Day 23: Last Tuesday

Today I moved out of my hosts place and am moving to my final destination! He was very sweet and I am glad to have been able to stay downtown in such a nice place with a nice host. Hoping the best with my next host.

Today we had 9am ballet with Glenn! I completely LOVE his classes.. I always feel stronger and more in control. He is so funny but he knows how to push us. He really upped the level today. I love being pushed to my limits. His barre makes it possible for you to achieve anything in center, and then some! One hour and forty minutes.

Creation. One and a half hours.

Lunch.

Horton was really fun. We started to rehearse the showcase dance. We’re doing a joint performance showing of the Horton technique with the red group (we are the blue). I love the preludes and fortifications that I get to do… Also, I love my across the floor! It’s much more fun than I thought it would’ve been, which is a plus! Two hours.

Half hour break.

Ended the day with rehearsal/review for the show. If everything is the way it was done today then I will not be doing Little Mortal Jump 😥 which was the only one I was so focused on and really looking forward to doing.. I get to do Casi-Casa and maybe Jonathan’s piece. I love both of those, I just wanted to do LMJ too… Oh well, gotta move forward. One hour.

Afterwards I moved. I like the place I’m staying at, and the guy is great.
Night,

Ruben

Day 22: Last Monday

Today was a long day. I woke up, got ready and waited for my friend to get up so we could leave together. We parted ways, I headed to the studio and he headed to a new host and his journey to move to California.

We started at 10am, with Terry’s improv class. It was a powerful class, since I enjoy his method of Improvisation technique. He also played amazing music. I enjoyed the ‘eyes closed’ improv, so much fun! One and a half hours.

Pilates with Kym was killer, but not as much as usual… Maybe we are now stronger, or we are just too tired to work hard. I think we’re stronger though. One hour.

Lunch.

Ballet with Meredith was great. I’m taking Diana’s advice/challenge and staying away from the mirror from now on. I will now be present during ballet. I found that it helped. I also noticed that I have developed a tendency to follow others, even though I know the phrasing, and to rely on the mirror for no reason. I’m taking the challenge. Meredith said today was better, but still had more to work on. I enjoy her classes so much. We only have her once more. 😦 one and a half hours.

We had review with Meredith next. We reviewed Too Beaucoup, but the unison phrase. I had trouble with this one, so review is great! We also did unison review of Little Mortal Jump, which I love. The showcase is this week, and I am excited to perform again on a stage!! One and a half hours.

We ended with review with Glenn and Terry. We did more of LMJ and also reviewed Casi-Casa. Much needed review. I’m nervous as to what I’ll be performing, so I gotta be ready for anything this week. One hour.

Went with Diana to whole foods, where we found out that essential oils were much too expensive… 😥 so we got back to the train station to go home, but we had to go separate ways. We ended up being able to see each other through a slot in the dividing wall. We performed rep for each other.. Have a look from my perspective!

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She’s too much fun! Don’t know what I’ll do without her!
Tired. Night.

Ruben

Day 21: Blurr

Today went by so fast that it seemed almost like a blur. My morning was hard, since I was soo sleepy. I got home late last night and knocked out even later. In the afternoon, I met my friend, but we didn’t continue to shoot dance since we decided that we had enough material from the day before… So we decided to rent bikes and bike the entire lake trail! It was A LOT of miles, and we still had to come back. Quite difficult on the body, especially since I should be resting but it’s okay. I had a blast.

We ended up at the Wicker Park Fest. An amazing indie music, food – outdoor extravaganza! It was fun but I was very tired. We went to a great Thai food restaurant and had amazing food, as well as a great dessert. He decided to stay the night with my host again, but he leaves in the morning. I already miss hanging out. It was quite fun!
Night.

Ruben

Day 20: Cirrus.Socrates.Particle.Decibel.Hurricane.Dolphin.Tulip.Ruben.

Today was phenomenal, I still have a high from it! I couldn’t have been happier than today. I started my morning with intermediate ballet at the Joffrey with the amazing Diana! I did some things better and others not so well. I need to focus on myself and get out of the mirror. After class was done a nice lady came up to me to compliment how fast I pick up corrections. Diana was adored by all, since she’s too amazing. 😉

Afterwards, I went to the cultural center to meet up with my friend that had spent the night at my hosts place. We spent the rest of the day together, which was surprisingly fun! Here’s a picture of him at the cultural center:

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Here are pictures of the actual center:

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We went together to The Happy Show. It was fun going with someone and seeing their reactions and facial expressions! He enjoyed it. Here’s a picture of the exit, which I thought was very appropriate:

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When we got into the great hall space, I dropped my bags and gave him my iPad to record me doing a little improv:
Cultural Center Improv
Since he is a musician/composer, and loves to do camera work, I will just say that this is a trailer for something much more.. More on that below.

We went to chipotle to eat, his first time. I got to know him better, and vice versa. We spoke about our relationships, or lack thereof, personalities and so on. He told me many of his dark secrets, which were pretty dark, but I admired his courage to tell me. It was different.

Later we went to his new hosts hotel to pick up the camera since we decided to collaborate… So we went all over downtown shooting improv videos and such.. We might continue it tomorrow, hopefully. I hope it comes out well.. I’ll post it when it’s finished. The process was so fun, unusual and unexpected.

After the camera ran out of juice, we went to a restaurant to get dessert. I’m not sure what we had but we had A LOT of it, and it was sooooooo good! First dessert in almost a month.. We rushed to the theater and were able to watch A.I. Artificial Intelligence together. Here’s a trailer:

He enjoyed it, which was great. The best part was that he said that because of this day, especially the movie, he began questioning his darker thoughts/side. That was a very sweet compliment. He didn’t want to be alone after the film, so we went to get hot chocolate and walked the city. I ended the night by walking him to his next hosting destination. I’m exhausted, waaaaaaaay exhausted, but this was an unexpected nice day. I can’t wait for tomorrow. It’s nice when you make great friends randomly, especially when they’re so nice and not bothered to do things with you. Now I have two great friends like that, him and Diana.

Namaste.

Ruben

Day 19: End of Phase 3

TGIF.. Or more like too sad Friday! My day was pretty awesome today!! Did my early morning ritual, as I have been doing everyday and got to the studio with some time to get to Target to buy some special groceries for tonight’s dinner.

We started the day at 10:30 with Physical Therapy lecture: conditioning. I thought the class was going to be a drag, since they were going to have us work out a bit to learn the ways to condition, but it was VERY fun. I learned new ways to use therabands to work out arms, turn out and feet. I also learned more foam roller techniques, as well as stretches. This class definitely got me warm for ballet. One hour.

Next we had ballet with Terry. I enjoyed having ballet with him again. He gave great corrections for turning, among other things, but it really helped out my turns! It felt good to improve on something during a class. I also realized that I need to point my feet using the instep (a correction that Meredith gave everyday), it makes the leg and foot stronger and longer; also, that when doing petite allegro, like glissade or assemble, I must brush the floor and use the power from underneath (again, another Meredith correction)! One hour and thirty minutes.

Yoga was pretty sad today 😦 it was our final day with Helen, the most amazing yogi mentor I’ve ever had!! She has been so wonderful, as I said in the previous post. If there are any people from Chicago reading this I’d suggest taking yoga with Helen, it’ll change you in very profound ways, she usually teaches at CorePower in Lincoln Square, and other places! In today’s class we did Yin yoga… A very powerful practice, also painful. Basically, you allow your body to melt into ‘simple’ stretches, such as forward fold or pigeon, for five minutes or longer. The key is to let go of all the thoughts of pain, all muscle and mind control. You just let it happen! It was a very emotional experience to let it all go and just be. We got massages with essential oils, which rocked! I just wish we could take her home and just have her fill my life with zen. I dedicated the first half of my practice to my ex, and the second half to myself. I am in love with my life and inner being. I love who I am, and I wouldn’t change anything. 🙂 one hour too short! 😦

Lunch.

We saw 27’52” by Jiri Kylian. Powerful, amazing.. Breathtaking. Meredith was in my favorite section of this work: a duet with heavy machinery sounds. It was very brave and invigorating when one female company member did a duet with a male, while being topless. The piece has its title since its 27 minutes and 52 seconds, in case someone didn’t know that. The piece revolved around the deconstruction of the stage, something that isn’t often shown!
Here is a clip of it:

We reviewed Casi-Casa with Jason. Today we split up into groups and put two phrases together by having the groups do these different sections simultaneously until it joined into beautiful unison. It was so great to watch! One hour.

Lastly, we reviewed with Kelly her solo from Too Beaucoup. Today she asked us to be more indulgent and weird. It was FUN! I enjoy this solo work. It’s almost as good as biting into a juicy peach with saliva and drool all over! 😉 one hour.

I brought my dirty dance clothes home, and invited Diana to dinner. I had my host and Diana relax as much as they could while I cooked for them. I made enchiladas for them!! Here is a picture of my cooking, and my host with Diana eating it! 🙂 it was nice to have two very nice people hanging out and eating with them. I hope the rest of my life is this fun and fulfilling.

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Friday is our showcase! I hope I get great roles 🙂 I’m so sad that its all over in a week.. I wish this could last forever :-/ I will make the most of it next week!!

Ruben

Day 18: Death is Only a Door

Hmmmm… So today was pretty hard, but before I get into that I’d like to say I had an amazing day! Last night I spoke/hang out with a guy staying at my hosts house for the night. He is a very talented musician, and very sweet, we stayed up until 1am! It was nice to talk to someone about the intensive, and have them be so interested in what you’re doing! Of course, all my hosts have been very excited for my experience, they’ve all been amazing. My host now has a new song every morning for me to feel inspired so I could have a good dance day, it’s very kind. I was a bit sad that the guy staying the night had to leave in the morning..

I woke up, had breakfast, showered, and went straight to the studio; much earlier since: it’s the early day, and the water pipe had busted so no water in the fountains (I had to go buy a bottle next door at the Target). When I got inside, I began to warm up, but there wasn’t enough time for that. Terry was supposed to teach class, but we had Meredith instead for ballet.

We started ballet at 9am, and it was a great class. I say that a lot, but I always mean it! I love her classes, I always see myself improving! I got to wear my NEW FLESH BALLET SHOES today! They were a bit smaller, so they fit my feet exactly and my friend Alicia showed me how to be lazy and tie the strings around rather than sow them on! Fantastic! Having better fitting and looking shoes makes a HUGE difference in the way you dance. I was more focused and I felt as though I did much better. Towards the end of class, Glenn came in to watch us go across the floor in our grand allegro. I always feel more pressure to do well when he’s around, and so I do! I think I did much better today, but this class wore me out! One hour and forty five minutes.

Next was Pilates with Kym. Her class was very killer, no joke. We did the ab series, which I do every morning and/or evening, but we repeated them from 5-4-3-2-1 times each…. Which means we did each segment 15 times. It was so hard! The rest of the class was also difficult, but in the end I felt much stronger. I enjoy Pilates, after its done of course, since it is very painful. One hour.

Yoga was amazing today. We had to wear blindfolds and earplugs in our practice today.. SO HARD, but very enlightening and empowering. Helen is definitely my most favorite yoga instructor ever. She is just very amazing inside and out, and has pushed us all far beyond our limits. I dedicated my practice to my ex, wishing them happiness, and to an ability to forgive and forget. I plan on moving on because living in pain is not fun, nor is it worth it. I shouldn’t suffer if I don’t have to, and in this case, suffering does nothing for me. I will be strong, even if it is hard.
I’m in the blue blindfold and red shorts! One hour.

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Lunch. Took Helen’s advice and had moments of peace and quiet. It was nice.

Horton with miss Linda seemed as though it was going to be a slow painful day, since we were exhausted and had just eaten. We rolled into class, beaten up, and not wanting to move much, so here’s what she did: she gave us a floor barre warm up! It made me think of Doris (CSUDH dept of dance director), it was the exact same exercises, but I hadn’t done them in so long that it hurt! But it was nice and invigorating. Afterwards we did the real stuff. We traded in a nice warm up for a relaxed body while doing Horton. We ended with a very fun, high energy phrase. Miss Linda gives the best Horton classes.. I love doing table top turns and figure four turns.. So fun! One hour and forty five minutes.

Lastly we ended with Meredith who reviewed with us ALL that we learned from Little Mortal Jump, which is my favorite rep. I was able to get more into my body and use my emotions through my movement (not to be confused with giving ‘face’). I hope I get to do this rep for the showcase! One hour.

We ended up staying to work on our creation, which we did. One extra hour.

I stretched and got another mini private with the amazing Diana 🙂 When I got home, the guy that was supposed to leave ended up staying until 9pm, which was great! He even gave me half of his food, which is so nice after a long day. He will be here in Chicago for a few more days before he moves to California, so I invited him out this weekend for a movie or something. It’ll be nice to get to know more about his creative process, since I enjoy his original music works.

Today, I was in control of my life, my body, my destiny, and my future. Although you can’t repair a broken heart so easily, you can prevent it from stopping your life. Everyone I care for gave up so much to have me be here, and I will make the most of EVERY minute. I still hurt, obviously, but I will find ways to let go of the pain and be stronger… Wishing them all the best in the world and all that I couldn’t give them.

Every ending is a new beginning. Or as its said in Cloud Atlas, Death is only a door.

Ruben

Day 17: Diving Deeper

Today started off a bit slow, since I was very sore. I ended up giving a lot of myself the day before in Glenn’s class, and rep, so I was very tired. I went to the studio very early, but passed target along the way and bought myself a pack of therabands, so that I could work on my legs. It’s the first time I ever work with a theraband, it was difficult, but felt great. I also did Diana’s exercises, as well as the ab series, of course. I felt great until the day started.

We had ballet with Meredith at 10:45am this morning, it’s been so long since we’ve had her. I missed her class immensely! I was trying my best to apply everything I’ve learned from everyone. I thought I did great but I know I could’ve done better, as usual but today especially. I will learn from this experience and move forward. I just need to stop making the same mistakes… I’ll get it! One and a half hours.

Next we had Horton with Miss Linda! It began rough and kept going rough because my tendinitis was acting up. I definitely could’ve done MUCH more in this class but I held back since I was tired, sore and careful of my body. The class was great, but it was very painful. We learned a lot of fun things, like hinges and the sort. One and a half hours.

Lunch.

We had repertoire with Jason again, where we learned even more from Casi-Casa . This section was really organic and nice. It was also very fun! I definitely enjoy doing Mats Ek work. I usually think I’m a magician when I do this section. 😉 I was able to regain my momentum when I began doing the rep. Sooooo great! One hour.

We worked more on our creation for an hour. There are definitely some nice elements in our works. The girls are very much in charge. These girls are amazing, I enjoy learning from them.

We ended with partnering from Little Mortal Jump with a different group. I loved my partners, they were very great. Today Kelly and Jason really went into even more detail today. I was able to dive deeper into the duet today, since I knew it and was able to really perform at the end. I wish I could’ve done it more than twice. Jason and Kelly even performed for us, they ROCK!!!! Even better, I got to do a partnering lift with Kelly!! I was so nervous, but that made my day! 😀

At the end of the day, I stretched, rolled out my muscles, and bought some new flesh colored ballet shoes. I am excited to wear them for the remainder of the intensive! Tomorrow I will pick it all up and I will conquer my doubt and inability. I am still dealing with my personal life but I won’t let that overtake me.. I can’t change anyone or their minds or hearts, I can only make myself better and keep moving forward!

Ruben

Day 16: Ballet Blast

Today was a long day. But it was better, dance-wise at least.
I woke up and headed to the studio, but today, my host guided me to an underground Chicago tunnel way that led me to the train lines. I didn’t know it existed, it’s pretty wicked. I had to get to the studio early to do Diana’s workouts for my ballet technique, so I arrived at 8:50am.

When 10am came around, we had improv with Jason. We played Olympics/charades improv competition. It was fun, but we lost. One and a half hours.

Next we had Pilates, which burned a lot. I was focused, so I did better. It was a nice class. One hour.

Lunch.

Next was ballet with Glen (DIRECTOR of HSDC)!!!! He has an amazing ability to teach ballet. It was one of the best ballet classes I’ve ever taken. I used a lot of Diana’s training in this class and I feel as though I did the best I’ve done this summer. Also, in his class I felt as if I could do anything. I saw my improvement, HUGE, from when I took his audition ballet class! I’m happy with my performance and improvement. I even almost got the petit allegro! One and a half hours.

We had rep with Kelly (HSDC), she taught us her solo from Too Beaucoup.it was challenging, but so amazingly quirky. I loved the thought process and performance level of this solo. One and a half hours.

Lastly we had partnering with Jason and Kelly. We learned the HARDEST and most beautiful duet this summer! It was a duet from Little Mortal Jump. Breathtaking!

Personal life: more difficult than ever today, it’s not getting easier. I’m just glad that it didn’t affect my performance today in class. I just want this nightmare to end..it’s hard. I’ll keep treading.

Ruben

Day 15: Yoga: Moving on is Difficult

Today was a really bittersweet day. Good in that I started my third week, but hard because of my split up..

I got to the studio at 9:30am, since my great friend Diana gave me a ballet private (since she’s amazing). I learned a lot from her.. I mean a lot! She’s a phenomenal instructor. She was able to help me correct a lot, especially my tenseness in ballet. I really appreciate having her in my life. The private was an hour.

At 10:30am, we started our intensive with a PT lecture. Topic: Stretching. I really enjoyed it since they gave us another sheet with stretches for certain areas of the body. She also gave us a lot of exercises, and info based on our injuries. She was great. One hour.

Next we had ballet with Jason (HSDC). His ballet class was different, it focused on other areas we hadn’t gotten to in the intensive. Although, we didn’t get to jump much, but that’s okay. He was pretty funny. He kept saying he wasn’t good in ballet but I thought he was amazing. Miss Linda joined us for barre. I applied as much as i could from Diana’s private, which made it easier and less tense. One and a half hours.

We had yoga next. Hardest class to ever get through… I couldn’t help but cry. Luckily, nobody noticed. I felt as if a part if me was missing. Of course, I didn’t have the necklace on. That hurt. I dedicated my practice to them.. I still love them. I just wish someone would tell me how to be, so this wouldn’t have happened. I feel as though I wasn’t enough… One hour.

Lunch.

We had video class. We saw Little Mortal Jump, I cried again. Such beautiful work, such emotion… And yet I feel so alone. We also saw Too Beaucoup, which was silly and cool.

We had an hour of rep with Jason. We learned more of Casi-Casa. I loved the new section but all this was a distraction, for the entire day. One hour.

We ended with Meredith reviewing rep. Again, difficult with all this going on. One hour.

I see that my missing half has moved on. Or so it seems to look like it. It hurts, and moving on is the worst part. I just need time, I guess. I just wish…

Ruben

Day 14: Relationships

Yesterday was quite difficult.. I can say that I wear my necklace no more for the duration of this intensive, and my yoga practices are for myself now. I need to recover. The heart is not something easy to mend, but is easily broken. I wish them the best and I will still dedicate my chants for a better life for them, because everyone deserves it. Everyone deserves love if they want it, and so do I.


I still love and wish with all my heart things would just work. Maybe one day. I just hate feeling like I was not enough.. Okay I’m done, sorry for the mopey post.

I’ve lost 10 pounds since I’ve been here.. Not sure if that’s good or not, maybe it’s muscle and less fat. That’s the hope. I moved again, but this place is extra special.. My host is the coolest guy ever! He has an obsession with space (like myself) and here’s his view from downtown:

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Pretty incredible. Eating breakfast now for my third week. I will move past this. I will not allow my personal life into that studio, because it is my sacred space.

Ruben