Category Archives: lyra

Review Update: WearMoi Dance Belt

You can find my initial review here.

I purchased my WearMoi belt on 5 August, 2016, and it quickly became one of my two favorites.

In terms of keeping everything contained, thus far it has been surpassed only by the BodyWrappers’ M007 in my experience (though I haven’t tried every single dance belt in the history of ever: I have a Dance Jox one on order, and I’ve never tried M. Stevens, for example).

In terms of comfort over the course of a ridiculously long day, it outclasses everything else, though this is definitely an area in which your mileage will vary.

In terms of durability, it’s been pretty freaking good, though I think it’s starting to feel the effects of being worn almost every single day (and washed just as frequently) since I lost my BW M007(1).

  1. Yes, I’m also wondering how exactly one loses a dance belt. Did I leave it in Florida last October? Who knows?

It’s still perfectly sound for dance purposes, including grand allegro, but I don’t think it’s optimal for use on the lyra at this point. Definitely better than nothing, but not perfect.

I think that’s a function of the trade-off between the power of the elastic in the waistband and the gentleness of the waistband in question: BodyWrappers’ waistbands, for example, are stronger, and as such will probably retain maximum grip longer. WM’s is softer, which makes it hella comfy right out of the box, but potentially not as durable(2).

  1. I say “potentially” because I lost my M007 too soon after purchasing it really know, but BodyWrappers’ dance belts have a reputation for durability, and goodness knows my M006 is still strong enough to double as a slingshot suitable for fighting off a rampaging triceratops. If, you know, you have problems with rampaging triceratops…es in your neck of the woods.

The thing that really sets this particular dance belt apart during a long day of dancing, sitting on your butt while not dancing, and then dancing again is that the thong never starts to feel invasive. It somehow manages to be flat, soft, and strong in exactly the right proportions.

BodyWrappers’ M007 is comparable, but doesn’t quite equal it. On the other hand, BodyWrappers’ M007 is essentially maximum-security lockdown for your naughty bits and also slightly more reliably guards one’s tender modesty, if you feel what I’m saying, both of which are advantages.

The rundown:

WearMoi’s dance belts are really very nice for dance and trapeze work and good on the lyra when new, but less so over the course of a several months of constant wear. Interestingly, I would count acro with lyra, in part because there’s a possibility of someone displacing the waistband of your dance belt while tumbling you around on their feet. Just saying. M007 for acro, y’allz.

In terms of comfort, WM’s belt is absolutely perfect, and I intend to keep at least one of them around for the foreseeable future.

Seriously, if I think I’m going to be nervous because ZOMG Auditions or OMG Hard Class With A New Teacher! or ZOMG The AD is Coming to Look At Us!! or ZOMGWTFBBQ I Have A Crush On My Teacher!!!(3) I generally opt to wear the WM belt because at least that’s, like, one part of me that won’t be uncomfortable.

  1. WHICH NEVER HAPPENS TO ME OKAY I CAN HANDLE IT LEAVE ME ALONE YOU’RE RUINING MY LIFE!!! *door slam*

That said, I’m rather hard on my dance belts, and I have yet to discover an option that works better on the lyra than BodyWrappers’ M007.

Update: I forgot to cover sizing.

I’m hard-ish to fit because I have a small waist and stupidly huge glutei medii. On size charts(4) that include both waist and hip measurements, my waist is usually small or medium, and my hip is medium or large. Couple that with the irreducibly complex dark magic by which dancewear manufacturers generate their size charts, and you have a recipe for WTF.

  1. …By which I mean dancewear size charts. In normal street clothes, I’m always a small, unless we’re talking about Asian sizes, in which case I’m usually a medium.

Anyway, here’s what I mean:

01-Size-Comparison

Top: Capezio, L. Centre: WearMoi, L. Bottom: BW M006, L.

The waistband of my M007, by the way, was actually closer to the size of the WM dance belt than it was to that of my M006.

According to Capezio’s size chart, I should be a small; per BodyWrappers’ I’m a large. WearMoi splits the difference.

When I’m really on form, the WearMoi dance belt fits with a wee gap at the top and a perfect fit through the bottom half of the waistband. I could probably rectify that by ordering one with a narrower waistband, but it hasn’t caused any problems.

In short:

  • Overall Scores:
    • Comfort: 10/10
    • Security: 8/10 when new
    • Modesty: 7/10
    • Durability: 5/10
  • For Ballet: Highly Recommended
  • For Modern: Highly Recommended
  • For Acro-Balancing: Recommended
  • For Trapeze: Recommended
  • For Lyra: Recommended, with Caveat: may not be suitable after several months
  • For Averting Triceratops Attacks: Not Recommended; try BW M007 and call your local Humane Society or Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Including Those Presumed Extinct to ask about implementing a Trap-Neuter-Return program to reduce the local population of feral triceratops…i?

I don’t do tap, so I can’t really speak to that. I’m guessing the percussive nature of tap might be an important consideration, so I don’t want to make any guesses, here.

I don’t do hip-hop, either, but I think the demands it places on the body (explosive movement, rapid tempo changes, possibly floorwork?) are close enough to those placed by Modern that this dance belt should be fine.

Lyra Photos! 

Trapeze Thingy

This afternoon, things went well. “And So It Goes” (got the title wrong before) sets really nicely for an adagio dance trapeze piece. I roped Denis into doing some acro for the opening, though it was awkward because our portable crash mat is mas squishy — not particularly stable.

The performance piece was very much a work in progress. I forgot to do a couple of things I meant to do, which meant there was more improv than I intended, but the improv resulted in some nice moments, so I really can’t complain.

Our friendly photog, Kevin, shot pictures, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing them. After I finished, essentially everyone wandered up to em and said, “I wish I had your back flexibility.”

I am learning to basically just say, “Thanks!” without launching into a long and boring explanation of how one achieves that kind of thing.

Secretly, inside, I’m like, “BALLET, Y’ALLS.”

Well, okay, ballet and genetics.

But mostly ballet: ballet will make the most of whatever genetics you’ve got. The secret isn’t so much flexibility — it’s strength. Nothing teaches you to use your back like ballet. If you want to be able to draw your body up into an arc while dangling from one knee, do a billion arabesques (but they have to be good ones).

Anyway, after I did my thing on the trapeze, we also got to play on the lyra and do some crowd-pleasing acro. We had extra time because we all kept forgetting that we had 10-minute time slots 😛

That’s it for tonight. I’m itching to see the pictures, but also completely exhausted.

Initial Review:WearMoi Dance Belt

I’m an idiot, and didn’t keep the packaging for the WearMoi belt that I picked up on Wednesday. That’s a shame, because it makes it hard to conclusively recommend the right model (it’s definitely a thong-back in the unfortunately-named “nude” colorway with a 3″ waistband).

I can at least say it’s one of the newer-style models, that it really kinda blows my old Capezio warhorses out of the water*, and that it’s a close contender with the Body Wrappers models.

*While it will keep one’s eggs unscrambled, however, I am sadly forced to admit that it will not keep one’s metaphors unmixed. So if you want metaphors as clear as a wide blue window and pure as driven angels’ kisses, perhaps I am not the ideal source.

Design

In design, the WM belt most closely resembles the BodyWrappers M006/M007: pouch affixed below a solid elastic waistband. The pouch is better on the BW models, but the waistband on the WM is … well, plush. It has that sort of fuzzy interior surface like the waistbands on some kinds of underpants.

The WM belts available at Ye Olde Local Dance Shoppe all have 3″ waistbands, but WM’s website allows for customization of the width (perhaps only if you live in Europe or the UK, though: Hi, Yorksranter!), offering 1″, 2″, and 3″ options (Will dance belts ever go metric? Who knows?).

However, after a few hours, the real test of a dance belt’s comfort isn’t so much whether you can handle the waistband, but whether or not the thong is actively sawing you in half.

This is where the WM, like the BW M006 and M007, excels.

One of the chief problems with Capezio’s N5930 is that, when you take a break and sit down for a minute, you quickly realize that the thong is basically a steel** cable wrapped in cotton, soaked in brine, and crammed right up against your tailbone.

**Okay, so it’s not really steel, but it certainly feels like it at times.

That’s about as comfortable as it sounds, and frequently leads to adjustments, which give way to more adjustments when you have to get back in the studio.

Let me tell you from experience: there is nothing as fun as realizing too late that you need to adjust your dance belt and desperately trying to figure out how to do it on the down-low in front of like 40 girls. (Good times, good times.)

The WM and the two BW models share a feature that prevents this particular cascade of humiliation: a wide, flat fabric thong with bound edges.

The BW models have a slight edge in this regard, as far as I’m concerned: the bindings are super-smooth, and the fabric wicks sweat a little better and dries a little faster than the WM’s (however, the BW pouch dries more slowly). I’ve also had one experience of the WM’s thong rolling itself into a cable as I got dressed, but that A) may be because my WM dance belt is slightly bigger than it could be and B) was easily fixed.

Most importantly, neither of them is uncomfortable during breaks: both hold up well to ridiculous schedules like mine that basically involve wearing your dance belt all freaking day because there’s no point in taking it off for like two hours in the middle.

The BW pouch is absolutely the best in terms of modesty and, in my opinion, comfort (it appears to be made from pillows and the happy dreams of adorable kittens or something), so that’s a point in BW’s favor.

That said, the BW pouch also takes foreeeeeeeevar to air-dry when you hand-wash it and a comparably long time to dry when you’ve been sweating your brains out in it for three hours or what have you.

WM’s pouch isn’t quite as modesty-enhanced or silky-sleek, but it does dry more quickly, so point to side WM there. It’s also quite comfortable; the fabric has a nice hand, and the center seam (presumably there more for support than for anything) doesn’t turn into a tourniquet halfway through class.

One last bit on design: WM’s pouch is slightly narrower than BW’s. For me, this is great; I’m not very wide between the hipbones, nor am I, um, (ab.so.freaking.lutely NSFW AT ALL EVERRudolf Nureyev (/ab.so.freaking.lutely NSFW AT ALL EVER) or a ridonculous pr0n star, so to speak. However, BW’s pouch might be a better option for some.

Fit

Here’s the part where I make with the measurements, which I guess I should have actually done before I ordered all my new dance kit yesterday, because holy hairballs, I have shrunk (as you do).

Here’s my current stats (conversions are rounded to the nearest whole unit for simplicity’s sake, except pounds to stone, because the difference is too big):

Waist: 28″/71cm***
Biggest part of my tuchas (right around the gluteus medius): 37″/94cm***
Inseam: 32″/81cm
Height: 68″(5’8″)/173cm
Weight: 149 pounds/68kg/10.6 stone

***This ratio is why it is so freaking hard for me to find trousers that fit right.

I purchased a Large.

It turns out that I split the difference between Large and Medium in BW’s sizes. My waist measurement falls squarely into the Medium camp and my hip/tuchas measurement falls squarely into the Large camp because I am, in short, a “Dually.”

2006_-_Dodge_Ram_3500_-_Mega_Cab_-_Dually_4x4_-_Laramie_-_RR

You know what to do with that big, fat butt. (Source) (PS: Big butts are frequently an, ahem, asset in aerials, not to mention being apparently prized among male ballet dancers, for whom the ideal butt shape is apparently “square.” Regarding which: huh.)

This is consistent with the way the elastic fits: the top is rather looser than it should be, but the bottom is snug enough to do its job really, really well.

Sizing, then, is more comparable to Capezio’s dance belts, in which I would probably wear a Medium (even though their size chart thinks I’m a Small) if I were to buy another one, than to BodyWrappers, in which I am still a large, but a pretty comfortable large.

Fortunately, my magnificent glutei medii (and also my iliac crests, which are like freaking knives these days, y’all) give sufficient purchase to the bottom 1.5″ or so of elastic.

I mention this for two reasons.

  • First, the WM dance belt is not only performing admirably, but is doing so under less-than-ideal circumstances.
  • Second, when sizing your own dance belt (and every other thing), it’s worth considering things like the measurement of your hip right around your gluteus medius, which tends to be extremely well-developed in male dancers, especially male ballet dancers (thanks, grand battement!).

Gray1211

This guy is SO not a dancer. (Circle added for clarity. Source: Illustration by Henry Vandyke Carter from Gray’s Anatomy [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

Anyway.

So the fit, I think, skews very close to true, with a small caveat for those of us who are pretty freaking lean and yet possessed of ridiculous butt muscles.

It’s probably worth noting that the rise is a bit lower than the BW’s rise. That works just fine for me because of the way I’m put together, but if you have a really long torso (or if you’re just plain tall), the BW belts might be a better fit. For me, though — a smallish person with a moderate torso — the rise is about perfect.

As for the pouch: it’s probably adequate for all but the most ridonculous of pr0n stars.

Function

Holy cats, Batman, this thing FREAKING WORKS.

For a long time, I seriously thought my Capezios were fine. Sure, occasional adjustments were required (note: this may well be a sizing issue; I am more than 4″ smaller waist-wise than I was when I started dancing again) — but, on the whole, I felt like things were, you know, staying put well enough.

Then I got my BW M006, which was revelatory. When it was sitting where it wanted to, NOTHING MOVED. Nothing could move. Which is, in fact, the whole idea: “set it and forget it.”

The only problem was that the M006’s rise meant that it sat at a spot that wasn’t (at the time) terribly comfortable, so I kept adjusting it downward, which compromised its effectiveness. Curiously, losing another inch or so off my waist seems to have made the height of the rise matter a whole heck of a lot less, so go figure.

Enter the WM dance belt: the rise is perfect, and the fit is secure — so secure that “set it and forget it” works just as well in lyra class (IMO, the ultimate test of a dance belt) as it does in ballet (okay, so all those freaking échappés are a close second … no pun intended, but I’ll take credit if it’s on offer).

So, basically, if there’s any wiggle room, the lyra will find it and will adjust your junk for you and your better half will sit there laughing maniacally and saying, “You’re not supposed to use that to hang on to the hoop!”

Or, you know, you’ll just pinch your junk or something, which is at least as unpleasant.

Oh, and then you’ll have to (ONCE AGAIN) adjust yourself in front of 40 girls, even if there are only like 16 people in the studio at that moment and three of them are guys.

WM’s dance belt puts an end to that particular scenario (as long as you remember to sort of shimmy around the family jewels, as one does in such situations — there’s a reason that there are fewer guys than girls in lyra).

Meanwhile, in ballet class, WM’s dance belt eliminates all need for mid-class adjustments. There’s no jeté-ing out the studio door at the end of a grand allegro phrase; no OMFG moments in the middle of warm-up jumps.

Obviously, I can’t speak to durability yet, but at around $25 US, WearMoi’s dance belt doesn’t have to last until you retire to be worth the cost of admission.

TL;DR:

  • Fits true to size, with a low rise and moderate pouch width.
  • Construction and materials are excellent. Plush elastic is freaking amazing. Dries faster than BW M006/M007, but the pouch and thong aren’t quite as nice.
  • Comfort is excellent. M007 may have a slight advantage due to its sleek, smooth fabric and pouch, but the WM belt is still exceptionally nice.
  • Functionality is stellar. Set it and forget it, indeed.

8/10: Very Highly Recommended. (Compare 5/10 for Capezio N5930; ~8.5/10 for BW’s M006/M007)

 


Dually Image:
By user:JDOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6883513

Moar Things

  1. Decided on very subtle costuming for my ballet/lyra piece for Fall Showcase (which is in September): grey tights, white crepe/gauze/whatever-you-call-it shirt. Ordered said tights and shirt.

    Really kind of looking forward to the tights, as I’ve recently figured out that I don’t hate dancing with stuff between my shoes and my feet after all and part of me is like, “YAY, ACTUAL BALLET TIGHTS.” Definitely plan to add suspenders/braces for Lyra purposes, though now I have to figure out where to find said suspenders/braces if they don’t come with the tights (which are the kind that can be used with braces or rolled down a million times).

    ~

  2. Hit up Sansha’s New York Store website again. Decided to buy a couple of shirts that were on sale. Checked the sizing chart; nearly had a heart attack about the incredibly-diminutive weight ranges, realized I was looking at the ladies’ chart.

    Turns out I’m squarely  in the middle of the weight range they predict for guys my height, which makes me a Sansha size 6. But still.  Wow. They are definitely thinking Kirov ladies, here. If I was a girl, I’d be an XXL and wouldn’t be able to buy almost anything from Sansha’s website. Bleh.

    ~

  3. Ordered another pair of the leather Silhouettes because I think they’re discontinuing them. I haz a sad about that, because they are the BEST SHOES EVER for my particular feet.

    Also ordered a pair in white for the Showcase performance.

    Got a wild hair and added a pair of the stretch canvas shoes, because at this point I’m like, “Might as well,” and also because I was $9 or something short of the minimum order. Maybe I will love them?

    ~

  4. Got two free pairs of tights. None of them were useful for me (all ladies’ styles; insufficiently opaque for men in most applications), so I ordered a couple pair that I think might fit at least one of my friends from class. I figured, what the heck? Might as well be the Free Tights Fairy while I’m being the Buying All the Freaking Shoes In A Panic Fairy.

    ~

  5. The ballet part of the piece for Fall Showcase is much better now. I still feel like I should put the tour-jeté sequence back into the second phrase, because at the moment there are two bits that basically run flatly back and forth across the stage (stage L – stage R, then back), which still seems kind of boring.

    ~

  6. Discovered that I can do renversé, attitude turns, and the necessary balances (pique arabesque, first arabesque to penchébalance à la seconde from pas de chat Italien) on the mats and on the floor. Also that I make myself straighten up and fly-right when I’m half-assing my turns, which I was totally doing at the beginning of Open Fly tonight, because developing even worse turning habits is the last freaking thing I need to do.

Anyway, I should’ve been in bed a billion years ago, so that’s it for tonight.

Choreography: Iterations

On Sunday, I banged out what turned out to be a kind of very rough first draft of the choreography for an upcoming Lyra performance that opens with a bunch of ballet.

I video-ed the initial draft choreography and discovered that, at least for me, video is a really useful tool for the choreographic process. It let me analyze my own dance from an audience perspective (only one: the person sitting at the corner of audience R, heh), which in turn helped me figure out what worked and what needed to change.

Today, I worked the ballet part again, and I think I’ve resolved some of the problems I ran into with the first draft — particularly the excessive repetition and the fact that I’d boringly choreographed everything down the same diagonal and back.

I didn’t record video today, but instead wrote the choreo down by hand. This is progress; I used to have trouble doing that because I couldn’t always figure out what to call intermediate things.

Now I just write “step through in coupé” (or short-hand “step thru coupé) or whatever best describes the action if it doesn’t have a really discrete name.

Also, I no longer get my Eighty-Seven Cardinal Directions of Ballet confused (thanks to Company B), which makes it soooooo much easier to write out the instructions.

I just realized, though, that for some reason I dropped one of my favorite sequences (your traditional:

pique arabesque – chassée – tour jeté – something else

…So maybe I’ll put it back in on the next iteration, with or without the interesting little pivot that kept appending itself to the landing of the tour jeté.

That said, I also addedtombé – pas de bourrée – glissade – Pas de Chat Italien into a balance à la seconde.

~

This iterative process feels very comfortable, which surprises me.

As a choreographer, I’m apparently quite happy to just bang out a very rough initial draft.

By contrast, as a writer, my initial drafts tend to feel pretty finished because I work into the diction and sound and feeling and imagery of the writing so much.

This means that my initial drafts as a writer take foreeeeeeeeevar, while an initial choreographic draft can be accomplished in a few minutes for a short piece (obviously, you’re not going to choreograph a 3-act ballet in 10 minutes, unless each act is like one minute long).

I think we have another Open Fly session tonight, so I might shoot some video of the second draft of my choreography, and possibly also the lyra choreography, if I’m feeling up to it.

Maybe this time I’ll remember to bring an external speaker so I can have video and sound AT THE SAME TIME!!! O.O

I think I will, in time, post my various iterative videos here. I haven’t ported the first two (both first-draft videos, but recorded in two separate phrases) over to the YouTubes yet, though.

~

In other news, yesterday’s rest day went well, and I learned that one of my favorite dancers and instructors is also an incredibly good cook. Like, somehow, in the midst of teaching and rehearsing and generally being amazing, he also found time to make two really good pie crusts from scratch and fill them with amazing savory pies also from scratch.

I already knew that he was a really lovely human being … only, now I’m not so sure that’s accurate.

Specifically I am not entirely sure he’s actually a human being; he might really be a unicorn in elaborate biped drag.

Wednesday Everything, OMG 

Summer Intensive being over, Killer Class with Ms.B is back. 

It wasn’t too bad yesterday, though I was too bad yesterday.

Sure, a year ago, I would’ve killed for a class in which I was like, “Yeah, I’m hella tired; I’ve only got half-baked double turns and single assemblés battu.” 

Still, I felt like an ongoing disaster: my rotators didn’t want to stay rotated, my balances were Meh, my balancés were Meh, I had trouble keeping things in my head, and at one point I forgot we had already done both sides of a combination and stood there blinking with the wrong hand on the barre while everyone else patiently waited for me arrange my waterfowls, etc.

Still, I made it through. Even managed beats in petit allegro, which was mercifully slower than Ms. E’s on Monday, during which I mentally grumbled about wishing we could do men’s tempo for once whilst simultaneously observing that any Danish-trained danseur could certainly manage this tempo so that’s no excuse. 

Grand allegro was better than I expected it to be, if not quite awesome.

I think les turnouts (which, regardless of Autocorrupt’s delightful suggestion, are definitely not “turbos” right now) and the leg-springy muscles need a day off. They might get one today, but I’m still on the fence — do I go take class with Company B, or do I acknowledge the fact that I’m rapidly careering towards two straight weeks without a rest day?

Anyway, afternoon and evening comprised a therapy appointment, my first Trap 3 class, Hoop 1, a break during which I stuffed hummus wraps into my face as I tried not not to heckle Denis during his Trap 1 class (which he’s intelligently taking to supplement Trap 2) and then some futzing about in the Dance Corner, where I discovered that I really shouldn’t more than mark Albrecht because that floor beats the holy hell out of your legs after a couple of runs of big jumps (to be fair, it’s not intended for grand allegro executed by someone with a lot of jump).

Trap 3 was revelatory. I got bumped up from 1 to 2 and from 2 to 3 very quickly because apparently that whole thing about lacking upper body strength was some kind of delusion and I’m naturally flexible, while ballet has imparted enough grace, coordination, and kinesthetic awareness to successfully tackle all the things. 

Trap 3, on the other hand, is going to be harder. I expected, for example, to nail meathooks yesterday because I have solid single-knee hangs, a stellar center-split, and controlled v-ups. Ha! In Mother Russia, it turns out, meathook nails you. 

Our instructor, who I’ll call Siren (because I somehow just realized that there are two Aerial Ms!), pointed out that for for me it’s not a question of strength, but of figuring out how to get all the parts to work together in an unfamiliar way*.

  • *This, by the way, typifies my learning process even in ballet: I fumble through the first several attempts at almost any complex new motor pattern, and then it just gels and I have it. The notable exceptions have been tour jeté, single cabriole, assemblée en tournant, and single tours, all of which I apparently learned by divine inspiration. You should have seen me trying to figure out Sissone double, though. Oy to the vey. 

In short: meathooks are … hmm. Ronds-de-jambes that you do in a different plane whilst in a long-arm hang with your head down and your junk up against the bar in such a way as to finish folded over your own arm or arms.

They should end up looking like this (thanks, YouTube!), more or less.

Our meathook exercise involves transitioning from inverted straddle to left two-handed meathook through inverted straddle to right two-handed meathook and back. So far, when I’m lucky, I can get from inverted straddle to an approximation of one meathook or the other — and that’s it.
Trying to convince your shoulders to continue to engage and your body to remain upright while you patiently rond first one leg, then the other around the barre is mind-bogglingly difficult.

I think part part of my difficulty, though, was that I set my grip too wide, which (because T -Rex arms) makes it potentially impossible to engage correctly through my shoulders and and chest. I have this same problem with the arrow/pencil inversion on lyra (and its children, pike and Verukai [sp?], when I don’t remember to set my grip a little narrower than instinct suggests). 

Still, I managed to finagle my way through the Cuddles sequence (I can only assume its name is at least somewhat ironic), which opens with an inversion into a pike across one of the ropes (or, in short, a kind of inversion into a meathook sans straddle) — and the fact that I’m very much capable of managing that inversion suggests that, indeed, strength is not the problem.

After the initial inversion, “Cuddles” involves more or less waving your legs around artfully to tie yourself in a very complicated sliding knot, from which you next glide first into a split and then into a leana, slipping yourself free of your knot as you go. 

It’s a devilishly complex motor sequence, roughly akin to the opening phrase of Albrecht’s variation in terms of coordination and motor planning (though not in the modulation of force, which is part of what makes Albrecht’s variation hard).

After all that, Hoop 1 felt like a walk in the park (which is good — I wasn’t sure that lyra as a chaser for a hefty  draught of trapeze was anything like a good idea), though I made the same grip-width mistake on my first go at the day’s enchaînement.

After, I shot some video of Albrecht’s variation broken into phrases so I could work on properly  sequencing my arms. I think, though, that I’m not going to run it on that floor anymore — I tried to turn down the jump on the cabrioles, but when I do that, the result is cabrioles badly executed, with the top leg dropping to meet the bottom as it swings up to beat (to be fair, it does have the decency to spring back up again — but it shouldn’t drop in the first place). Not a habit I want to cultivate! (I also need to get out of the habit of doing tiny, cautious tours, which I won’t on that floor). 

So I think from here out I’ll either run it on the mats or just mark the legs and train arms and épaulement, depending on whether the matts are free.

Port de bras and épaulement are definitely major goals, now. It doesn’t matter how high you jump or how well you travel if your arms aren’t up to speed. At the end of the day, in fact, that’s the thing that makes me fall in love with Russian dancers every time I see them — they can stand around doing nothing with their legs and break your heart just by lifting their arms.

I want to bring that both to my dancing and to my trapeze and lyra work.

So there you have my new Wednesday schedule in a nut-shell. Killer Ballet followed by Hard-Mode Trapeze, then a lyra class that feels like a break!

Saturday Class: Not Half Bad…

…Just half mediocre?

The were good moments today, but it wasn’t a shining example of my best work.

It was, however, an opportunity for comparison.

A year ago, I think, things that seem mediocre now would’ve seemed pretty excellent. I realized this whilst kvetching about the fact that I kept switching the entrechat trois with the entrechat cinque in a combination; whilst internally taking myself to task about some turns that were decent, but not great*; whilst being irritated about my tour lent being a touch wobbly on the first run through the adage.

*You guys: all of a sudden, my turns are SO FREAKING SLOW — what happened?! Not that slow turns are always bad; it’s just when you’ve got, like, two beats for a double and two beats later you’re leaving out the next step because your double was like about how you’d imagine a kiddie ride at an amusement park called Grandma’s Nap Land, or a slow-mo clip, or something. It’s like someone turned the friction on my shoes up to 11.

I was a wreck at grand allegro, though. For some reason, my brain didn’t bother to video most of the combination; it recorded the audio instructions instead.

The instructions were:
Préparé
Glissade
Grand jeté
Glissade
Grand jeté
Glissade
Grand jeté
Failli
Piqué arabesque**
Chassé
Tour jeté
Chasse
Tour jeté LAND IN A BALANCE!!!
Tombe
Pas de Bourré
Glissade
Saut de Chat

**This kicked off a change of direction, if it’s not clear.

Buuuuuuut! The initial glissades traveled, erm, kinda diagonally. Otherwise the whole thing turned into a disastrous zig-zag, like a Mini-Demolition Derby Bumper Ballet ride (which they totally DO NOT have at Grandma’s Nap Land; Grandma says that is WAY too dangerous).

Which I somehow failed to grasp.

Fortunately, we are having air traffic control issues (how often does one get to say that’s a good thing?), and I wound up in the second group, so at least I didn’t collide with anyone while angrily yelling at my body about still trying to launch its glissades to the side. I just looked like an idiot, so, you know. Par for the course, eh?

I also kept wanting there to be more tour jetés, but I always want more of those, soooooooo…

We all also got a general correction on our arms with regard to tour jeté: apparently, our legs were all, AGRIPPINA VAGANOVA! while our arms were like OMG WE ARE FIREWORKS!

This correction included the memorable phrase, “You can do fifth opening to second or you can do this: *demonstrates the arms everyone likes to do with grand jeté* but make sure I can tell which one you’re going for.*

So I then proceeded to think about my arms. I’m not entirely sure that helped, but we all know the rule about thinking in ballet, anyway.

image

Except, like, sub in "thinking" and "ballet."

(Okay, so that rule isn’t 100% literally literal, obvs. It’s more like, Think with your body, not with your brain.)

So that was my day. That, a bike ride, and open fly. Which isn’t where you inadvertently expose yourself, but where you get to play around in aerial apparati until your arms won’t go anymore.

Oh, and I was totally that guy today: I demonstrated to Denis how I could do awesome pull-ups on the lyra while complaining that about how I was still convinced that I couldn’t do regular pull-ups.

Then he sent me over to the pull-up bar, where I totally did a freaking pull-up.

So that happened, too, I guess. No humble-bragging intended; I just kind of felt like an idiot (which goes with looking like one in ballet class, so…).

Huzzah!

Tonight, I hopped on a Rola-Bola for the second time in my life.

And then I learned to juggle on it.

While dancing.

BTW, I can only juggle three balls, but it looks way cooler when you’re simultaneously Rola-Bola-ing.

Then our dexterity instructor paused and told me, “If there was a hat on the ground, I would totally put money in it.”

Totally going to have to perfect this and use it to avoid ever getting a job entertain my friends 😀

We snagged a little bit of video of it; I can’t wait to see it. Going to have to work on this one and get moar video!

Oh, and also awesome things happened in lyra and acro-balancing. A classmate snagged some great pix, so I’ll try to remember to repost them here.

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