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Chico is a relatively small place, which means that our local community ballet company is also relatively small. They only do one full-length ballet a year, so they switch off: they do The Nutcracker every other year, and varying other ballets in non-Nutcracker years. This year was a Nutcracker year. I love The Nutcracker, and I love their version of it. They have community members play some of the adult roles: two of my mom's friends are Mother Goose and a maid, and the District Attorney plays Clara's father. They use the same costumes year after year, which also gives it a continuity. And because it's a smallish community, you get to see the kids grow up through the years. The tiny girls who played the angels this year will be the Claras and Sugar Plum Fairies of the future.

There were two very interesting things about this year's production. First, they had more men. The Sugar Plum Fairy has always and forever been a solo role in their production, but this year they gave her a Cavalier. Instead of having a waltz of the flowers, they had The Grand Cotillion, with Debutantes and their male Escorts. I was extra excited that one of my favorite dancers (partly because her movement is so natural and partly because she's the only one who would smile at me from the very beginning when I took class with the teenagers) got to dance a pas de deux role, which I haven't seen her do before. Secondly, for the Arabian Dance, they had The Peacock and The Sultan. By making the girl a Peacock instead of a harem girl, they completely desexualized the dance, even though they used a lot of the traditional movements, including the lift where she's on his shoulder and his whole hand is covering her stomach.

I tried this morning to find a good Nutcracker excerpt for today's treat, but my time is limited and I didn't quite manage it. So instead have this, Patricia McBride and Mikhail Baryshnikov in Balanchine's Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, 1979. It's still Tchaikovsky, and it looks perfectly effortless, especially the lifts.

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It took me six weeks and two vacations to read Apollo's Angels: A History of Ballet by Jennifer Homans. That has nothing to do with quality. Instead, it has only to do with the length of the book. It's 648 pages long, and even though the last hundred pages are endnotes, bibliography, and index, it still makes for a lot of dense reading.

Homans takes us from the beginnings of ballet in the seventeenth-century French court all the way through the death of Balanchine in the 1980s, with an epilogue on the state of ballet today. At every stage, she intertwines the history of ballet with the history of the places she takes us, which gives the reader a context for what happens in the ballet world. Although it's a relatively dense history, it's not a hard read. The style is not quite conversational, but it doesn't read like dry academic prose, either. It reads much like a lecture. There is an audiobook version; if audiobooks are your thing, I imagine this one would read well.

Overall, I greatly enjoyed the book, and don't have much to say about it, but it does have three flaws worth talking about. First, it doesn't have a ballet glossary. There aren't really that many ballet terms in the book, but there were a few I didn't know, and a glossary would have been helpful. Secondly, her grasp of sexual identity terms is pretty shaky. She refers to someone as "homosexual (at times bisexual)" and says that someone else "was homosexual (although he also loved women and married one)." Unless she was relying on people's self-identification (which, given the time periods, I somewhat doubt), both of those sound like bisexual people. Thirdly, the book falls apart a little bit toward the end. Homans was herself a dancer trained at Balanchine's School of American Ballet, and she doesn't quite have the distance to talk about the more modern choreographers she covers. She also makes a lot of assumptions about the reader's knowledge of more modern ballet - one section begins with, "Everyone knows Jerome Robbins," and I didn't - where the book would have been stronger if she'd continued on with the assumption that the reader didn't know anything about ballet's history. The epilogue is a particular disaster. Homans bemoans the state of ballet today and doesn't have much hope for the future. The problem with this is that I wasn't sure if I could trust her judgment or if it was just a case of "things were so much better in my day." It's almost too bad the book was written two years ago; I'd be interested to see what she thinks about how the recent uptick in ballet-related TV shows (I watched three this summer) might affect the future of ballet.
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Dance Academy

I watched all of season one of Dance Academy some time ago, but this summer I got caught up on season two. Dance Academy is basically a teen dance movie, only Australian and in half-hour increments. I absolutely love it. (Forewarning: the end of season two is hopeful, but I also bawled my eyes out at the last two eps. Also, it has a bit of second-season syndrome, where once they got renewed, they added characters and had to come up with dramatic plot points.) The entire run of the show is on Netflix instant, and if you like teen shows and dance movies, you will probably also like this show.

The only fic on AO3 is Sammy/Christian, which makes sense as you get later in season one, although the beginning of the show seems to set up Ethan/Christian. If I were going to do Yuletide this year, Dance Academy would be my number one fandom requested. I really want some Kat/Abigail - they used to be best friends - or something about Kat and Ethan, who are each other's family in a way that their parents don't quite fit into.

Breaking Pointe

Breaking Pointe was a six-episode reality show covering six weeks in the life of Salt Lake City's Ballet West. The show aired on The CW, but was co-produced by the BBC. I expected this to bring high production values; instead, it seems to have brought respectability and possibly financing. The lighting, particularly when people are at restaurants, looks like soap opera lighting, which is understandable given that they're probably trying not to interfere too much.

The first episode introduces us to, and sticks closely to, the main characters: Adam, the artistic director; Christiana, the principle dancer; Beckanne, the ingenue; Ronnie, the ego; and dancers Rex, Ronald, Katie, and Allison. Once they've established the core group, later episodes also let us meet additional members of the company and the dancers' families.

Breaking Pointe is an interesting show for its look inside a ballet company. (If you want to just watch dancing, skip to episode five, which is opening weekend.) More/Spoilers )

Although I enjoyed it - and it did, of course, make me cry - I wouldn't really recommend Breaking Pointe unless you're really into either ballet or reality TV.


The original previews for Bunheads showed us Vegas showgirl Michelle marrying Hubbell, a guy who is her biggest fan, and moving with him to his house on the beach in fictional Paradise, California where he lives with his mother, Fanny, who runs a dance studio out back. (There is a real Paradise, California, but it's in the foothills about fifteen minutes from where I live in Northern California, while this one is on the beach somewhere near Santa Barbara.) What the original previews don't show is that Hubbell dies at the end of the first episode, and the show then becomes about Michelle and Fanny figuring out what to do next and eventually how to live and work together; Hubbell has, of course, left everything to Michelle, and Fanny eventually gets her to teach in the dance studio. The other characters are Truly, a local woman who was in love with Hubbell, and Fanny's older students: Boo, Sasha, Ginny, and Melanie. (I had to go to Wikipedia to look up Ginny and Melanie's names, which should tell you something about their place in the story.)

Bunheads is from Amy Sherman-Palladino, who was also the showrunner for Gilmore Girls. I've never seen Gilmore Girls, and maybe I would like Bunheads more if I had. Sherman-Palladino is one of those showrunners whose main concern is the snappy dialogue. The problem with Bunheads (and I don't know if it's a problem with this show in particular or Sherman-Palladino in general) is that the emphasis seems to be on getting all the words out smoothly and not on doing anything with them. This show should be deeply emotional - and it did make me cry a couple of times in the first few eps - but it mostly falls flat. I'm relatively sure this is an acting/directing failure more than a writing failure because I noticed in one particular episode ("Blank Up, It's Time") that only two of the scenes held emotional weight, and they were both scenes Fanny was in.

I really want to like Bunheads. It's all about relationships between women - the four teenage girls, Fanny and Michelle, Michelle and Truly, Fanny and the teenage girls, Michelle and the teenage girls - and it's about dancers, but the fact that it sacrifices emotion to dialogue delivery keeps me from really liking it that much. I checked AO3, and most of the fic is Boo/Sasha, which I want to want more than I actually want it. The only fic I really want for this show, which, again, is a show full of women, which is totally my thing, is Michelle/Truly.
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For reference, my 2010 Projects and Goals post is here.

I ended up giving up both of my ongoing projects (nonfiction and poc authors) in favor of just getting back into the reading habit. I'm still working on that. On [ profile] eleanor_lavish's suggestion, I created myself a bedtime routine that involves reading for 5-10 minutes before bed, which is helping me start books during the week. Once I'm into them (assuming they're worth reading), I will generally finish them on the weekends. (The danger to this is that if it's a really good book, I'm liable to stay up too late reading.)

I never did figure out how to fit dance into my everyday life. I stopped taking belly dance in August, and I'm still not sure if I don't want to go back to ballet or if I'm just stuck in inertia and will love it if I just go sign up again.

Let's see, from last year's list, I finished the first book and started the second, posted the Mike/Kevin story as never finished fic, gave up on the Fuck City boywives AU, wrote the actor!Gabe/director!Victoria story for big bang, and started the Leighton/Vicky-T Good Girls Go Bad AU.

Aside from those specific projects, I think there are three big things I did with my writing in 2010:
  • I wrote a lot. I always write a fair amount, but thinking about just how much through a combination of fan fic and my novels is kind of staggering. I'm guesstimating that I wrote a total of about 200,000 words of fiction. And I was employed full-time for the entirety of 2010.

  • Writing my novels is teaching me to write differently. I'm learning to pad things out. I also learned that I really need to pay attention to word counts to keep my sections even.

  • I wrote differently about women having sex. I know I keep harping on this and you might be tired of reading about it, but it's important to me.
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I was reading kink where the sub was kneeling with his hands behind his back and had to stand up, and his dom helped him. I've probably read similar things before, but this time it struck me: how hard is that, really? I took/have taken (I haven't decided yet if this is just a temporary break or if it's really time for me to move on) belly dance for almost five years, which means I can stand up from sitting or kneeling without using my hands while balancing a sword on my head, but I don't know how easy/hard that is for other people. So really, a two part question:

(a) How hard is it to stand up from kneeling without using your hands? (There's no need to guess on this; you can always kneel, clasp your hands behind your back, and try to stand up. Anonymous commenting is on if you don't want to admit to having tried this. I did try it, and it was easy for me.)

(b) Would being in subspace make it harder?
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I want to get back in the habit of reading books. As I mentioned in my 2009 wrap-up post, I pretty much stopped reading books in October. I have a job now, so I'm much less anxious about how I use my time. I started reading a lot at my old job because I would take a book with me and read at lunch. Now I come home for lunch, so I end up reading my email and LJ instead. I think I'll have to take to reading on weekends and some evenings again. As part of this, I'm going to continue to read at least one nonfiction book and one book by a PoC author every month. I don't even have to rely solely on the library for my book needs: not only do I still have money left on the Barnes & Noble gift card I got when I left my old job, but my parents also gave me a B&N gift card as part of my Hanukkah present.

I really want to dance more often. I love it when I do it. It's just doing it every day that seems to be a problem for me. I'm having trouble identifying the problem here, so I need to either put some more thought into it or just do it more often. I'm also planning to go back to ballet in February, depending on my budget.

My specific writing goals for 2010:
  • Finish and sell the novel. If I really keep to my goal of 200 words per day on weekdays and 1000 on the weekends, I should be able to finish it in about four and a half months.

  • Start/write the next novel. (I'm already setting it up in the first one.)

  • If I finish both of those, then start the five-novel series I already have notes and some character names for. (This is really a "when," not an "if;" the "if" portion is only about the time period.)

  • Finish the Mike/Kevin story. I have no idea where it's going, which is making this harder.

  • Finish the Chris/Steve space AU. I do know what happens next, and I don't think there's much left of the story.

  • Finish or give up on the Fuck City boywives AU. I got stuck because I didn't know enough about Ryan, Kyle, and Stu, but if they're really going to keep up with the podcast and get publicity for Burning Empires, then they might solve that problem for me.

  • As I mentioned in my December wrap-up post, I started an actor!Gabe/director!Victoria AU. I like the idea of actually writing the rest of it. The other large fan fiction project I keep thinking about tackling is the Leighton/Vicky-T Good Girls Go Bad AU, which I'm also entertaining the idea of writing as an original story. Given how my planned writing works out, I will probably end up writing some other kind of epic fan fic instead.
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If you need a refresher, I did make a 2009 Projects post. I've stuck the projects I added as time went on where they seem to logically fit.

Dewey Decimal Project
I did continue this, mostly. I did not read anything in October, much less a nonfiction book, but I did well with this project the rest of the year (in November and December, the nonfiction book was the only book I read), and I read a couple of books I really liked.

One of the nonfiction books I read totally changed my life in a completely unexpected way. When I read Jonah Lehrer's Proust Was a Neuroscientist, I said, "This makes me think I need to start listening to new music. I know I've noticed my own tendency to not bother with music I don't already know." As a result of that, I started downloading every mix I came across and making a conscious effort to listen to new-to-me music. I found a lot of music I really like, a few things I hate, and some things I didn't like at first but that grew on me over time. I actually started listening to music more than watching TV as my background noise.

PoC Authors
In April, I added reading at least one book by a PoC author every month to my list of goals. I did really well with this all the way through September. I didn't manage to read anything for this in October, November, or December.

What happened with my reading is that in about September or October, I got very, very anxious about not having a job. If I was at my computer, even if I was just reading fan fic, there was a chance I would do work (either writing or job hunting), whereas if I sat on the couch and read, then I really wasn't doing any work, so I read almost nothing for the last three months. (I'll post my book list later today or later this weekend, and you can see how true that is.)

I continue to eat vegan and gluten-free. This is not an issue for me, but it does make me difficult for other people to feed. I kind of forgot that I was giving up refined sugar at the beginning of 2009; that didn't last. I did give up chocolate, though, and that's working well for me.

I did really, really well with most of this. I continue to walk three miles every morning and do at least some yoga every day. Weights are getting a little iffy with the change that I have a job and therefore less time at home. I think I'm going to try to do Monday, Wednesday, Saturday, and that way I can do them while I watch How I Met Your Mother on Monday, Mercy on Wednesday, and whatever I'm catching up with on Saturday. Dance continues to be a challenge for me, especially since I had to temporarily drop ballet because I couldn't afford it. (I didn't drop belly dance only because my teacher told me to just keep coming to class and I could pay her when I could.) I've been noticing my posture has gotten worse since then. I keep thinking I'm going to start doing pliƩs in the kitchen at least once a week, but then I don't do it. I do occasionally get up and kitchen dance party when I'm listening to music that I can't resist dancing to. (Note: I dance in the kitchen because it and the bathroom are the only non-carpeted areas of my house. Dancing on carpet is hard.) I'm going to have to think about how to approach this better.

Ugh. This is the one I don't want to look back on! I did submit a story to an anthology. It was rejected, so now I'm a real writer with a rejection notice. I didn't finish the third draft of football.txt or the paranormal mystery novel, nor did I start the lesbian romance novel. I did start an erotic novel and write a lot of fan fiction. My struggle with writing is that I write a lot, but I have a hard time being okay with what I'm writing. I keep thinking I should be writing other things, and then trying to remind myself that writing something is better than not writing at all. (I thought about doing the fan fic wrap-up meme, but I was kind of overwhelmed by how much I wrote this year. I'm still thinking about doing just the questions part.)

While I definitely think of myself as a writer, I found myself really discouraged this year about my ability to be the kind of writer who makes a living at it, so I've been startled when other people have put it in those terms. When I was looking for a job, my mom said I just need a job for now because eventually I'm going to live off of my writing. Then [ profile] schuyler said in my holiday card that this is the year we get my writing career off the ground.

Something I started doing just in November or so around writing is being up front and honest, with myself, my writing group, and selected friends and family, about the fact that as much as I'd like to think I'm going to write a sci fi/fantasy or mainstream novel, I really only write erotica.
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I'm starting to run out of ideas for these treats. If there's anything or any kind of thing you'd like to see, please leave a comment back on the announcement/request post. I did, however, note one thing that's been missing from these: belly dance.

This is one of my favorite routines to dance (although I'm not in this video):

I don't know the actual name of the song; we always call it the "Hayati Veil" because the song has the word "Hayati" in it and we do a veil dance to it. Listen/download at
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Today I'm thankful for belly dance. I forget, sometimes, how much better I feel after class. I'm doubly thankful that my teacher is letting me come to class now and pay her when I get a job again.
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I think I've mentioned that some members of my ballet class and I had fun making a game out of identifying what musical the instrumental versions of songs we dance to are from. I've leveled up now to the more advanced class, and our teacher doesn't use as many pieces of music from musicals, and the tone of the other students is a little too serious for such frivolity. Today, however, she used one that it had taken us a couple of weeks to identify. We knew it was an Andrew Lloyd Webber song, and I was pretty sure it was from Evita, but we had to keep listening and figure out what we expected the lyrics to be and then use that to identify the song as "Another Suitcase In Another Hall," which is actually a somewhat unlikely song to have as a ballet practice piece that may be used with small children. Although I suppose you might not notice that without the lyrics.

I was hoping to find the version off of the 1979 soundtrack, which is the one I used to own, but if it's at imeem, it's not identified as such. This is a nice version.

Another Suitcase In Another Hall - Evita
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You may think "I Put a Spell on You" is something of a standard and you know it well, but you don't know it until you know Natacha Atlas's version. Natacha Atlas is a favorite of belly dancers, and I think this and "Mistaneek" are the two of her songs that I've seen soloists at the Bistro use most.

I Put A Spell On You - Natacha Atlas
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Dewey Decimal Project
As I mentioned earlier, I'm going to continue my Dewey Decimal Project. If you've read any good nonfiction, feel free to tell me about it. I may or may not ever read it, but I'd certainly be interested in hearing about it! I'll also continue to post about the nonfiction I'm reading. It helps keep me on task, and I hope it's interesting to you, too.

Starting tomorrow, I'm no longer eating dairy or wheat, and I'm avoiding refined sugar, at least for the month of January. (Starting tomorrow because I'm having birthday cake and ice cream today.) I'm sick of being on acne meds (and I refuse to do either Accutane for a third time or hormones), so I'm going to see if not eating dairy helps. My joints are also really crackly, which my doctor said isn't a problem if they don't hurt, but which is kind of annoying. My mom told me she knew someone who told her his joints got better when he stopped eating wheat, so we'll see if it does anything for me. And as long as I'm not eating either of those two things, I might as well stop eating refined sugar too.

This holiday season, I got very lazy about exercise. A couple of days ago, I finally said to myself, "You feel bad because you're not doing yoga. Do your yoga and you'll feel better!" So I started doing yoga every day again, and after even just two days of it, I felt so much better. Actually, daily yoga, aerobic exercise, and some sort of strength training are pretty easy to do - I love doing yoga every day, I go walking first thing in the morning (um, usually; I slept in an extra hour today instead), and I catch up on TV shows while doing weights two or three days a week and do a few crunches and/or lunges the other days of the week. It's doing some dance every day that's tough. Without a set something to do or someone to follow, I get bored within thirty seconds of shimmying around the house. I usually wimp out and do a very small amount of shimmying, practice a few wrist circles, or stand in first position while I do the dishes or brush my teeth. I'm not sure what to do about this one.

I suppose I should have some writing projects explicitly mentioned! This year, I have a short story I want to submit to an anthology, a novel I want to write the third draft of and try to get published by an ebook publisher, and a novel I want to finish and try to get published by a mainstream sci fi/fantasy publisher. And that's just at the very least. I'd also really like to write the next book or two in the series the mainstream book is the beginning of and the lesbian romance novel I mentioned before (I even have names for all of the main characters). I'm sure I'll also have other writing projects jump out at me over the year.
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In 2008, I started four new things at the beginning of the year and made one giant change later on. Let's see how that worked out for me:

I started taking ballet last January. As you might have noticed, I love it.

Writing Group
Also in January, I joined a writing group. Our group has changed a bit over the year, to the point that I'm one of only two original members still in it, but it's been a good experience. I've gotten some helpful feedback, been reminded how easy writing is, and I've taken over creating handouts and writing exercises for our craft chats, which has been both interesting and challenging.

One-Sentence Journal
Oh, I was so good with keeping up with this at the beginning of the year. But then I changed my writing goals to be at least one sentence per day, and then I only wrote in the one-sentence journal when I hadn't written anything else, so they tended to be depressing entries. If I were to do this again, I think it would need to be posted publicly to (a) keep me on track and (b) keep me focused on writing things that aren't just whining.

2008 Dewey Decimal Project
This was an interesting project. I solicited recommendations and read none of them, although a few of them went on my Dewey Decimal Project Amazon wish list (which is basically just a way to remember things I might want to read). I learned some interesting things, and struggled through some books I would have given up on if it had been earlier in the month. I think I'll do this again this year, and make more of an effort to start reading/finding my book for the month at the beginning of the month. This is especially true for anything I want to get through interlibrary loan, which can take some time.

Giant Change
I quit my job at the end of August to be a writer. In the last year I was at my job, I was sick every three months (including on my birthday last year). Since I quit, I haven't been sick at all. I don't know that I've done "enough" writing since I started being a writer full-time. I don't know what "enough" would be. I have fantasies about being a famous author, but I spend more time fantasizing and goofing off than writing. K from my writing group and I continued doing write-ins even beyond November, and that's making me less desperate to get out of the house, but I'm starting to think I really have to seriously look for some way to make some money because even if I do sell the book I have a second draft of or the one whose first draft is so easy to work on, it'll be a while before I see any of that money. At the same time, I love watching TV and reading fic and reading books whenever I want to, and being able to run errands or go to doctor's appointments in the middle of the day instead of only early in the morning or late in the afternoon. On the other hand, I could really buckle down and write this novel quickly, because I've discovered that when I'm writing longhand and I'm just writing, I write about 800 words an hour. I haven't done a comparison with typing, but I'm sure I type faster than that, so if my brain can keep up with my fingers, I could really finish this book in no time. (I have nearly 11,000 words and the killer hasn't even made an appearance. I don't know who the killer is, though, which is making it slightly more difficult. Also, it's turned into more of a procedural than the suspense/adventure I originally intended it to be.)
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I know I already blabbed about how much I love ballet and The Nutcracker, but I have to do it again because we went to see it last night.

It was awesome. If you're in Chico and it's not sold out, you still have a chance to make it to today's 2:00 matinee.

My mom was struck by how different the choreography and staging were this year. At intermission we chatted with one of her friends who did behind the scenes work, and she said it had to do with different levels of dancers. One of the things I found interesting was how much they kept it in the Company. In both the program and the pre-show intro, they talk about how it's an all-Chico production this year. Usually they bring in at least one outside professional dancer. They also did the battle scene themselves. In years past, one of the local martial arts studio heads has been the Mouse King with his students as the mice and tin soldiers. This year, the battle was done by the studio's hip hop company, and one of their assistant directors was the Mouse King.

The dancer playing the Mouse King, the male Arabian dancer, and one of the party guests is the previously mentioned T from my ballet class. It's fascinating to watch his face on stage. In class, he has a kind of cocky smirk (but in a sweet way) thing going on. On stage, he's totally different and he does a great job of matching his expressions to the role. When I want to Keeping Dance Alive in March, I noticed how much I could see the personalities of the people I knew from class in their dancing on stage - which was especially interesting because I know them from ballet and they were mostly doing jazz, hip hop, or modern. The exception was T, and I thought at the time that it was because he always talks in class and I'm such a word-focused person that I got a sense of his personality from his talking and not his dance. Now I think it's that he's a very good actor.

I knew several of the other dancers from my ballet class, which was also neat. In the past couple of months, we've had some of the Company members dropping in to our class. It was kind of a trip to see people on stage in leading roles whose technique Debbie will correct when they come to a beginner level class.
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Yesterday I was thankful for belly dance. It was our last class before Thanksgiving, and it was a lot of fun.
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Today I'm thankful for ballet. Our local ballet company, Chico Community Ballet, puts on a fabulous, community-including production (community members play the party guests, and one of the local karate studio owners plays the Mouse King with his students generally forming the armies of mice and soldiers) of The Nutcracker every other year with productions of other ballets in alternating years. Two years ago, when my mom and I went to see The Nutcracker, I thought how much fun it would be to take ballet. I actually took ballet when I was a little one, but I passed out in class one day when I was eight or so, and refused to go back. Last year when we saw Cinderella, I thought it wasn't quite as good as The Nutcracker, but the dancing looked like so much fun. I told my mom I wished she hadn't let me quit ballet when I was younger, and she said, "You were pretty stubborn." For my birthday, my parents gave me dance lessons at Chico Creek Dance Centre. Chico Creek is the same place where I took ballet when I was little, although they've moved to a different location since then. The ballet class that fit into my schedule is Saturday morning adult beginning ballet. I told my mom that even on Saturdays when I'm feeling cranky, I feel so good when I come out of class. She said, "See? Physical movement." But it's not just about the physical movement, although I'm sure that's part of it. The teacher makes a huge difference, and then there are the rest of the people taking the class.

Our teacher for this class is Debbie Jorritsma, who is just incredible. I keep trying to put my finger on what makes her such a good teacher, and I'm not sure what it is. She's very positive and upbeat, even when she's saying, "No," and making corrections. She's also delighted every time she's making corrections or explaining something and we get it.

The other students. Part of what makes going to class every week an adventure and entertainment is that we never know exactly who's going to show up. I'm there pretty much every week, except when I was traveling a lot in the summer. S is almost always there too, complaining about mornings. Her boyfriend is the father of someone I went to elementary school with. K1 is newish to our class although not to ballet. K1 and S are both older than I am. M1 is 12 and new to our class but not to ballet. L is 14 and we miss her when she has to miss class. She was new this summer. D is new to our class this semester but took ballet for many years before. I think she's a college student, although I'm not sure. T is one of the two men in our class. He's a riot. I suspect it's mostly unintentional and that he really is just that amusingly chatty. He's actually a hip-hop/break dancer, and he's on their schedule now as a teacher. When I first started taking class, he was starting to recognize the importance of plies; he is now a recent convert to the benefits of stretching and massaging feet. Last week, he came around to each of us before class and did this thing with our feet that kind of hurts in the moment but really loosens them up. We're generally the regulars.

Then there are the people who take other classes but sometimes come to ours. R is another older woman who sometimes brings her daughter, who also takes other classes, with her. I run into her at the library every once in a while. L, M2, and M3 all take other classes but have been coming to our class to get back to basics. K2 used to come to our class regularly, then came to our class for the second half while she was subbing as the teacher for another class that overlapped ours, and now sometimes comes to our class and sometimes goes to the more advanced class after it. J is the other of the two men in our class. He comes sometimes and chats with S about local musical productions and acquaintances in common. The three of us have been making a game out of trying to identify the music when it's from a musical.

On any particular day, we don't know who might be in our class. Today, in addition to all of the regulars and all but one of the semi-regulars, we also had a group of more advanced dancers who were there because they were going to miss their class for a performance and wanted to warm up.
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(This bit of rambling brought to you by 60% cocoa and indecision.) So I started writing this as an email, and then couldn't decide if it should go to [ profile] fuseji, [ profile] j_crew_guy, [ profile] schuyler, or [ profile] amatia, so you all get to read it instead. With more links.

I just saw an ad for In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale. I said, "Hey, it's that guy!" (I did actually correctly identify Jason Statham) and then had to look at IMDb to see what the hell it was (because the "A Dungeon Siege Tale" tag made me think it had to be some kind of franchise sort of thing). I cracked up when I got to the user comments teaser, which says, "It's great! it's incredible! It's Uwe Boll!!" Now I know my instinct that it won't be any good must be right!

(Huh. And Kristanna Loken. Rashel of Unmata [or here if you want to watch her move and see what is probably my favorite belly dance video on YouTube, even if it doesn't go to the end of the song] always reminds me of Kristanna Loken in T3, but now that I look at Kristanna Loken pictures, she doesn't look anything like her. I always think it's because her look's a little butch and a little German, but Kristanna Loken's not that butch.)
rsadelle: (Default)
Pictures! Now if I can just get someone to take a plain old headshot (where I'm both in focus and smiling), I'll have something to put up on MySpace, and then I can friend the step-cousins who might not figure out who I am without a picture. This is also a test of LJ's scrapbook post photos thing, which I've never used before. Pictures courtesy of [ profile] haleth.

Pictures! )
rsadelle: (Default)
Today, I'm thankful to live in a place with a surprisingly large belly dance community. Friday night, I went to Sultan's to watch dancers, last night, I went to watch the North Valley Belly Dance Competition, and today was the last class of the belly dance fitness class I won in a raffle. I was thinking, this evening, about how fascinated my mom is by the way people create communities around things, and I thought: We're people. That's what we do. We create communities.
rsadelle: (Default)
Today, I'm thankful for Sultan's Bistro. They have excellent food, and they've had two different solo belly dancers every Friday night for ten years. I almost didn't go tonight, even though someone I know was dancing, because I'm reading a very engrossing book (The Deed of Paksenarrion). But then I realized that if I stayed in, I would have to make my own dinner, so I went out instead, and I'm very glad I did. I got yummy food I didn't have to make, and I saw one of the women from my class and someone I've never seen dance. The other woman had some really cool fans that have lengths of cloth that extend out from the curved part of the fan. I'd never seen them before, and they were totally cool.


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Ruth Sadelle Alderson


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