Saggy Butt is the First Symptom of Serious Ballet Withdraw

And I have it big time. I’d tried on my bikini for my Martha’s Vineyard trip in my home mirror, but only viewed myself from the front; didn’t look at my lovely derriere until I got out there. Yikes. Alyssa told me to shut up and wear it to the beach anyway, as she was wearing hers and was suffering from the same problem, except hers was induced by withdraw from 20+ mile marathon-running, power yogalates, gymnastics and hiking all over such places as Bolivia and Egypt. Alyssa is the consummate amateur athlete, making my dainty ballroom dancing look like cheesecake in comparison. Still, we both have injuries and actually reconnected after not seeing each other for many months then serendipitously meeting at a physical therapy center in SoHo. Except, being the far more serious athlete, her injury was a lot more severe: she tore her hamstring in eight different places whilst doing the splits drunk at her birthday party. But good thing that came out of it was hooking up with the ER doctor… I LOVE Alyssa; thanks to her I have an inkling of what it’s like to be a Sex and the City character :) And I love her for gamely trekking out there with me mainly to see Marcelo Gomes‘s first ballet (and David Hallberg perform it) in Stiefel and Stars, even though she’s not a big ballet fan. Thanks for keeping me company and being adventurous, Alyssa :)

The ballet, “Loving,” was beautiful! So sweet and romantic. Someone likened it to Robbins’s “Other Dances” to which I guess it was similar, but with several couples. And, not to be silly, but something about it kind of reminded me of the courting scenes in Martins’s French pastoral “Songs of the Auvergne”- maybe just because the students danced the corps parts. It was urbane, but there was something sweetly innocent and very slightly bucolic. David and Gillian were lovely as the leads — David is always so charming in his dancing. It’s funny reading him on The Winger, where he is just a guy — smart, thoughtful, sophisticated for his age, and somewhat bookish, but just a guy with a guy view of the world, not this princely dancer seemingly from another time. And the costumes, which, according to David, Marcelo designed, were gorgeous! The women and girls wore light summery dresses with haltery tops and flowing, knee-length skirts; Gillian’s top was white — a different color from the rest, and it looked perfect on her. I definitely think he has a future as a choreographer (not to mention fashion designer…)

Alyssa fell completely in love with Ethan, who did nothing more than introduce the school and the program, and apologize for not being able to dance, as he just underwent surgery on both of his knees. Women always fall for that man! I just find it funny that he didn’t even dance and Alyssa, being a normal female, still went for him. I guess it shows that so much of being a performer is personality. I like my favorites for the same reason; I probably just don’t get the appeal of Ethan because he’s straight! (Seriously, my gaydar sucks. Or maybe it’s that I have excellent reverse-gaydar. I met James McGreevey briefly while doing a judicial clerkship in New Jersey and crushed on him so badly; I’m attracted to them before they even know they’re gay…)

Anyway, besides the ballet, we went to the beach, did a lot of touristy things like visit the red cliffs at Gay Head Bluffs and the gingerbread houses in Oak Bluffs, consumed loads of good wine and seafood (me: Pinot Noir — liked it even before Sideways, I swear!, steamed scallops in a bun, wasabi-coated soft-shell crab, and cornbread-crusted cod; Alyssa: Bordeaux and lobster, lobster, and more lobster!), went to several art galleries (Alyssa’s an art history grad student), ate ice cream at Mad Martha’s in Oak Bluffs which our tour guide said is a favorite of Bill and Hillary, and did A LOT of shopping (I bought: a shiny fuscia purse; a tiny ruffly white top to go with this pink and white Betsey Johnson skirt I’ve long been trying to match; two books — one by Styron who once lived on MV about his depression, and one on being an artist by Anna Deveare Smith — at a bookstore owned by this fun, interesting woman who writes about ghost stories and gossip on Oak Bluffs and who’ll be writing a piece on the ballet in the upcoming Martha’s Vineyard Gazette which I will definitely keep my eyes open for; and two photographs, a sketch, and a print at two different galleries. Alyssa bought some wampun jewelry — made from the purplish coloring found inside the shells of clams native to the area, a sweater, an aromatic tea set for her godmother, and three books — one on African art, which is her area of specialization, and two by the writer / bookstore owner.) Here are some pictures of the trip.

Now we are back in NYC and I’m very nervous about all the work I have to do (basically research and write two briefs) before I head down to Florida for the US DanceSport nationals a week from tomorrow. We got back later last night than expected and I was very tired for my lesson tonight with Luis. He could tell, so instead of practicing lifts that could be dangerous when half asleep, he spent a lot of time talking over the choreography and brainstorming about my costume (I wanted a cute ruffly skirt and peasant top; he was thinking more hot pants with red fringe and basically no top — he’s got another thing coming; I don’t do skimpy tops ever but especially not with upside-down lifts…), and hair (he wants me to get extensions for fullness and for me to wear my hair in curlers all night the night before and all day the day of the performance (which is going to go over really well at work, especially if I get any surprise visits from clients’ families…). Ugh. AND, he decided to make some changes to the choreography — after listening to the music again, he felt one of the lifts should go in another spot than where it was. Which sent me into a frenzy. Apparently, he still does not realize that I’M A TOTAL AMATEUR and making any changes to the choreography a mere six weeks before the performance is nothing short of hysteria inducing. I’ve noticed that when I’m not dancing regularly, I get really nervous about my private lessons. It takes me forever to learn choreography, I’m scared of new things (like overhead lifts and dips where I have to support my own weight), and I just can’t move well (he tried to teach me how to shake my knees so fast that my whole body vibrates, and I could not for the life of me do it — it involves simply bending and straightening your knees, albeit at lightening speed…). Well, my hips and left knee are still a bit achy (from the tendonitis and slight meniscus tear, respectively) and my adductor muscle is still sore, but if I’m going to be donning tight ass pants and not have a nervous breakdown over minor changes in my routine, I’m definitely gonna need to go back to Steps

2 Comments

  1. Hi! Thanks for your comment. Funny, I was a prosecutor in cook county for 5 years & clerked for 2 – a total of 7 years burned me out & now I am doing transactional work – mainly RE. Commercial & residential. I grew up taking ballet classes – from age 3 through law school- though never pursued it as anything more than a way to keep fit & the love of dance…… I don’t have time to read your blog now – but will be back to visit when I have a few minutes to spare!

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