Last performance with Backhausdance!
Today I had the day off from dancing but I had to teach for five hours in the morning… yay? It was nice to have a little break from dancing but also weird because I’ve kind of gotten used to dancing every day. I went to the theater around 6pm and got ready for warm up. Before we started, Amanda, the company member who set the piece on us gave us all these little lego people with random parts and props. They are SO random but completely awesome at the same time. After warm up, Tawny, another company member, reminded us that today is a different day and that we shouldn’t compare last night’s performance to tonight’s. I loved this because I know I sometimes compare my performances and sometimes they are amazing while other times they are just ok or good. It just reminded me that it’s ok if one performance is different from the previous one and that you always want to give the audience a different experience.
I was really excited for the show not only because it was the last time I got to perform the piece but I also had my family and friends come. The performance felt good but not as good as last night so I tried to remind myself that it is ok that I didn’t try to recreate last night’s performance. I was really excited for my friends and family to see me perform because it’s been over a year since I’ve danced in a show. I am SO thankful for this wonderful experience getting to meet so many people and to dance all day. It was such an inspiring two weeks and I have definitely been reminded of why I love dance!
My awesome robot-cop lego woman that likes to drink on the job :)
Thanks Amanda! She’s SO awesome!
BD day 10- Last day of dancing :(
The day has finally come. Today is the last day of the intensive. Sad face. This has been a wonderful two weeks and I have definitely been inspired by all of the beautiful dancing that I’ve seen. I’m going to miss getting to dance with everyone and getting to take class for eight hours everyday. But I am so thankful that I have been able to dance at this intensive and I have a lot of amazing memories.
The day started off with pilates with Jenn and as always, class was really good. I love that I got to start off each day with pilates this week because it was like my pre-class work out. I liked the class because it was low intensity but I was able to strengthen and engage all of my core muscles. I really enjoyed Jenn’s classes this week and I’m going to miss taking pilates everyday.
Next, we had modern with Jenny and everyone at the intensive took class together. It was a little crowded having that many people take class together but it was also nice because it was our last actual dance class of the intensive. I love that I have gotten to know so many people during the last two weeks and take class with them all day. Even though I was super tired and sore and there were so many people, I enjoyed my last class with Jenny.
After lunch, we had a dance injury and prevention lecture with Dr. Jack Giangiulio. I really liked the lecture because we got to hear from an actual doctor what dancers are supposed to do to prevent injuries and what to do when we have to dance with an injury. Something interesting that I learned was that we are supposed to drink half of our body weight in ounces of water a day. And that’s just if we do absolutely nothing during the day! I definitely need to be drinking more water especially if I’m dancing. I loved that we had this lecture, I just wish we had this at the beginning of the intensive so that we could have used this information from the start of the intensive. But now I will hopefully use everything I learned to prevent any future injuries!
Next, we had rehearsal in the studio for a little while to run different sections of the the piece and then we headed over to the Waltmar Theater for tech rehearsal. We ran through all of the pieces and I got to watch the other two pieces. It is so amazing that we all learned 10-15 minutes pieces in only nine days and now we were about to perform them onstage. Each piece is so diverse and unique so I think the show will be entertaining. I haven’t seen the company’s piece yet but I can’t wait to see it tonight!
We all had company class onstage and it was really cool to have everyone together and to feel each other’s energy. One of my favorite parts of performing is warming up and getting ready for the show with everyone. This is something that I miss from Cal State Long Beach so it was nice to be onstage with everyone again. After warm up, we finished getting ready and prepared for the show!!
Something interesting that I have never done before was we got to warm up and practice while the audience took their seats. The company calls this the “ooh and ah moment”. It was cool because the audience got a chance to look at how dancers warm up and prepare for a show. Jenny came onstage to talk about the intensive and the different pieces before she sent us offstage. My piece opened the show and I can’t even describe how amazing it felt! I had so much fun running and sliding on stage and I felt like we were all connected with one another.
At intermission, I went to sit with my friend John and we watched the second half of the show. The company performed sections of their piece, Duets, and Jenny and Jeremy (Executive Director of the company) discussed her creative process. Once we had seen a few different sections and heard Jenny deconstruct the piece, the dancers performed the entire piece. I loved everything about the piece from the choreography, the dancers, costumes and music. It was just really nice to see the company perform after taking class from them for two weeks and to see them in their element. I really enjoyed the show and thought that all of the dancers did a fabulous job! Now there’s only one show left!!
BD day 9- I don’t want this to end!!!
Pilates was really good today. The sequencing of the movement along with breathing has become a little bit easier each day. This means that I’m able to push myself by lowering my legs a little bit or engaging my abs more because I don’t have to think about the sequence of the exercise. My favorite part of class was at the end when we did what I think Jenn called constructive rest or what I call mini-nap time :) It was 5 glorious minutes of laying on our backs, with our muscles relaxed and focusing just on breathing in and out. It was really relaxing and for a moment I think I fell asleep!
Next, was jazz with Amanda and we finished the combo that we started the other day. I felt really good in class today because when we were performing in small groups I didn’t care who was watching me or if I messed up. Normally, I get really nervous when we perform in class because I’m scared to mess up (perfectionist) and I don’t know what people will think of me (super self-conscious) but today I didn’t really care. It was such a nice feeling to just dance and not care about being perfect. I felt good performing the combo so I didn’t really care if people watched me or not or what they thought of me.
After class was lunch and the cross-training discussion with Jenn, which I missed because I had to buy food for lunch. By the way, if you are ever at the Orange circle you should stop by Two’s Company. They have really delicious sandwiches!
After lunch we had modern with Jenny and class was SO good. Again we continued working on and adding to everything we have done in class and I feel like I’m really understanding all of the imagery she gives us and can apply it right away. I thanked her at the end of class and told her that I just feel really good in her class. Tomorrow we will be combined with everyone at the intensive which should be difficult space-wise because there are so many people but it will be nice to see how differently everyone moves.
Next, was partnering Omar and Liane but I only took 15 minutes of class because my piece had tech rehearsal in the theater half way through class. So I still had to do the crazy, hard warm up that we did on Tuesday but I didn’t have to attempt the combo that I can’t do!! It would have been nice to work on all of the lifts that I didn’t understand but it was even better to give my body a little rest before we rehearsed on stage.
We took a ten minute walk from the dance studio to the theater and changed into our costumes. We ran through the piece a few times and worked on the spacing before we went back to the studio for some notes. The stage floor is so much more slippery than the studio floor which is kind of scary but it makes all of the sliding that we do so much easier and it’s REALLY fun. It’s so crazy that we learned this piece in less than two weeks and now we’re actually going to be performing it on stage tomorrow. I’m really excited for the show and I hope the audience enjoys it! I can’t believe that the two weeks are almost over and I don’t want this to end!!
BD day 8- There’s really only 2 days left?…
I’m posting this a day late because I was really tired yesterday. Or just too lazy to write about my day. You can decide which excuse sounds better :)
The first class of the day was pilates with Jenn and again it was a really good class. I feel like I’m starting to understand the sequencing of each exercise more which means it’s even harder because I’m trying to do it correctly. We’ve been focusing on our breath a lot this week and it’s interesting how difficult breathing can become when you are consciously thinking of inhaling and exhaling. I’ve found that I have a really hard time coordinating my breath to the movement that I’m doing, especially when I’m trying to engage by abs.
After pilates, we had modern with Jenny and we continued working and adding on to everything that we worked on yesterday. It was nice to work on the same material so that we will know it better and become more natural in our bodies but we added new movement and different ways to think about moving which made it different and challenging.
Next, we had lunch and then ballet with Dale. I think I mentioned this in an earlier post but I hate having ballet right after lunch. I don’t like that after eating for an hour I have to go to class and do some grand battements (or grand bought-mas for you non-dance folk!) At least we don’t have to wear leotards or tights in class or else I would feel AND look like a whale in a leotard! I’m being entirely too dramatic and know that I don’t look like a whale, but I feel like a whale. Or maybe a baby seal :) Anyways, class was really good today and I enjoyed taking class from Dale.
The last class of the day was the Limon workshop Jenn and it was a fun class. I tried to apply some of the different things that we talked about on Monday like breath and weight into some of my other classes and I feel like it really helped. We did some vocalization during one of our exercises to help us breath and it funny because we made these hahahaha sounds that made me laugh.
After class, we had rehearsal and we finished the piece!! Hopefully I’ll be able to make it through the entire piece once we actually run the whole thing because we’ve mostly been running small sections of the piece. Tomorrow we have tech on stage and then the show is on Friday! I can’t believe it’s almost here!!
BD day 7- ouch!
Man, today was rough! We started off with pilates and I have really been loving Jenn’s class. After taking her class this week, I’ve been considering getting my pilates certification. I’ve thought about getting certified before but I wasn’t 100% sure it was something I wanted to do. But her classes have been really great and I think I would love to teach pilates. After pilates, we had jazz with Amanda and we learned a new combo to “Someone Like You” by Adele. The dance was slower and much more lyrical than last week’s combo which was nice because I’m a fan of contemporary lyrical.
After class, we had lunch and there was a discussion about bouncing back from dance injuries with Liane. It was interesting to hear how she dealt with some of her injuries and the different ways to cross-train and take care of our bodies. I know that injuries are common in dance but it’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one who gets injured and that you can overcome those injuries. One of the things I remember that Liane said was that when she couldn’t dance she still kept her mind active, creative and inspired by reading a lot and seeing dance concerts.
Next, we had modern with Jenny and I LOVED her class! Her class is one of the first classes I’ve taken in a really long time where I just felt good dancing. I loved the different ideas she had of how to move and I felt like I really understood and could actually do what she was saying. I’m really excited to have her for the rest of the week especially because she wasn’t at the intensive last week.
The last class of the day was partnering with Omar, who used to be a member of the company and Liane. OH-EM-GHEE!!! This class was super hard but so much fun at the same time. Last week’s partnering class was more of an intro class to prepare us for the craziness of this week’s class but it was so much tougher. The warm up was really fun because we went across the floor with our partners but after awhile my quads were killing me. The combo we learned was also way more intense than last weeks combo but it was a really good challenge. I’m not really used to partnering or lifting so it was difficult for me especially because I was lifting my partner who was taller than me and also a boy. We couldn’t quite get the combo but we will get to work on it again on Thursday.
After class, we had rehearsal and we are almost finished with less than a minute left. I can’t believe that we learned a ten minute piece in less than two weeks and will be performing it this weekend!! This piece is so much fun to dance even though it’s tiring and I can’t wait to perform it on stage!
BD day 6- Week 2? Bring. It. On!
I had a lovely two days off from full time dancing even though I taught for five hours Saturday morning, but it was nice to have some time off to let my body rest and recover. And it definitely helped because today I wasn’t as sore as I was last week! This week I’ll be starting every morning with Jenn for pilates and today’s class was really good. I loved Jenn’s class because I could really feel each muscle working and engaging without feeling like I had to force through it. Next we had improv with Cyrus and everyone taking the intensive combined into one giant class. There were definitely challenges with having so many people in one room and also having different levels of improvisational skills but that’s what also made class really interesting. Sometimes I even enjoy watching improv than actually doing it myself.
After lunch we had ballet and there is nothing I’d rather do than ballet right after I’ve eaten for an hour. Haha anyways, we had contemporary ballet with with Dale Merrill who teaches at Chapman and I really enjoyed his class. For the past four or five years I have only two ballet teachers so it was really refreshing to have a different teacher who has a very different style than I’m used to. Plus, I love contemporary ballet in general so it was nice to have a contemporary ballet class.
Next, we had a Jose Limon class taught by Jenn and I think it’s the first Limon class that I have ever taken. We talked briefly about weight, breath, opposition, succession and suspension. (There might be more things we talked about but I don’t remember…) It was a really interested class and I’m excited to learn more about it the rest of this week.
Last of all was rehearsal which was a little nerve-wracking because Jenny came and watched the beginning of the piece. Everything went well and she had a lot of good comments for us to make the piece even better. I was just really nervous because it is her choreography that we have been working on and I didn’t want to mess up or disappoint her. It was really cool that she came to watch our rehearsal because we got a little taste of what it’s like to be in a company. We are finishing the piece tomorrow and then we’ll have three days to rehearse before the show. I can’t believe the show is only in four more days!!!
BD day 5- I survived week one!
I can’t believe I actually made it through over 30 hours of dancing this week! It has been such a long, tiring and painful week but it’s also been really amazing. Everyone was really, really sore by the end of the week so instead of floor barre we had a tennis ball class with Kim. We used tennis balls and our body weight to relieve tension in specific muscles. Basically, it’s one very painful but much need massage. Next, we had improv with Cyrus who was one of my professors at Cal State Long Beach. It was a really great class and just reminded me of how much I love improv.
After class, we had lunch and then our last modern class with Andrew. His class has definitely been a challenge this past week but I love that he has pushed us all to think differently about how we move our bodies. Then, we had rehearsal where we almost finished our nine minute piece. We have about one minute left to learn and then we’ll have most of next week to clean and rehearse before the show. At the end of rehearsal, we had a small showing to see what everyone has been working on. That was the first time we had done our piece all the way through and man is it tiring!
Next week there will be a few new teachers including Jenny, who is the founder and artistic director of the company. I’m really excited for next week and getting to perform onstage again. I hope I can make it through week two!!
BD day 4- It’s almost Friday!!
Today was rough. My body is so sore and achey and I went to bed late last night so I was tired. But other than that, the day was pretty good. I am so completely amazed that I have been able to dance so much this week. I don’t think I’ve ever danced this much in my life but even though the days are long and challenging, I’m stilling loving every minute of it. I’m already dreading going back to “real life” and not getting to dance every day. But I feel like I’m getting back to the point where I need dance in my life. This past year I lost that passion (so cliche) or drive to really pursue dance as a career and now I think I’ve found it again and I feel way more ready than I was a year ago. Maybe not even more ready but more comfortable with taking risks and going after the things I want to do.
Here is today’s schedule:
9:30am-10:30am Floor Barre with Kim
10:30am-12:00pm Modern with Andrew
12:00pm-1:00pm Lunch! [Preparing & navigating the professional world disscussion with Tawny]
1:00pm-2:30pm Ballet with Kim
2:30pm-3:30pm Composition with Tawny
3:30pm-5:00pm Deconstructed Rehearsal (We only have 2 minutes left in the piece!)
missyshazam asked: I am glad it was "long"... It wasn't really long, though, Meggie. Thank you for sharing! It's so great to read this :)
Yay! I’m glad that you like it! I just posted today’s entry :)