Monday, May 16, 2011


Tuesday class at the JSSOB started with a snap and a bang as a rat was murdered in a spring trap in the air ducts right above our heads. Later in the class, we murdered some Tour Jet├ęs.

This was our first Tuesday class at the JSSOB and I had a blast. We did pirouettes and jumps and I was lost half the time but didn't care because we were doing real dancey type stuff. White Swan was less impressed with class. She felt it was too advanced and too crowded. I didn't get what her deal was until after our Sunday class.

On Sunday, we hit the beginner-beginner class again at the other school we frequent. While we were hanging out before class, White Swan was talking about all the pirouettes we did in Tuesday's class and said she couldn't do a single pirouette. As a demonstration, she set up a pirouette and then executed it perfectly in her flip flops. I raised my eyebrow as she claimed that was the first one she had ever done well. Then she did another perfect pirouette in time with my eye roll.

So we took the class and I was bored. It just not as fun when I can remember the whole combination and don't have to follow other people to keep up. And then it hit me; she's the White Swan. Just like in the movie, she gets that hungry look in her eyes and says, "I just want to be perfect." While she is striving for perfection, I just want to flail around in a leotard making an ass of myself.

So what to do? Well, we could go to the mall and get Frappuccinos and mani-pedis.

- Black Swan

Sunday, May 8, 2011

JSSOB - take one

So, we have two classes to blog about this time around. We were supposed to have our first class at Jody Sawyer School of Ballet (JSSOB) on tuesday, but White Swan's job prohibited her leaving on time to make class. So, we tried a different class on Wed. We had attended this same class on Sunday before, but this was a different teacher (and different students). When the teacher arrived, we felt we needed to warn her that we are true beginners, as this is technically a beginner/intermediate class. Black Swan told her we had had about 5 classes, and she says "EVER?". Yes, ever. After the initial shock wore off she assured us we would do fine (I think). The details are a little fuzzy as I was replaying the look on her face when we told her how very experienced we are. But the class went well. There were obviously steps we didn't know, but she explained them to us patiently and didn't laugh too hard when we wiggled around trying to reproduce what she had just shown us. I wasn't looking in the mirror much, but I imagine we looked a bit like Elaine from Seinfeld when she dances. At the end of the day, we had a good class, but I felt like we held the class back a bit, like things would have progressed faster and the teacher might have done more difficult combinations if she didn't have a couple of beginners in the class. And that's the only reason I don't think we'll make this class a regular in our schedule (unless, of course we need a backup for other missed classes).

And then.........

The swans finally made it to the JSSOB yesterday. And it was everything we dreamt it would be....and more (cue angels singing). The only thing that really sucked about the class was that it started at 9am. 9. A. M., people. White Swan lives out in the boonies, so she had to get up at the butt-crack of dawn to make it to class. And although she got up plenty early, she didn't leave the house until 8:17, and still made it to class 15 minutes early (going the speed limit, OF COURSE)! Black Swan, on the other hand, had some plumbing "issues" which kept her from leaving the house in a timely manner, but she too made it on time. When the girl at the desk (who also turned out to be our teacher) asked how we heard about the school, Black Swan jokingly said "Amanda Schull told us about it". To which the girl replied, "Oh, you guys know Amanda?". LOL! We then explained that we are nerds and have watched Center Stage a bajillion times, but have never met Amanda. But, apparently she still comes by the school when she visits Hawaii - woot!

And although Jody Sawyer was not teaching the class, our teacher was really great. She demonstrated everything and explained things when she saw the "deer in headlights" look on our faces (which happens A LOT). We learned new steps (which we can't remember the names of). Note to self: bring notebook and ask the teacher to list steps we went over at the end of class. And there was one lady (a bit older than the swans, to put it gently) on pointe shoes! Which gave us hope! It's never too late - there is still hope for the swans.

Oh, and we tried pirouettes. I use term "tried" literally, because I know I didn't actually execute one. Black Swan may have, but I wouldn't know as I was too busy flailing around and trying not to fall down to look around.

All in all, we feel we have finally found the class for us. JSSOB offers the adult beginner class on tues, thurs and saturday. We figure we will start by taking on tues (sat was a challenge because of the time) and possibly add more classes in the future.

~White Swan

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


White Swan got slammed with a last minute deadline at work so no JSSOB class tonight. Instead I give you excerpts of our Google chats throughout the day, lightly modified for entertainment.
(Shortly after lunch…)
White Swan: Hey Odile, do you need coffee?
Black Swan: Nope but you'll see me soon enough.
I'll be the one doing the noodle dance.
While wearing a sausage casing.
White Swan: Omg - I hope this class rocks.
Black Swan: It will. It’s the JSSOB.
I bet we learn the Michael Jackson number today.
I hope they have red toe shoes we can borrow.
(A few hours later…)
White Swan: It doesn't look like I can make class tonight.
Black Swan: Stop being weak.
(I didn’t really write that. It’s a line from Black Swan.)
White Swan: I found out today that I have a deadline tomorrow so it's either miss class or come back to work afterward and work until midnight.
Black Swan: So do that.
(No response.)
Black Swan: I mean, we can go tomorrow or this weekend instead.
White Swan: I hate when this happens. I was so excited about JSSOB!
Black Swan: What are you going to do? Run home to mommy?
(Still quoting Black Swan, people.)
White Swan: Work is getting in the way of my dreams of being a prima ballerina.
Black Swan: The only person standing in your way is you.
White Swan: This project will give me an ulcer, I guarantee
Black Swan: As long as your ulcer doesn’t interfere with ballet like your job is right now.
(That’s not from Black Swan but I didn’t really write that either.)
White Swan: Maybe that's what this pain is.
(White Swan has had a pain in her side for the last week.)
White Swan: Maybe I’ve already got an ulcer. 
Black Swan: It’s probably cancer.
(I might have written that.)
White Swan: If they can't diagnose it, they'll just put me down.
Send me to the glue factory.
Black Swan: I’m bored.
White Swan: I should put a will together.
I want you to start an adult ballet school in my honor.
And hang my shoes and leotards on the wall.
Name it JSSOB.
Black Swan: And everyone wears red shoes there.
White Swan: Of course, I have no money to give you but you'll figure it out.
Black Swan: It will be a small school.
White Swan: And all you teach is the ending number from Center Stage. Once they have mastered that, they graduate.
Black Swan: We're going to need a motorcycle.

- Black Swan

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Double Ballet Day

Class Number One: It was a real adult beginner class! All adults, (the teacher was probably the youngest there), at an actual beginner level. We stretched, we warmed up slowly at the barre, the teacher led us through barre exercises & we did some fun floor combinations. White Swan grinned annoyingly for most of the class but the highlight for her was during stretching. WS was not born with the gift of flexibility and there was another student who could only reach mid shin while White Swan was grazing the tips of her toes with her fingertips. I refrained from pointing it out in the middle of class but I don't know why I bothered. The girl was wearing a t-shirt. A T-SHIRT! In ballet class! If I have to stand around looking like a sausage in a leotard and tights, so should she. But it was a fun class and we left feeling good about our blossoming dance careers until we arrived at...

Class Number Two: We walked into a large studio full of 3' tall goblins in pink tights, pink leotards and pink ballet shoes running wild all over the place. White Swan shuddered while I rolled my eyes. The Executive Director introduced himself to us and I told him we were there for the three o'clock class, which is listed as a tweens & teens beginner class, also open to adults on an ongoing basis. The only other adults in the class were the teacher and her, um, eccentric husband who "assists" her classes. When the Executive Director told her we were there for the class, she looked at us, looked at him and said like a total snoot, 'We are practicing for a performance'. They discussed for a minute while the swans stood around feeling very awkward. He came back and asked us to stay for the barre portion of class, free of charge. Then the husband came over grinning and nodding maniacally and told us he thought we would get a lot out of the barre exercises. We considered making a run for it but instead shrugged our shoulders and walked into the class. The teacher proceeded to ignore us for the next 50 minutes while the husband took a little too much interest in us. We held our own for the most part but when we were finishing an arabesque, the husband was standing in front of me and said, 'Oh yes! You added a beautiful flourish there at the end!'. I wasn't aware I was flourishing but he stood there and made me "flourish" when we did the other side, as well. Hopefully they will start an actual adult ballet class because it was a very nice studio but today's experience was just a bit too weird.

- Black Swan