Dance-olutions 2013

Intention has been set for 2013! Let’s see how the universe pulls through on this one. It’s done remarkably well on those I set in 2011 and 2012 and hopefully will keep sending fuel for those, as well!

Last year’s intention to reverse my career’s downward spiral worked fabulously. With a bit of patience I landed in a great workplace. I’m in a department full of fun people who have been incredibly welcoming, managed by a boss who gives a great balance of autonomy and support, working with people in other parts of the organization who challenge me (in good ways) and seem genuinely appreciative of my work. I’d love to eventually explore other options in the organization, but for now I’m happy to see where the coming year takes me in my existing job… it promises to bring some interesting learning opportunities! Hurrah!

And of course my original intention I set once I decided resolutions were for the birds was that of getting more dance in my life and I am still reaping the rewards of that one, hopefully to continue in 2013.

Of course, intentions are helped by action, and I’ve been thinking about what actions I want to take to keep my dancing life vibrant. No matter how much one loves dance, after a while it can begin to feel a bit stagnant. I’ve been suffering from that feeling lately and I need to shake things up a bit in order to progress and keep it fun!

Number one on the list — cross training

Since I returned to ballet a little over two years ago I’ve really not done anything non-dance related in terms of exercise. I’ve considered the hip-hop and lyrical classes as my “cross-training” which counts in some ways (it’s certainly a different type of movement and engages other muscles). I guess I kind of decided that if I wanted to get better at ballet, the best thing to do was more ballet. And I made progress. But I’ve hit a plateau and realize I might need to do some work outside the studio in order to build the strength and flexibility I desire.

Over the holiday break boredom prompted me to dig out some of my dusty kundalini yoga DVDs. The after-effects were different than those I felt with dance. My abs were sore in different places, I felt it in my shoulders and back, and even the inner thighs. I felt more centered and balanced and thought, gee, I wonder if making this a more regular part of my routine might actually help with some of the things I’ve been struggling with in ballet… finding my core in turns, improving flexibility in my hips and getting a better turnout range, building the strength to extend higher.

Similarly, I’d be interested to see what other cross-training I could add in to my schedule. I’ve taken basic pilates before… a little TOO basic… but I liked it nonetheless and would love to get some of that into my schedule. I’ve heard of gyrotonics and would love to try that. Et cetera. I’m going to keep my eyes open to see if there are any classes I might be able to take either through the little gym at work or the local Y or whatnot.

Along with non-dance classes, I’m resolving to take more dance classes… elsewhere. This is kind of a tough one, because there’s a part of you that feels going somewhere else is like cheating on your spouse. Let’s face it, you’re pretty much looking to see if there is greener grass in some other studio. But realistically, just as your strength and flexibility plateaus at some point, your learning curve plateaus, as well. For the first year or so back to ballet I was relearning so much of what I had known previously, digging knowledge out of the recesses of my brain and convincing my body to do it. Then the year after that was focusing on improvement of that stuff. And there’s still plenty of improvement that can be made. But you begin to learn the patterns of the instructors and sometimes… I hate to say it… you begin to zone out. Everything becomes routine and you start to coast. Sometimes a little bad attitude starts to creep in. Sometimes you just don’t feel excited at the prospect of going to class.

And that’s when you need to shake it up a little.

The other part of this ties back to the whole job thing above. I’m no longer marooned in no-man’s-land… 4 or 5 days a week I’m commuting to this place that has tons of options for adult dance students. I’ve been saying since I started this job that “one of these days” I’m going to take advantage of my proximity to these studios. But day in and day out I find some reason not to. Fancy-pants ballet school’s classes are “too late.” Others are the next town over and it seems like such a hassle to have to switch trains or (gasp!) take a bus. Basically it’s just a combination of laziness and the fear of trying something new. Which is dumb. No more dumb. I don’t have to commit to being a regular student at any of these places, but maybe I’ll set a goal of a class a month somewhere other than my own studio and see where that takes me.

So that’s my 2013 dance plan. Nothing crazy or revolutionary, but hopefully enough to keep me feeling inspired.

Would love to read what your dance plans are for the year… and if you didn’t happen to see it, check out my New Year’s giveaway!

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