While I’ve been frolicking around Charlottesville, I’ve also made a concerted effort to stay in shape. I found good yoga and ballet classes in the area, and also managed to purchase my own GYROTONIC® tower! Here’s the run down on how I’ve maintained a healthy dancer’s body throughout my long vacation.
In the past couple years I have come to really appreciate yoga. I feel like the meditative side of it is extremely beneficial for me, and it requires and builds more upper body strength than my usual dance regimen. At the recommendation of my sister, I checked out FlyDog Yoga. They had an amazing new student deal, 30 days for $30, so I signed up! I’ve been to 11 classes taught by 8 different instructors so far, and every class has been informative and challenging. I’ve primarily taken heated and power vinyasa classes, but the studio also offers barre and aerial yoga. Apparently one of the instructors is also a potter, and I unknowingly wandered into a studio showing his work during the Artisan Studio Tour. Another instructor has played tennis with my parents and practiced yoga with my sister! It is a friendly studio full of creative individuals, and these “small world” scenarios have made me feel extra comfortable there.
Immediately after leaving the ship, I reached out to one of the directors of Charlottesville Ballet inquiring about adult classes and offering my services if they needed an extra substitute teacher during Nutcracker season. They were all set with instructors, but asked for help with the children involved in the production. In exchange, I have been able to take company ballet class! Although I am not in peak ballet shape anymore, I have loved having consistent classes with talented dancers and teachers. It has also been fun to participate in a Nutcracker production! I have performed in The Nutcracker over 100 times, so it doesn’t feel like the Christmas season without it!
I also sent my resume to a few other local ballet schools. Two of them invited me to take their adult classes. Crozet Arts has a small adult class Wednesday night and Saturday morning. The owner/instructor is fantastic! She has a sharp eye and gives corrections in a way that seems to click with me. The other ladies is the class are extremely friendly and work very hard! I was given the wonderful opportunity to teach a modern/jazz master class for some of the pre-teen students. They were very open to trying new things, and were fun to work with! I also was invited to take classes at BalletSchool on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. The instructor gives a challenging class that forces you to get onto your leg. The studio also brought in a guest instructor. I thoroughly enjoyed his barre, and in talking with him, learned that we had both worked under Graham Lustig, director of Lustig Dance Theater and Oakland Ballet Company. Charlottesville has been full of small world situations!
My post-dance career plan is to open a GYROTONIC® studio. I was able to take the first steps in that direction by purchasing my own pulley tower combination unit! It is currently placed in a heated barn in a field of wildflowers on my family’s property. Since it was delivered, I have been able to enjoy personal practice time, reviewing basic exercises and sequences as well as more advanced material I learned in the Applications for Dancers course last January. Over Thanksgiving I taught my sisters and my mother, and this week I will have my first new client in for an introductory session! I’m excited to share this wonderful system with the Charlottesville area, and selfishly am thrilled to be able to do more of it myself!
The mix of ballet, yoga, and GYROTONIC® has been great for my physical well-being the past two months. I’ve enjoyed exploring what to Charlottesville somatic community has to offer!