Angelic Paranoia

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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars September wrap-up
Saturday 30th September 2017 7:43 pm

This month I tried morris dancing. I chose clog morris, partly because I liked the way it looked, partly because I liked the red in their outfits and partly because it was on a convenient evening. I really enjoyed it.

They only actually had two practices this month and I made it to one of them. Right at the start we learnt the polka step. Which looks easy when you see it, and I thought it was just a case of tapping one foot on the other side of the other (ie your right foot on the left of your left foot). But it turns out there's also two hops per step. And you're supposed to be getting your knees up. Which I found really hard when my legs already ached from ballet the night before. But I did manage to polka at a reasonable speed on the spot and going forwards. But completely failed to do it in any other direction - and we learnt a dance where you had to do it in every other direction (except sideways).

But I liked that it was hard. I had been thinking it might not stand up in the comparison to ballet, which is hard because there is so much to think about all at once. If all you have to remember is where you're going it's really easy in comparison. But I was thinking about where I was going and what I was doing with my feet and what I was doing with my arms.

I learnt one dance with sticks - they have two small sticks. The real ones have bells and ribbons on the ends and if I had one of those I'd have definitely hit myself in the head. On the plus side, holding those up was fine because it was never for as long as I've had to hold my arms out in ballet. I say I learnt a dance, I did have to be reminded of what I was doing, and my polkaing involved extra effort because I felt like I needed to add hops in order to move in the direction I should be moving in. But no one hit each other (with our bodies or our sticks).

I did also start another dance with what's called a sling. For practice these are basically just lengths of rope. That you then hit yourself with. Partly on purpose: at one point you have to put them over your shoulder and the only way to do that is to hit yourself in the back with them. And partly because I wasn't holding them high enough above my head to avoid hitting myself in the head. But I usually accidentally hit myself with things on a regular basis, so it all felt normal.

At least as a beginner we'd do a bit of a dance, then watch the non-beginners run through a dance, while we got a rest. Which we really needed by then. While watching one, someone told me she goes to the gym in order to be fit enough to dance, which I can believe. Especially when I watched one that involved polkaing all the way through.

The other thing that surprised me was all the general club stuff that went on. It's just the same as any club, and reminded me of fencing, which is the most recent place I've seen it. I realised I've missed that a bit, because ballet is classes and choir is set up a different way. The AGM notes reminded me more of Rotary and the sort of politics that goes on in any club.

I intend to go back. I'm not sure how well it will fit in going out three nights a week and when work gets busy in November/December. But at least it's something where it doesn't matter if you don't go every week. I just need to sort myself out a decent pair of trainers, because it turns out I've got really used to a sprung dance floor, and a school hard is really solid in comparison.

I'm going to give it 10 out of 10.


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Back to ballet
Wednesday 5th March 2014 10:02 pm

I finally made it to ballet last week, after not having been for the previous six classes (which actually spanned three months). Last week we had a new teacher and lots of new people, so it was all very slow. Which was just as well because three months was long enough for me to have forgotten a lot.

And then tonight was still fairly slow. We did a step that I've hardly done before and I could never get, but I finally got it tonight. I didn't think the teacher saying "pretend the floor is hot" would help, but for some reason it did. It was a really good feeling to finally be doing it and not just going through the motions in vaguely the right direction.

However, we did do a lot of going up and down on tiptoes and a lot of stuff holding onto the barre and moving one leg, therefore make the one you're standing on ache. And holding your arm out. Walking out of there afterwards to the car park involved my slow walking and made me wish I could have walked home because pressing the clutch down basically involves going on tiptoe with your leg stretched (I can't move the seat closer or I hit my knees on the bit of dashboard below the steering wheel). Basically, I hurt.


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New ballet term
Thursday 27th January 2011 9:13 pm

The new ballet term started last week, so tonight was the second class. It's such a different experience from last term when I had no idea what I was doing and gradually got the hang of it and then it was the end of term. This term there's a few of us from last term and lots of new people. It's strange having twice the number of people I was used to before.

But it's also really strange feeling like I know what I'm doing. I don't completely, but everything is either the same as last term or similar enough that I understand it relatively easy. It makes it all a lot easier, so I can concentrate on doing it right, not just vaguely doing the right thing at the right time. Not that I always manage that anyway, but.

The next thing will be remembering to look up and put my shoulders down, but perhaps that will be next term.


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Summary of my life
Wednesday 25th August 2010 8:50 pm

I keep thinking I should update, but then I have nothing to say. I feel like my life has nothing going on it at the moment. Or at least nothing interesting. Which I've just realised is a terrible lead in to this post, which is a summary of what I'm up to... Read more...


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