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Dance Progress -- Getting Unstuck #3

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

I am going to try walking around my house on my tip-toes to increase balance and calf strength.
This seems to be the weak point in my dancing and if I walk around my house like this in the course of my day, it won't take any additional exercise time! The idea came to me, and then I googled it to see if anyone else suggested this.
I came up with an article! Note : the article does remind reader to stretch calves, if you try this!

Here's a link with more info:


I can also do calf raises while I wash the dishes and brush my teeth! emoticon

Which leads me to another multi-tasking tip....while working out in my yard, I can meditate AND wear teeth-whitening strips! ( Hey....and also have something cooking in the crockpot?)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MIAMOJO 7/8/2014 1:37PM

    I danced tango for several months a couple of years ago, and balance was my downfall! I never knew it could be related to calf strength. This is definitely good to know, thanks!

emoticon Keep dancing!

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2014TODAY 7/8/2014 8:23AM

    PS Ha! You are literally 'standing on your toes' to improve yourself. That's an expression in my language. To walk or stand on one's toes means to make extra-ordinary efforts!

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2014TODAY 7/8/2014 8:21AM

    I love how you keep coming up with ideas! I just read this quote by Rumi: "Why stay on the bottom of the pit when I have a strong rope in my hands?".

When I had pains in my ankles, the physiotherapist suggested I stand on one foot for a few minutes per day. For example while brushing my teeth. I also added that as an exercise to my yoga practice: standing on one foot, and making circles with my other foot. That really challenges one's balance. Another balance exercise is to stand with feet hipwidth apart, then lift one foot off the ground (bending the knee of that leg) and then bend also the knee of the leg you're standing on, doing rises like that. This is an exercise I got from another physiotherapist to increase the strenght of the area of my hips, with regard to balance.

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KALIGIRL 7/8/2014 7:58AM

    Here's to multi-tasking!

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TERI-RIFIC 7/8/2014 7:13AM

    Cool ideas!

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BIGPAWSUP 7/8/2014 6:47AM

    I was taught that as a child for dance. I still sometimes catch myself walking on my toes.

Best of luck.

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Dance Progress -- Getting Unstuck #2

Sunday, July 06, 2014

In my relaxing time, I'm going through my exercise DVD's, youtube, and dance blogs/websites for inspiration.

Friday I did the DVD, "Balletone", and weight trained (plus yardwork.....my "meditation & awareness time")
Yesterday I did the DVD, "Ballet Conditioning", & stretched (plus washed my car..."my meditation
& awareness time")

I watched a youtube video about a day in the life of a ballerina. Even if I had the genetics and was 50 years younger, I wouldn't want to be one! Having said that..... I think there is a lot to gain from doing ballet barre exercises at least once a week, maybe more often!

Today I might try to choreograph a lyrical line dance. I have only seen one of these.
I was inspired by some youtube "praise dances." I think a lyrical line dance would be a good warm-up for the regular line dance classes that I plan to teach in the fall. I have to go to town today. During my car time, AKA "music awareness time", I'm going to listen to some of my CD's for slower music that I normally pass by because it's not suitable for regular line dances. There might be something that inspires me for something lyrical.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIGIRL 7/7/2014 8:37AM


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BROOKLYN_BORN 7/7/2014 8:19AM

    By coincidence my Spark email this morning included a dancers "barre" workout. No real barre, but quite a workout in 17 minutes.

Good for you!

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2014TODAY 7/6/2014 11:45AM

    Wow. emoticon

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CARRIELYN56 7/6/2014 9:01AM

    Ooooo, I so love what you are doing!!!! Movement, music, dance, soul connections.... oh yay for you!!!! I think I might have to borrow some of your ideas..... emoticon

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Dance Progress -- Getting Unstuck #1

Saturday, July 05, 2014

This is a follow-up blog to the one posted on July 3, 2014.

The following is a picture that I ran across on multiple websites of an example of the disparity between body & face (not to mention an "old guy" in amazing shape) ....just so you know what I was talking about.
I think you will agree that the effect is a little disconcerting because of the incongruity.

First, I am addressing the physical characteristics of my face:
I have checked out contact lenses.
I am doing the best I can with anti-ageing skincare.
I will make sure that I apply make-up prior to class/videotaping. I looked at videos on youtube and got some ideas. I experimented with make-up that I have on hand.

Secondly, I am working on my attitude about the role the face plays during a dance.
Certainly, it is not going to be ignored by the viewer so I can't just disregard it.
Therefore, I have to make my face part of the whole artistic expression. There are some articles about this on various websites. They are basically under the category of "stage presence." So, I'm studying up on that concept.

Thirdly, even if I appear older, I am able to express emotion. Granted, the beauty of a young, leading lady is not going to be my character. But older people can express all the appropriate emotions.

Gosh.....I do "worry" really well! emoticon
Probably can even do "anger" pretty well. emoticon

And, hey, don't we all think some older folks (including myself in this category) can be "cute"? emoticon
Or joyful? emoticon
Or fun? emoticon

As they used to say.....it ain't what you got, it's how you use it.
Guess I'll use my fun face as I say that line! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    There are some older people who dance in movies. Fred Astair was quite old when he filmed the movie, Funny Face with Audrey Hepburn. Maybe you could study his faces. He was brilliant.

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TERI-RIFIC 7/5/2014 6:35PM

    That guy is a big time juicer. He takes HGH and Testosterone and who knows what else.

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CJ-TODAY 7/5/2014 5:42PM

    So you're trying to make the face match the body? Why, you could also try to make the body match the face! emoticon
Seriously, maybe you could just tune face and body to be whole. Integreate the two.
I have great faith in your ability to express / radiate your inner self. And I think the inner self is beautiful.
Also I don't think that being or looking 'young' should be considered as important as it is in Western society. We get good looks for free when we're young. To achieve what you did, like being at goal weight and being a good dancer and teaching dance classes, at the age that you have is MUCH more of an accomplishment in my eyes.

Comment edited on: 7/5/2014 5:44:01 PM

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ALICIA363 7/5/2014 3:15PM


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WALLINMW 7/5/2014 1:42PM


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Dance Progress -- Stuck

Thursday, July 03, 2014

My dance teacher had suggested that she do a videotape of me dancing. She felt this would be a good learning tool for me. So, I did four very different line dances for her to record
(bachata, waltz, jazzy, & soul). As some of you know, I am doing line dances, but trying to do them artistically (with expression, whole body movement, & styling). Then she guided me in evaluating/critiquing the performances. Truthfully, this was a little traumatic for me because I have never had my dancing videotaped and really do not like the way my face looks in pictures anyway.

Best points: Arm movements in waltz, rise and fall in waltz, graceful arms in the waltz,
great hip movements in bachata, good posture throughout, sassiness in the soul dance, definite leg movements & effective arm movements in the jazz dance.

Need to work on: Footwork & balance. Although traditional country line dance focuses mostly on the feet, the footwork technique is what I'd call "looser." By that I mean the specific steps do not close --foot placement from step to step is farther apart. My foot placement needs more definition and precision. In efforts for greater precision, I noticed that it worked upper leg muscles more. My teacher said that it engages the glutes. Also, I felt there was a bit of a stumbly quality to my dancing and my teacher suggested specific exercises for balance. All this I can deal with, although it does involve the process of unlearning and relearning which can be a challenge.

Disaster area: My face. I am freaked out about the changes in my face. My body and hair are fairly youthful. Recently a line dancer had told me that I looked like a teen-ager from the back. At 64, this was quite a compliment. Of course I managed 2 + 2 and realized this implied that when I turned around, you could easily know I'm not young. A few times I have seen people where there is a disconnect between their general appearance and their face and it is startling to the viewer......kind of weird and out of place.

Unfortunately, for this video I didn't help myself any because I did not wear any make-up. I also had mentally decided that I could avoid looking at my face and just review the body. So I didn't have any expression except a somewhat worried look.

The videotape did point out to me that I need to make sure that my face needs to be appropriate to the dance. I have always known this, but was somehow feeling that maybe we could all just forget about my face.

I have to do something with my face! I have to figure this out! I proceeded with an appointment for contact lenses and am trying new make-up and skin care techniques.
Next time I dance, I will be wearing some make-up and attempting to engage my face as part of the expression of the dance.

Unfortunately the effect of the video tapes kind of put me into a state of shock with regard to my dancing. I have to get past this!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Congratulations also from me for looking like a teenager from behind. That is amazing! emoticon

That would be really hard to have to have a video made of you. I think that for those of us over a certain age, there is just a lack of color in the face. I wonder if you danced longer, you would have had a nice youthful blush!


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CJ-TODAY 7/3/2014 1:12PM

    My sweet friend, I hope you don't feel you need to look young. Your spirit is young! I know that much!
Expression in line with the dance... could it be that there's more of that when you are not getting videotaped?
emoticon I hope that this experience will be a lesson to you, a chance to learn something new, not a disappointment. Be gentle with yourself. You got a LOT of great compliments!

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TERI-RIFIC 7/3/2014 9:13AM

    I stopped recognizing myself around 55. There is a great makeup tutorial on YouTube for mature skin by Lisa Eldridge.

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HMBROWN1 7/3/2014 8:56AM

    Congrats on looking like a teenager from behind! What an accomplishment!

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BIGPAWSUP 7/3/2014 8:49AM

    When you get your movements to flow your face with glow! emoticon

Ok, that was cheesy but in a way true. You probably don't have the same expression on your face when you normally dance as you did on the video. You were nervous and aware of being taped - that changed your mood and thus your expression. Observer affect.

I guarantee, when you are dancing for the love of it, the joy shows on your face and you are beautiful!

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KALIGIRL 7/3/2014 8:24AM

    Amazing what a little make up does for us as we age and lose the color in our faces...
Like that you are going to engage your entire body in the dance - that will be a wonderful expression of joy!

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Survival Value - random thoughts

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Some books/articles I have read take the historical perspective and talk about how a little extra fat helps a person survive during a famine. Then they relate how, in modern life, our bodies interpret modern stress as a similar challenge.....and then our bodies start storing calories in the form of fat to nourish us during the famine.

But, I wondered if it is really true. Why wouldn't muscle strength, fitness, and leanness have more survival value? It is the strong and quick people that would be able to secure food, deal with demands, and fight off threats.

Last evening I was out for a walk. Some threatening clouds came overhead and it started to rain. I quickly picked up the pace and ran the rest of the way home.
Bear in mind, I don't normally run, just walk at a fast pace. Kind of a mini-example of what I am talking about.

I just wonder if, in the back of my mind, there has been a fear of starvation that has stopping my progress from going any farther. ( I have blogged previously about dinner table conversations in my youth when the topic was food scarcity in the Great Depression. Also, there was the constant reminder to eat because there's people starving in China. )

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MANLEYSANDY 7/2/2014 11:48AM

    I have read too that if you were food deprived as a child or suffered in conditions of poverty, that fear of starvation can happen and turn into problems with food. The mind is a powerful thing!! Great to give things insight to get to the root cause...that can only move you forward.

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2HAMSDIET 7/2/2014 10:16AM

    My son was in a group that did mind work before dieting started. He interviewed us to get our parents and grand parents perspective on food. I think it was a 3 month class looking into why and what triggers his eating. He has done well on it and over two years lost 75 pounds and found out he loves to run.

My son found it interesting that I had already come to some of my own conclusions that he was working through about why we eat. I told him it has been because I have been studying mindfulness. I found I love to bake and giving it away as much more then every eating it. The process, creativity and sharing bring me so much joy .So I bake weekly and we never eat any of it..

Thank you for sharing your insight.

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TERI-RIFIC 7/2/2014 9:52AM

    I think I have read studies that have shown that people who have been deprived of food during famines or difficult circumstances often have problems with food afterwards. As a teen I purposely starved myself and I know I have issues with thinking I " won't get enough" emoticon

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SLIMMERJESSE 7/2/2014 8:53AM

    During my times with pneumonia, I have always thought myself better off with a little meat on my bones. Not sure if that's good thinking, but that's how it goes for me.

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NANCYPAT1 7/2/2014 8:48AM

    Interesting thought - makes you wonder sometimes where these insights come from - maybe it will be a breakthrough for you.

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