During my week off work I finally got to set up my home dance studio/gym in the garage! Now I have somewhere to practise tap dance 😀👍👍
It is a great space because the people who owned the house before had installed electricity for lights and heating, plus a proper door from the garden and a window, which brings natural light. There is also plenty of light from the transparent roof.
The studio is comprised of the following:
Interlocking foam floor tiles (wood effect)
3 over-the-door mirrors (around £14 each from The Range)
Cube unit for storing dumbbells etc
Foldaway ballet barre
I had attached some red ‘Dance’ lettering to the wall above the mirrors, but it fell down and broke overnight, so I need to find a way fix it and try to attach it more securely.
The next task is to get rid of the rest of the furniture sitting at the other end of the garage!
I’m so pleased with it because I was getting kind of frustrated with having nowhere to practise other than in the corridors and toilets at work. Yay!
On Sunday night I happened to catch Darcey Bussell’s New Dance on BBC2. In case you haven’t heard of her, Darcey Bussell was a principal ballerina with the Royal Ballet at the age of 20, and now retired, is currently president of the Royal Academy of Dance and a judge on Strictly Come Dancing.
Here she introduces us to innovative modern dance, with jaw dropping performances by Boy Blue Entertainment (award winning hip hop dance) and Le Patin Libre (amazing contemporary ice dance).
I enjoy watching Strictly, but it is more of a crowd-pleasing type of show, so it’s nice to see some fresh expressions of modern, contemporary dance on mainstream television. There are some fabulous artists out there.
I am chuffed to have been nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award! I have always loved writing, so naturally I ended up starting a blog about my dance pursuits, especially now that I’m learning to tap dance.
I would like to thank Dorky Dancing for nominating me! She writes a great dance blog and is my most enthusiastic follower. I enjoy reading her posts about all the different dance classes she’s doing.
Here is a list of the rules:
Put the award logo/image on your blog
List the rules
Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog
Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
You have to nominate 10 – 20 people
Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
Share a link to your best post(s)
Three facts about me:
1. I work in Human Resources but also make and sell soap in my spare time
2. I have a degree in English Literature but am also qualified as a fitness instructor
3. I have a cat from Essex called Ruby who is 3 years old and I believe is a (part?) Norwegian Forest Cat. She has a very fluffy bottom and she pops up in the blog every now and then!
Your Questions Answered:
1. If you were a soup, which flavour of soup would you be? Spicy pumpkin – I’ve been told I’m warm and comforting
2. What causes you to doubt yourself? Overthinking – just do it!
3. If time, money, distance, relationships and education were not an issue, what would be your dream job? I would be an interior designer, like Kelly Hoppen. Other than that
I would love to run my handmade soap business full time. Beach-side. In a warm climate.
4. What does your dream house look like? It sounds extremely cheesy but I feel like I moved into my dream house when I moved in November. It’s a Victorian terraced house; old and wonky, but I love it. Other than that, it would be house with a verandah and a dance studio!
5. What dance move or style would you like to master? I would LOVE to master tap dance – it’s quite hard, especially beginning in adulthood and there’s so much to learn! Another thing would be a pirouette – so far I’ve only really ever done the preparation steps.
Pay it Forward
I don’t follow too many blogs, but here are the ones who I enjoy reading and also deserve this accolade of nomination:
Dorky Dancing – she was very kind to nominate me and I really enjoy reading her posts about her dancing and the classes she attends. She has a great sense of humour too!
Adult Ballerina Project – the first ballet blog I started reading when I was trying Ballet classes for the first time. She hasn’t posted in a long time because I think she decided to stop writing it, but there’s loads to read about the ballet journey as an adult beginner. Inspired me to start a dance blog.
Ballet.to – a very honest ballet blog written by May to inspire others having a go at Ballet.
Dance your Buns Off – another ballet blog. Lots of helpful tips and I like reading the interviews with professional dancers.
Tweed and the Beard – a non-dance blog all about food and meal prepping! I love food and cooking, so I enjoy reading her posts, especially when it comes to lunchbox ideas. She started following me fairly recently.
5 questions for my nominees:
What made you start blogging?
What would you most like to achieve in 2018?
What is your favourite song, like ever?
What is your favourite dance step or move?
Which animal would be your Harry Potter Patronus? (Mine is a cat obvs)
And finally, check out my post about my day at Rambert’s Adult Contemporary Summer Intensive 2017!
I have finally had a chance this weekend to think back over the last year and my various dance pursuits. Some of the highlights:
Rambert Contemporary Dance Summer School – such a good day and I managed to keep up with the full time dance students, even with painful achilles tendons 🙂
Move It Dance 2017 – I go to this exhibition in London’s Docklands every year, but in 2017 I pushed the boat out and took a tap class with the Guinness World Record breaking tap dancer Jo Scanlan of Tap Attack!
Learnt the Shim Sham and had a go at Tap improvisation
Did ballet (barre only) course at improvers level at City Lit after pining for ballet for some time
Got my Maud & Chloe Arnold tap shoes for Christmas
I look forward to continuing my tap dance training and attending some more festivals and workshops in 2018!
I am just on my way home from my last ballet class of the year. To warm up I walked from Waterloo Bridge to Citylit and then just did some stretches at the barre once I was changed (I had intended to change before leaving work and leave a bulky cardigan there, but there’s a girl who won’t stop talking and I literally had to just grab ‘n’ go LOL).
I hadn’t been since moving house, so I felt a bit unsure of myself, but it was ok! We were challenged with some longer sequences including battement glisses, battement piques en croix, attitudes in front and behind, pas de bouree, and more! I had another one of those moments where 2 of us were asked to demonstrate the pas de bouree exercise and I was literally blank until the moment I began! ‘Adult Learner After Work Brain’ or ALAWB syndrome, I call it 😁
We ended the class in the centre (ooh!) with reverence which we never usually do as it’s a barre only class. I thought id never done it, but part way through, I realised this is what we did every week at Aviv when I was doing their 8 week adult ballet beginners course. Anyway, I enjoyed it. Made me think about doing Classical Ballet beginners or improvers, but I’ll have to see as I’m all psyched up for returning to RHYTHM TAP in January!
So after all that drama, we finally moved house last Wednesday!!! Although I had Tuesday-Friday booked as annual leave from work, I ended up being ill from the Sunday and off work sick on the Monday before moving. Not surprising really as buying/selling/moving house is one of the most stressful things EVER. I have actually been ripping out the grey hairs that have been springing up from my head throughout the year.
I was still feeling pretty rough on move day, but got through it on adrenaline…and sugar! But, I think that full-on day has set me back because I returned to work on the following Monday, still not feeling all that great and ended up worse for dragging myself in, so I was in bed Tuesday and Wednesday this week. I was about to email my ballet teacher to tell him I wouldn’t be there again this Wednesday, but before I got around to it, I received an email (and voicemail) from the college to let me know that the class was cancelled because our teacher had an emergency and couldn’t get cover, but he’s going to chat about an extra class when we meet next week. Result!
Last night I went to my ballet class with knee support in tow. Bumped into my teacher on the stairs, so I explained that I have a dodgy left knee, and he told me to take it easy. I managed it until performing a fondue derriere, using the weaker left leg as the supporting leg. I didn’t fondue as far as when performing it on the other leg, but the very action upset my knee. Thankfully we weren’t working on jumps this week!
Besides that, it was another great class. We did some exercises using 4th position (where I had to be a bit careful and reduce the turnout), battement glisses, and I particularly enjoyed the sequence of attitude avant, through 1st position to attitude derriere and back again, fairly quickly. With speed, it was a challenge to control the working leg! This was part of a longer sequence that began facing the barre and rolling the knee in, passing the working leg through first position and sweeping the foot out behind in a figure of 8, if that makes any sense. Then on the 8th time of doing it we turned to the side with a sweep of the leg into a grande battement forward and HOLD.
My pint-sized Italian class colleague told me when I get home to get some olive oil and rub it into the knee. Good advice! In the end I didn’t use olive oil, but an aromatic massage oil from Neal’s Yard.
I have to say the walk back to Charing Cross station after the class was a bit on the achy side, but I will probably be taking a break next week…to hopefully move house!