#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 (3)

#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

#HairIssues…


Yep, hair. Hair is actually a bigger deal to dancers/performers than we give it/them credit for. I mean, sometimes it can be good: hair down can enhance the style and feel routines (Commercial Jazz and Lyrical being a couple of the main ones). EVERYONE loves a bit of hairography  😉  But no matter what you’re doing – there are always hair issues. 

The ‘Boring’ Hair Cut:
So this isn’t so much of an issue anymore. Anyone who knows me can probably tell by the state of my mane that being able to control my hair is a thing of the past. I was at the hairdressers the other day, the first time back with my old salon and old stylist in five years. And it reminded me of the countless times I went in for the same boring hair cut. It couldn’t be so long it was out of control. But it couldn’t be too short that it couldn’t – here it is, the big one, are you ready for it? – get it into a ballet bun. I’m sure there are plenty of girls out there, young and old who’ve sat in the chair and had this discussion. If your hairdresser cut your hair too short to fit into a bun…
God help her when your Mum found out.
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Escape Artist Hair Grip:
Go on. How many of you dancers out there have been mid dance and felt a grip starting to wriggle it’s way out of your perfectly styled up do. A few seconds later you hear that unmistakable metallic ping as it hits the floor. You spend the rest of the routine trying to guess where it might be so you don’t step on it. And once you finish dancing, spend the next 30 seconds squinting at the floor trying to find it…

The Hair Whip:
It’s happened to us all. Getting whipped in the eye by your ponytail as you pirouette/chainés across the room. And wow does it sting.

Rehearsal Hair:
You leave the house looking fab. You rock up to rehearsals. You go crazy with the choreo, give it your all, have a great time. All is well. Until you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror or reflection in a window. Wow. Hello frizzy mane. What was the point in doing anything with you? I could’ve walked through a hedge backwards and look better than this…

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Sticky Crispy Hair:
Yes. Show hair. Whether you have straight hair or curly hair, you fall victim. If you have straight hair, you add some curls to give it a bit of oomph on stage. If you have curly hair, you need to keep an eye on the oomph so it doesn’t go from ‘nicely volumised’ to ‘crazy frizzy cat lady’ (the latter HAS crept up on me a couple of times in the past…)
And the answer? Hairspray. To hold the curls in the silky smooth straight hair, you need half a can of hairspray. To control the frizz, you need half a can of hairspray. Which is fine. It works. But then you get home and touch your hair…wow. A sticky, matted, crispy mess. Looked great on stage. Not so much in the bathroom mirror.
Then you have the ‘to wash or not to wash’ dilemma. If you wash it, you wash the yuckiness out and are set to go with fresh hair for the next day – until you cover it in hairspray again for the show. If you don’t wash it, it’s already full of product and prepped for the next night (yay!) – but then you have to go through the day with a sticky matted mess on top of your head.

After all these years of shows, I’ve still not come up with a show-week-hair-game-plan. And I’m actually slightly disappointed in myself. I’m organisation Queen. I colour coordinate running orders with costume info, quick change info, timings of each scene and how long between each change. I have separate paper pads at home for different genres of my work. Everything in my life is organised. My DVDs are arranged, in categories, then in alphabetical order for goodness sake. And I still have no system for show hair. Tut tut. 

There will always be hair dramas. But for now, I’m leaving it there. You never know, if you’re lucky there might be a #HairIssuesPart2 some time in the future  😉
If you’ve got any hair nightmares you want to share, feel free to drop me a comment below! Until next time… 

Stay sassy. And try some hairography. I promise it’ll help warm you up in this cold weather.

Lynette x