Special Pink Shoes

Hi lovelies! I hope that you all are having a great week so far! Sorry about yesterday’s tease and short post- I got home from book club a little too late to write a full post… oh and a book club review will be coming next week!

As you know, I was sad initially about quitting my Yoga Works membership as I really enjoyed taking classes there. However, once I realized that I was unable to make any of the class times I knew I had to find something else. Rather than jumping into another long-term commitment, I decided to play the field a bit. So when I saw a recent Groupon-type deal for ballet classes, I took the plunge.

Nevermind the fact that I hadn’t taken ballet since I was a little girl…

Proof as to why I don't wear blush anymore

But despite my lack of experience, I decided to give it a try. So I went out and bought ballet shoes (not the toe shoes my younger self so badly wanted) and suited up in my lululemon. Side note: In adult classes most students wear tight yoga gear- not tights and leotards… I was glad I found that out before class!

As I walked into the studio I started feeling a little nervous about this new workout as I watched the advance class twirl and leap with their enviable perfect posture. But I took a deep breath and walked into my own beginner’s class. The class started with bar work and for me the most difficult portion was finding my turnout. Though I remembered the ballet positions from childhood, I wasn’t counting on the fact that it was so much harder to achieve them now! One thing I struggle with in group classes is comparing myself to others but my instructor informed me that turnout is different for everyone and the important thing is that your body feels comfortable in the positions. Then we started your everyday plies. Easy right? Well if you are doing them wrong, then they are. However, when done right, a plie comes from the thighs, not just a bending of the knee. And trust me, you can feel a difference.

The hour and a half class focused on a variety of concepts that if I explained them to you, would seem so basic and simple. However, just like in yoga, when done correctly, those simple moves can make you feel the most burn. My instructor explained that it is important to master those moves so that when more moves are added to them, you don’t have to think about how to do a perfect releve. This is especially crucial because with ballet you are already thinking about so many things: long neck, sucked-in stomach, tucked butt, graceful fingers, etc!

When the class was over I was sad and realized something fantastic- I had been concentrating on ballet the entire 90 minutes and my mind hadn’t wandered once! I love when a workout is a little escape from reality. As I got home that evening, I felt sore but I was not prepared for the soreness I felt the next day. I figured that since I am in heels all day my calves could handle it, but instead of walking with ease in my 5 inch heels like I normally do, I found myself wobbling. And despite my sore body, I’m already making a conscious effort to improve my posture. Not only will it help me in class but it will help my constantly sore shoulders and back. (Oh and look 10 lbs thinner  which I think is definitely worth mentioning!) I feel like I learned so much and am really excited to continue taking classes… plus my instructor said if I stick with it, she can coach me to get on point… which made my 10-year-old self squeal. But don’t worry, I kept that to myself.

Questions:

-Did you take ballet or any dance classes as a child?

-Have you ever taken traditional disciple dance classes rather than fitness oriented ones?

-What new workout are you loving? Or hating?

Better than Before

Hi lovelies! Thank you all for your well wishes about my Grandma. I found out today that she will be released from the hospital tomorrow which is truly an answer to prayers. I continue to pray for her health and recovery and am so appreciative of all of your thoughts and prayers as well.

Tonight something amazing happened… I left work early enough to make it to dance class! Although I’ve pronounced my love for Dance Works before, I haven’t actually been to a class in quite some time. Between my crazy work schedule and them moving the class up 30 minutes earlier, I’ve found myself missing week after week. Amongst these changes, I found out tonight that they also changed the instructor. Well, anyone who takes group classes knows that the instructor makes the class and . I knew tonight was going to be a good class, when I heard the music the instructor picked…

I absolutely love musicals and while I enjoyed the other teachers modern style, it was so fun to dance to this song. I grew up performing and in dance classes, so this is definitely much more my style. Besides the fact that I was having a blast doing some sassy dance moves, I found that it was the first time all day where I wasn’t thinking about anything stressful. I think so much of our lives are spent stressed, that we almost forget what it’s like when our shoulders begin to drop and our thoughts start to clear. That is exactly what happened for me tonight and it felt amazing. I’m hoping that my schedule continues to allow me to go to this class, plus I want to learn the rest of the Roxie dance!

Questions:

-What activities have work/school taken a toll on?

-What’s your favorite type of dance?

The Grapevine

Hi Lovelies!

Happy Wednesday! I hope that you all are having a great day so far and are celebrating that we are halfway through the week! If you in the SF area, then you also have something else to celebrate… SUN! After a summer of staying inside with my space heater on, I’m so happy that sun has decided to make an appearance in the city! Fingers crossed that it stays here for a while!

Last night I was able to leave work on time and made it to my favorite class, Dance Works! Most of us were regulars tonight so the teacher definitely upped the difficulty level which I really enjoyed. The class was lovely as always, but tonight, there was one move I couldn’t master: the grapevine. Remember that simple, cross behind, cross in front move that you learned in elementary school?

(Edited to Add: If the above video won’t load for you, you can see it here.)

Have you ever thought of the grapevine as a hip hop move? Ya, me either. So here’s the thing, I usually consider myself a pretty good dancer, but for some reason when the teacher modified this very simple move with some complicated arms, sashays and spins, I could not seem to master the combination. Knowing that I was having trouble made me feel embarrassed as everyone in the room watched me attempt the routine across the floor. Finally, with some color in my cheeks, I remembered something that my yoga teacher said on Monday night:

“We call this a practice for a reason- there is no judgment here. Some days will be better than others and that is OK”

Hearing that really got me thinking about how often we hold ourselves to such high standards that we don’t give ourselves wiggle room- and let’s face it, some days you will wiggle in tree pose! Sometimes that workout will be harder than it was the day before and rather than question why that is the case, it’s better to just accept it. Tomorrow is a new day and a new opportunity to try again. And the best part? Once I stopped worrying about what everyone else thought of my continued screw ups, I began was able to complete the routine successfully! All of the stress I was putting into my own performance was making me trip up myself. Was it perfect? Hardly! But I’ll tomorrow is another day to try again!

Questions:

-Do you get frustrated when a workout is harder than usual or you don’t meet performance goals?