Tonight are my three final dance classes of the session at Maplewood. It's been a long session -- 14 weeks -- and it culminates in a dress rehearsal tomorrow night (Friday) followed by 2 blessedly brief recitals on Saturday.
This has been such a fun year, getting back into teaching again. Like anything, it gets SO much easier with practice. Just a few short months ago, I had a ginormous class (15 girls age 3-5) and it took every once of energy I had to keep it together. But a little experience goes a long way -- I'm learning how to enforce order right off the bat, which gives me much more leeway to be fun, later. Now I've got a class of 16 girls and -- gasp! -- I actually look forward to teaching it.
I just got back from a 33-minute jog around the neighborhood. I was dreading it, but it felt pretty awesome. My 'hood is a really nice amount of hilly, and quiet enough to be able to stay on city streets but not worry too much about having to break stride to wait for traffic. This was my 3rd run in the Vibrams -- I sure love how my body feels when I run in them (though this might more accurately be attributed to the other regular exercise I've been getting), but 50% of the time they have give me wicked blisters on my arch. (Is that the same thing as an instep? Well, whatever.)
MNRG tryouts are now 1 month and 1 week away. We (the Debu-Taunts) had a good skating practice last Sunday on the concourse at Xcel again. This, of course, means that we didn't get to scrimmage... AGAIN... and it's now been SO long since we've scrimmaged that I would feel incredibly uncomfortable scrimmaging at the moment. Hah! Not that I ever felt comfortable scrimmaging! I cannot begin to describe to you the black hole that forms in my chest and stomach the instant someone says "scrimmage." Look, I just typed it 5 times and I think I need to head to the bathroom.
Wow, I think I really might be allergic to cheese.
Anyway, it was a really good practice. Led by our coachesWe did several warm-up laps, a group-stretch, then broke up into groups to work on skills. We did some whips (for the first time! ever!), which were surprisingly anti-climactic; some pacelines-with-weaving-and-butt-blocking; shopping carts; weaving-around-cones; hockey stops; sprinting relay races (my favorite!); and A Few Minutes of Hell, which basically means you sprint FOREVER until they tell you to stop. This is to help prepare us for tryouts, when they do 10 Minutes of Hell (which I'm guessing is longer than A Few Minutes). On Sunday they mixed it up a bit and had us sprint one lap, then skate one lap as fast as we could without lifting our skates off the floor (also known as "sticky skates"), then go back to sprinting, then back to sticky. I think we did it for 5 minutes. I was feeling OK and I think I kept pace with the fastest group.
Last Wednesday (now over a week ago) I hit Terrors practice again. We did some drills all together with the traveling team (my favorite of which involved fast-feet in place, then dropping to "sprawl" (laying flat on your stomach, usually in the puddle of sweat left behind by the guy in front of you) three times, then getting up and sprinting once around the track). When the traveling team split off, our group (all the girls in attendance, plus undrafted boys) asked Medusa and JukeBoxx (two supertalented MNRG All-Stars) to help us with footwork, so we practiced things like skating only on our front (or back) wheels, and only on our inside (or outside) wheels, etc. (remember, we're on quad skates). I had never tried this stuff before, and it was really fun and challenging -- great for core strength and balance, and good just to test our limits. We also did some backward skating with crossovers, and "spread eagle" (skating sideways, with both feet turned completely out). This last one is a major challenge for me -- my hips, legs, and feet naturally turn in. I fell over many times. Again, always good to stretch those boundaries.
OK, time to set a timer and do a little cleaning-tornado for about 25 minutes. Woo hoo!