Olympic Fit: Transcendent Activity

Olympic Fit: Transcendent Activity

42 Hours Into My Teacher Training: Stott Essential series down and now we’re into the fun stuff!! Functional, dynamic stability through a synthesis of challenge, coordination, length, and movement with breath. Killer work out without even realizing it. Sounds nice right? YES! And more than that:
“Contrology [Pilates] is complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit. Through Contrology you first purposefully acquire complete control of your own body and then through proper repetition of its exercises you gradually and progressively acquire that natural rhythm and coordination associated with all your subconscious activities.”
-Joseph Pilates

As any master of dance, sport or fitness knows: physical activity can be a gateway to transcendence. Often called the “zone” or attributed to endorphins, this is another miracle of being human. Believe it and get out there and move your soul!!

Check out how Olympic skier Julia Mancuso uses pilates to train:
http://online.wsj.com/news/article_email/SB10001424052702303519404579353183148488164-lMyQjAxMTA0MDAwNzEwNDcyWj

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The Three Magi: Follow The Star Within

The Three Magi: Follow The Star Within

Inspired by the magic of softly fallen snowflakes today, I would like to wish a peaceful, joyous, and reflective holiday to all! Whatever that means to you, the goal is who you are, not where you go: Follow the star within this Chistmas…

From one of my favorite old school Christmas albums:
The New Troubadours
Festival of Light (Words by David Spangler; Music by Milenko Matanovic)

“This is the festival, the festival of Light,
Sing for the candles burning brightly in our hearts.
Sing for the light of love that guides our destiny.
Sing for the light of life that builds community.

Sing for the wise ones, men and women who
Light up our way with visions that are true.
Sing for the children who are candles of the dawn,
Giving us the promise that our light will carry on.

This is the festival, the festival of Light.
Sing for the love that shall make this world ignite,
Aflame with a beauty that awaits in every heart.
Sing for the will that can make that fire start!

Follow the Light that leads within us to the birth
Of love and harmony and peace for all upon the earth.

We are the festival, we are the Light,
We are the candles burning brightly in the night.”

I can’t lie, also to be enthusiastically celebrated via wine, turkey, potatoes, and Grandma’s cookies for sure:)

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Thoughts From The Barre: Project Performed

Thoughts From The Barre: Project Performed

So bloggers…Snow has fallen, project back in the pointe shoes performed! And here I am in my tiny dressing room, wearing my tiny Snow Queen tutu. My Nutcracker performances swirled onto the Kaye Playhouse stage in New York a couple weeks ago. I must admit I am just now recovered. What an intense relief, immensely cathartic. It was wonderful to be back under the lights with a great group of performers, somehow magical. And these lights were particularly bright. Knock your socks off and knock you right off your leg bright. YES, there were those ever present imperfections, doubts, aches, pains, and why am I doing this when I can’t eat, sleep or stop feeling so keyed up. Let’s face it, I am hardly the world’s most perfect tutu ballerina. But that would make it easy. And is anything easy worth doing anyway? As my favorite trainer Jillian Michaels says, “You have to get uncomfortable, that’s when real change happens.” And I’d like to think I make up for it in artistry and Presence. All in all, it feels worth it for that sense of wonder and accomplishment.

Not to mention, I was surprisingly overwhelmed by pride for my 8 year old angels, who remembered all their choreography AND to smile. They looked at me with such a twinkle in their eyes when they saw me in my tutu, then resolved into giggling hysterics when covered in fog at the beginning of act II. Priceless.

Anyway, just following the path that has presented itself and glad it brought me at least one more opportunity to grow as a performer. Bringing a little joy and beauty into the world this holiday…

“Nature is full of genius, full of the divinity; so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand.”
Henry David Thoreau quotes

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Thoughts From The Barre: Pointes of Preparation

Thoughts From The Barre: Pointes of Preparation

Project back in the pointe shoes in full swing my friends – welcome to the workshop! This finicky foot wear is both a ballerinas best friend and worst enemy. You see, the right shoe can send you on stage as if you had angel’s wings and the wrong shoe makes every step drag through mud. So, as my New York Nutcracker D-Day is rapidly approaching, a frenzy of preparations have begun. For one never knows which pair will be the magic one. The one that fits your foot like a glove and feels just right when you stand on it. The one that lets you balance perfectly as you pirouette. And here we have my arsenal: 8 pairs of Freed of London pointe shoes in varying stages of readiness, otherwise known as $741 in cardboard and glue and 8 hours of sewing. Crazy right? Surely. But worth it in the end. Here’s to hoping there’s a diamond in this heap….

“All the dancer’s gestures are signs of things, and the dance called rational, because it aptly signifies and displays something over and above the pleasure of the senses.”
St. Augustine

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Thought From The Barre: Let’s Get Tutu It

Thought From The Barre: Let's Get Tutu It

Project Back in the Tutu Is under way:
Well folks, it’s that time. My Snow Queen Tutu has arrived. In case you pondered the absence of my posts, it has been on account of getting in shape for the Nutcracker! That’s right, I’m not just back to dancing, I’m back in the tutu. There is nothing more quintessential for a ballerina and therefore full of expectation. Every flaw is evident in the infamous short skirt. It is both thrilling and chilling. So, I approached a fitting in the illusive tulle with some hesitation. It went better than expected! (Considering I haven’t worn a tutu in over a year and a half.) Although, I still have a ways to go. 4 weeks to get these not naturally tutu hams up to snuff. It is a time consuming affair, ballet class, bikram yoga, searching for pointe shoes, sewing of pointe shoes, exercises for the ankles, turning, turning, turning, and let’s not forget the core strengthening! Needless to say, I can’t quite forgive those who were born with perfect tutu legs, but I’ll give them a run for their money in determination any day. So, here’s to Sugar Plums dancing in my head until December 8th. And probably yours too, as I spotted at least 2 holiday commercials today. It’s that time, so let’s get tutu it!!!!

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Dancing Skeletons: Modern Theater

Dancing Skeletons: Modern Theater

Arthur the Pilates skeleton is worn out from his amazing Halloween!

“If you can’t get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you’d best teach it to dance.”
George Bernard Shaw

I had the opportunity to attend a special Halloween performance of immersive theater experience “Sleep No More” last night in Chelsea. I have to admit I was originally skeptical, but this is the theater of the future! Three hours wandering through a warehouse turned into an abandoned hotel, no words, modern Macbeth told through mime, dance, body language. The audience is IN the action. Finally something that can really compete with technology for the younger generation’s attention. I highly recommend it to anyone 20s to 40s. AND much dancing afterwards…skeletons take note…

http://sleepnomorenyc.com

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Unicorn Universal

Unicorn Universal

“Heroes know that things must happen when it is time for them to happen. A quest may not simply be abandoned; unicorns may go unrescued for a long time, but not forever; a happy ending cannot come in the middle of the story.”
Prince Lir from “The Last Unicorn” 1982
(I must admit, still one of my favorite movies)

A universal image, I finally had the chance to see this mystical tapestry at The Cloisters several weeks ago. Even though the unicorn is in captivity, it is still somehow more CAPTIVATING than sad. Perhaps a testament to the need for structure to appreciate beauty? Or order to let us be free…DHARMA: Law in the universal or abstract sense, not limiting but the wind that carries us toward our purpose.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art says:
The seven individual hangings known as “The Unicorn Tapestries,” are among the most beautiful and complex works of art from the late Middle Ages that survive. Luxuriously woven in fine wool and silk with silver and gilded threads, the tapestries vividly depict scenes associated with a hunt for the elusive, magical unicorn.
In “The Unicorn In Captivity” he is tethered to a tree and constrained by a fence, but the chain is not secure and the fence is low enough to leap over: The unicorn could escape if he wished. Clearly, however, his confinement is a happy one…

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