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Choose Your Own Intensive: Day 1

I was, in fact, on the nervous side this morning when I left home.

Surprisingly, by the time I reached Clifton Cultural Arts Center, that nervousness had evaporated. Instead, I simply felt delighted to be returning to a place where I had a really great experience last year.

I picked up my number and the little program for the intensive and parked myself in the main studio, where a bunch of the students were watching Rosas Danst Rosas. Even that was pleasantly familiar: Rosas is one of the seminal works of progressive modern choreography that almost every dancer who’s worked in the discipline knows, and Mam-Luft & Co’s 2016 intensive  was the first place I saw it.


“I’m #41! I’m #41!” shouted nobody ever, except me, probably.

Improv class went well. I really actually rather love improv, though my body took a bit to wake up today. The drive up to Cincinnati is nearly 2 hours, which is a long time to sit still. Tomorrow, my class starts a little later, but I’m still going to leave at the same time.

I am not, I’m happy to report, the Onliest Boy this time. There’s another guy, and he’s quite good. He’s auditioning as well. We’re very similar in size, but quite different in build and movement style, so I’m actually kind of hoping I’ll get to work with him in the partnering classes at least a bit.

A couple of the girls from last year are also there this year, which is awesome. Regardless, I don’t feel so weird and shy and isolated this time. Like, I kind of feel like I know what I’m doing this time, and like I have some business being there.

After class, I dashed away almost immediately (partly so I could stop at United Dairy Farmers and get a milkshake, which turned into the greater part of my ultra-healthy lunch[1]).

  1. A milkshake and a banana. Don’t judge. We don’t have UDF in Louisville, so it was 100% worth it.
    • In fact, this worked out surprisingly well, really. The milkshake provided enough fuel to get me through ballet without turning into a brick in my belly.

Back in Louisville, I took a break to read things on my phone, then headed over to the ballet. We’re in the main studio downtown, which is really nice. There are only 10 or so of us in the master class, so we have a ton of room to move … which is good, because BW likes to make us travel.

Class went well. I got through everything, jumps and all, though I couldn’t convince my body to brisé during combinations, only during marks. I do, however, have my entrelacé back. I got to do grand allegro, and it was pretty good.

I took a couple of technical notes, but I left my notebook in my car and I can’t remember what they were. That’s fine, though: if I don’t remember at least some of them by the end of this week, I am probably beyond hope and should consider a career in Couch Potato Cultivation rather than in dance.

I am, in fact, the Onliest Boy in the masterclass series this week, but I’m okay with that. It’s a much smaller group than ML&Co was last year.

Anyway, I’m really tired, so I’m going to close here. I think I intended to say something more interesting, but I’ve been busily doing a billion other things whilst writing this post, and I can’t remember what they were.


PS: You know you’ve worked hard when you drop in at your aerial studio to say “Hi” to your friends, and the first thing someone says is, “Did you get caught in the rain?” 😀


In Which Budgetary Constraints Make For Easier Decisions, For Once

As a physical therapist who specializes in adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities, Denis is reimbursed for his services primarily through Medicaid.

Upcoming regulatory changes both to reimbursement rates and the delivery of services mean that right now he’s considering taking a full-time staff position rather than continuing in private practice.

I started to write about the details of that decision here, and then realized that was going to be a really, really long post; it it’s a question of regulatory changes that reflect both good intentions and terrible implementation, and it really deserves a thorough treatment in its own post.

Anyway, as such, we’re keeping our belts a little tighter until we know what’s what, and both Sun King and Mam Luft’s full-day track are off the table until the dust settles.

Realistically, that might not happen until mid-June, and since Mam Luft & Co’s summer intensive takes place the first week of June, that’s obviously a spanner in the works.

Fortunately, Mam Luft & Co has an evening track which costs roughly half as much as the full-day track — and which falls well within the scope of my monthly discretionary budget.

Thus, I’ve signed up for Mam Luft & Co’s evening track. On one hand, I’m a tad disappointed, because I really wanted to do the Contemporary Ballet classes offered as part of the full-day track. Likewise, I’m kind of bummed that I won’t be able to participate in the performance at the end, since that’s specific to the full-day track.

On the other hand, I’m really excited about the partnering, improv, and music awareness classes that make up a big chunk of the evening track’s course load, and I can add the Contemporary Ballet class if I want to by adding a “Pick 3 Classes” registration (which, at $54, is a reasonable add-on; I’ll need to do something during the day, after all).

Since Contemporary Ballet is on the second day of the program, I think I probably won’t be too cooked to handle the early-ish start (evening track classes end at 10:10 PM; the Contemporary Ballet class starts at 9 AM o_O).

I didn’t check the “I want to audition for the company” box on the the application, because I’m not sure that I have anything like enough modern dance experience, but maybe I’ll write to them and ask about that. Apparently men are strongly encouraged to audition, so there’s that?

It doesn’t make sense to car-commute 2 hours each way the whole time, so I’ll find a place to stay in Cincinnati for the week (I’m hoping for some place with a swimming pool; that would make an awesome counterpart to dancing), and then I’ll have to find ways to entertain myself during the day.

Honestly, that shouldn’t be a huge problem: I’m pretty good at keeping myself entertained. I plan to do some research over the next few weeks, find fun cheap-or-free things to do by day, and bring my bike (because if all else fails, I can always amuse myself by riding the bike … probably very slowly, and only in the flattest parts of Cinci I can find, but riding the bike nonetheless).

And, of course, there’s always the magical land of IKEA.

For July, Lexington Ballet’s week-long adult summer intensive is very much on my radar. At $275, it’s also quite affordable.

LexBallet’s program is evenings only, but like Cinci, Lexington is a nice place to visit, and I’m sure I can amuse myself during the day for a week. I also know my way around pretty well, and I will definitely bring my bike, since there’s some very nice riding in Lexington. If I’m lucky, I may be able to stay with friends, or with friends-of-friends, since I still know people there.

I’ll need to register by June 15th, but that seems very much doable even if things are still up in the air, financially speaking.

So it looks like I’ll probably be doing two one-week summer programs this year, in addition to my usual ballet-and-modern schedule.

So that’s my summer planned:


Suspend Spring Showcase
Mam Luft & Co Intensive (Evening Track)
PlayThink Festival


Lexington Ballet Adult Intensive


Burning Man!

And that’s it for now. I should go finish my various houseworky things, as we have all kinds of crazy plans all weekend.

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