Sunday, August 3, 2008

Wrapped Up

Another School of Oregon Ballet Theatre summer course has come to a conclusion. Saturday marked the end of the five-week program, which was one of the most ambitious, interesting, and productive that I've been part of. I taught a wide variety of classes, ranging from level 3B through to the advanced level and on to the adult beginners, and covered everything from technique to pointe to variations and repertoire. The students also had classes in modern dance, jazz, flamenco, yoga, pilates, and seminars about dance history, health and nutrition, stage makeup, and costuming. They even got to spend time in wardrobe making their own dance skirts and shorts!

It was a very gratifying and energizing summer session-- the students' enthusiasm and excitement was contagious and really did help feed my own inspiration to keep working back from my ankle surgery. My progress has generally been moving forward, though not quite at a steady pace. I made huge gains in strength early on but have had setbacks since then and am now a bit further behind where I would like to be. As my physical therapist said, the art of it is being aware enough to push yourself hard enough to make progress while still quitting while you're ahead so as to avoid overdoing it. That's the tricky part, tamping down the excitement at making progress before going too far. I was up to jumping on one foot in class, tentatively, but after a few days of that my ankle was so sore and jammed up that just releve-ing on it was painful again. So we back up a little bit...

I'm back to swimming laps and doing my funny little exercises in the water--- I've noticed some stares at the community center pool-- since I've been told that just being in the water is therapeutic for healing, and it's a great way to reacquaint my ankle with jumping without the full effects of gravity. That, plus daily barre and center work, therabands, balance board, more theraband... it will be thrilling to be able to pare down some exercises soon and just dance more.

I'm heading back east to see my family for a week tomorrow. This is my mini-vacation before coming back here to put the pedal to the metal and make it to the imaginary finish line, which actually the start of the new season. So the "finish" is the "start", but in reality is neither one at all because it's all an ongoing journey. I'll find some new classes to take in New York and will send you updates and things from there.
Happy August!

1 comment:

  1. Gavin, definitely be careful with your workouts. Don't get me wrong, I know you need to work through some of the pain and kinks and stiffness, but as you probably already know it's not good to rush it. I always thoroughly enjoy watching you and am looking forward to seeing you dance this season.

    I know and understand the excitement. I tried jumping yesterday in my TKD class because I had a new brace for my knee. I got really excited because everything felt in place. BUT, I jumped too high and landed hard. I felt a sharp pain all up my leg and knee. That was my painful wakeup call to go easier. My point is our bodies are wonderful at saying, "yoohoo... don't forget me". We just have to listen to them, which can be a challenge now and then.

    I'm really happy though to hear you're getting better. Have a safe and wonderful trip back home to see family.