Adult Ballerina Project


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We’ve moved to WordPress.org

I’m still in the process of figuring stuff out, but for now, the majority of posts and other resources on this blog have been moved over to WordPress.org. We’re still accessible at AdultBallerinaProject.com.

I’m still in the process of getting followers moved over from WordPress.com, but that should happen shortly and everyone who was receiving an e-mail update should receive one with the upcoming posts. For now, I’ve posted this on the old site as well. If you’re eager to make sure you still receive e-mail updates, head over to the new site and enter your e-mail in the subscription box.

If you were subscribed to my posts via WordPress’s reader, my posts should still show up in your reader as an RSS feed. I’ll be testing this out shortly and crossing my fingers that it works.

I’ll have another way of subscribing now too: feel free to subscribe via MailChimp, where I’ll send out a weekly newsletter with the news and posts from this week.

The good/awesome news is, I’ll be at an awesome 2 day workshop this week with Girl Develop It Philly to learn the ins and outs of WordPress so that I can make this blog even more awesome.

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Calling all adult ballerinas, runners, and my bloggers!

I’m currently working on a slight re-branding here at Adult Ballerina Project (with hopefully a move to self-hosting this blog in the future–I know, this means more to me as it means I get to customize more). But don’t worry. I’ll still be posting about ballet (and running too). I’m just working on changing my mission statement and layout and re-organizing a bit.

I’m looking for people to interview and profile like I always have been (but I’m opening up to runners, ballerinas, and bloggers) as well as people who are interested in contributing (or guest blogging), whether it be a one time thing or a regular contributor.

Fill out the Google form here and I’ll get back to you with what the next steps will be!


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How Running Taught Me The Importance of Stretching

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Yeah…I can’t do this. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Ballet requires stretching. You need to be flexible. But as a busy college student, the want to be flexible and get my splits just wasn’t motivation enough. If I had actually started stretching regularly when I started I’d probably be there by now–but I haven’t. I developed challenges and plans and even tried yoga–but it didn’t work. I would only occasionally stretch.

 

Things have changed now that I’m running. In order get my calves into tip-top condition, I’m stretching them everyday and after every run. My foam roller is also seeing more use than ever. As my hips get tighter, I keep stretching them out more and more as well. Although my body is probably overall ending up tighter than before I was running, I feel like I’m getting somewhere as I incorporate stretching into my routine because for the first time in a while I feel like I HAVE to stretch or my body is just going to be ridiculously tight. So maybe running isn’t such a horrible thing for dancers after all.

 

How do you stay motivated to keep stretching?

 


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Guest Post: Finding the Right Studio

Caysie face pictureUnfortunately over the week I seem to have developed a bit of a chest cold that prevented me from going to dance (among other things). What’s with this summer cold business?? Anywho, I was hoping to post a nice tutorial blog with photos of a DIY stand alone barre that I made before I started feeling unwell but because I am not up to setting up to do the pics for that post, it will have to wait until next week. Why even tell you, you ask? Perhaps then maybe you’ll be motivated to check back because that DIY barre is a life saver for a busy lady like myself who just wants a 20 minute tendu sesh here and there. Now that I’ve dangled that like a carrot in front of your face (mwahaha), I’ll get on to my post for this week which is a bit inspired by the lovely Queen Michelle at Kingdom of Style, but a more beginner focused version.

I’m currently in the process of switching studios because the one I currently go to is so far away. I figured that since finding a studio/class and going to the first class is a huge hurdle for a lot of adults who want to begin ballet but haven’t yet I’d write about that process. I’ll address some of the most important concerns I first had myself.

1. I’m going to look like an idiot. Ok. So this fear of mine really was the absolute biggest I had that stopped me from starting up a class.  It’s hard to start something if you have little to no experience with it. You can be nervous that people will laugh at you or that you’ll be the center of attention cause you can seem to EVER get into first position. I have tested the waters with a few classes and can tell you, from personal experience, that this is 95% of the time not the case. Adult beginner classes are just that- BEGINNER. Even if you don’t know a plié from a piqué, it’s unlikely that anyone will judge you for it. You’re there to learn and build these skills just like everyone else. From my experience it’s just been an hour of laughing and commiserating because no one is perfect! We all have our “looking silly” moments, and you know what… it’s ok that it’s funny because it’s fun!

2. I have no idea what studio is the best fit. This one has the easiest solution: try them all! Many studios offer the first class for free or allow you to come watch for free. If you’re concerned with fit of the style of class and the instructor, it’s always a very good idea to check it out. Sometimes you’ll love it, sometimes you won’t but HEY! it was a free ballet class and that never sucks!

3. I’m nervous about the other people in the class being WAY better than me, judging me, or being cliquey. This one is a little similar to the first but not quite the same. This was a big concern for me for my first few classes. I’d arrive early, sitting in the lobby stretching and no one would talk to me. It was a weird feeling to be on the outside. I’d look around and see some women in their 40’s talking about their daughters’ recitals and having a hard time stretching. Then I’d see a 16 year old who could not possibly be in my class (just look at her with her perfect ballet bun in the front splits reading a school book!). Then I see a 60 year old woman with her leg stretched over her head in the corner. I am like absolutely none of these ladies. How on earth do I belong here?! Let me tell you how we ALL belong here- we love ballet. After class begins each time, any sort of social barrier gets left at the door and we all have a great time focusing on our technique, stretching together, and joking around. Moral of this story is: you may meet some friends at ballet, but if you don’t that is OK too. You’re there for dance and in the end that is what will unite you!

4. I don’t have time! This is something that I still struggle with when it comes to ballet. I find myself tempted after a busy week and when I know that I have lots of homework to skip ballet (whether at home, using a video, or in a studio). We’re all busy but it’s really important to make time to take care of your mind and body and ballet is great for me to do both. I fought myself for hours last week whether or not I was going to go to class. I was grumpy the whole way there. But about 10 minutes into class, I forgot about being busy and just enjoyed moving. So, if ballet is for you then make time! Even if its just 30 minutes at home or an hour of class a week. On occasion if I’m particularly busy or if I’m traveling, I just squeeze in a 15 min Ballet Beautiful workout along with some stretching.

Hopefully that covers some of the fears some of you may be having about starting a ballet class or about being in one. If there are any other things you can think of, I’d love to hear them in the comments and we can talk about them as well! I’d also love to hear any ideas about what you’d like to hear about from the beginner perspective, I’m open to it all! Again I apologize for the lack luster post due to my being sick, but I promise I’ll make it up to you with that DIY barre post when I’m better.


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A Photoless Race Recap: Strides for Stroke 5k

Yup, I forgot to take a single picture. HQ and I ran our first 5k race this Sunday, the Strides for Stroke 5k in Philly.

Well, other than this screen shot of my nike + data.

Well, no pictures other than this screen shot of my nike + data.

HQ agreed to run with me at my turtle-like speed of 12:30 per mile and we did the entire race together. We ran most of it, only slowing down for a few water breaks and when my tummy wasn’t super happy (ugh, it was like that all weekend)–but we got it done. While it was cool to run on an empty Martin Luther King Drive, the slope of the pavement was rough on my shins.

 

My official time was 38:29. I’m already looking at another possible 5k for the end of the month–but the heat was really tough to deal with already at 8:30 in the morning.

This upcoming week HQ and I have tried to plan out our training a little bit more (thank you, Temple University for still letting me have access to the gym this summer) to include some cross training and some indoor running (on an indoor track) to help us beat the heat and this miserable rain. Running outdoors on the track during the summer just isn’t my thing (I still plan on getting some outdoor runs including our weekly long runs). I hope we can fit in a swim either Wednesday or Friday too. Ballet will hopefully happen Saturday morning (Thursday I’ve got friends possibly visiting and Philadelphia Runner’s Urban Scramble)–but I’m also heading home for birthday weekend so it’ll depend on my schedule.

What does your week look like?