Back in my dancing shoes!
When I was in high school, I kept this quote in the front of my assignment books To remind me to dream high, love the moment, and stay true to my musical theater roots.
I love it.
Like in yoga, however, you can’t let go to the flow (or as my friend Katelyn at Beerasana.com says “you can’t flow your own way”) unless you first know the basic poses. Unless you first have the strength, the flexibility, and endurance, you cannot expand and dance freely.
After a two year absence from real dance (I used to teach Zumba Fitness and found that, despite loving Zumba, my passions are not so focused on mainly Latin Music), I came back to my roots this weekend.
A work-out combining ballet, modern dance, yoga, and pilates.
What’s not to like?
So on Saturday morning, along with some other lovely Tampa Bay Bloggers, I headed to my first class at Above the Barre Fitness
Demi-plies, full plies, shoulder work with light weights, core work with a small ball, leg stretches at the barre–it all took me back to the warm-ups I had in ballet and other dance classes. The difference? The entire 60 minute fitness class is ENTIRELY those warm-ups. I forgot how much plies work those calves! And I’m pretty sure I had the best abs of my life when I took a lot of dance. Despite all my yoga, I definitely could feel my abs a burnin’ on Saturday! (And, in the yoga way, knew not to go past my limit!)
The shoulder warm-ups reminded me of some dance moves I used to do in Jazz classes. Only the additional weights? Whew, those shoulder rolls just got a lot harder. I’m not gonna lie, I switched to the lighter weights. Don’t ever forget to listen to your body!
And there was a fair amount of yoga, especially with regards to stretching. I got teased (lovingly) for being a yoga “show-off. I think I need to have people photograph me in poses more often, though, because I am amazed by how you can see my scoliosis c-curve (due to my slightly crooked pelvis) in this variation of reclined pigeon.
Thanks for the photo Raffi! 🙂
Also, never fear, the core involved yoga poses too! I always hate practicing fore-arm plank. I swear, when I am at my house I *cheat* and never hold it as long as I know I should. I was always petrified of my dance teachers growing up and, even though Maria was not the least bit mean (She was super duper nice!), I still JUMPED to attention. I guess I have my ballet Sylvia to thank back when I was six years old! (She was SCARRRRRRRRRYYYYYYYY.) But, moral of the story, I held that fore-arm plank for dear life. Check out my intensity face, below:
And doesn’t Katie have a super duper cute Lululemon headband?
Thankfully, however, the intensity face didn’t last for long. (And thanks to my yogic breathing, my jaw didn’t tense up!) We all had a ball and were ready to rock when class was finished. Check out the “after” photo:
The verdict? A lot of fun. I felt like I was able to work my toesies and calves in a way I sometimes forget in my yoga practices, and the core emphasis did wonders for my back. I’ll be back to the Barre again soon! (And Tampa Bay friends, who will join me? First class is free!)
|Here I am post-class with the instructor Maria!
My only regret? As a former dancer, I couldn’t help wishing that after the 60 minute workout we got to dance across the floor! Guess I’ll have to find my own adult dance class to take the moves to the next level. Hopefully my little town has some kind of modern or jazz class for adults! My girlfriend talked about pole dancing the other day, I may have to give that a shot. Or at least do a few zumba classes. But my body feels the need to MOVE and DANCE now! (And isn’t that one of the best ways to get out of your head?!?)
After class, I went home for a modified yoga practice on my own (I felt I needed to stretch out those calves a bit more) and I did a creative movement based meditation–a throw-back to acting school. Sometimes, there is nothing like improvisational movement for a set period of time. Talk about a way to get out of your head!! Literally dancing like no one is watching! 😉 I was still dancing as I popped the good ol’ Center Stage movie on the computer while I got ready for a night out. Now if only I can move like this:
Inspiration much? Let’s boogie! A five-six-seven-eight!!!