Friday, February 14, 2014

Thursday, February 6, 2014

my SAT experience

I pull into the parking lot; there is a malfunctioning electrical sign with the words "Welcome to Collins Hill High School" sputtering sparks quite unwelcomingly; as if they are warning me to turn back around and go home to my warm bed and quiet novel. As I step out of the car, a blast of icy wind hits me that chills me to the bone. I begin to trek towards the front door. As I enter all I can see are bodies. Some laying down, catching up on sleep, some gossiping with each other, a few couples wrapped in each other's arms exchanging saliva molecules. A gym teacher who looks as if he's never ran the mile in his life steps out and booms: "Admission tickets and photo ID ready. Form a line and check in." After standing in line for eternity and transferring my heavy water bottle to my Kavu pack, I am directed to room 2.120. Not 2.130, and not 1.120, but room 2.120. "Good luck," the overweight gym teacher tosses in my direction as I cross the long hallway. Little does he know that it's only the SAT, not The Hunger Games. I enter the room and take my seat. It's number 11, with my last name hastily scrawled beneath the number on the powder blue sticky note. I take a deep sip of my hazelnut coffee and survey my surroundings. I'm in French class. Romantic paintings and cheesy poems in Francais are posted all around the room; not a single one of the plain prison walls are visible. As the remaining detainees file in and take their seats, I sigh in anticipation; the quiet before the storm. All of the sudden a screechy voice exclaims "Phones off and on the corner of your desks." I finish my Facebook post and comply. When I look up, I see an enormous fat bluebird perched on two skinny legs; or, the moderator of the classroom. When she comes to check my phone for life and sees the previously shattered screen, she wittingly remarks, "Why did you beat up your phone like that?" I shoot her a look of disdain and take another sip of my coffee. Years pass and it's time to take the test. I look at the first question and am elated. "I know this one!" I think as I bubble in my name. Next comes the date, my address, and a series of numbers that will keep track of my scores. But I had just barely scratched the surface of the horrors of the SAT. I open up my answers booklet and there on the page is...nothing. Nothing but tiny blue horizontal lines about a half an inch from each other. I take yet another sip of my coffee with the precision of a neurosurgeon; the last thing I need is for my caffeine to go down the wrong pipe and sputter right back out onto my peers. The topic of the paper was as follows: Can progress be possible without struggle and conflict? I set to work. I begin my paper with a fake statistic about Americans believing in struggle and conflict, make myself prima ballerina, volleyball captain, and president of my student body (none of which without struggle), create a bogus military scenario, and use a metaphor from LOTR to complete my essay. Easy peasy. I advance to the next section: math. Tears begin to brim in my eyes as I remember all of the hair I had pulled out of my head the previous day over the extremely complex equations. But not for long. I take a look at the first question: if x=18 and y=4, what is 2x+4 divided by y? I was taken aback by the complete simplicity of the problem and its resemblance to 8th grade algebra. I crack a smile but quickly hide it to keep from seeming arrogant. Centuries pass and I finish the elementary exam. Next, the aviary educator has us sign a declaration in cursive, of which all of us knew how to emulate-except one boy with mouse brown hair and dark freckles. He continued to antagonize Miss Moderator by asking how every letter in the statement was written in cursive. After about 60 years of waiting for him to finish his statement, my hair begins to gray and I catch the exasperated smile of a tall boy my age and reflect it back to him in a bonding moment of annoyance. The rest of the sections are a blur-but the grammar section I know I had advanced in; because of my assumed family post as Grammar Nazi, I had plenty of practice on the subject. Several more math sections passed and as I mindlessly fiddled with my calculator I could feel the pressure of my fellow test-takers' stress and perspiration. I would have bombed the vocabulary sections if it weren't for my extensive years of studying Latin. But in a single moment my heart was torn in two and pitilessly dropped to the bottom of my stomach; I had bubbled in one of the English portions into the math sections. I hastily scrambled to copy the answers into the correct box, but the detour had taken 10 minutes out of my time for the last math section. As I guesstimated my way to the end of Section 8, the alarm clock rings and bird teacher screeches for us to drop our pencils. I enthusiastically drop my pencil and it rolls off the desk and onto the embarrassing. But there was an encore to my pride. It turns out that another student, two rows ahead of me, had also bubbled in the wrong section and was incapable of handling the situation for himself and inquired of the moderated assistance. The spare time he bought me lent me the opportunity to check my work. Satisfied, I closed my test booklet, took a swig of coffee and smoothed on some Chapstick. The last two sections passed equally as easily and I was out of the room before Miss Bluebird could stop me. After I had made some mindless chatter with the boy I had exchanged sore smiles with, the gargantuan gym teacher splits us apart by booming "The test is over. Exit the building." I'm guessing he was hurrying us so that he could beat the late afternoon McDonald's rush. I sit on a cold, dry bench and freeze to exhaustion until my father's silver beaming Sonata appears over the horizon. As I step into the car, I am overwhelmed by the comforting heat and the Shane Co. commercial buzzing on the radio. I read him my story.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Tales from the Bathtub

okay, so today the little monster in the peacock costume laid a HUGE egg today. all over. everything. after going through a 1/2 pack of wipes and 2 diapers, I decided to stick her in the bathtub. here is our conversation for your enjoyment:

Me: Don't drink that. It's poopy water.

Rosie: *pretends to puke on her Minnie Mouse toy*



Rosie: You are my mommy.

Me: No. I am your sister. Don't tell people that I am your mommy because technically I am old enough to be. Sadly.

Rosie: You funny.

Me: Thanks....

Rosie: People are weird.

Me: You are a people, too.

Rosie: NO I'M THE BAD KING I'M NOT A PEOPLE. You people, Luke people, Sam people, Lilly people, Mommy people, Daddy people. Those people (points to soap bottles). Everybody people.

Me: Except you.

Rosie: No, I'm a people, too. Smokey (our black cat) is the bad king now.

Me: When do I get to be bad king?

Rosie: Some people are scary.

Me: Like Freddy and Jason?

Rosie: Yeah. They have orange hats and sing scary songs. Scary people are scary.

Me: *puts another dollar in the therapy jar* Right..... orange hats? Like sombreros?

Rosie: What do you like?

Me: I li-

Rosie: You like purple.

Me: I do like purple:

Rosie: Sing Never Ever Together.

Me: *begins to sing*

Rosie: MAKE IT STOOOOPPPP. Mommy, you are bad. Bad King. Go sit on the potty.

Me: okay 1) I am not your Mommy and 2) No. I'm the freakin' Bad King. I don't take orders from peasants.

Rosie: Read Sneetches on the Beaches.

Me: Fine. *reads Dr. Suess' The Sneetches and other Stories*

Rosie: Who is Jason?

Me: Ask Dad.

Rosie: My fingers are pruny. My toes pruny. My belly pruny. My fat cheeks are pruny. (proceeds to denounce every body part as pruny)

Me: Yep. You're pruny alright.

Rosie: Put more water in.

Me: No.

Rosie: Paint my nails.

Me: No.

Rosie: Go away.

Me: No.

Rosie: Bring me a snack.

Me: No.

Rosie: Get me out.

Me: Okay. *wraps her in a towel and takes her to her room*

Rosie: Becca, you are a boy.

Me: No, I'm not a boy.

Rosie: Fine, you are a fat doggie.

Me: ...thanks... 

Rosie: *starts sobbing*

Me: What's wrong??


Me: I'm not going to eat you.....

Rosie: *stops crying and smiles*


Rosie: Boys can't eat Rosies

Me: Yes they can.

Rosie: Check it, bro.

Me: What did you just say?

Rosie: SEE YA SUCKAA *takes off naked* I'M A NAKEY NUT!

Me: aye aye aye

Rosie: *comes back* Becca will you Pirate Hair (side ponytail) on me?

Me: After we get your clothes on.

Rosie: Can I wear my babing suit?

Me: No.

Rosie: I'm hungry.

Me: Why don't you eat.... THE COLD HARD GROUND *pretends to piledrive her*

Rosie: *laughing uncontrollably*

Me: *carries her upsidedown to the bathroom*

Rosie: *immediately grabs hairspray and a nearby razor and pretends to shave* HEY LOOK I'M DADDY!

Me: Let's not.... *puts stuff away*

Rosie: You are a bad Bad King. I Bad King now. You are Mufasa.

Me: Okay. Hold still!

Rosie: *commences in Gangnam Style dance*

Me: How do you know how to do that?

Rosie: How do dogs breathe?

Me: Touche...

Rosie: How you do ballet?

Me: Magic.

Rosie: You are a Bad King.

Me: Yes! Go fetch the coach, poor insignificant peasant!

Rosie: HAHA you funny.

Me: Thanks, girlfriend.

Rosie: I love you.

Me: I love you, too.

Rosie: You look like Mother Gothel.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Importance of Dance

     For thousands of years, dance has been considered a classic art. Not only does this art hold longevity in history, but it is also born into every human being. Even babies begin to jiggle and hop to the sound of music at a young age. This improvisation of natural movements feels harmonious to the body and mind, and has been proved to increase brain activity and boost self-esteem. Dance is one of the most widely enjoyed sports, being able to express your personality and worldview through artistic emotion.
      While many may stand by the belief that dance is not a sport, the physical activity exercised while indulging in dance is just as much as more competitive, rigid sports such as football and baseball. These sports must follow narrow rules and are unbalanced between the body and mind. Dance is simply an artistic way of staying fit, and increases balance and spine alignment. A multitude dance forms, such as ballet and hip-hop are proven to release endorphins. Endorphin is a combination of endogenous and morphine, meaning a morphine-like substance originated from the body. These hormones bring a sense of power and control over the mind. Given the extreme physical exhaustion dance classes bring, it can only be concluded that dance is, in fact, a sport.
Irish Dance
          Depending on his personality, the dancer may choose Irish Dance over the cool, crisp, isolated movements of Animation. If he desires a more upbeat, festive, historical tempo, than the slow-and-steady protocol of ballet, Bollywood is the best choice for him, combining the fun and bouncy movements with ancient Indian tradition. Some of the widely enjoyed dance forms include: ballet, contemporary, musical theater, clogging, time period dance, ballroom dancing, Latin Heritage dance, African Jazz, lyrical, hip-hop, rhythmic gymnastics, and krump.
Elena Podymova as Death in Romeo and Juliet.
     All forms of dance maintain the Greek Ideal: combining mental and physical activity into a harmonious balance. Also, all forms of dance can tell stories or bring morals to the audience. Contemporary almost always tells a story of love or sadness and other extreme emotions, while hip hop and krump show a competitive and exciting side of dance, bringing viewers to the edge of their seats. Ballet is a common form of dance that is performed in both public and private shows that is appreciated by an audience of all ages; whether dancers, or dance fanatics, or simply ones who soak up the beauty of all art. Classic tales such as Cinderella, Romeo and Juliet, and nearly every nursery rhyme can be interpreted through EVERY style of dance. 

Fred & Ginger Rogers
Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire
     The bravura sentiment of dance is what sets it apart from all other sports; making it one of the most pleasant of them all. The innate impulse of dance implemented in every human being can be directed into structured dance by taking classes of any of the myriad of dance styles. Retaining the Greek Ideal, dance brings balance to both the dancer and the audience, and thousands of people will gather at each show to pay homage to one of the oldest arts.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Understanding Turnout: Anatomical Tips to Success


     I have created a couple of posts about turnout, but today, we are going to take a trip deeeep into anatomy class, Magic School Bus Style. So get your Ms. Frizzle wig on and put on your x-ray earrings. 

     Has your instructor ever told you: "Turnout from the HIPS!" or used the terms "turnout" and "hips" in the same sentence? I never quite understood what was meant by this until one of my teachers gave us a lesson on turnout from an anatomical perspective. She used the book Inside Ballet Technique, which used diagrams of the hips to demonstrate proper turnout. 

A Mental Battle

Perfect turnout is one of those seemingly impossible mountains that every dancer strives to climb. Among it is 32 fouettés en tournant, 180 extensions, and a perfect arch. And here is where I am going to get painfully honest: if you do not want to push yourself to the limits of sanity, you are not cut out for ballet. Ballet requires constant diligence and attention. This is perhaps what makes it both appealing and appalling. I can't count on my fingers the number of times I have cried over something relating to ballet. It is an emotional sport as well as the physical.

Now, let's just stop for a moment and think about why we dance. It's not easy. It doesn't feel "comfortable". Sometimes I would rather be sitting on the couch watching The Hunger Games and stuffing my face with Oreos than doing petit allégro. So why do we do it? The answer isn't as simple as you think. For anyone who TRULY loves dance, they know the answer. For those who are just doing it, well, just because... *channel inner Yoda*... search for it, you must. Every dancer may have a different answer, and mine is because I strive to challenge myself in every way possible and master what I begin.
[Tweet this]

Now that the guilt trip/crying bout/contemplation of life is over, let us begin today's lesson in anatomy.


     The first thing to understand is that some people are born with hips easier to turn out. See Figure 1. In Picture 1A, a normal hip is shown. 1B displays femoral anteversion. This means that the toes point inward, or the feet are pigeon-toed. This makes turnout difficult for the dancer, and the knees naturally point forward when turning out from the hips. 1C shows femoral retroversion, which is the exact opposite of anteversion. The dancer may have a natural turnout of up to 180 degrees. (From In fact, Gayanne Grossman, associate professor of anatomy and kinesiology at Temple University suggests that “most dancers have a maximum rotation of 55 degrees in their hips.” [see this 2008 article from Dance Magazine]. This definitely plays into the individual turnout of dancers.

Figure 1


     Do not, however, mistake this as an excuse for not having good turnout. This simply explains why turnout is difficult for some dancers. Turnout is increased by the flexibility and strength of the three ligaments surrounding the ball-and-socket joint of the hip. These three ligaments are called the iliofemoral ligament (which connects the illium, the upper part of the pelvis, to the femur), the ischiofemoral ligament (which connects the ischium, the lower part of the pelvis, to the femur), and the pubofemoral ligament (which connects the pubic bone to the femur). All three of these become stretched in exercises like grande battement derriére, and become relaxed in exercises like grande battement devant. 

     The iliofemoral ligament stretches across the front of the joint, and is also the strongest ligament in the body. This ligament helps restrict full arabesque. The ischiofemoral ligament restricts movements of the leg crossing the midline. The pubofemoral ligament restricts à la seconde.


Far too often, the gluteus maximus is used as the primary muscle of turnout. While it is the biggest muscle involved in proper turnout, the true ballerina muscles lie deep within. These six muscles are built exclusively through ballet and become a key part of a ballerina's technique. The sartorius muscle also aids in proper turnout.

Figure 2

I know that this quick study of the hip joint has helped me feel my turnout. Follow me for more anatomical summaries! I am more than happy to do the research!

Friday, October 26, 2012

11 things to make your day better.

i'm having a bad day today.

in the hopes that you are having one, too, i made this lovely compilation of things that make me feel better.

this guy got a text from a stranger and decided to play along with it! must read! I almost died from laughter, SO FUNNY.

1. read this.

I have never needed anything more

2. this t-shirt

Daily Odd Compliment

3. this compliment

Freshly washed ballerinas

4. this long-awaited ballerina meme


5. and this other one

23 Easy Ways To Instantly Make Your Day Better. 14-18 I AM DYING

6. these ways to make one feel better

Shakespeare insult kit

7. this insult kit

8. note to self: never go on a ride with Janice.

9. this cracked me up. i'm still laughing

10. THIS. trust me. just go. watch it.


well, i hope that made your day better!

geez louise.

oh boy.

i'm a mess.

i have abandoned you once again.

so i ask to trespass upon your hospitality in hopes that you would accept me once again as the loving author of this bloggety blog.


1. I had a birthday. And let me just say so far this new year is pretty much NOT what I was hoping. DON'T GROW UP, CHILDREN! IT'S A TRAP!
2. I quit ballet for Irish Dance.
3. I quit Irish Dance for ballet.
4. I went camping.
5. I got an abhorrent case of poison ivy. Nasty nasty stuff.
6. I decided to put a little magic in my life and start blogging again!

so...... yeah. life of a ballerina. pretty uneventful, yet most agreeable.