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Thursday, May 21, 2009

the return of my favorite show

It's time for So You Think You Can Dance to come back tonight! Of course we have to endure the auditions which can be entertaining too... but it really starts to cook by the top 20. I'm never satisfied with Dancing with the Stars, never even watch that show except to catch what's left before Castle came on. It was too cheesy for me, and ballroom can be thrilling, if it's on SYTYCD :)

I really wish (and I have emailed this wish to Fox many times) that So You Think You Can Dance would come out on DVD, if not the whole seasons then at LEAST the top 20 or highlights from the season.

But since they don't, we'll have to settle for watching them online at great sites like this:

All aboard the hot tamale train! whooooooo hooo!

Monday, May 18, 2009

quote of the day

thanks to the newsletter from Lama Surya Das:

"The path to happiness and a sense of well-being in this very life lies not in avoiding suffering but in using the conscious, embodied, direct experience of it as a vehicle to gain deep insight into the true nature of life and your own existence. Instead of being a reactionary slave to the inevitable pain, frustration, stress, and sorrow in your life, which the Buddha called 'dukkha', you can free your mind such that you have a sense of well-being even when dukkha is present, and you create the possibility of finding compete freedom. Why not dance with the constant vicissitudes of life in a manner that is joyful and liberated, rather than feeling like a victim or being flooded with fear and stress?"

-- from "Dancing With Life" by Phillip Moffit

Friday, May 15, 2009

my complete dancer workout

If I do even just ONE of these every day, then hopefully I won't cringe when I see the performance DVD of my July bellydance solo :)

First of all, my favorite yoga workout from Karen Voight kills 2 birds with one stone.
YogaSculpt stretches one set of muscles while strengthening other sets. So you're getting strength training the same time you are stretching in a meditative state (at least it's meditative for me now that I know the workout well and don't need to look at the screen). When I first tried this workout, I thought I was going to die. In the beginning I simply couldn't do it all the way through. Slowly but surely it's do-able even though my body responds differently to the work out every day. It's important to just be patient with yourself.

Even though it's TOTALLY old and outdated, I really like abs of steel and when that got too easy I got Abs of Steel 2 that also incorporates push ups. I feel like my abdominal's are my biggest fitness challenge (like my nemesis :) I know if I stayed consistent with doing this EVERY day I'll have results (can already start to feel them). Consistency is always my problem!

For the dance-ish part of the work out, I love Tribal Fusion Fundamentals and doing the workout that Moria and Sherry take you through (it's also fun to occasionally try the combinations but the sound cuing and editing is poor). They take you through dancer-specific power yoga postures, glut isolating exercises and layering drills, squats and exercises to build strength for floorwork. REALLY good practice for bellydancers.

Of course there's nothing like a live dance class but I'm finding it increasingly challenging to fit those into my schedule. So I LOVE Sadie's Thrillin Drillin DVD that is REALLY challenging and takes you through multiple bellydance drills with layering.

If I need a little change from bellydance, there's always the Brian Friedman Freestyle choreographies or the New York City ballet workout (which I have yet to try... tomorrow!)

Today I'm finding helpful little nuggets online about simple exercises you can do at your desk. While I do walk around a lot as much as possible, I basically sit on my can for nine hours a day. So here's some computer crunches for you too (if anyone reads this: :)
"You can even tone your abs while sitting at your computer desk. Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor. Perform a simple pelvic tilt by pressing the low back into the chair, as your contract your abdominal muscles. Hold from 5 to 30 seconds, and repeat as often as you find comfortable. This simple move works well for people with weak abdominal muscles, and can be done anywhere you happen to be sitting down."
from exercises to help you with your bellyrolls (some of which I can practice while sitting at my desk).

Now I just need to stay healthy, consistent and motivated!

What are your favorite workouts?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

you want my legs to go where?

Last night I took a ballet class for the first time since probably 7th grade. That's 22 years people! So all things considered, as I look back I didn't do as badly as I could have. I remember all the positions at barre and have been stretching regularly, but once it came time to put a series of steps together across the floor, that's when my brain turned to mush. I used to speak ballet, but I don't remember a lot and will need to do a little reviewing:

In addition, we did some serious stretching both at barre and in the middle of the floor and occasionally my body would twinge and spasm as if to remind me I'm not the spring chicken that used to do these movements. But it also brought back flashbacks of about the time I stopped being serious about ballet... when my childhood teacher would push me deeper into stretches to the point of severe pain.

I LOVE watching ballet and dancing it even if I know I was never professional dancer material. But ballet also reminds me why I adore bellydance so much.
Ballet is an elite and select group... bellydance is for every woman of all shapes and sizes. One dance form encourages starvation, the other encourages empowerment of femininity. One forces your body to unnatural beauty, the other utilizes your natural beauty.

I'll continue to go to ballet class because I love a challenge and want to get in amazing shape - hopefully the recent purchase of this DVD will help as well.

At least now I'm mature and wise enough to know my body's limits and not force it - and confident enough to be ok with that and just enjoy the dance.