#DancerProbs Part II

Something a little different for you today…

Back when I was just dabbling with blogging a couple of years ago, I posted ‘#DancerProbs Part I’ – a post with my first 5 problems that dancers encounter in everyday life. And with so many #dancerprobs out there, it seemed only right to do another post…this may even turn into a little series, you never know! And shout out to Graham Hebron for the images – they’re a couple of years old now, but he wanted a dancer project in his portfolio and I had a studio so… 🙊

6. Choreographing to Every Song On Your Phone

The best time to create is when you’re NOT TRYING to plan something, so often for me that happens when I’m out on a walk. Or driving to work. The latter is much more annoying – has anyone else tried voguing whilst driving on winding country roads? Don’t. 🙈

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7. Bad pirouette days

It’s totally a thing. I don’t know why, but it is! Sometimes you just can’t turn well, regardless of the amount of effort you put into your technique , or the amount of times you try to correct/alter what you’re doing. And it can be INFURIATING! 

8. Dancing Down Supermarket Aisles

I have to say I haven’t found myself doing it as much recently, perhaps because I’m the sensible one in our relationship and have to keep Ed in check when HE skips down the aisles, salad bag and shower gel swinging in hand. I did it a lot when I was at college though. And often, I wasn’t alone, it was an entire group effort – yes, sometimes we got in people’s way or our trollies accidentally collided – but I’m sure a bit of entertainment by the frozen veg is exactly what the people of Sidcup wanted, right? 😂 

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Photo Credit: Bob McLennan
One of the few images of Ed and I together on stage in Rock of Ages last year 🤘🏻❤️

9. Waking Up With Mysterious bruises 

Again, less common for me now – I teach more therefore I dance less, so any bruises I DO get, I have a pretty good idea where they come from. But back in the day, you’ll wake up to bruises on strange parts of your body with no idea where they came from. The most juicy, recent bruise I had (a few months back now) was on the shoulder…and I wasn’t the only one. Sorry gals. Bring your pillows next time we try shoulder freezes 😂

10. Relaxing Your Smile When You Turn Away From the Audience

It makes me feel bad, but sometimes it’s necessary! If you’ve never tried smiling for a long period of time, try it. It’s painful! On stage, after months of grueling rehearsals the pain in your face can be a good distraction from the pain in your arms or quads or calves perhaps, especially when your cheeks start shaking from being fixed in that position for so long. But that doesn’t mean it’s pleasant! I don’t like dropping character on stage, even if I AM facing the backdrop, but if it’s between that and getting facial twitches (they happen if it’s fixed for too long) mid kick line…

Stay tuned, there’ll be more dancer probs posts to come, as well as some ‘new home’ and wedding planning posts!

Lynette x

Update…


It’s a Thursday morning, I’m lying in bed coz I can’t be bothered to get up yet. Thursday is my Sunday (I work Friday to Tuesday now) so I’m going to spend as much of it being lazy as I can; in a bid to breathe, and prepare for the official start to my Summer Term tomorrow. 

In my New Years post, I said I wanted to get more efficient with my blogging because I’d slipped. And here I am, almost 4 months later, having not written a single one.

In all fairness, I had no idea at the time how little free time I would have, and therefore, no time TO blog.

Work got crazy, (yes I had a show and an exam session to contend with which were big stresses), but the amount of work I was doing was a struggle. I had no time to myself, no time to see family, and I started to get ill. That’s when enough is enough, however much you don’t want to let people down. And I guess that’s what this post is about.

I’ve never been the kind of person to say yes to everything just to please people – I was known at uni for being the boring one who never went out. And I can live with that, I was there to train, and knowing going out would have an impact on that, I didn’t. Simple. I don’t regret it.

I like to believe that I’ve always been a strong person when making my own decisions (apart from when asked what I want for tea or what I want to watch on telly)! But before recently, I’ve never had to apply that mentality to work. And it’s really hard.

I want to work and learn as much as I can and look to those with greater experience for inspiration. But I couldn’t spend my entire life working and sleeping. That’s why I moved away from London.

I made a change, however guilty I felt for doing it, but I’m in such a better place now, mentally and physically. I’m glad that I found more strength.

And on top of that, I got engaged! 

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To THE most incredible human being I might add. Now I get to wedding plan (which is SO FUN, anyone who knows me knows how ridiculously organised I am – if teaching goes out the window, I know where to head for a new job). Which whilst it’s not entirely easy going (it’s SO time consuming and I had no idea how much there was to do till I wrote out my checklist), it gives me a release from work and has turned into my off switch. Not to mention it’s so bloody exciting! Can someone please tell me why I’m adulting when I still feel 18?  😂

Life is funny. 

It can be crap. It can be wonderful. It can be challenging. It can suck.

It can be tough, heart breaking, soul wrenching, cruel.

It can also be rewarding, inspiring, hysterical, full of love.

In the past couple of months especially, I’ve taken more of a back seat, a look at the bigger picture. Life can be so many things, but we’ve SO got to make the most of it, and do what makes us happy.

And that, is where I leave you. Grab life by the horns, and do what makes you happy.

Loves,

Lynette x

The New Year Post: 2018


We managed to get through the random limbo week between Christmas and New Year, and 2018 is here!

An excellent time for reflection, to take count of what you have, what you’ve accomplished, and also maybe what you haven’t accomplished yet.

Lynette-Dance-55Credit: Graham Hebron Photography

I said it last year, but I don’t like to make resolutions. They feel very formal and easily breakable – perhaps we set ourselves too big a challenge, expect too much from ourselves in a short period of time. I’m no expert, I’m just going on personal experience. Instead, I like to decide upon something I’d like to try to alter slightly…

12 months ago, I said I wanted to spend less of my time on social media, especially as I use it for work. And dyou know what, I’m quite proud of myself, because I managed to do that. I’m not saying I stayed off it completely, not at all. But I spent less of my free time mindlessly scrolling.

This year, I want to keep that up, plus I have a new ‘want’.

To say I’m a dancer/dance teacher with a Musical Theatre degree – I’m shocking at going to see shows. In 2017, I think I only went to the theatre 5 or 6 times, 3 of which happened in December, and one show I saw twice! (Obviously I’m not counting being in the theatre for work). That’s pretty bad. It’s a tricky one to be honest with you, because of work having such anti social hours – particularly for theatre visits! But I really want to make the effort to see more. Because I love it. And if I love it, I need to do it, right?

IMG_8677Image captured during Queen and Adam Lambert’s gig at Leeds First Direct Arena, December 2017

The other thing is just to make sure I find time for myself. This job can become incredibly consuming if you let it, which I did for a section of last year – it was near impossible to find free time, and I felt a little suffocated. I’ve been better in the last couple of months, and I will always commit 110% to whatever I’m doing at the time. I just think it’s so important to allow yourself the down time – learn when to say yes or no. And that yes or no can be applied either to work, social life or activities. None of us want to let people down, it’s just learning (for the sake of our own sanity), when we need to take the day off from running round like a headless chicken, and sit down by ourselves with a book and a cuppa. OR, when we need to say yes; to allow someone or something the ability to distract us and let our minds chill out for a while!

I was incredibly lucky to have the best year of my life. I got myself a couple of new jobs and classes that I love, I got to work with new, amazingly talented people, I made friends with some genuinely good souls, I learned to drive, passed my test and got a car, and I got the guy. My best friend of 8 years and the most incredible person. On reflection of 2017, I can’t recall a time I was this happy.

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I wish you all the very best for 2018, and I’ll do my best to keep my blog up to date – I know I’ve been terrible recently at keeping a flow going. I’m now up to 6 days of work per week so I don’t know how I’ll be fixed for free time to dedicate to this…but I’ll try 😊

Lynette x

Meet Lonny…


Welcome back! Today we meet the guy who guides us (cast and audience) through the show…

20197026_10155682640888013_671798806_nName:
Ed Leigh

Character name:
Lonny Barnett

Tell me a bit about your character:
He’s the ‘narrator’ of the show…kind of. He’s Dennis’ right hand man, eccentric and over the top. Rarely serious, always crazy. Oh, and every now and again he sings a bit.

Favourite song in the show and why:
‘Heaven/More Than Words’ – because I think it’s just epic. It’s like eating *insert well known and popular pizza brand here* but for your ears.20182659_10155685145148013_1289005225_n
Favourite dance move in the show:
The ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ Chumbawumba Hump.

Most embarrassing moment ever on stage:
Panto years ago, I ran on from one side of the stage, tripped just as I came out, and slid across the front of the stage on my stomach like a penguin – straight into the other wing. The audience thought it was all planned… Only the cast knew better. 😐

Favourite pastime out of theatre:
Playing either tennis or badminton, or going full nerd and playing some video games.

Why you should come and see HSAP’s RoA:
Because we have a sexy Rock God in cowboy boots and I get chased around the stage with my trousers down by a man holding cans of whipped cream. These reasons are also being used as a pre-warning for my family when they see it (Sorry Mum).

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Told you there were some funny stories worth waiting around for 😂 Next week, we meet the Rock to Ed’s Roll… (see what I did there) 😉

Lynette x

 

CLICK HERE for tickets or visit Harrogate Theatre’s Box Office.18582257_10155461926093013_446088381823386521_n

Aches & Pains…


I sit writing this in a random wonky position on the sofa that relieves pressure on my back, with a heat pack wrapped round my neck and ice on my knees. Yep. HSAP rehearsals have officially started and the opening number of Rock of Ages is set! Absolutely LOVING life, it’s my fave show and completely my style of dance, I guess I just wasn’t expecting as many head bangs and knee slides. Within the first half hour I turned round to Roxx and said ‘my neck’s gone’, and had to be careful for the rest of the rehearsal (‘: So I’ll be spending the rest of the day at 2 miles an hour, thank god it’s my day off. At least now we know for next time what body parts need warming up…

45b56f48This image of ‘Mean Girls’ Regina George is totally appropriate for how I feel right now

I’m not gonna lie though, despite the fact I’m struggling with life today, I HAVE missed this feeling. I still dance as a teacher obviously, but not as full on or as intensely as I did when I was training. 2 1/2 hours last night of full out feeling was the first time in 8 months, and whilst it’s not nice to feel so broken, it’s a confirmation of hard work. The same as when you ache the day after the gym; it’s not totally pleasant but you embrace it because you know you’ve worked your body hard and made changes. I’ve missed it.

I’m trying to think now whether there’s any specific story I can tell you from training about a particularly bad experience, but I can’t. There were plenty of equally sore ones. I was lucky enough to never have to sit out or take time off because of injury – in 4 years I’m not sure how I managed that, I feel quite lucky, but the aches and pains were still there. 

From experience, the worst is probably your neck. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, you’re guaranteed not to be able to do it properly. Today, my example is my water. Ordinarily, I’d just turn my head to the left to see where it is and pick it up (I’m sure you’re all familiar with how to pick up a glass). I’m having to turn my whole body to find it, then doing a hinge kind of back bend to drink because I can’t tilt my head. To quote one of my bezzies from Bird, ‘woe is me!’ :’) I’m just glad there’s no one around to laugh.FullSizeRender (1)

It’s a wet rainy day so I’m going to wallow in sore-ness, keep icing and heating and get the foam roller out when I find the energy to move from the sofa. Thank god rehearsal tonight is just a singing call. A shout-out to my gorgeous fellow cast members for such a SICK rehearsal last night – we can take it in turns passing round the heat packs tonight!

image1 (1)First (part) cast photo mid-run of ‘Just Like Paradise’
OMG I just sneezed. That was NOT a good idea, my body’s screaming at me now 😂

Lynette x

The Heat is On…


Good day and happy Bank Holiday to you all! HOW is it that we find ourselves at yet another Bank Holiday Monday? So soon? If I were the Bank Holiday creator, I’d spread them out through the year – the first Monday at Easter is lovely, but now…does anyone else feel like it’s more of a pain than a treat? Spread them out, give us one in October/November when we’re struggling with the weather and need a helping hand to get us to Christmas (‘:

ANYWAY, my intention wasn’t to be negative. After all, how GLORIOUS has this weather been?! Particularly the last couple of days when it hasn’t been as hot. I don’t like the heat, I never have, particularly when training. And particularly when you’re doing a show – FLASHBACK to July 2014 and Bird College’s Summer Show, when I was in second year. Every day it was over 30 degrees and we had cast members fainting and being sick at the side of the stage. Teachers were coming round to our dressing rooms every half an hour with wet paper towels that had been in the freezer for us to put on the backs of our necks – every single person was looked after, the staff were incredible – but whilst I adore show time, that show week was one of the worst – all because of the heat!

img_0800‘Edward Scissor Hands’ Ballet from Bird College’s ‘Wonderlands’, Summer Show 2014
Photo (and partner!) credit: Oliver John Bylett

Last week we decided to officially start our summer and headed out to Carriage’s Beer Garden in Knaresborough. I’d never been, but was so happy to be introduced to it! The garden sits on a slight hill, on the way down to the station, but hidden from view from the road and covered in flowers and greenery. It was about 6:00pm, the sun wasn’t quite going down, but lower in the sky, and there was the most amazing vibe there – do you know what I mean if I say, it just had that ‘summer’ feeling? Chilled, happy, carefree? That was the vibe. I’m already looking forward to a summer of those evenings. 

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Having said all this – the RAIN on Saturday afternoon…?! :O I’ve never seen rain like it – and it happened JUST as we were driving back from Wetherby. It fell so fast that there was no where for it to drain away, so the puddles were DEEP, and unavoidable. Ed observed as we saw a bus heading towards the worst affected section, that the bigger vehicles would probably be okay – but our little smart car did struggle bless it :’) The carpet in front of the gaping living room window wasn’t TOO wet when we got in, it only took a few tea towels to soak it up -_-
Mental note (for both of us) to check the weather forecast when leaving the flat and the window is open. At least we don’t have a washing line… #adultprobs 

Of course, it’s miserable again today – typical. I’m cuddling myself up in the arm chair, reading Harry Potter with the window open (only a bit!) so I can hear the rain 🙂 Happy Bank Holiday!

Lynette x

Celtic Spirit…


Saturday 22nd April saw the return of Studio 3’s biennial show, ‘Celtic Spirit’. This was only the second show (the first was in April 2015), but the plan is in place to perform at the Frazer Theatre every two years. I missed the last show because I was in London training, but now I’m back… you couldn’t keep me away! 

It was a fantastic show. Act 1 loosely based on Michael Flately’s ‘Lord of the Dance’, and Act 2 a selection of other Irish dances the girls have been working on in class. Act 1 I especially enjoyed; I spent my childhood dancing round the living room to ‘Lord of the Dance’ and ‘Riverdance’. My Nan even made me a flamenco costume so that when that piece came on on her VHS, I could prance around the living room in full character. I can’t remember whether that was before or after the dress she made me for my first ever choreography competition in 1999 – because after all of that prancing around, when it came to making up a solo, it HAD to be from Riverdance (refer to Featured Image for Lynette in costume at Dance Krazy 2000). 

Watching the show DID make me a little jealous though. Whilst I had the opportunity to train in so many styles at Bird, Irish wasn’t on of them. So when I moved away in 2011, I waved goodbye to my Riverdance classes and haven’t done one since. Which is really quite sad, because I adored it, it was one of my favourites. And it was always that that got bought out at the school fairs and Knaresborough events. 

I find it very hard these days to go to a professional show and not find something to be critical about. But not Riverdance and Lord of the Dance. If you haven’t seen an Irish show live, I URGE you to get yourself to one. They’re absolutely incredible. I could say, maybe it’s because I had so much admiration for them when I was younger that I can’t find fault…but I don’t think it’s that. They’re such a spectacle for so many reasons, there’s something in those shows for everyone. Thunderstorm (for example) did, and always will, give me goosebumps:

A clip from the 1996 show, filmed at Radio City Music Hall.
(This was the version I had on VHS and grew up to)

Actually, thinking about it, I’m pretty sure my parents have been to more shows than I have! It seems that every year there’s a tour of one of the many Irish shows – and they ALWAYS manage to get tickets (get yourself in touch with Mama P, she clearly has the inside scoop). It’s been years since I last got to see one – I should probably find out how she does it and get myself to the next one! 

Just before I sign off for today, I want to say a massive well done to all the girls involved in Celtic Spirit, you were all fab. And Viv, of course – yet another fantastic show.

Lynette x

#DancerProbs Part I


There are so many, you can’t put them all into one post. Hence the title, ‘Part I’… there will be many more to come in the future (‘:

Before I delve in, I’m going to explain what a ‘Dancer Problem’ is. When you take dancing seriously, it becomes a massive part of your life, and even when you’re not in the studio training, you can’t escape it. Sometimes a ‘problem’ is something big that you’re aware that you’re doing. Sometimes it’s something small that you don’t notice you do until someone else brings it up. Here we go. Maybe examples will make more sense…

1. Daydreaming about choreography. It can happen wherever you are, at any time of the day or night – especially when you’re listening to music. Sat on the sofa, chilling in the bath (sometimes literally if it’s that long the water gets cold), walking to work, out shopping, sat in the car… Sometimes you daydream about a piece you’ve been learning and working on in class, sometimes it’s choreographing in your head. I’m pretty sure my eyes must glaze over – but it makes time pass quickly if you’re bored!

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2. Finishing a pirouette on perfect balance and no one seeing it. When you finish a perfect double or triple, facing the front, on balance, holding your position for a couple of seconds – it’s such a feeling of accomplishment, feeling that strength and technique there. It doesn’t always happen, which is why it’s so exciting when it does! I remember back in my college days, if this happened when you were practicing individually, you’d turn around quickly to see if anyone saw. BECAUSE we all understood what an achievement it was, even if someone was stood at the other side of the room, they’d yell at you ‘I SAW THAT!’. And of course, you return the favour too if you see it. It just sucks when it happens and no one sees so you have no proof (‘:

3. You can’t get into jeans without dancing. First thing – doing multiple grande plies to stretch them out. Second thing – doing the highest jumps you can as you yank on the belt loops to pull them up. That’s on the rare occasion you’re actually wearing jeans and not dance wear…

4. Your body is never happy with temperature of the studio. It’s either freezing cold or boiling hot. There’s rarely a happy medium. And at this time of year, with the weather unable to make up it’s mind – it can be too hot one day, and too cold the next!

 

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Bird College 2014, Year 2 Degree 1 Ladies pre-ballet lesson in the ice box

5. Clicking and cracking around ‘muggles’. (In this context, muggles are non-dance folk). You need to click and crack various parts of your body multiple times a day. Those who know you, are used to it. But if you do it around people who don’t expect it, you can get some REALLY funny looks. These vary from confusion to utter disgust (‘:

I’m gonna leave it there for today. Feel free to comment if you’ve experienced some of these, or let me know if there’s some #dancerprobs of your own that you want me to include in my next instalment – ‘#DancerProbs Part II’!

Until next time…

Lynette x

Hoppy Easter…


So I was under the impression that Easter weekend was gonna be warm. Hottest days of the year so far… I think someone was telling porkies! I’m not a fan of the heat, but I just had an idea in my head of walking down on Waterside without my coat on and grabbing a milkshake. Not needing a brolly and a cuppa (‘:

I’ve never been a big celebrator of Easter, I’m not religious and neither are my family, so it’s never been an important time. Having SAID that, now I’m grown up, I do miss the Easter egg hunts Dad used to plan for me and my brother. The amount of time he must’ve put in to all those cryptic clues each year…it was greatly appreciated, thankyou Daddy Pickering (‘: Pretty sure the best Easter egg I ever got was when Willy Wonka had loads of treats in the shops. Does anyone remember those? I know ‘Nerds’ are still around these days, but there used to be chocolate as well… and the egg I got was green and cube shaped and tasted of white chocolate and raspberry. It was amazing. Cadbury Cream Eggs are overrated 😉 Especially this year, has anyone had them with the new recipe? #disappointed


So, it’s not particularly ‘special’, but I DO happen to have a week off so I’m quite enjoying it this year! You know when you just need a bit of time for yourself and time to breathe? I’ve mentioned it before I’m sure, but it’s very hard with this job to switch off. Now I have proper time off, I can actually have time to chill out without getting distracted!
Having said that, I DID just upload a new video edit to YouTube… but they were from my Easter Workshops last week so I wanted to get it up there for the girls (and mums!) to have a look at. Here it is if you’re curious:

I LOVE a bit of Musical Theatre Jazz so having a full day of it with three different groups was so good! Massive well done to all the girls I saw, we went HARD, it was intense, but you gave me so much energy and enthusiasm. I just wish we’d had more time so we could’ve done a bit more! Watch this space, this won’t be the last 😉

If there’s anything that any of you girls particularly enjoyed, or if there’s something you’d like to give a go next time, just let me know! I already have some ideas of my own, but I aim to please and want to give you the experience you may not otherwise get 🙂
Hope you had a lovely Easter weekend gorgeous people, only a couple weeks till the next Bank Holiday 😉

Lynette x

Dance Mums Appreciation…


It’s Mother’s Day! So it seems fitting to take this opportunity to have a reminisce and a ‘praise the lord’ for our Dance Mums and Studio 3 Red T-Shirt ladies – and to take a moment to appreciate what they do for us:

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~ The amount of time spent ferrying us to and from classes, rehearsals, shows, workshops and events over the years – and all the time spent WAITING in each place for us to start/finish.

~ The aching hands from twisting our hair neatly (and quickly!) into various hairstyles for shows and exams. Sometimes in a matter of seconds at the side of the stage.

~ The tolerance they build up for hearing the same track/tracks over and over again as we practice for an upcoming show/exam/competition.

~ The countless hours spent darning our pointe shoes when we’re young.

~ The expense… it ain’t a cheap hobby! 

~ The shoulder to cry on when you’ve had a bad day/rehearsal and you just need to vent your frustrations. 

~ The full length shows she sits through, just to watch you in one number. 

~ The 500 mile round trips to drive you to summer schools/auditions. IMG_1871.JPG

(A special one for my Mama P) 
~ Being organisation Queen and keeping me in check and on track when I’m in a panic and flapping about a quick change or misplaced shoe.

Despite all that – the fact that we get to spend so much time with our mums is amazing. To all the Mums out there, including my own – we love you. We really do, and we appreciate everything you do for us, even if we don’t tell you all the time. We’re sorry for any time we’ve lost our temper with you on show day, and promise as soon as we’re old enough, we’ll sew our elastic and ribbons on ourselves. We’d be lost without you. And of course, thankyou to all the Dance Dads and Dance Grandparents too! You are EQUALLY as wonderful (but the mums got the bigger shout out coz its their day today). 🙂

Happy Mother’s Day!

Lynette x