Here is the almost inevitable New Year Resolution post…
I’m usually quite good at keeping Resolutions (last year’s was to complete an Olympic Triathlon), and although starting Ballet would have been a cracking resolution, I’ve jumped the gun on that one! So instead, most of my resolutions will be Ballet related, helping me move forward in my classes. So here we go:
1. Keep on taking Ballet classes: Although I’ve got a couple of weeks off over the Winter break, I aim to try and regain and keep the momentum I had in my classes before Christmas. I’m looking to keep with my two mid-week classes at Princeton and three Saturday classes at The Joffrey School. This is going to mean 6.5hrs of Ballet a week which I’m really looking forward to – and if I can fit another class in my schedule/budget then even better!
2. Perform: One thing I would like to do, if possible, is to perform. When I was watching The Nutcracker being performed by both of my schools I realised that I would really like to be on a stage dancing. I realise that I am still a complete beginner, but the Princeton Ballet School are putting on a Spring production of Coppelia I’m hoping to be involved in. The only issue is, because I’m in Ballet 101, I can only be a Super (non-dancing extra) and I don’t know if I can afford $200 to just stand there (I could take an awful lot of extra classes with that money!). I’m going to ask my teacher if I could possibly audition to dance the Czarda with the Ballet 201 students (and actually dance), so I’ll have to wait and see.
3. Maintain body, and improve body image: I’ve mentioned before about my issues with my body, and I’m happy to report that a combination of healthy diet and lots of Ballet has helped me lose some weight and become happier with my body. I want to keep working on this – maintaining the weight I am now, but ‘shaping’ my body a little: I’ve still got a little weight to shift around my waist and want to build up my back and shoulders a little. On top of this I want to keep working on accepting my body and becoming proud of it. I’ll even try and go to the beach without a shirt on this year! (and that’ll be a first…)
4. Use mirrors more: On a related note to resolution number 3, I plan to try to use the mirrors in my schools’ studios more. When I started Ballet I could hardly stand to look in the mirror, especially to really look at my body. Now I am getting more comfortable with my body and I am finding I can use mirrors more – they really are a useful thing to improve technique. There is sometimes a huge difference to what I think I look like and what I actually do (‘you mean my leg really wasn’t at 120 degrees?!?’).
5. Watch as much dance as I can: This is going to be an easy one to keep! First off, I have 5 tickets to see New York City Ballet and am planning on getting as many student rush tickets as I can (as well as tickets to ABT). Also the great TenduTV is releasing more dance on iTunes so I can download performances and watch them on my computer or on the go on my iPad. Add to that the fact that my NetFlix queue has at least 30 Ballet/Dance DVDs at the top of the queue (currently I’m watching the Balanchine Choreography DVDs) and 2011 is going to be dance-packed!
6. Blog more!: Again, this will hopefully be an easy one – I really enjoy blogging, and it seems you lot enjoy reading my posts so I’m going to try and keep up the pace. I was truly honored to reach DanceAdvantage’s Top 20 Dance Blogs of 2010 (and Top 3 Beginner/Student Ballet Blogs) and am using that as a stepping stone for 2011. I was also honored to top 20,000 hits on the blog (a ‘hit’ is a person visiting, possibly more than once, in a 24 hour period – so if you visit on three separate days it would register three hits, but visiting three times in one day would only register once). It’s hard for me to believe that after only three months so many people seem to be reading the blog – I hope you are all finding it interesting!
7. Learn French: So this is pretty tenuously related to Ballet but I’d thought I’d put it in here anyway (to pressure me into doing it when I forget about it halfway through the year!). I’ve been trying to learn French on and off for the last few years (I have some French friends and I’ve always wanted to speak to them in their native tongue) but it keeps stalling. This time I’m determined though! I’ve already got some self-teach books I’ve been working through (and my friends are more than willing to help me), but I’m thinking of maybe giving Rosetta Stone a go. Although it is pretty expensive, I’ve heard fantastic things about it so it might be worth a shot (or a free-trial at least!). And at the end of the day, learning French might make learning Ballet terminology a little easier…
8. Make a major life change: I don’t think if I’ve mentioned this on the blog yet, but come June I’m going to be going through a pretty huge life change. For by then I’ll hopefully have completed my Masters at Rutgers and will be heading back to the UK to complete a PhD in Mathematics. I’m not entirely sure where I’ll be heading yet (applications are being sent as we speak) but I’m pretty excited about this next phase of my life. It’ll take a bit of readjusting to move back to the UK, but you can be sure that I’ll be keeping the Ballet up wherever I end up! I’ve realised these last few months that an hour on the bus to New York is more than worth it for a couple of classes, so I know wherever I end up I can make the effort to get to a Ballet School!
9. Be Happy!: Finally, I’m going to work on being happy! This has been a bit of an issue this last term (one of the reasons I’m heading back to the UK to do my PhD and not staying in the States) but I’m determined to work more at being happy this year. And guess what I’m going use to help me? BALLET! I mean, whenever I go to a class I put all my stress and anxiety behind me and concentrate on the movements, and end up coming out of class feeling relaxed and most certainly happy (if not sometimes a little frustrated at my pirouettes… ). So I’m hoping Ballet will continue to help me through 2011 – as someone I can’t remember famously said “Ballet is better than therapy!”.
So that’s all my New Year’s Resolutions for 2011 – what are yours?
I just want to finish by wishing you all a very Happy New Year, may it bring you much health, wealth and happiness! All of you amazing readers have made the last quarter of 2010 very special and I can’t wait to see what Ballet-related things 2011 brings…
Until next time, keep dancing!