As you may have guessed from the lack of blog posts this last month, not a lot of excitement has happened around these parts. Till recently. Today in ballet class we had a few new faces. New faces attached to gorgeous bodies that could do magical things.
Apparently, earlier this month, somewhere between 6 and 8 dancers with the National Ballet of Cuba defected while in Puerto Rico for a performance. (The exact number depends on which news article you read. All are dated between June 9th and 11th. I could not find any more-recent articles that confirmed the number. You can read about it here.) At least 6 of them ended up in Miami, and 2 of those were in my ballet class today.
Oh. Em. Gee.
I can only imagine what they must have been through in the past month or so. Leaving behind everything they knew, friends and family, in hopes of more artistic opportunities outside of Cuba. Wow.
Regardless of how they may (or may not) have been feeling, they danced quite beautifully. They both had a style that was bigger, bolder, and dare I say, a little less controlled than the rest of us who were used to precise, exact ballet positions.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the structure of a ballet class, it builds in intensity. Any ballet class around the world begins with pliés (knee bends), and the movements gradually get bigger, until the end of class, which culminates in grand allegro, or as we say in English, big jumps. Here, is where our guest artists really excelled. I think they flew.
One of my favorite bloggers traveled to Cuba earlier this year, and he got to observe ballet class/rehearsal there. He has quite a poetic way with words, and he perfectly captures the amazement I felt today. Give him a read!
There is an 85-year-old lady who regularly takes my ballet class, Miss Sally. (Side note: the median age of my ballet class is probably around 55. It’s quite a mix. There are two very amazing 14(?)-year-olds who are homeschooled, then there’s a couple of us in our 30s, and everybody else is 40+ up to 85-year-old Miss Sally.)
Anyhoo, after class today, Miss Sally asked me if I was currently/ever a professional dancer, like in a company. My answer: “Oh no, but that’s really sweet that you think I could be.”
I think Miss Sally needs new glasses to go with her hearing aid…
But it was nevertheless quite a compliment.
On another note, I hope that I’m as awesome as Miss Sally when I’m her age!! She made a career for herself as an airline exec and decided to get back into dancing when she retired in her 60s. How brave is that?!?
You guys, yesterday was pretty epic. First of all, I had a! day! off! That’s always a good start.
My morning consisted of nearly 2 hours of glorious ballet class. For my 2nd class back after a 6 year hiatus, I did pretty well. And even better, I think I will still be able to walk/bend/etc for the next couple of days without debilitating soreness. Yay!
In the afternoon, I took a nap. A sweet, sweet 2 hour nap.
My evening was filled with the wonderful sounds of crystal singing bowls and a digeridoo. It was essentially a meditation while a lady performed reiki. It’s all very woo-woo, but I like it. I’m usually not particularly good at meditation, but it was so relaxing and nourishing.
All this epicness bodes well for the weekend. I hope yours is equally awesome, dear readers. See you on the flip side!!!
For the last day in my series of posts about fun things to do in South Florida (to balance out all the times I make fun of it), I’d like to highlight the really great local arts scene.
Seriously, there are about 5 art festivals every weekend in various places across the state. Don’t believe me? Look here. I’ve been to several festivals already, including one on my first date with my boyfriend. Plus, I’ve hit up a couple art galleries and a giant art show at a convention center.
The dance culture is pretty great, too. (And we all know that dance is quite near and dear to my heart!) In the next few days, I could go watch a bhangra (type of Indian dance) performance by Ranjana Warier, take (free!) salsa lessons, learn to tango (also free!), enjoy a ballet called Doctor Ouch!, see a modern dance performance by Ririe Woodbury Dance Company, and much, much more.
Oh, and speaking of dance, I would just like to let y’all know that yesterday, I took my first ballet class after a 6 year hiatus, and it was wonderful. I found a really great studio with drop-in classes for adults! Yay!! I’m completely useless and rather sore, but it was all worth it. I’m going to keep it up!
On that note, I am going to take some time to recover from my ballet adventure. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend! See you Monday!!
So while I was still in LA, I brought the film down the street to my local CVS to be developed. I was curious. I had joined the digital camera revolution many years back, so I had no idea what was on the rolls, or cassettes as they’re apparently called.
After waiting about 15 minutes for an actual human to help me (I really disliked that drug store!), the employee informed me that they sent out the photos for processing, and it would take about 2-3 weeks.
2-3 weeks? I was only in LA 4 more days. Dang.
Well, I schlepped the film back to Florida (in my carry-on luggage! not the checked bag exposed to those super-strength x-rays!), dropped them off at Walgreens (only had to wait 10 minutes for a human this time!), and picked them up one week and $40 later.
One of the rolls was completely unuseable. I think it was the one that hadn’t been in a plastic, airtight canister for 8 years. Oops.
The other two were pictures from college! Awww!! What a good Throwback Thursday!!
Here’s a couple of my dance rehearsal from 2006 for your amusement. They are sufficently blurry and grainy (and oddly brownish) to look ancient:
Hi all. Did everyone have a good weekend? I suppose you did if you were a Seahawks fan, huh?
I had a busy weekend. Lots of moving and packing interspersed with activities. Nonstop, really.
Saturday was the memorial for my ballet teacher from college. She was a pretty marvelous lady. I wrote about her awhile back. Her husband had asked me to speak during the service, and although I wanted to, I didn’t think I could get through it. Fortunately, a friend of mine (and another of my teacher’s former students) was able to read my speech on my behalf. Several people approached us afterwards and said what a wonderful tribute it was. And I felt really honored to be even a small part of such an amazing memorial. If my life is even half as interesting as hers was, I will have a lot of exciting stories!
After the service, my friend and I went to the ballet. The Royal New Zealand Ballet was performing Giselle downtown at the Music Center. Although I’m a giant ballet nerd, I’d never seen Giselle before, so that was neat. I think my ballet teacher would have approved. 🙂
Sunday I met up with various friends in between packing and schlepping my stuff to my storage unit. I had brunch with a friend from college, and I attended (a little late, whoops) a Super Bowl party later in the day.
Monday was the official U-Haul rental day, so all my furniture has gone to my storage unit. I am currently typing this blog post from an air mattress on the floor. Literally, I have no other furniture. The rooms sort of echo. It’s creepy.
It’s hard to say goodbye to my friends. It helps that I’m telling everyone that I’ll be back in 6 months. In my head, that’s the plan, but it’s a somewhat flexible plan. But it’s a lot easier to say, “See you later!” than “Goodbye.”
Recently, my ballet teacher from college passed away. I’m not sure if she was even 5 feet tall, but she sure was a spitfire. She was a true original: sassy, brutally honest, caring, with a wicked sense of humor to boot. She was a good listener. She sort of had this air of mystery about her. She loved to say shocking things, like telling us to pull up from our vaginas. She had the best analogies (“Dance like you’re churning butter!” or “Mixing cake batter! Thick and gooey!”), and I really wish I could remember more of them. A lot of them involved food. If you did something wrong, she would make fun of you (in a good way) and make you laugh about it as she gave corrections. She’d tease the athletes taking her class as a requirement for their sport to “Run like normal people!”
We met up periodically for lunch or coffee even after I’d graduated. But it’s been a few years since our last get-together. I wish I had been better about keeping in touch.
Hopefully she’s giving class up in heaven, talking nonchalantly while holding some angel’s leg up over her head.