Sunday, 23 October 2011

I'm Alive!

Hello Chaps, it really wasn't my intention to maintain Radio Silence for so long, but it has been a bit of an insane couple of months; in a good way.

I feel that I haven't done a medical update for ages and I have good news, so I'll crack on with that first.

An extraordinary thing happened to me in class a couple of months ago; I realised I was scrutinising my epaulement in the mirror.
Now I know what you're thinking 'Well Hold The Front Page: Dancer Exams Her Technique in CLASS!', but for me it must have been the first time in about two and a half years that I wasn't thinking 'Hip' as in 'Ohh, what's that', 'that's a bit sore/twingey/stiff', 'that really is feeling most peculiar', 'Ouch, that's kind of painful', 'That seriously hurts like a Mother******'.........Followed by post-op recovery and Physio where you are constantly on a knife's edge of nerves 'Is that normal?', 'Should it be feeling like that?', 'Have I pushed myself too hard/not hard enough?' and so on.
So I'm sure you can understand my complete joy at realising that I hadn't even thought about the 'old ball and socket' joint once in the studio that day; I also hoped it was a positive sign as I had to see my consultant in September for my one year follow up.

Fast forward to September and keeping everything crossed I head off to see the Prof; measurements and general prodding are carried out by his Physios and then it's off to Radiology for some X-rays, which I found to be a slightly amusing process. Firstly the Radiologist gave me a complete running commentary on the nuances of everything she was doing; I imagine this was meant to be reassuring and whilst I now feel certain that in an emergency situation I would be capable of providing an accurate X-ray of the 'true pelvis', I slightly got the impression she was reminding herself what to do; which made me want to giggle. Inappropriate? I can always be relied on for that.
Then she disappeared and returned brandishing a stool (of the chair variety), by which point I'm thinking 'They need an X-ray of me doing some Bob Fosse choreography?'; no turns out it's for me to put my good leg on and get it out the way so she take a sort of diagonal cross section of my hip.
Now, no one likes a smart arse, so I refrained from mentioning that I was probably more than capable of holding one leg in the air and still for quite a long time!

There have been a few IT updates since I last visited the Prof, so instead of being handed my x-rays to scuttle back to him with, I was informed it was all in the new system and he would be viewing them electronically. Ohhh, it's just like Star Trek!

So.....DRUM ROLL PLEASE.........The Prof viewed his handiwork and was exceptionally pleased with the outcome; he thinks I've healed superbly, that the bone surfaces are nice and smooth, providing excellent mobility and range of motion and that for me 'Normal service can be resumed'. I will need to see him again in a year to check the condition of the joint and I do occasionally have a little bit of Bursa trouble, which may or may not require an injection, but other than that I am a very happy Bunny!

I would like to say a massive THANK YOU to Professor Ernest Schilders and his team for their skill, dedication and professionalism over the last year and a half. I would also like to thank my Physio, the fantastic Mr Garry Slade, who, for at least the last decade, has constantly mended me, shared his unique bedside manner and made me laugh, often to the point of tears; but has also been a huge part of my successful post-operative recovery. Thank you Mr Slade, from your one and only 'Valley Girl'!

I'd just like to leave you with one more thought; I've recently returned from LA, where, at the airport I had to pass through the 'Naked Scanner' at security. Now I don't want to make assertions, but the rather portly gentlemen in the queue in front and behind me seemed to spend significantly less time in the scanner than I did; that's all I'm saying!
And given the amount of radiation I'd already been exposed to in the last couples of months I may very well look like this next time I'm on stage:

XANADU 02 (I'm Alive) by ivatrinka

Take Care My Darlings,

BB xx

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Revenge is a (Satellite) Dish Best Served Cold

Over the years I'm sure many of us have received rather irksome 'cold calling' telephone sales calls; we grit our teeth whilst trying to remain polite and end the call as quickly as possible; so this morning I found it rather amusing when my phone rang and this happened:

Sales Chap: "Hello, is that Mrs Ballet Bitch"
Ballet Bitch: "Yes, speaking"
SC: "Mrs Ballet Bitch, do you have a Sky or Satellite Dish for your Television?"
BB: "No"

What followed can only be described as stunned silence from the other end of the phone, followed by the chap repeating the question with a tone of total incredibility.

SC; "You DON"T have a Sky or Satellite Dish for your Television?"
BB: "No"
SC: "OK, bye......"click, brrrrrr.............

I know it's childish, but it a) made me laugh quite a lot and b) gave me a sense of enormous satisfaction; sometimes it's the simple things.......

BB xx

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Room Of Dancing Princesses

There is a saying that if you 'miss class for one day, you notice; miss class for two days, your colleagues notice; miss class for three days, your audience notices'; I have another saying that goes along the lines of 'pose pirouettes en manege the morning after a 2 am curry on Birmingham's Ladypool Road aren't a good idea', but that's another story.

Anyway I missed class on Wednesday as I wasn't feeling well (not a hip problem, just feeling a bit sick and nothing to do with a Vegetable Jalfrezi this time!) and on Friday (because I always feel things 48 hours later) I happened to innocently mention to Nigelinsky that I was feeling a bit stiff this week; I should have known by the evil glint in his eye what lay ahead; "Shall we do some Floor Barre?"

Well there's Floor Barre and there's Floor Barre; suffice to say yesterday my Intercostal Muscles where wondering if it was possible to veto all form of movement, including breathing, for the duration, and today my lower Abdominals are wondering if, at some point on Friday, they had some sort of Psychotic breakdown and accidentally decided to get into a Boxing Ring with Mike Tyson.

Still in the long run, my core stability salutes you; plus I'm trying to get #floorbarreisevil top trending on twitter, so feel free to join in.

Anyway onto something much more fun. I've been meaning to write about this exhibition for nearly a year; I can't believe how tardy I have been, but it is on till the beginning of January 2012, so there's still time to catch it.

It's an installation in Kensington Palace, and it's magical, breathtaking, spellbinding, otherworldly, melancholic and, at times, heart wrenching; a combination of art, history, fashion and theatre. My favourite room (perhaps not surprisingly) was The Room of Dancing Princesses, that paid tribute to Diana and Margaret; very beautiful and very poignant.

I went to this exhibition at the beginning of August last year (about two weeks before my Arthroscopy), with my Mother and my Godmother, it was a glorious day and after visiting the palace we had lunch on the terrace at The Orangery. As you can imagine I was rather nervous about my upcoming procedure, but it was such a lovely day and the exhibition had been so extraordinary that all my worries disappeared and I simply enjoyed the blue skies, perfectly manicured lawns and a glass of something chilled and pink!

Ahh, the healing power of Art......

Ballet Bitch xx

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Why? Oh Why? Oh Why?

Get ready to turn the cringe factor up to 11 and enjoy this little beauty.

If you subscribe to The Times, here's the link:

If not I've been a tad sneaky and done this for you:

I know it's meant to be humorous, and to quote Margot Fonteyn, 

“The one important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one's work seriously and taking one's self seriously. The first is imperative and the second is disastrous.”

and whilst this makes me laugh till tears run down my face:

Hilary Rose's article just makes me want to throw up in my mouth a little.

I would never discourage anybody of any age or ability from taking a dance class I am an absolute zealot about the physical and psychological benefits of all forms of dance, but I fear that these sort of articles (and there have been many since the release of a certain ballet film starring Miss Portman), have the opposite effect; there is a fine line between parody and ridicule and I hate to think that these sort of articles would put people off attending a class for the first time.

BB xx

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

When Ballet Goes Bad........

Let's have a quick medical update and then get down to some serious Ballet Bitchin'!

So, resting the hip good, but back in the studio last week and a few problems flared up, jury's out and it's a waiting game. My consultant has told me that it takes a year following the procedure till you see the final outcome/result and that's it's impossible to 'break' the repairs he's made, but it's frustrating, worrying and tedious in equals parts trying to find the balance between training and recovery.

But enough of the 'doom and gloom' lets have a giggle......

OK, I have a confession to make, one of my favourite guilty pleasures is the American teen drama 'Make It or Break It' that follows a group of Elite Gymnasts on their 'journey' to Olympic Gold.


One of the programme's narrative arcs centres on Payson Keeler's (played by Ayla Kell) return from a serious injury (yes, all right Freud I can see why I'm attracted by this series); as a result of her injuries she has to retrain as a 'lyrical/artistic' gymnast, rather than the 'power' gymnast she always perceived herself to be if she wants to follow her Olympic Dream. < I'm filling up here!> Of course, Payson finds it hard to think of herself as lyrical and beautiful and graceful, insisting she is a strong, athletic, competitor. Her coach; Sasha Belov, in a bid to inspire her, takes her to see 'Flight of the Swan' a re-imagining of the Swan Lake story (insert your on Black Swan gag, 'cos I'm spent on that front), to show her that grace can be strong blah, blah, blah.......

Fair enough I thought, I can imagine where this is going in a Matthew Bourne, Mats Ek, possible even a Guangdong Acrobatic Swan Lake way, but I was seriously not expecting this:


I must admit I had to google Miss Gottlieb and it turns out she was a finalist on the American version of 'So You Think You Can Dance'; got to be honest with you luv, this possibly isn't your finest hour.

Ballet Bitch xx

PS For those of you in Blighty there's still the chance to catch up with some episodes from this season (this clip was taken from Series 2 Episode 15- I Won't Dance, Don't Ask Me) via 4 OD:

Everybody else, youtube, i-tunes, whatever else it is you do on the net or a good old fashioned Box Set, but be warned it's ridiculously addictive.


Sunday, 3 April 2011

Ballet Bitch is Away

Given the recent turn of events with my hip (Grrrrrrr, text book recovery until two weeks ago) I will be resting for the next fortnight, visiting my Mama and catching up with some friends. So whether you picture that I look like this:

Or like this:

That's what I'll be up to!


BB xx

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

March Madness Dance Off 'It's a bit Saucy......and Serious!'

As March draws to a close so must the March Madness Dance Off, so tonight we have our final two categories; something saucy and something serious.

First up is the 'It's a bit Saucy!' category and the nominees are:

Cabaret - Bob Fosse 1972

Showgirls - Paul Verhoeven 1995

Make It Happen - Darren Grant 2008

Burlesque - Steve Antin 2010

Best Burlesque/Showgirl Film

And Finally.........'Best Dance Documentary'

 The nominees are:

Rudolf Nureyev - Patricia Foy 1991

Armagosa - Todd Robinson 2000

Ballet Russes - Daniel Geller and Danya Goldfine 2005

La Danse: Le ballet de l'opera de Paris - Frederick Wiseman 2009

Only When I Dance - Beadie Finzi 2009

Best Dance Documentary

OK, that about rounds it up; I hope you've had fun and perhaps even discovered some new films amongst the old favourites. As for me.............

 ..........Jeeves! Chardonnay STAT!

Ballet Bitch xx