Thanks for the death grip

The classes I attend, most are in a class room with portable barres. So If one happens to rely the barre to much for support, it tends to start to migrate. Also the classes are usually packed so that we have students on both sides of the barre.
Portable barre (pic reference)

So if U are on the other side of the barre, and a fellow student with a death grip is on the other, it can happen that your barre is being pulled away from you. Really a big problem when doing grande battements. 'Cos some may have the tendency to use the barre as a way to rev up their battement. I know, I am probably guilty for it too. But not anymore, thanks to my friend with the death grip. At least not so much. A friend like that does wonders for your core muscles! And for your supporting leg. In fact, I therefore propose that everybody should have a friend like that!


First Pirouette en Pointe for Eva!

I did it! My first pirouette on pointe! It was terrifying! I wasn't sure I would make alive, but I did! Haa haa!

We started from the fifth and did pique pirouettes. U could just to step on pointe and bring the other leg to passee, if the piroutte was too intimidating. Which it was for start. But the I just thought to try it. And I did and it wasn't so hard that I had imagined to be. I'm sure it was far from elegant and graceful, but it was a legit turn on pointe with the other leg on passee. And I didn't even break my ankles. At all.

Afterward I was all like
From giphy.com
...without the firewood of course. Why would I have those in ballet class, duh!


Starting ballet as an adult

Found an article about starting ballet as an adult. You can read it here. If you know Finnish that is. If you don't you can always try your  luck with the google translator. That ought to be fun.

Basically its about three journalists trying adult ballet for the first time, and their comments after the very first class. They found ballet to be challenging and harder than what it looks like. Yes I can relate.

Pic reference

After I saw that article, I came across some of other material on the subject too. Here  (in English) are some pointers to consider before going to your first class. Could have been useful before my fist class, I guess. Or you can do like I did,  just sign up and show up. And figure the rest out as you go. Over thinking it won't help you either.


So simple, but so hard

This fall I started a short course en pointe technique. Before I have done some short exercises en pointe on my regular classes. Usually 10-15 min at the end of the class.

The pointe class in on Friday, after a regular class of 1,5h, and lasts for an hour. So that's 2,5 hours of ballet on a Friday evening. Pretty exhausting I might say. We do first some basic warm up series on the barre with the pointe shoes on, plies, tendues and so on with some stretches included. After that it's time to do some rolling warm ups for the ankles like in the video below. We do these from the sixth, first, second, fourth and from the fifth position (the last two for both sides, naturally).

Then some small jumps and stuff: echappes, jetes, pas de bourrées etc. At this point some do these in the center, but I stick to the barre. Maybe I'll cough up the courage to these without the safety net, the barre, some day. Hopefully. And finally some center exercises that include bourrée for one. I like the bourrée, it's simple yet hard at the same time. It's very en pointeyi, so I you can fool yourself in to believing that it's dancing what you are doing. Gah.

My pointe shoes for now
Bloch Sonata 3 1/2 C


Pain, ache and some woe, part 2

So what's up with my right leg? I have been seeing my physiotherapist this fall, total of five times I think. I had, sadly, the last appointment week before last. The right sole is much better now, but still walking and standing irritates it. So I'm not all in the clear yet.

The FT concluded that the main issue was not plantar fasciitis, but that I had had a tenosynovitis in the tendon that flexes the big toe in the spring when this all started, a year and a half ago. And that had left the tendon immobilized and that in turn cramped up the hole sole including the plantar fascia.

In my appointments with the FT, he worked the problematic tendon, getting it loose again. He also worked on Achilles tendon and the IT band related muscles, because they were cramped up too.

IT band and related muscles (pic reference)
I've had had problems in the past with the outer head (greater trochanter) of the femur being sort of  rubbed by something, a tendon or what'sit. The friction occurs when I walk, and can be felt if hand is placed on the outer head of the bone. The area can get sore, if I continue walking in spite the rubbing. This happens only in the right leg, never has it been on the left. So I have concluded that my right leg in whole, is second rate product. I have made a complaint to the factory about it, but my mom has not been compliant so far. I don't remember having these issues back then in the spring 2013. But I have had those issues this fall again.
The femur (pic reference)

my spikey
Though plantar fasciitis was not the main cause of my pain, I found some of the remedies for it useful in my case also. This video shows a very effective stretching and massaging for the plantar fascia. I have also used icing on the sole after exercise or stretching. I have been rolling a tennis ball under my foot a lot. Also I have used spikey massage ball and a soda bottle frozen with water for rolling.

And then there is the Strassburg sock.  I usually put the sock on when I go to bed and take it of at some point in the night. So I don't have on the whole night, maybe 2-4 hours, depending how well I sleep. Before my first appointment whit the FT, I had it on the whole night, and boy was I happy, when he said I could stop using it ('cause it did not help so much). I took the sock back in my routines after my very last appointment whit the FT, and it seems to help keep the sole in check. Or has no effect what so ever, who knows... But I am reluctant to find out what it would be like not using it.

Strassburg sock. (pic reference)
This post had very little to do with ballet, I have trouble staying on point U see. Will do a post about the stretching and rolling the outer thigh area later, for I have been doing a lot of work with that too this fall. And the fascia surrounding muscles in general. That too will have little to do with ballet too, I think.

This post is solely based on my experience, what I have found useful in my case. I'm not advising anyone to do as I do, for I'm not an expert on the matter. Though most of these things can be found also in several plantar fasciitis sites on the net. 


Adult beginner has a Give-Away

Adult beginner has a Give-Away. It is worldwide so go there and enter. Now. 

Photo from Adult beginners blog.
I do recommend her blog to anyone interested in this adult ballet genre. I love it :)


Walk like ballet dancer

So I've seeing this  physiotherapist who's specialized in the lower limb (and back) problems. First time I was there, he made me walk across the room several times and just watched. Felt funny. Didn't really know where to focus my eyes. It's relatively hard to walk as you normally would walk when someone is watching you walk.

He made me do a bunch of other stuff too, I'll get to that later, but after the walking he said that I do walk like a ballet dancer. My first thought was: Oooh, so I glide across the room gracefully just like a fairy on a clearing?

Second thought: maybe that wasn't a compliment...



Pain, ache and some woe

So I´ve suffered from plantar fasciitis since mid summer 2013. At least so it was diagnosed by 2 doctors and a physical therapist back then. The thing got started last year in the spring, when I started running as a hobby. To get fit, U know.

Turned out to bee such a mistake! My right heel and sole got sore, and plantar fasciitis seemed to fit the symptoms. Did I let it stop me from going to ballet classes though? Obviously not. I cut down the amount of walking and standing into minimum. Not easy with a job that is mostly done standing. And having a dog for that matter. But not ballet classes, though I mostly skipped all the little jump series and such that I noticed were not good for the leg.

So the lesson here is that exercising is not good for your health. So stop it. At least if you are me. And its not ballet. Raah, raah :D Just kidding.

But on the more serious note, for the past year I've tried stretching, several different types of exercises for the foot and legs, foam roller, ice treatment, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (aka Burana) and the Strassburg Sock. And a lot of kinesio taping. And they have helped to keep the pain tolerable. Except, that since it been over an year, my head was starting to flip. I was cutting down my life, not going anywhere, because it would end up in with the leg hurting more. Actually ballet was the only thing I would not give up.

The pink tape is my favorite :D
Notice also the woolen sock... And yes this photo was taken in the summer

Few weeks ago I got a referral from a doctor to an other physiotherapist. One who is specialized in the problems of the lower limbs. Thats legs. Duh! Makes sense 'cos I had a leg problem. And things started to unravel... As some might have already guessed my problem wasn't in the plantar fascia. So don't be like me, and wait a year to see if things start to get better. Even if it is generally said that it often takes over an year for plantar fasciitis to heal. Go see an expert. It could something else.

To be continued...


Starting point(e)

So I decided to start a new blog, after spending most of spring and summer not blogging. Splendid idea! And I decided to write it in English. Even better, I'd say!

But I have my reasons. I have wanted to write about ballet from an adult beginner point of view. Have wanted to do so for a while already. And thought that the average knitting/ handicraft blog reader probably wouldn't be so interested in leotards and battements and whathaveU's.

I have taken adult ballet lessons now for some years in a local community college. I took some lessons as a preteen, we just started to take up pointe work, when I quit. Returned to barre in my mid twenties and took one class per week for a bout 4 to 5 years. Then I discovered the ballet blogs in the interned and really got the spark for the stuff. I think I was reading Johannas blog, when I realized I too could take more than one class per week! I really should thank her for that, who knows how long it would have taken me otherwise to get this grand idea. (Yes, it's perfectly ok to roll your eyes at this point, I am!) They don't say that people from Häme are slow for nothing! Ha-ha!

And so about a two years ago I took a second ballet class in my weekly schedule. In a half year I made so much progress that it was almost intoxicating. So naturally it followed that a 3rd class was added to my weekly routine. This fall I also registered for a shorter pointe work course. I have done some pointe work on a unregular base in my current classes, but this one will be the first time I'll be really focusing on it. Can't wait for it to start! I'm both exited and horrified! Super fun combination, right?
Yeah, I wish!!
Picture from here 
So here it beginneth. To the pointe!