Saturday, February 25, 2012

Ballet School Drop Out...

No Sugar Plum Fairy for you! So White Swan has dropped out of adult beginner ballet school.


I know.

But I thought you were a duo!

So did I. SO... DID... I.

She says it's temporary but I've been dancing solo since I got back from the holidays. She may not actually have thrown her ballet shoes in a dumpster but it sure feels that way when I have no one to joke around with in class. (Sad face.)

The only thing keeping me going is knowing how good I'm going to be when the prodigal swan returns to class & I can dance pirouettes around her. Last Saturday we were doing piqué turn en dehors, aka lame ducks, which have always eluded me. All of a sudden I totally had them and was lame ducking across the floor like I invented the things as I thought to myself, 'White Swan's gonna be pissed when she sees this!' Now I just need to nail my assemblés before she returns. That'll show her.

-Black Swan

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Guess who was asked to be in the Nutcracker? That's right! The Swans were asked to be party guests! We declined politely. Or maybe we snorted. Either way, it wasn't worth multiple weekend rehearsals & performances to walk around the stage with our hands in muffs. Besides, I'm still holding out for the part of the Rat King.

So, Nutcracker preparations are in full swing at our studio and the adult beginners are getting the shaft. We've had two substitute teachers in the past month or so. I know we should look at substitute teachers as an opportunity to learn from someone new but subs are hard so instead we whine to each other & then go home & drink wine. The worst, though, was when all of the Nutcracker performers, from kids to advanced adults, joined our Saturday morning class as a warm up. White Swan missed class that day and I found myself sandwiched in four to a bar with ten year olds. I lasted about 15 minutes before chassé skipping out the door.

- Black Swan

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pointe is like, hard & stuff

So......the swans have been on a hiatus. A loooong hiatus. Like, wicked long. And here is the part where I list the excuses we have for not posting. Work was crazy, my dog won a Pulitzer, blah blah blah..... But really, we just fell off the wagon. We've still been hitting class twice a week (for the most part). I just came back from my vacation to the great white north, during which time I missed 3 weeks of class. And as soon as I landed, it was time for Halloween.

Which brings me to my pointe (*snicker*). No, Black Swan and I aren't ballet prodigies who went en pointe after less than a year of classes. But I had an old pair of pointe shoes that I decided to wear with my costume (I'll give you one guess as to what we were for Halloween). So I pranced around in pointe shoes all night. Looking the part of an experienced ballerina. So, of course I wanted some photos of me up on my toes - not easy. I mean, I never assumed it would be easy....but sheesh. I was able to balance for a few seconds for the shot, but I had to hold onto something (or someone) to go up. At any rate, I have a renewed respect for those of you who are able to dance on the tips of your toes. I hope one day to join your illustrious ranks.

~White Swan

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Kicking It

I have a confession to make... growing up in Texas, I was on my high school drill team. During football season, we did a high kick routine on the fifty yard line during half time. My kicks were so high the front of my cowgirl hat was dented. Yee haw!

This makes the fact that there's nothing grand about my grand battements even more frustrating. On drill team, we swung our kicks up from the hip and quad while grand battements are more of a sweeping lift from hamstrings. I'll admit that I don't have the flexibility or the abs of my 16 year old self but I feel like I've only gone from 60 degrees to 65 degrees in the last five months. At this rate it's going to take nine & a half years before I'm denting my cowgirl hat again.

- Black Swan

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Romeo & Juliet & cabbages and kings

The swans got to experience a real treat this past weekend - we got to go to the ballet! Romeo and Juliet was here for the weekend so of course the swans jumped on that! We had great seats - front row, balcony (see photo). And I personally was blown away! It's not often that we get to witness professional ballet in Hawaii and it was exquisite. My personal fave was the balcony scene pas de deux. Legen......wait for it........dary!! I'm not versed enough in ballet lexicon yet, but all I can remember thinking is, "Oh - so THAT's what a chainé turn is supposed to look like!" Also, I cannot WAIT to start pointe!!! It's so ethereal the way the ballerinas float around on their toes. I really do love watching it. I was also surprised (pleasantly so) to see so many male pas (pases? pasessss? lol). Really great stuff.

Speaking of professional ballerinas, we had 2 in our "adult beginner" class on Saturday. I put that in quotes because on Saturday it was definitely more of a mixed class. What is that you say? You don't have an adult beginner / professional class at your studio? Well, I guess we're just forward thinkers here at the Jody Sawyer School of Dance. Seriously though, there were two of them. En pointe. Prancing around putting shame in our game(s). I mean, it was like they were hired just to take my self esteem to new depths. Tour jetés are embarrassing enough when you aren't followed immediately by a prima ballerina doing them perfectly and effortlessly. I know I said I like watching ballerinas prance around en pointe......just not when I'm trying to be a star in my own class. At least they were just visiting. That's right ladies - the swans are the stars of THIS studio! Triple snap!

~White Swan

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The People of Adult Ballet

Most people are aware of the website People of Walmart. I don't know, maybe some of you are even on it. Several people have asked me who is in our adult ballet class so I give you the people of adult ballet:

The Swans: A pair of professional something or others in their early to mid thirties who were inexplicably inspired to take ballet after watching the movie Black Swan together. Definite weirdos.

Giselle: Our young, adorable & petite teacher who makes everything look easy & puts up with our goofing off in class. Not that she has a choice when we keep showing up week after week.

Coppelia: A tiny woman who could be anywhere from 45-65 with moderate English skills and an unending supply of dance skirts. She favors jewel tones.

Sugar Plum: A class favorite. Sugar Plum has extensive dance wardrobe and favors pastel colors & dance skirts. Like Coppelia, she is an older woman of indiscriminate age with an artificial hip, an ever present knee brace & attends every class in pointe shoes. Her nutcracker husband escorts her to and sits through every class. (Awkward!)

The Bon Bons: There are a handful of high school & college students who show up sporadically. One of the more regular Bon Bon's mother sits and watches our class. (Eye roll.)

Juliet: Juliet could be anywhere from 30-45 and is an interesting character. Her noticeably younger boyfriend, Romeo, often shows up and watches our class. (Yes, we have quite the audience.) She idolizes Coppelia, squeezing into a full barre to stand by her in class, & has a unique sense of style. She is typically seen in white ballet shoes, white tights, a white leotard, white face powder and a blue hip alignment belt. Say what? White Swan actually caught her in a true People of Walmart moment at clothing store one evening. This was on a Friday so it wasn't after a ballet class but maybe she takes ice dancing on Fridays?

(Swan head added to protect the guilty.)

Adult ballet. It's definitely not boring.

-Black Swan

Tuesday, August 9, 2011