Say Hello to Horatio

2 Sep

So, Center Stage 2 was an abomination, and I noticed that the girl who starred in it (Rachele Brooke Smith) is also starring in the fifth installment of the Bring it On movies, which was just released on dvd yesterday.  I know, I know…she’s probably a nice girl and she’s an actress just trying to make a living, and I have nothing against her personally but this news kind of makes me die a little on the inside.  The Center Stage sequel was bad enough, so this is like going from F to Q, except she’ll probably be more well known for this movie than CS2 even.  Oy.

Anyway, I was browsing Emily Kate Long’s website, a ballet dancer with Ballet Quad Cities.  She has some lovely studio shots, a black and white one that I liked in particular but I noticed a wall hanging with some Japanese calligraphy.  Dusting off the recesses of my brain, I translated it as “from the heavens, the way of karate.”  Mraow?  So I asked her about it on twitter, and she replied that the studio doubles as a karate dojo and even has a punching bag.  People do that?  Obviously, I had no idea people maximized studio space that way, and surely the karate kids pull out mats and such.  I consider myself fortunate that I haven’t had to encounter such circumstances, because I have a tendency to look at the mirror or the floor (bad habit, I know…I slapped myself on the wrist just now), and would probably run into it.  It brings back memories though, because eons ago I was unfortunately once a participant of the martial arts.  People are surprised when I tell them I had a second degree black belt because I am the most harmless human being alive.  Honestly, I don’t even know how I got that far, but it is what it is and I hated being forced to do it.  It’s like I always say…my only regrets in life are things my parents made me do.  They even said I fought like I was dancing (HELLO, CLUE NUMERO UNO!) but they had this thing of making me learn “practical skills.”  I had to learn how to defend myself because apparently everyone in the world is out to get me and I had to take swimming lessons so I wouldn’t drown if my plane crashed into the ocean or I was washed overboard a boat.  The results: I have forgotten everything I learned in taekwondo and usually the people who beat me are friends (or ballet teachers) anyway, and I’m incapable of enjoying the pool or swimming at the beach.  I guess my parents made a lot of mistakes, but I’m still alive.

In other news, I’ve joined dancebloggers, which is a really great resource for finding out about what’s going on in the dance world.  At first, I was kind of nervous about joining because there are actually legitimate dancers, choreographers and the like with actually useful, current information.  Meanwhile, I’m still posting about things forty years behind the times as I struggle to discover and play catch-up.  But I bit the bullet and joined anyway, and decided dance humor would be my niche, so hopefully nobody will take me too seriously!  Anyway, if you don’t know about dancebloggers, they have a really great system set up where you can subscribe to their mailing list and they send a newsletter with previews of the latest entries from bloggers who have joined.  I think the newsletters are daily, and I’ve already gotten a little “participant happy” by commenting on some people’s blogs.  You don’t have to have a blog yourself to join the mailing list, but if you do have a dance related blog, be sure to join!  Get yourself some readers, build a fan base, do the hokey-pokey.

Speaking of current events, I had an amazon gift card and decided to jump on the foam roller bandwagon, which was delivered to my door by the UPS man just minutes ago.  It’s blue and I’ve named it Horatio.  Local stores didn’t carry the size I wanted, as they only had 3ft which was too big and unwieldy and 18in which was too small.  I wanted 2ft, which is a good size and I can use for my back too because I have a short torso.  Dancers are always looking for new ways to release, stretch, strengthen, etc. and I thought I’d give it a whirl.  Especially for me, who is really tight and as much as I stretch my right quads feel tighter and tighter when I lift my leg in second.  As a quick test I just slithered onto it and worked my IT band for a few seconds and it was unpleasant in the good way so I’m really hopeful that this will soothe the fascia and let it know that it’s time to let go.  With Horatio as my personal masseuse, perhaps there is more these old bones can accomplish.

Horatio, sleeping on the couch after a long trip on the UPS truck.

Horatio, sleeping on the couch after a long trip on the UPS truck.

Before the commercial interruption, I was browsing the tube as I do, and one of my favorite things is looking at the “recommended for you” videos because a lot of gems will pop up that I never thought to look for.  The most recent one I favorited was Vladdy-V coaching former Paris Opera Ballet dancer Eric Vu An, in Le Corsaire.  Vladdy-V must be in his late forties-ish, maybe early fifties in the video, but he was still as sharp and vivacious as ever.  I don’t speak French, so I have no idea what he was saying, but on certain accents he would shout “EEE!” to specify where Eric needed to be.  Next time I’m in a ballet class, I’m totally going to try that on a piqué or a whatever that needs to be hit with some oomph.  I’ve tried something similar before, but it was more like an “EEEEeeeeeeeeee~” that trails off as I lose my balance or fall over.  This might work, and like I said, I’ll try anything to improve.  Check him out in his coaching glory, with Eric Vu An and Richard Wilk (Giselle).

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