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One Fracking Awesome Penché Is Worth It

Mostly good class again today; the kind of class that would have been mind-blowingly good a year ago.

The highlight was the first time of JMG’s usual adage, during which I executed literally the best Penché I’ve ever done, ever.

It was just like, “Down, down ,down, ohai that’s like 5:55[1] penché there, recover like it ain’t no thang…”

  1. Technically, since the supporting leg is the hour hand and stays on the 6 regardless, it would be a 6:55 penché, but that doesn’t read as well.

First run left, though, I lost my rotators and had to put my leg down for a sec. None of the rest of the penchés were anywhere near as good as the first one.

Honestly, though, that one penché—the one that tells me I can penché like a boss if I keep my waterfowls in a linear array—was worth it. It was one of those moments that feel exactly right; the kind when you know even before everyone tells you that you’ve executed a difficult thing[2] beautifully.

  1. Penché is funny. You start learning it really, generally speaking. You then keep working on it foreeeevvvvvarrrrrr, because it’s actually rather hard to do really well.

T and … Crap, I just realized I have two Ts amongst my ballet peeps. Okay, so T1 and T2 clearly benefitted immensely from Curran’s masterclass. Now I really wish I’d taken it. Oh, well: I’ll pick their braingz about it later.

Little by little I’m feeling my progress. I notice new things in my body every single class right now: oh, I’m ever so slightly too far over my hip in piqué arabesque; oh, I’m throwing my head back in soutenu turns (no surprise there); oh, I’m putting waaaaay too much force into adagio turns; oh, I’m losing touch with my pelvis during tours lent.

This all makes me really look forward to Lexington. I have no idea what we’re learning in variations this year, but I feel so much more ready than I did last year.

Anyway, time to go mow the lawn and so forth.

Long-Necked Wading Birds of Southwestern Florida

Florida’s Gulf Coast is home to numerous bird species, and the southwestern tip of the state is no exception.

An excursion by boat through the mangroves at the edge of the everglades reveals many species of long-necked wading birds.

For example:


The Roseate Spoonbill, a year-round resident that, like the pink flamingo, takes its color from small crustaceans in its diet.


The great white egret, an elegant shoreline bird that often appears as a solitary, ghostly figure in the marsh.


And whatever the hell this thing is.

The final specimen in today’s brief collection of wading birds may be the Lesser Dancing Nincompoop, a migratory fowl often found in non-linear disarray.

The Lesser Dancing Nincompoop spends most of its time in the American Southern Northern Eastern Midwest, but regularly ranges as far north as Chicago, Illinois, as far west as Nevada, and as far south as southwestern Florida.

Interestingly, though it is a non-native species introduced from the southern New England coastal corridor, it has not proven invasive. It has adapted reasonably well to life in the interior, though ornithologists suspect that its migratory habits reflect a yearning for salt water, open skies, and critical dietary elements like really good bagels and legit New York-style pizza.

Ornithologists also suspect that, like the Spoonbill and the flamingo, its color may be dietary in origin, and that it derives its pasty hue from the exoskeleton of one of its preferred prey species, the Lesser North American Baguette (a distant relative of the European variety endemic to France).

PS: These shots were all taken on a really cool 2-hour Everglades Eco-Tours boat tour this morning. We had a great time and learned a lot 🙂

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