Sunday, March 6, 2016

Small Update!

I've been so busy lately and it has started to mess with my head. I don't have enough time to myself; the time I do have is spent going from one event to another. Have I mentioned that I'm not the most social person about? I'd rather spend my time reading, dancing, or playing some sort of video game. Or doing something relaxing with the hubs. It's wearing on me - and it's why I haven't posted in awhile.

Dance class is the one place that I actually enjoy myself on a weekly basis. Class has been great. In fact, I now am taking one of the pw/prelim classes, and am getting steps that I will eventually use in competition. I am in no means ready for a prelim competition - especially when it comes to hardshoe. My stamina is so poor BUT I do see progress on a monthly basis. Moves I haven't done in years are coming back to me - double clicks, treble sequences, even a toe move that I did eons ago. It's nice! Plus, I'm getting challenged. I absolutely love all the ladies in the adult class, and I will miss seeing them every week.

This time last year, I could barely make it through half of a reel step. I was always out of breath and generally out of shape. This year, I can feel my calf muscles when I point my toes. I can make it up 3 flights of stairs to my apartment without being winded (at all!). I've actually lost (and maintained) weight. 

There's so much more to say, but it is getting late. Have a good week!

Goals: Continue doing those calf raises, stretch 4x a week, eventually take 2 classes a week. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

2015 - My Year in Review - Part 2

July: July brought a summer &over ceili class that I was dying to do. I love the fellowship that comes with a ceili, and this class looked to be the perfect way back in. There was only one problem: the class started at 5:30, only 30 minutes after I get off work. Even if I left 15 minutes early, there was no guarantee I could get there with the traffic that plagues my area. Despite my best efforts, I was only able to get to 2 of the 8 classes, which really bummed me out. Had I been able to take ceili class the entire summer, my stamina would have vastly improved by the time September rolled around. Alas, it was not meant to be.

July and August also brought an adult class where I learned most of the steps I do today. During these months I started gaining more strength back, and was able to string more steps together when I danced. In August, a dance friend and I tried the 30 day stretching challenge, My flexibility was increased.

September through December brought the biggest changes to my dancing. I lost more weight, gained more flexibility and stamina. I could get through two hardshoe and softshoe steps at a time. I even began to put some flair into my softshoe dances! Especially reel. I began thinking about competing again - sometime in spring of 2016. My biggest obstacles were, and still are, my dance mentality and the fact that I can't fit into my dress. While my husband supports my competing, a $2K solo dress just isn't in the budget. My old solo (which is only about 4 years old) would be perfect for a pw/beginning prelim dancer. If I lose another 10 lbs, I should be able to fit into my old one.

My dancing mentality is a bigger issue, something that will need constant tuning up. If I am consistently able to notice the small victories, such as fine tuning steps or ending a hornpipe with stamina in tact, I will start believing in myself more. Right?

At my class last week, my teacher said that I am good to make the leap into kids classes again. I know I've taken them before, but I'm just SO damn nervous about that first class. It'll be a new teacher and new set of faces. I'm worried about being able to keep up, stamina wise. Even as a teen I had issues learning steps during class - I always had to ask for extra help after. Now, while I will ask for help, I'm terrified I'll look like an idiot doing so. Like I don't belong in that class. UGH.

I've done it before - being able to do it now should be a breeze. But I keep overthinking it and questioning if I'm good enough. Maybe I could start with a stepping stone - a novice class to get my feet wet with my current teacher. Harder, but I won't throw myself into something I feel I'll embarrass myself at. IDK. I think I'll ask my teacher at class next week.

Friday, January 8, 2016

2015 - A Review in Life & Dance

I've been seeing these all over tumblr, so I figured I'll post mine here and reblog over there. That way I can save and nitpick at this post for as long as I want.

2015 was an interesting year - not full of extensive changes but many little ones over the course of the twelve months that amounted to a different lifestyle by the end of the year. In fact, I have only spent the last 7 months back in a regular dance class

January through April/Part 1 of Phase 1: I was slowly coming to the conclusion that I needed to have a more active lifestyle. I had a job I enjoyed, we were doing decently financially, and I was sick of my only regular social activity almost always involving drinking. This wasn't a nightly or even weekly thing, but it happened enough for me to be frustrated by it. I like being social and drinking, but I like physical activity even more. I was also at a weight I did not like.

At some point during January I had discovered my friend Dani's dance tumblr - and through it many other people's. I loved it - still do. The video clips posted on there really motivated me to try and find a class in my area that would suit my needs. I talked to another friend, Kim, and she recommended Southern to me. In April, I decided to call the phone number on Southern's website to get more info on classes, what I could take, how far I could go, etc. I went to a trial class the week after worlds ended and absolutely loved it - the atmosphere, the classes, the teachers. Enter Part 2 of Phase 1.

April/May/June - Part 2 of Phase 1: My first class back after a) not dancing in nearly 4 years, b) very little steady physical activity for 4 years, and c) definitely not putting hardshoes on in those 4 years went relatively well. I tried out two different classes, the first of which was doing a treble jig drill day. Pretty sure I lasted all of 5 minutes of drilling through the entire class - but my passion was back. While this class made me feel how out of shape I was, it also made me realize that, despite my age, I still had a knack for picking up steps. My hardshoe SUCKED, and still does, but I could still get the rhythm of everything. I later went to the adult/teen class and decided to start there, as the tempo was much slower.

The classes that followed were fairly uneventful, excepting that I was very slowly gaining muscle/muscle memory back. I was toning up. My stamina improved - from only being able to follow along during class, to being able to a half step at a time, to doing a full step, right and left, in time and to the music (I can now do 2 steps without being too winded - YES). Might not seem like much, but the day I was able to do a full step without stopping, and without being extremely winded, felt absolutely divine. I was grinning ear to ear when I told my husband - and was thrilled for the rest of the week.

Part 2 - Tomorrow! Or maybe next week - I can't tell yet.