Spring dance: not an April fool’s joke

For the first time in my entire dance life, I wanted to run away from it.

First, my daughter’s dance teacher told me that her behavior was “debatable” in her class, but didn’t even have me come in during the class to talk to her and redirect her. I’m friends with her teacher, which makes it more frustrating, and the fact that she is two, and was put into the class for three year-olds way too fast, only adds to it.

I found out that I had doing rond du jambe incorrectly this whole time, and embarassed myself in front of my entire class by getting called out by my instructor. Along with a combination that just wasn’t sticking, I left class in a way that I had never left before: hurt and pessimistic. Getting a parking ticket didn’t help things, either; I forgot to put my permit back onto my mirror this weekend.

Yesterday was the first time in four years that I wanted to bolt. Last week, I was physically tired from dance; I received some pointers, and was able to move forward. This week, I’m already emotionally tired, and suddenly feeling burnt out on having dance four days a week. Because of dance, I’ve missed important events at work, religious services, time with my wife, time with my daughter, and time away from the gym, where I can do exercises to get me at a better state of health.

I’ve gotten better, but I think I am starting to experience what some of the younger students are going through: too much, too fast. I don’t know why I am in a hurry to learn so much; I’m not trying to get into a summer intensive, I’m not trying to make a career out of it, and I’m not in a local production. I’ve thirsted so much for it that it has sucked other parts of my life dry. I have a recital in a month, and I am very tempted to stay away from the studio for the summer, work out on my own, and rethink things. Abby has said that I can go to Ballet 5 next year, but I am afraid. I am afraid of being inadequate, of getting in over my head, and getting yelled at. I see my morning ballet teacher, highly talented, but definitely raising her voice at adults (and specific adults), and I’m wondering: why would I pay to potentially get yelled at?

What it may come down to is the fact that I’m at a crossroads, and I have to make a decision about whether or not to pursue the path I’ve sought. I sought to get into the pre-pro class for next year, and I did, but I am now feeling really timid about it.

Tumblr folks, I would really appreciate some advice.

Winter ballet: thinking it over

I have maintained a long absence from Tumblr, only because I feel that I needed a break from it for a while. I also have not been documenting my dance classes, not because of a lack of interest, but because I have been trying to figure out what the real reason for my blogging actually was. It was blurring the line between personal enrichment and academic research, and I felt that I needed to separate the two out. Being in dance four days a week also makes it difficult to keep the documentation steady; I would like to do other things besides work, sleep, dance and Tumbl.

When I started my four-days-a-week schedule, I was excited for the opportunity. Three months in, however, I am feeling the negative effects of it. I have definitely improved as a dancer, and my technique is getting better, but I feel that my health has not improved. Instead, I think it is decreasing; I have gained weight because I am not going to the gym as a supplemental practice. I have, so far, gained about five pounds each semester, and I worry that, by pursuing dance more frequently, I am doing more harm than good to myself.

Another thing that I have noticed is that I am extremely tired, and I have more physical fatigue, which affects my ability to dance in Abby’s class. Her class is on the fourth day, and at that point, my body hurts. I have struggled a lot more in the class than in previous terms, even though I am improving in my other classes.

There is a social factor that also comes into play. I do not have as much time to do other things that are important to me, and the upcoming recital has made that blindingly obvious. I have wanted to perform, but the reality has set in: it requires a lot of time that I feel could be better spent.

I do think, however, that I had to experience this in order to figure out what was most important to me. My dance life needs to be stripped down a bit more in order to sustain itself. In this case, less is definitely more.



Jane Martin, Society for News Design award of excellence for inside feature page design for “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now”  in the Boston Ballet special section, with infographics by Javier Zarracina

Click here for a large version



Jane MartinSociety for News Design award of excellence for inside feature page design for “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now”  in the Boston Ballet special section, with infographics by Javier Zarracina

Click here for a large version

If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also
Matt 5:39

This specifically refers to a hand striking the side of a person’s face, tells quite a different story when placed in it’s proper historical context. In Jesus’s time, striking someone of a lower class ( a servant) with the back of the hand was used to assert authority and dominance. If the persecuted person “turned the other cheek,” the discipliner was faced with a dilemma. The left hand was used for unclean purposes, so a back-hand strike on the opposite cheek would not be performed. Another alternative would be a slap with the open hand as a challenge or to punch the person, but this was seen as a statement of equality. Thus, by turning the other cheek the persecuted was in effect putting an end to the behavior or if the slapping continued the person would lawfully be deemed equal and have to be released as a servant/slave.   

(via thefullnessofthefaith)

THAT makes a lot more sense, now, thank you. 

(via guardianrock)

I can attest to the original poster’s comments. A few years back I took an intensive seminar on faith-based progressive activism, and we spent an entire unit discussing how many of Jesus’ instructions and stories were performative protests designed to shed light on and ridicule the oppressions of that time period as a way to emphasize the absurdity of the social hierarchy and give people the will and motivation to make changes for a more free and equal society.

For example, the next verse (Matthew 5:40) states “And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.” In that time period, men traditionally wore a shirt and a coat-like garment as their daily wear. To sue someone for their shirt was to put them in their place - suing was generally only performed to take care of outstanding debts, and to be sued for one’s shirt meant that the person was so destitute the only valuable thing they could repay with was their own clothing. However, many cultures at that time (including Hebrew peoples) had prohibitions bordering on taboo against public nudity, so for a sued man to surrender both his shirt and his coat was to turn the system on its head and symbolically state, in a very public forum, that “I have no money with which to repay this person, but they are so insistent on taking advantage of my poverty that I am leaving this hearing buck-ass naked. His greed is the cause of a shameful public spectacle.”

All of a sudden an action of power (suing someone for their shirt) becomes a powerful symbol of subversion and mockery, as the suing patron either accepts the coat (and therefore full responsibility as the cause of the other man’s shameful display) or desperately chases the protester around trying to return his clothes to him, making a fool of himself in front of his peers and the entire gathered community.

Additionally, the next verse (Matthew 5:41; “If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.”) was a big middle finger to the Romans who had taken over Judea and were not seen as legitimate authority by the majority of the population there. Roman law stated that a centurion on the march could require a Jew (and possibly other civilians as well, although I don’t remember explicitly) to carry his pack at any time and for any reason for one mile along the road (and because of the importance of the Roman highway system in maintaining rule over the expansive empire, the roads tended to be very well ordered and marked), however hecould not require any service beyond the next mile marker. For a Jewish civilian to carry a centurion’s pack for an entire second mile was a way to subvert the authority of the occupying forces. If the civilian wouldn’t give the pack back at the end of the first mile, the centurion would either have to forcibly take it back or report the civilian to his commanding officer (both of which would result in discipline being taken against the soldier for breaking Roman law) or wait until the civilian volunteered to return the pack, giving the Judean native implicit power over the occupying Roman and completely subverting the power structure of the Empire. Can you imagine how demoralizing that must have been for the highly ordered Roman armies that patrolled the region?

Jesus was a pacifist, but his teachings were in no way passive. There’s a reason he was practically considered a terrorist by the reigning powers, and it wasn’t because he healed the sick and fed the hungry.

(via central-avenue)

 yo i like thisi would like to know more about thiswhere does one learn more about this seconded like whoa

(via wanderingoff)

i just want a book of hebrew customs and their biblical interpretations is that so much to ask come on.

no kidding. this makes the bible way more powerful than we really imagined it was.

(via saltwaterkittens)

Winter dance: college ballet, week two, day one

I’ve been sick all weekend. I started to have symptoms during ballet last Thursday, and my entire house was sick, so I was not in rare form today. We did not use the barre today, and it was going okay for a while, but I would describe today’s class as a call to do better.

I did realize why I struggle with glissades and assembles: footing. I’ve forgotten to change my feet in glissades, and I changed them during assembles. I also was introduced to promenade and saut de chat; I struggled with starting in first arabesque, then turning in a circle to finish in second arabesque. I had never heard of the latter; it is where you do a grand jetee, but your forward leg goes into developpe, creating an image of a kick.

 I drank at least two bottles full of a mix of mint tea and water today, which helped with overcoming the symptoms of my weekend sickness, but I need to ensure that I eat properly, and drink something decent, right after class. I need to not only listen to my teacher, but also my body.

The American collegiate system in one gif set


Reblogged from Captured Essence

Winter dance: ballet, week four

Tonight’s class focused on going up, and doing it properly, so nearly every barre exercise involved fourth position landings and arabesques. Needless to say, it was tiring, but it was nice, and I learned that I really need to work on my arms, because my arms are too high, they cross, and they are not out as much as they need to be. Essentially, I need to be doing a rond du jambe with my arms, going for the full circle. Abby suggested pretending that I had giant tomatoes under my armpits.

After class, when I was getting my shoes on, a girl came by. She was about twelve or so, and she came up to me and said “You’re doing really well in lyrical, you know.” I blushed and said “Thank you, it’s really difficult to learn lyrical after being in ballet.” It was just very, very sweet of her, and nice to see that perspective.

If she could help me with compass turns, it would be even better.


"She’s taught me to be a better communicator." "In what way?""I used to let my anger get the best of me a lot, and I’d be really quick to write people off and hold grudges. She’s helped me view conflicts within the framework of a friendship, as opposed to seeing them as the end of a friendship."


"She’s taught me to be a better communicator." 
"In what way?"
"I used to let my anger get the best of me a lot, and I’d be really quick to write people off and hold grudges. She’s helped me view conflicts within the framework of a friendship, as opposed to seeing them as the end of a friendship."

Reblogged from Humans of New York

Amazing mashup. Period.

Reblogged from Butterfly Kisses