Week 5: Bolle

This past week has been very spectacular, on so many different levels!

Saturday:

I had the privilege of going over to a great friend of mine, Lauren (amazing dancer and person!), with my other great friend, Raoni (also amazing dancer and crazy but good person), to have pancakes and watch Beasts of the Southern Wild!! This was an amazing start to a great weekend. Β Lauren is a great cook, and her pancakes were spectacular! Actually, I am doing what she does now: adding nutella and/or peanut butter along with jelly to pancakes, rather than using syrup, which is not necessarily my favorite. πŸ™‚ Β I think we all had a blast! I worked the rest of my Saturday away, which was great because it flew by so quickly!

Sunday:

Not much to say, just worked. It was quite slow at the LEGO store.

Monday:

Started the day with Beruite’s ballet class, which was a great class, but I just couldn’t get into it. Β I got into the ballet, but my body wasn’t warming up, which kind of reeked for me this class. Otherwise, it was a phenomenal class, as usual. I just couldn’t get my body warm..

Next we had Lizzie… Oh my gosh, talk about tear jerker! She gave an extravagant class, with a lot of improvisation, followed by an extraordinarily emotional phrase at the end. It was a beautifully set dance to a very emotional spoken word song. I was holding back tears the entire class, but my nose wouldn’t lie.. it kept running the entire time. To me, this phrase was about body image and disabilities.. It reminded me of all the people I’ve known in my life with these issues, which touches me deeply within. I really connected with this work.

I finished the day with the slowest day at LEGO.. I was surprised with how slow everything was at the store. But, I got through it and went home to rest!

Tuesday:

Claire’s ballet class was great, however, once again I couldn’t get my body warm. I did appreciate her having me “demonstrate” the petite allegro. I obviously didn’t do it so well, and we kept starting over, and we did it snail slow..BUUUUUT, I did it πŸ™‚ I’m starting to get into those quick little movements.. It excites me so much. By the end of class my body was externally warm, but internally cold! She suggested that I focus more on rolling out my muscles first, a lot, then warming up, since rolling out the muscles will get the blood flowing to all areas of the body and thus produce heat when needed.

Victor’s class was very fun. He taught some new technique phrases, some more difficult, some more fun. I love his classes. He even had a new soundtrack! I really loved this so much! He always plays very nice, fun music, but his new soundtrack was super amazing!!

Raoni came over to watch Hunger Games and the Fountain. We had a sleepover, ate some pizza, and watched some Sylvie Guillem… πŸ™‚ It was super duper fun!!

Wednesday:

I took Claire’s advice and rolled out, which proved to be very effective in Laura’s class. I felt much more secure in my body, and mind. Β Laura’s biggest correction for me this day was to not look down, I do that A LOT. I guess its more of a confidence thing, which you need when dancing ballet. I appreciate all of the corrections I’ve been getting, since they help me out so much!

Kristina’s class was superb! We explored some more spirals, rib cage, and head-tail connection. Her class had me sweating like a mad man, but it also relaxed all my muscles while working them out.. It is very hard to describe, but I enjoy it πŸ™‚

Beruite’s class was phenomenal for me! After having Kristina, I felt more in tune with my body. She told me that my ballet posture had come a long way, which makes me sooo happy!!!!! Today I got my nickname changed from Remy (from Ratatouille) to Bolle (the amazing ballet dancer, Roberto Bolle), I am EXCEPTIONALLY happy with this. I got the nickname, not because of the dancing, but because of the face she says. Either way, I am inspired!! πŸ˜€

We all had our conferences with Claire this week, where she gives us a review on how we’ve been doing. I got my notes and will immediately begin to apply them!

Thursday:

We had Eric, from who-knows-where, who gave SUCH AN AMAZING BALLET CLASS!!! We focused on turns, tours, et cetera. I was able to barely manage to get a double tour!!! I’ve never been able to do that, but this class got me to do it. I was also more managed in the petite allegro. My second turns felt good in this class. I was very on my leg, and as extended as I could be. I took Claire’s advice and have been focusing on my 5th position, turn out, and fundamentals of ballet.

Frankies class was a composition class again. Everyone created such amazing work, which I enjoyed watching and being a part of!

Work work work.

Friday:

Began the day with Claire’s ballet class. I felt super amazing today, since I focused on rolling out all my muscles, stretching lightly and warming up before class. Claire’s class seemed exceptionally difficult today, but I loved that about it! I loved every exercise that we did, so beautiful and full. I felt so much more accomplished, even though I know there is more to work on. I also appreciate all the corrections she’s begun to give me now in class. I know that this will push me further than ever.

Next we had Jackie again. I loved this class. I felt bad because Raoni and I turned at the same time but hit each others arms.. It hurt pretty badly. Her phrase was amazing!!!! I love having her.

Claires pilates class was detailed and difficult, just the way I like it.Β When I was at work, I sneezed and felt all my abdominal muscle’s tense and the soreness began… Even now, on Saturday morning right before clocking into work… I sneeze and they are extremely sore. Thanks for that πŸ™‚

I made pancakes for breakfast with nutella, peanut butter and jelly πŸ™‚

Week 3: inFluence

Such a loooong but amazing week!

So last weekend, I took basic ballet, had a photo-shoot and relaxed, somewhat!
Here are some of the pics that I took:

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He’s a genius πŸ™‚ also here is the video:

I really enjoyed myself that weekend. Also went through a few personal changes, but nothing that I can’t overcome. πŸ™‚

Monday:

Bruite is a genius! She has a very delicate way of explaining things that make it all ‘just click’. Not sure if many of you out there have had that, but I do at this studio everyday! It’s awesome!! Today’s class was more focused on our weight placement over our feet. It was great the difference it makes to shift the weight from the ankle rather than tip the body or hips. Genius.

Next we had a sub, Ricky, who taught an amazing contemporary class. It was more focused on breathing with the body and extending through infinity to have these movements be fulfilled. I guess that’s what all of dance should be like…. But we forget. He also focused on giving the arms meaning, rather than just flailing them around wildly.

Tuesday:

I got there early to take the adv/pro Pilates at 9am. I must say that my focus, after this class and the entire week, was to make sure that I was pressing away with my lower back to strengthen the abdominals and the lower back. It prevents the unnecessary arching and crunching which helps with lower back pain.

Next we had Claire! Her ballet class was fantastic. She even threw in an andedans a la seconde turn in one of the center phrases! It’s hard not to turn in or raise the hip while doing it. I also had an epiphany in this class, which is common sense to all dancers, except me: turn out more in each and every pliΓ©!!!! Halllaaaakazzuuuuuuuuuuuuu!! Amazing things happen when you do this… It also hurts more.

I had my first day at LEGO, which was soooooo fun. It’s not really work, it’s just fun πŸ™‚

Wednesday:

Ballet with Laura is always a treat. She just ‘gets it’. She also has ways of explaining things that just give you a different approach to ballet technique. She makes it all look so effortlessly. πŸ˜‰ I enjoy her classes because they give you an opportunity to move. Plus, I experiment a lot in these ballet classes…. Why not?

I would say that this was an emotional day for me. When I took Kristina’s class, I asked her how I could move without looking like a dancing 2-D stick.. She gave such great advice, and feedback. I enjoy her classes more and more. She’s very intelligent about movement analysis due to the Laban-Bartenieff approach to her dance methods. I felt great afterwards. I just need to dance in all the dimension and spatially dynamic. I also learned about effort… Stop forcing everything and just MOVE. I’ve been forcing a lot of dancing which has led to choppiness, and stiffness. Allowing myself and body to flow like body feels great and gives me a great quality. I like πŸ™‚

Next I took Beruite’s int ballet class, immediately following Kristina’s class. Note that I haven’t done three consecutive classes since the intensive, so this was new and it’s own challenge. I entered this class with thoughts of the one prior.. Moving with a flow like butter.. Soft and smooth.. My body was relaxed and I felt amazing! Also Beruite’s exercises on releasing the butt muscle and turning out from the back of the legs, not the front, and drawing the back of the knees together when you pliΓ© was great! Such huge differences I thoughts and executions!

Thursday:

Started my day with Terry as our guest ballet instructor. I always enjoy his classes. I feel more free on Thursdays ballet classes. Maybe because they usually have more of a contemporary flare to them… Who knows. All I know is that I need to work on my petite allegro, very badly.

Next we had Frankie again. He recycled his phrase from the class he taught before he went away. It was a great class! Always gets me sweaty. He challenged us by using different music each time for the same phrase.

I finished my training at LEGO and even got a certificate of completion!! Ohhhhhhhh yea πŸ™‚

Friday:

Today started good… I got myself a copy of The Hunger Games, so I can start reading while on the CTA. I read it during my commute to class, arrived extra early with time to warm up, felt pumped, then…. Drained, instantly. I tried to warm up but I was lacking motivation… It’s really hard to push yourself to do anything when this happens.

Unfortunately, I reaped the anti rewards of this during Claire’s ballet class. 😦 I wasn’t able to engage any muscle correctly, I felt like I was just going through the motions, and my body wouldn’t warm up. I felt dry and unmotivated. I also began to look around and start thinking that I was the only one NOT improving :-/ I know that’s not true, I’ve improved tremendously, but I was in such a limbo state and couldn’t get out of it. It lasted the entire class. Maybe it was because it was an off day or because I was still hungry or maybe because I went to bed late last night.. Either way, it affected me badly.

Erin taught her Horton class. I needed her perkiness to get my spirits to lift. It helped but still no motivation or drive. It’s a bit hard to go through classes this way. I noticed myself fluctuating in and out of positive and negative in this class. She always makes me laugh and smile hard, so I’m grateful for this. She’s a hoot!

Lastly, Claire’s scholarship Pilates. I wish I could’ve begun my day with this… I totally felt my juices flowing, and my body warming up. It hurt, obviously, but I felt more awake afterwards. I also felt more in pain, ha!

I went to Goodwill with Lauren, another scholarship student (she’s amazing, inside and out, they all are). I found some cool stuff, dropped it off at the studio, and headed for downtown. I hung out there until it was time for……..

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HUBBARD STREET DANCE CHICAGO!!!!!! Fall concert πŸ™‚ as said before, scholarship/training students get one comp ticket, in the orchestra level!!!!!

The show is FANTASTIC! I seriously look up to them so much!!

The show began with Robyn’s new work Fluence. A very visually stunning work, with a lot of great use of space, lighting, special effects and choreography, of course. I’d say the leading dancer, in this ensemble, was the spectacular Meredith, who did an amazing job at stunning and wowing the audience. Every time she moved it was silent. This work was very interesting, with moments of depth, then disconnection from the dancers, then they’d bring it back. Very well done, with a stunning visual surprise at the end. πŸ˜‰ must see.

Next was a crowd favorite, Alejandro’s new work Cloudless. A powerful female duet. The set was great, as well as the music, choreography and the intimacy between dancers. These are two ferocious women who can dance… But the best moments we those where they were so extremely close… It was tender and beautiful, even quite emotional.

Ohads duet.. I cannot spell and too lazy to copy it from the internet or program, :-p was spectacularly great! He is a genius with music and choreography. I’d say it was a romantic comedy πŸ˜€ the dancers did great, having the audience laugh a whole lot.. I think this was English’s favorite, at least I think she really enjoyed it. Very funny and cute πŸ™‚

Lastly, but certainly not least, was Mats Ek Casi-Casa…. TO DIE FOR! Not just because we learned the rep in the summer intensive, but because Mats Ek is… Something else. This work is enchanting, in every way. I really love seeing it come to life. I find the choreography to be so unique and enticing as an audience member and a dancer! Who wouldn’t want to do this work?! It was a great finish to an amazing show!

Just like that, my motivation is back. I look up to this company, a lot, and want to have at least a portion of their talent. I will work harder now. My flame is kindled and I am on fire!! We have a workshop tomorrow morning with Chicago DanceWorks. I’m excited. Now… Time for rest.

Ruben

Step 16: Next steps

Okay, so much has happened since I last posted.

I am officially done with school, Bachelors in Physics. It was such an amazing moment to be able to graduate, and have my loving family and friends there to share it with. My mother never looked more beautiful than in that moment in my graduation. I love her so much.

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I also had the pleasure of finally seeing the Watt’s Towers. When I first came to CSUDH I heard about them and was eager to see them immediately, however I made a random choice to wait until the day I graduated to see them. I waited 4 years to see them and I finally got to see the marvel of such a broken beauty. It was truly inspirational: creation built from destruction.
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I was thankful that a lot of my friends and family have donated to my cause, I will not disappoint, I will try my hardest to better myself. I have begun my training by taking higher level ballet classes and trying to maintain an open mind to all corrections given, while applying everything else I have learned in these classes and in classes prior.

I was offered an opportunity to travel to China, for three weeks, with the Long Beach Ballet, which is a great training opportunity.. However, I had to say no. 😦 It was an all-expense-paid opportunity but I have my heart and mind set on Hubbard Street (and hopefully Nederlands Dans Theatre, too). It hurt to say ‘no’ to such a great opportunity, since everything would be much less stressful (living and travel-wise), but I need to stick to my guns and grow up a bit.

Another exciting thing happened this past week: my submission was accepted and I will be granted the opportunity to audition for BodyTraffic! I am very excited and also extremely nervous. A lot of great things are happening so fast, and I am trying to maintain my excitement, which is difficult, but I’ll handle.

One week left until I find out about NDT…

Remember, donations are still accepted πŸ™‚
http://www.gofundme.com/2wwe1w

Thanks,

Ruben

Step 15: Last Class

I taught my final class at DH just now.
I uploaded the final class phrase that I created in the spur of the moment… It’s a mixture of some old movement that I had previously done and some that I created in the past. Thanks to all those people who came!

Enjoy!

Remember, donations are still accepted πŸ™‚
http://www.gofundme.com/2wwe1w

Thanks,

Ruben

New Fundraising Account

Hello all,

I have a new fundraising account. Please visit, share and donate.
Thank you all for the support and love.

http://www.gofundme.com/2wwe1w

Sincerely,

Ruben

Step 14: Documentary time!

I made a two part documentary of our concert at CSUDH. I entitled it “The Experience” because this has been a bulk of my experience while at my school: performing in the shows every semester. I hope some of the students at my school see this and decide to participate.

Either way, I thought it was pretty cool!
Check it out:

Donations are still very welcomed πŸ™‚
Thanks,

Ruben

Step 12: Makin’ History!

Thankfully, I made it as a finalist at my school’s talent show, which happens this Thursday! I am pleased to announce that I am the only dancer at this talent show.. The rest of the acts are very talented singers, rappers and poets.

I also had an amazing experience this weekend at the ACDFA Baja Region 2013 at El Camino College. This was such an eventful weekend, with 141 dance classes offered over a span of 12 dance sessions; 48 adjudicated pieces in 4 concerts; 1 gala show with 12 of those 48 dances; and not much sleep time!

I am so proud of everyone at my school for participating in every aspect of this conference: research, adjudication, classes and seminars. Going into this weekend I had made a list of just ballet classes to take (to improve my technique), but once I got there I realized that I rather take more different types of classes that I couldn’t on a normal basis.

There were so many fantastic classes led by incredible instructors. I really had a blast. I am especially proud of the CSUDH adjudicated dancers for doing such an amazing job on a wonderful stage, they really do inspire me so much! We couldn’t have done any of this without our amazing Artistic Director, Doris Ressl.

To my amazement, and pleasure, I was selected as one of the Gala performers with “Solo for Shoes” choreographed by the amazing Mrs. Summer Brown! She has really changed my life, dancing and myself as a person. This was a really surreal experience, especially since CSUDH has never been in a Gala, until now! πŸ™‚ And guess what? I held every second, every moment, every particle on that stage and now that experience is mine to keep, forever.

Today I will have the dress rehearsal for the talent show. Winner = cash prize! Cash prize = one step closer to Hubbard Street Summer Intensive. πŸ™‚ Really blessed for everyone and everything in my life!

Step 8: Articles

I must sincerely thank Mrs. Laura Perdew, an incredible author/journalist (and previous dancer), at CSUDH for all she has done for me. She has written such an amazing article about me being a physics major pursuing dance. It really blew me away and, in a way, made me a mini-celebrity at my school! πŸ™‚
Thank you Laura! You rock!!!

I also will be performing in Celebrate Dance this weekend! Super excited.

Read the article:
This is the article

Goal: $5000 (this accumulates to the cost of attending one intensive)
Due: June 2013

If 100 people would donate $50 my goal would be successful (but any amount of donation is appreciated)

I can be reached at RMEDINA49@TOROMAIL.CSUDH.EDU
Also at my Facebook

Thank You for your time!

Sincerely,

Ruben

Step 7a: more Photos!!!

Here are two more shots by my lovely photographer!

I am Superman. πŸ™‚

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β€œWould you like to talk about Jesus while we work out?”

Goal: $5000 (this accumulates to the cost of attending one intensive)
Due: June 2013

If 100 people would donate $50 my goal would be successful (but any amount of donation is appreciated)

I can be reached at RMEDINA49@TOROMAIL.CSUDH.EDU
Also at my Facebook

Thank You for your time!

Sincerely,

Ruben