Week 13: Christmas-Wedding-Sketch-Shoot 2014

Welcome back!
I haven’t updated in a while.

I went on a hiatus because it was the Christmas break, which meant that we had TWO whole weeks of off training. My body really needed that. I did absolutely NOTHING! I know that sounds bad, but I think I recovered in areas that were in a bit of pain before. Although, I did lose A LOT of my physical fitness and dancer-related muscle.

The first week I would wake up and feel so much unusual pain in areas I hadn’t felt all Fall semester long! I think it was my body rejuvenating itself, the hard way.

I did go back home to California for the break, which was SO fantastic! It was nearly 80 degrees the entire week I was there. 🙂 (This meant that Christmas didn’t really feel like Christmas.) But it was great to see all my friends and family.

On my first few days, I stayed with my best friend, Marco, and went to Doris Ressl and Royce Acosta’s wedding. (My first conscious wedding!) It was the BEST wedding EVEEERRRR!! If I ever get married, I want one just like theirs! I would say that his ring was the best male groom ring I had ever seen: it had a gear in the middle which moved the top and bottom bands. They had their wedding at the little dog park by their house in Long Beach, Ca. They also had a beautiful little lady making unlimited (note: the unlimited) crapes for the reception. I learned how to line dance from Doris’ cousin. And we finished the night with Marco’s enchilada casserole and Chanandra&Darrel’s peach cobbler! YUM.

Here are a few pictures:

Sonia, Marco, the pups, and the bride&groom:
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Wedding cake + lego cake-topper (courtesy of yours truly):
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Bride&Groom interpretive ritual wedding dance:
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ME and Abbey with the bride (we both caught the bouquet!!!!!!):
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After the wedding, I went to spend a few days and Christmas with my momma! ❤
It was the best seeing her. She is so hard working and just an all around amazing mother. Seriously. I couldn't ask for a better role model, friend, mother, and mentor in my life. She is everything I want to be when I grow up. Luckily, she didn't work the entire time I was there, so we spent a lot of time together. 🙂 Most of everyone came over on Christmas Eve… Then on Christmas Day, my mother woke me up (like she used to when I was a little boy, by shaking me, hugging me, and getting me excited about something cool) and she took me on a little road-trip through the Yosemite Mountains (my first time). It was the COOLEST and most BEAUTIFUL sights to see, even if we didn't actually go in the park. That is a moment I'll never forget.

The next day my momma went back to work and I went back to Marco's since I'd be flying out a day later. I spent more time with Doris&Royce, which was so nice. (Like old times)

I returned to Chicago the next day, got here quite late and went straight to bed. I had Pilates the day after my return, as well as work. Eventually, later in the week, I found a Groupon for unlimited yoga at the Chicago School of Yoga: http://www.chicagoschoolofhotyoga.com/
I now go to the 6:30a classes before warm up and sometimes to the evening classes, too!

Monday showed me the WORST of the worst when it comes to Midwestern weather.
Tuesday was also quite rough. My friend Emely from work and I went to the 6:30a and got there a bit late. This was awful because we didn't get to take class and we had to hang out in the cold (eventually at McDonalds) for an hour. We started our new semester with 9a Pilates, then returned to Ballet and Contemporary. It was good to see all of my amazing instructors again. Although, it was rough to be back. All muscle and control I had was gone, but luckily, so was the tension. That night, all the tension came back though, during work. :-/ ha!

Wednesday: 6:30a yoga was fantastic! It really woke me up. Started warming up at 8:30a, followed by Ballet and Contemporary after. I was drastically sore from the day before, but Laura did help by pointing out a few of my many mistakes in class. I really love corrections, it just escalates your growth. Laban was just what I needed after extreme soreness.. But it just showed me how tight I had become after a day of dancing.

Thursday: 6:30a yoga, woke me up. I feel like the 6:30 yoga classes are a bit more physical since they treat it as the people's only workout for the day. Its hard having a challenging class, followed by a full day of dancing! Warm up, ballet and contemporary. We had Meredith for ballet, which was SO AMAZING. Her classes are one of my favorites, and her energy really inspires me so much! I learned a lot from this class (as I do from all classes). This evening, I went to take the inversions class at the yoga studio. I learned to do many new inversions, which was so awesome!!!!!!!! I was inspired by this video:

Friday: 6:30a yoga, exhausted at this point. Warm up, ballet and contemporary. Today we had a guest for contemporary, which was Rebecca Lemme. Her class was a SUPER released based, floor wildness class. I was EXHAUSTED halfway into this one. A lot of inversions. 🙂 Instead of Pilates, we had a Physical Therapy lecture/activity class. We learned and did, a lot of effective warming up exercises which can help prevent injuries and strengthen. We also learned new rolling out techniques, one of which HURT like no other!

After that, I rushed over to an interview I had. (Still no word back from them :-/) I grabbed lunch after the interview and went to perform at Chicago’s Annual Comedy SketchFest! I was performing with a group called THUNDERDOME: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Thunderdome/222463937894033
They’re quite funny and such great people. This wasn’t the type of performance I thought it’d be, but it was fun! There was a lot of improvisation on the spot, due to lack of information, what they wanted and stage size/slipperiness. We did a dance to “It’s Raining Men”, a tribal dance, and a sped-up-clown-chase-song-dance-thing… Not what I expected, but again, it was FUN! Also great to be in front of an audience again.

Saturday: Had a photo-shoot early in the morning before work. Then I worked. Then I had another photo-shoot. The second shoot was a promotion for a run that’s sponsored by Miller Lite and themed of Rollie Fingers.
This guy:
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It was my first group shoot. And it was really fun. Me, one guy, and three girls. All wearing sweat bands, running shorts, shirts, long socks, curly mustache’s like Finger’s, wigs, beer hats, and sporting Miller Lite in some shoots. It was really fun to do this one.

Well.. That’s all I have for ya folks. Gonna watch my favorite web-series The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl:

You gotta watch up to the 6th episode to REALLY get into it. It is HILARIOUS!

Oh and I have one more FUNNY video to show. It is a sketch on the Chicago-style Pilates class. Go to this link: http://clearlyinc.blogspot.com/2009/06/chicago-style-pilates-class.html?spref=fb

Ruben

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Week 8: Call me Joseph Pilates

So very EXHAUSTING week, but I feel great about myself! 😀

So I’ve had a very fortunate work schedule which allowed me to take extra classes this week. And you better believe that I took full advantage of this opportunity.

Monday:

Started my day with Beruite and her challenging ballet class. It was great and after a while, as my body became progressively warmer, I began to get a nice groove. It was a good way to begin the upcoming week. The only problem which I ran into during class was the weakness of the body, so I dedicated the remainder of the week to improving my strength. I was noticing very tiny strength and technical flaws in my body, which was the motivating factor for my week.

Usually, I will feel fantastic after Lizzie’s contemporary class, however today I did not feel as great. My body felt a bit wobbly and tight, so I could not move as fully; also, I couldn’t get into the right headspace during class, to focus on class, I believe this happened because I was thinking more about the latter part of my day: work.

Tuesday:

I managed to get up extra early to take a good morning Pilates class with Nicole! It was a challenging class but she did something that helped me feel something different: she pulled my leg, from my foot, outward. Having her do this gave me a sense of more range of motion, strength and made me feel as though I was dancing in Pilates. It also made me feel longer and taller. It was nice 🙂

Claire taught ballet afterwards, which was a great class. I felt much more stable, especially since I had Pilates right before. Although, I did feel more stable, I still knew I needed more strength in my body, and more ballet. However, I did enjoy this class and loved the challenge it posed. I felt more dancer-like.

Unfortunately, Victor was not here today so, fortunately, Johnny (HSDC) taught class. It was very different, but mostly fun! It was a jazzier class, with a whole lot of character and laughing. Also awkwardness, but the good kind. 😉

Lastly, I ended my day with Beruite’s ballet class. It went very well! She even complimented me on doing real en dedans turns, and not fake ones! Yes, score one for the home team.

Wednesday:

Laura’s ballet class was mighty challenging but very luscious and luxurious. I felt much stronger and definitely much more aware of my body this class. I was able to assess myself and use my knowledge of the day prior, was is the cherry on top.

Kristina’s class was exactly was I needed midweek. I applied the use of the eyes, relaxation of muscles and jaw, and internal awareness more. It’s strange because I only truly ever see myself, dancing and body as having any beauty during this class. I recommend this one to everyone in the area, or Laban, in general.

Beruite kicked my butt once again. Although I felt much more exhausted at this point. My muscles highly sore but I pushed through and did as much as I could, which was a ton!

I waited around after ballet to take Pilates with Nicole again. Before I took class though, I felt an extreme cramping and gripping, with eventual tensing of inner thigh muscles each time I tried to sit or bend my knee. It was quite the painful experience. It’s the first time it has ever happened. It also affected my during Pilates when I tried doing rolling like a ball. I pushed through and knocked out the minute I arrived in my bed!!!!!

Thursday:

I could not think of a better way to take ballet on Thursday than to be taught by Lucas (HSDC rehearsal director). His classes are gooey, resistive and infinitely expansive!! I highly enjoy it, always. His classes are always giving different perspective on ballet than the other classes. Both are necessary nowadays. Exciting class!

Frankie came back and taught class. It was an extremely fun class. His best yet, I’d say. It had more of an EDGE PAC feel with the ending phrase to Royals. It was more fun than usual, with an ease to class. I needed that this Thursday.

Work.

Friday:

Claire’s ballet class was amazing. I definitely felt the strongest I have, yet! I enjoyed the combination that had the battement into a coupe fondu. But she had us emphasize the melting of the legs and body, which took a lot of control. But overall, my best ballet class yet, mess ups and all. 🙂

Gaga was fantastic. I focused more on the tiny details and crevices of my body. The places that never get any attention or notice. It brought about moments of different movement which felt great!!

Scholarship Pilates with Claire was killer. But a great way to end the required week. We did a few new Pilates exercises, highly difficult, but she had me demonstrate one that I hadn’t done and said that I was getting stronger!!!! Well… Call me Joseph Pilates!

Saturday:

Woke up extra early to come and take some Pilates thus morning.
Took basic with Nicole. I went extra slow and tried to be as detailed as I could be in this class, which made it more challenging. But there were moments where I felt my hip flexor a release and just the stomach working. It’s a creature-esque feeling!

Ended this dance day with beginning Pilates with Claire. I am lucky to be alive, gosh this class was hard! Two Pilates classes in a row will knock you out for the day. I’m completely exhausted from today, and the week in general.

I will finish up this day and weekend by working, a lot. Next week brings a lot of work at LEGO :-/ now if only the pay was as high as I needed it to be..anyways: 12 technique + 5 Pilates = 17 classes within 6 days..if I am not stronger next week, I don’t know what would help. But I feel accomplished, in my own way. I’m working my way to the top, one step (or roll up) at a time!

Ruben

Week 7: Shooting for the top

To my own sorrow, this week flew by so darn quickly! In some ways it was good, and in others, too short!

Sat/Sund:

I worked all of last weekend, which in itself is uneventful, except for the fact that I had a photo-shoot! It was on the beautiful Sunday, with a ton of sunshine and warmth (which was a fleeting moment in Chicago), the shoot took place at Millennium Park and its surrounding areas. I really enjoyed this shoot, since it was just plain fun! Here are some of the pictures I took:
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Other than the photo-shoot, I spent my time immersing myself at the Cultural Center, which I consider to be my second home. Literally. If I am not working at LEGO or in dance class, odds are that you will find me somewhere in this magnificently beautiful building. I feel at home here, I have since the summer, for some reason. I love everything it has to offer: art, architecture, peace..

Monday:

Began my day with Beruite’s ballet class, which as usual, is fantastic, except myself!!!! Argggg to myself today for not being better. I’m assuming since I didn’t dance all weekend beforehand, nor did I do any type of conditioning, that my body was pretty wonky today. I felt very weak, tired and in pain throughout this class. I was pretty much out of placement, more than usual at least, the entire class. I tried my best though.

Lizzie gave a fantastic class, with a gorgeous phrase at the end. She touched upon committing to the movement, rather than going through the motions. She said that we should dance everything, even the little movements like roll ups. I was giving everything I had in her class, which wiped me out!!!! I will say that the class has come a long way, as a whole, when it comes to the improv-follow along exercise..its nice because it allows everyone to grow and explore, much much more!

I decided to take Beruite’s ballet class afterwards, but, unfortunately I only made it to the end of barre. 😦 Even during barre I was all over the place. My body was exhausted, completely. I was just everywhere, and she told me not to feel bad to be leaving after the barre. She is right, I need to listen to my body.

**

Tuesday:

Nicole gave an amazing Pilates class this morning. I enjoy Pilates because I focus on the little muscles that I never access during ballet (even though I should be!). Today’s favorite exercise was the side-kick series. Basically, it is an exercise that is done throughout all of Pilates which allows you to engage your rotators, but FORCES your awareness to the hip and leg connection. It is pretty obvious when you are hiking your hip up and when you’ve let go of your power-house. I recommend this exercise to anyone, especially right before a ballet class!

Claire gave an incredibly difficult class: challenging and fun. I was still a bit off, but the Pilates class did help a huge deal! I wont say that I was perfect, or even close to it, but I did try my hardest in this class (well…in every class). I just wish that I had less “off-days” than I do “on-days”. My thought was that the previous week’s progressions would have rolled along to this week, but I didn’t find that to be so. Either way, I still look in the mirror and am so proud of myself everyday. We all should be.

During Victor’s class, we expressed our tiredness and asked for an easy class. He agreed, thankfully!! His class wasn’t “easier” it was just slower with more details, which was perfect! He broke down the Cuban-Contemporary technique to a T.. But I’d say what I learned most from this specific class was what he told us in the beginning, he said, “When you are tired, it is a good time to pull back and focus on the details of your technique, instead of trying to push through and getting bad, sloppy habbits..” he also said, “…I trained in this style for many, many years, and the company didn’t perform works from the technique, it was taught to make us move differently as dancers..” I would say that these two combined where ideal, since I needed to hear that. I focused on the details of this style, which essentially initiates movement from the pelvis through spinal contractions and waves, etc. I love his classes.

Work.

Wednesday:

In Laura’s ballet class, I was showed the spiraling of the back required to do a proper arabesque. I was also taught that I shouldn’t try to keep my hips and pelvis statically square, because then I’ll never go anywhere! I should allow my pelvis to tip, and hips to open up slightly during arabesque. Genius. Also, I completely “ate it” during this class, while going across the floor… It was very embarrassing. At least I can say that I’ve fallen in class now.

Kristina’s class was phenomenal. We explored more of the 3-d dancing, through spacial dimensions. We learned the differences of planar, linear and dimensional dancing through spoking, carving and spiraling. I enjoy how my mind and body must work together through her Laban training, its very interesting and engaging. We also started this class standing, which was different, but very exciting! I was told that in this class, I could splay my ribs and stick my tush out as much as I wanted!!! ha! I love her. 🙂

Work.

Thursday:

Started with Terry’s guest ballet class. This was a phenomenal class since I felt more in tune with my body and was giving it all I had. I felt like I did great! It was also nice to have the second company there taking class with us, to inspire and observe. I’m guessing we weren’t using enough plie because a chunk of the roofing fell onto the studio floor during grand allegro and he attested that it was the “gods fury” by tossing stones, since we did not plie upon landing. He also gave a word on contemporary thought during ballet class, without leaving the essence of ballet behind. Very knowledgeable and inspiring class.

We had Ricky, again, as a guest instructor for contemporary. I enjoyed his class so much, even the phrase at the end was great (although, I was not a fan of the song choice. I think it might have been Justin Timberlake..) I focused more on the expansion of my body, but while trying not to allow my body to become discombobulated.

After classes were done, I was too exhausted to try to take Beruite’s ballet 😦 so I stuck around and spoke with my great friend, Federika. I must say she is such a sweetheart. She has a heart and personality of gold, and she is a FANTASTIC dancer! I enjoy her energy in and out of class.. she just makes you feel as though anything is possible. She is originally from Italy, and is a scholarship student, too. We spoke about auditions and companies and agreed that we will shoot for THE TOP, no matter what!!!! 🙂 If we don’t try then we wont ever find out what could have happened. Also, it was upon speaking to her that I realized that if I didn’t believe in myself, no one else would. I will begin to have more faith in myself and let go of myself and just DO IT. She really is a treasure. I can write novels on her, but I will hold off for the moment. 😉

Friday:

Today, I spoke with someone else who I found to be quite inspiring (ever since I’ve seen him, and more so after speaking with him).. I’m not sure what his name is, but he is a fantastic dancer who takes classes every now and then. He used to be in HS2, a few years ago, but got injured and had to stop. His dancing is phenomenal but what gets me is his personality! Just speaking with him is inspiring. It was such a pleasure, and I hope to speak and learn from him again.

Before Claire’s amazing ballet class began, Federika did something soooooo amazing….She gave me HER superman t-shirt. Oh my god.. I almost cried! It was the most random and amazing gesture. I mean, Superman is my favorite superhero, but it just meant so much more to me than that. He represents someone who can do ANYTHING: strong, bold and fearless. With her help, and drive, I will be just that. WE will be. I really do appreciate having her in my life SO MUCH.. words cannot describe.

Claire’s class was amazing after the morning. I had my friend Chloe go in separate groups as I, so we could analyze each other and give corrections. I will say that this helped me out A LOT. One thing I focused on, which she pointed out, was to dance LOOOOONNNNGGGGEEERRR, since I was starting to look short. When I did this, I felt my Pilates training and I felt different… but GOOOD!!!! It was fantastic! I just felt great in this class. Afterwards, the super awesome nice guy taught me a few foot stretches since my foot has been cramping and painfully, hurting.

Gaga with Ana was just a dream come true. I was able to feel my skin and bones. I felt new areas that were left un[dance]touched, they felt out of place yet familiar. It was such a great feeling to get to them.. I can equate the feeling to a hot night, lying on your pillow and turning it so many times until you find that ONE patch of untouched cold.. then it fades slowly and warms up. It is such beauty to the body to move in such an organic and primal way.

Scholarship Pilates with Claire… Hmm.. I would say that this has been my BEST session, so far!!! I felt an odd feeling (which turned out to be my deepest abdominals) during this class. I also felt a very long length through the body and power through the rotators. It is my belief that if I were to take Pilates more often, then I’d allow my body to remember it and access it during ballet. I must do this from now on. I want to be stronger. I will be.

Work.
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The week began quite challenging, within the body, but progressed very quickly. I feel great at the end of it all. I do need to focus on doing more Pilates, and stretching throughout the week. I should also do these two on the days I can’t make classes (Sat and Sund). I am so lucky to have all the people I have in my life.

I believe in myself, and I just want you all to know that I am shooting for the TOP!!
Like Yoda says, “Do or not do, there is no try.”
I will do.

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 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 10: Male Duet

Today was the middle of the week. Wednesday as many like to call it. I didn’t get any sleep due to the multiple nightmares I had. So I woke up half-asleep, which seemed to be the theme of the day. It was difficult. I left for the studio slightly earlier than needed to try to wake my body up, for more energy…

We had improvisation with Johnny at 10am. He led a great “whatever”-feel improv class, it was awesome! Unfortunately, it was hard to get into the swing of class at first since my exhaustion and lack of energy was too much to handle. Eventually I got into the swing of things. I was partnered up with the amazing Alicia (pronounced Elysia), when Johnny led us through this intimate duet improv. It was an amazing feeling, since it didn’t feel like two people existed, just one. I guess that’s how true partnering should feel, always. It was great! We did tons more stuff but we ended with this so you think you can dance styled improv: one person improvises for the camera, the camera person (or director) chooses different angles and concepts to try. It helps with the 3-D dancing that is sometimes lacking in people…FUN! One and a half hours.
Here are clips from the improv class:
improv 1
improv 2

Next we had Pilates with Melanie. It was challenging, and with the way the day was going it was almost impossible! I learned a lot, but I can’t say it felt right. One hour.

Lunch was a nice break, I overate, which made me feel good, inside… Until.. We had ballet, with Lucas (HSDC rehearsal director)! It’s the same Lucas that taught the HSDC master class at the music center last month, which I attended. His class was nice! It focused on elongation rather than poses, and nice use of the feet instead of just pointing. I thoroughly enjoyed his class, even if I was still digesting! One and a half hours.

Repertoire today with Jonathan (HSDC), was the hardest thing ever. The movement was gorgeous, it was his own creation from a work from the danc(e)volve show HSDC had in June. I enjoyed the creation but I couldn’t muster the energy to do it well. It was even hard to focus on what was being taught. I was so wiped out, it wasn’t funny. One and a half hours.

We ended the day with something that gave me a lot of energy, the one thing that always does: partnering!!!!!! I love partnering, but today had a twist… It was a male duet, which meant we did same-sex partnering! I enjoyed this immensely since its never taught, and Eric is a great partner. The movement was a little hard and strange to get into with all the hugging, and slow motion rolling with each other (since its a male partnering) but it does make for an interesting duet. This was a duet choreographed by Robyn and taught by Jonathan and Johnny. It was pretty awesome and I think we did great!

Now I’m home and I’m going to stretch and knock out soon! I’m going to make up for lost time today.
Till then, don’t forget to send me mail! The address is in my last post! 😉

Ruben

Day 7: Calm Before the Storm

It is now the evening and I am fully relaxed. Today didn’t do much, other than buy groceries, pack for the whole weeks lunch and dinners, and I went downtown to enjoy the exhibit/cultural center again, and watch a film.

I went to Gene Siskel go watch Miyazaki’s hit Princess Mononoke! I’ve seen it before, at home, but it was much nicer to watch it on a big screen. There was a couple who were around their 70’s or so, watching the film, and the entire time they held each other. By the end of the movie, when it got kinda mushy and sappy, they had their heads leaning on each other, it was very nice to see that love still exists through age nowadays.

Here is the trailer for the film:

It was even better on a big screen!!!! Honestly though, the only film I’m amazingly eager to watch on the big screen at Siskel’s is A.I., which comes out on the 27th! I saw that one with someone special, who I miss so much (it’s kinda crazy how much), so I know I’ll be a big mess when I see it. Soon. Soon.

Now I am home. Going to eat a light dinner, do my ab series, a bit of stretching, call my loved ones, shower and knock out. This week we have the toughest schedule twice…Its going to hurt! I found out that what a dancers favorite dessert is… A LOT of ibuprofen… With tiger balm on the side. 😉

Ruben

Day 5: End of Phase 1

Sooooo today concluded the first week of the intensive!!!!! I must say it was hard getting through today knowing that its the end of the week.. We’re exhausted. I started the abdominal series today, it hurt.

We had ballet with Jessica at 10:45am this morning, and it was goooood. I enjoyed her ballet class, she had us dance ballet rather than going through the poses. But that’s what everyone at this intensive stresses. She said she would rather have to tell us to calm down rather than to pick it up. Great note. It was enjoyable and nice. One hour and a half of grace.

Next we had modern with Miss Linda. Now today’s class wasn’t as exhausting, although it was challenging, but it was structured differently for a reason… Can you say Ailey repertoire?!?!?! Can you say… Wade in the Water by Alvin Ailey?!?!? 🙂 happiness. Instead of blabbing about it, here’s a clip of the section we did. We learned about half of the couples dance:

It was AWESOME!!!! A hour and a half of wading, and Horton training.

Then we had lunch, followed by repertoire/review with Meredith.

You might be wondering why I posted a second clip of Little Mortal Jump, other than the fact that we reviewed the rep we learned from it on Monday… Well we learned a different section, which had music to Phillip Glass. I nearly died inside of joy!! This phrase is so beautiful and lush. It feels great on the body to do. I’m probably enjoying myself too much 😉

Now I’m home and tired but I feel great! I’m excited for next week… I just looked at the schedule and it seems as though there’s lots of fun to be had next week. 🙂

Ruben

Day 4: Funk to Funk

Where to begin? Today was a much nicer day on the body, except after lunch (more on that after). Yesterday, and a bit throughout today I was a bit stunted on my dancing since I had stomach pain: food poisoning. Luckily, I got pepto pills which kept me dancing with only slight pain throughout the day.

We started today at 10:30am with Improvisation, taught by Robyn!!!! It was so much fun, and I learned even more than I thought I would. It’s funny how sometimes watching your classmates improvise across the floor, while having fun to good music, can make it look like an amazing dance. My favorite was the old tree improv. Robyn was so sweet and she made improv so natural. It was an hour and a half class.

Next we had Pilates. This time we had Kym today, who was even tougher than Melanie!! We did so much in Pilates, it was very painful.. But I ended up learning more about the correct muscles to use during dance: transverse muscles, and how to feel them, work them, etc. She told us that if we did the stomach series of Pilates, for at least a month, everyday, that we’d see a difference… So I went up to her after class and she wrote them all down for me. Challenge accepted, I will do them until I leave, maybe even longer. I hope to see results. One hour of strict pain.

We had lunch for an hour, then ballet with Meredith. Now, ballet with Meredith is definitely one of my favorite classes, but when it’s not the first class of the day and you just ate lunch, it can be very difficult. Luckily I got through it, and I even used several of the corrections in my corrections book, which helped!! I can see myself improving. 🙂 one hour and a half of ballet bliss.

Afterwards we had REPERTOIRE with Robyn!!! Today we learned a chunk of choreography from
Too Beaucoup by Sharon Eyal. Such amazing, extremely fun, funky and challenging choreography. This one was definitely the hardest of all the rep to learn and do. It is so precise and far from classical (it’s kinda weird in a fun way), but I got the gist of it by the end. One and a half hours to learn this rep.

This is the work that we learned from, although our section isn’t shown in this video. It’s FUN:

Lastly, we ended with partnering rep!! The boys re-learned what we did with the other group and the girls learned it for the first time. This time I got three partners, who were all so amazing. Although I kept hurting their boobs with my shoulder, which made me feel awful. I also pulled on one of their necks, which made me feel just as bad.. I just get so into it and excited. I loved being able to do that work a few times at the end of class and watching the original cast (Robyn and Terrence) perform it live for us. 🙂 one hour of boob pain.

I’m starting to get the hang of this! 🙂

Ruben