most of the time. Sometimes after work I go to the park and pet other people’s dogs. I keep thinking some of my Houston friends might just show up and say hello. But they never do. I hope wherever they are, they’re doing okay. I have trouble sleeping at night. I have bad dreams, like I’m stuck in traffic on 1604. I wake up really annoyed. Sometimes it takes me a while to remember where I am. I guess I’m too old for that sort of nonsense.

But I like it here. I think I’ll stay.

(Reference: The original here, and the Weeds parody here.*)

(*Spoiler alert: The first video involves a guy putting on a noose and hanging himself. The second involves a guy putting on a noose and wanking himself. Don’t watch either if thekids/Grandma/boss are in the room with you)


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Gear down, people, ’cause this is the chapter where lots of stuff happens in <6 months.

July 2016: I returned to Pearland for three weeks to choreograph/stage manage Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Four of my dance students were in it–two with leading roles! I stayed with the lovely, sweet grandmother of two of the young actresses in the show… we would rehearse 9-5 Monday through Friday, then I would usually go take class at the studio where I’d taught. Sometimes the girl’s parents would have to work late, so I’d bring the two girls (as well as another girl who lived near them) to the house where I was staying after rehearsal; and we’d all have dinner and “talk shop” together. It was a really beautiful time. The show closed on July 31st, bringing me to…

August 2016: On August 1st– the ten-year anniversary of the day I first moved to Houston– I left Houston for the last time. The VERY next day, I started the summer intensive with the ballet company. Each day I took a body conditioning class called “Progressing Ballet Technique,” then had a two-hour ballet class, followed by a contemporary class and rehearsals for our fall ballet. Not even a week after the intensive ended, I began my new teaching job.

Fall 2016: Things finally started to settle down as I got adjusted to my “new life.” My cousin got married in early September, and I returned to Pennsylvania for the wedding. Every weekend was spent in rehearsals for our fall ballet, The Magic Toyshop (also known as La Boutique Fantasque). We performed that in November, and right after went into rehearsals for The Nutcracker (I was one of the Spanish dancers, and I volunteered to help rehearse the little angels). Mama Butterfly came to visit over Thanksgiving, and the three of us traveled to Center, TX to visit Husband’s aunt and cousins).

December 2016: Nutcracker ended a week before Christmas, I did a bunch of subbing, then had a pretty uneventful Christmas break at home. Was actually GLAD to get back to work.

Now: We just spent 6 days with a visiting teacher who set George Skibene’s The Firebird on us (I am one of the princesses–talk about typecasting!). We have two principals from Corpus Christi as Ivan and the Firebird; and one of my co-workers is guesting at Koschei the Immortal. I love watching our guests dance, and Stravinsky’s music is the cheese to my macaroni (if you remember my last blog, you know I Have A Serious Thing for Le Sacre du Printemps). We’re also learning a ballet called Terpsichorus, as well as a new, original modern work choreographed by another coworker. My life pretty much revolves around the studio and company, and it’s pretty awesome. I’m so glad I found a place where I “belong” and get to have lots of great performing and learning opportunities.


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Well, internet, it’s been almost 3 years. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Summer 2014: I choreographed two musicals, Willy Wonka and Beauty and the Beast. Wonka was…chaotic. Beauty and the Beast was a fun, beautiful experience. For both shows, we worked 9-5 every day, with additional rehearsals during tech week. For both, I was in the audience during performances to take notes (the directors of both shows were backstage helping with scene changes).

Fall 2014: I developed Serious Sinus Issues while choreographing for Madeline’s Christmas. The show was lovely, even if I had a hard time breathing for a good chunk of the rehearsals (the Sinus Issues are still in the picture).

March 2015: I decided I was tired of being out of shape. For a while I was coming in to work early to give myself class; but in March I found a studio 2 miles from our apartment that offered adult ballet class two mornings a week. Before long I joined their company, and danced two performances with them the following season.

Summer 2015: I choreographed The Little Mermaid and performed in The Wizard of Oz. It was my first show in over three years, and I got to perform alongside my students. It was cool. Then my husband lost his job, which was not cool. There was much stress and axiety

Fall 2015: I was teaching at four (FOUR) different places, while taking classes myself and dancing in a company. Was exhausted from having more irons in the fire than an arsonist at a golf resort, but doing my own dancing kept me sane.

Spring 2016: Husband got a new job with a roofing company, I choreographed My Fair Lady at a Lutheran school. Around that time a HUGE hailstorm hit San Antonio, and my husband went out there to work on roofs. In May, he announced we would be moving there. I got busy trying to find somewhere to dance and teach.

June 2016: I had my last recital at the studio I’d taught at for four years (I even danced in it with my littlest-littles) and it was a really beautiful, special show for me. Four days later we loaded up a trailer and made our first trip to San Antonio. Our cats came on a second trip, two days later. Husband made the third trip by himself, while I stayed behind with the cats/to unpack/to start taking ballet classes and figure out where I would be dancing/teaching. After taking two classes, I secured myself a place in the company and a job as a pre-ballet teacher with a ballet company/school.

I’ve got more to update you on, but this post was long so I’ll sign off for now. Part 2 coming soon!

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