Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Getting back to the studio! A guide to safe dancing

Beautiful dancers, it's been quite a year (or more!). For most of you, it has been a year completely devoid of ballet. For others, it's been ballet class in your living room with a makeshift barre on the rare occasion you have some bandwidth after work and other responsibilities. For a few, it's ballet with a real barre in your home, possibly a scrap of marley or even a raised floor, graduating to outdoor classes on concrete.

No matter what your situation, you have not been dancing in the same way you did pre-pandemic (PP). And no matter what, you can't walk into the dance studio and expect to see/feel/move anything you saw before. 

I've been in your position too. I have been working in my home, teaching on Zoom and then on concrete outdoors. I have a regulation barre, some marley and a slightly cushioned mat but it's nothing like a sprung floor with a wall of mirrors and SPACE!

Recently I've been lucky to get to a few in-studio classes so I can confidently give you some helpful information about YOUR safe return.

1. Lower your expectations. 

Nope, lower than that...keep going. There you go. Did you do triple pirouettes PP? Great! Now, don't expect anything more than a single. In fact, pat yourself on the back if you can balance on demi-pointe without falling over.
 

2. Make friends with yourself. 

For a year we haven't been in a room filled with mirrors in shape-revealing clothes. We might not be happy with what we see because it won't look like us PP.  THAT IS OKAY!  Do not judge yourself. Be happy you are healthy and are in a dance studio. Look at yourself in the mirror and appreciate that your body is alive and strong enough to be in a class. Many - many - others are not. Be grateful to your body that it made it through a VERY difficult time.

3. New mantra: low and slow.

It will be very tempting to run around the studio. I know. I did it when I first walked in. Jumps should be very low, barely off the ground, and you should concentrate on rolling through your demi-pointe and springing up. Do the allegro half-speed for a while until you find your muscles and build back your strength.

4. Balance, balance, balance.

Prepare to spend a LOT of time finding your balance again. One of the most critical parts of balance is orienting our bodies in space. Think of it like being on a boat out at sea with no land to focus on. You feel woozy and nauseous because you aren't stabilized with a visual image. This is what has happened at home for a year. We need the barre, the mirror, and other people to stabilize ourselves. This takes time. Practice. And then some more.

5. Choreography uses muscles too.

And they might not be in the best shape right now. We joke about "pandemic brain" and being foggy and never knowing what day it is. When it comes to remembering combinations in class, our brains might not be quick to pick them up. Understand that this will also take practice. Don't worry if you have trouble with right and left. If you were on Zoom for a year, that was confusing.

6. Masks are not easy to dance in.

I wear 2 masks: a paper one under a cloth one and I pinch the nose to give me breathing room. The hardest part is turning because it changes my proprioception. A small price to pay for feeling safer than with just one. For now, masks are the rule in the studios where I teach and I personally don't mind them. I imagine that when I can finally take it off, I will be amazing! And so will you.

7. Take your time.

Everyone is different. We all had different pandemic experiences and we are recovering in vastly different ways. Some of us can't wait to do all the things. Some are still not ready to leave the home studio. All of this is fine. For now, I am doing some classes hybrid, some in-studio only, some online only. I would like to make it easy for everyone to return in their own way and at their own time. 

🩰🩰🩰🩰🩰🩰🩰🩰🩰🩰🩰🩰🩰🩰🩰🩰🩰🩰🩰🩰🩰🩰🩰🩰

Thursday, April 1, 2021

April 2021 Newsletter is the BACK TO STUDIO edition!

 


 

April 2021 schedule

GETTING BACK TO THE STUDIO!

Beautiful dancers, I'm so excited to take some petit jetes back to the studio. Classes will open in phases to stay safe and remain flexible.

With that in mind, I'm happy to announce the first weekly class I'm teaching in-studio:

Saturday Open level Technique (begins April 17)
12PM-1:30PM

Inspire Dance Studio, La Canada.
This will be an open class limited to 8 students. The fee per class will be $20.
You must sign up in advance for this class. Drop-ins will not be allowed.

Continuing on Zoom: Tuesday & Thursday 6:45PM-8PM, Wednesday 6-7:15PM; Saturday 9:30-10:45AM, Sunday 10:00-11:25AM and Sunday Pointe/Pre-Pointe 11:40-1PM. The fee for Zoom classes will continue to be $15 per class.

Continuing on YouTube: Friday 11AM-12PM.

Coming to Inspire in May: Wednesday Beginner level class 6:30-8PM WILL BE LIMITED IN SIZE
 
 
Not ready for an open class but still want to dance in the studio? I can do a 4-person pod class at Inspire on Wednesday at 8:15PM and can consider other pod classes at Studio A and Live Arts LA starting in May. CONTACT me if you are interested in setting up a pod! (What's a "pod?" It's a semi-private class of up to 4 students for a month!)

Please read before you come to the studio!

1. ALL dancers MUST wear masks in the studios.
2. ALL dancers MUST sign up for classes in advance online ONLY (spots are limited and I need you to sign COVID waivers)
3. ALL paper cards will be converted to e-cards. For the foreseeable future, I will not have paper cards and all transactions will be contactless. PLEASE email or text me with a photo of your class card so I can provide you with credit which you can apply to the purchase of any class, either online or in-studio.
4A. In case you can't attend, PLEASE cancel or reschedule your class online at least one hour in advance so that another student can take your place.
4B. If a class is full and you would like to be on the waitlist, PLEASE text or email me so I can get in touch with you as soon as there is an opening.
5. There are NO DROP-IN's - PLEASE do not come to the studio if you are not signed up.
 
I realize this is a lot of info so please don't hesitate to ask questions!

Access to YouTube video archives

Beginner/Intermediate with Pre-pointe playlist is available! Link will be valid from 1/1/21 through 6/30/21.

New Friday playlist includes November & December 2020 videos and will be valid through 6/30/21. VISIT my website for more information!

 

LPBC News

Save the date: the Circus is coming (virtually) on June 13th!

Our 2021 company - with 65 members across the country and the world - will be presenting a unique fundraiser to preview the creation of a brand new original ballet about a steampunk circus set in 1885! "The Circus of Worldly Wonders" will be full length next season but we're excited to give you a preview of it on June 13th.

If you'd like to donate, we absolutely would be grateful as it will help us build costumes and props for this very special show! Thank you!

Check out these images from our outdoor rehearsals at Inspire. We've got characters galore!
(row one: Karen Opara, Steve Collins; row two: Ingrid Jackel, Desiree Calderon, Jackie Nii, Avery Pohl, Jim Luna, Jen Marchain, Mina Thoresen, Joscelyn Beckley, Noriko Masaka; row three: Ingrid Jackel & Celia Green, Laila Madni & Marla Bleavins; row four: Gina Buccolo, Daniela Strong, Alexes Ciardi, Rae Aaselund, Hope Friedman)



 
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Copyright © 2021 Leigh Purtill Ballet, All rights reserved.



Monday, February 1, 2021

February Newsletter!

 

 

February 2021 schedule

All classes in session as scheduled (view here). Please sign up online here.

Outdoor class at Inspire on Saturdays 12-1PM. Sign-up in advance; limited to 6.
 

Valentine's Day Easy Online Partnering Workshop!
Sunday, February 14, 5-6PM PST - No ballet experience necessary for your partner. It will help if you know arabesque, attitude and sousous. Only $20 for you and your partner. Sign up here.

BONUS CLASS! Add on a 30 minute Easy Basic Barre at 4:30PM PST - held right before the workshop, only $10 for you and your partner. See image to right for where to sign up on the page.

Access to YouTube video archives

Beginner/Intermediate with Pre-pointe playlist is available! Link will be valid from 1/1/21 through 6/30/21.

New Friday playlist includes November & December 2020 videos and will be valid through 6/30/21. VISIT my website for more information!

 
 

LPBC News


Company Member Spotlight!
The newest video in our ongoing series on our YouTube channel, Company Spotlights created by Alexes Ciardi, is an interview with company member Gina Buccolo.  Click the photo to the right and be sure to subscribe to our channel to see more in the series!



Did you get your 2020 Company t-shirt? Every purchase helps support the company plus you look super cool in it! Design is by company member and artist Bill Reiss. We will do a group order so get to our website and place your order before FEBRUARY 22! Below Megan and Laila show off the long sleeve shirt. Both say the cotton is soft and fits as expected (comfy but not too roomy).
















And below are Samantha in a short sleeve and Jen in a tank. All styles look great!

Monday, January 18, 2021

Want to join a ballet company? Join LPBC!

Hello beautiful dancers! 

Whether you're local to Los Angeles or live outside the area, we'd like to invite you to apply to be a member of the nonprofit amateur adult ballet company, Leigh Purtill Ballet Company. 

In 2021, we believe we will be doing rehearsals and performances over Zoom, perhaps some outdoors and in person, maybe a hybrid show where dancers perform both in-person and outdoors as well as over Zoom. We require that dancers who want to perform attend regular classes and keep up their technique and to attend quarterly company meetings virtually. They will also be asked to assist in promotion and outreach. For remote members, this might mean helping with social media, involving their local dance community, encouraging local fans and dancers to attend a virtual event/donate; outreach might look like contacting certain communities in their local areas to invite them to participate in a virtual workshop of some kind.

We are excited about the wonderful opportunities we have in reaching out to audiences and dancers in other parts of our country and globally! Our company thrives on the innovations and ideas members bring to us.
 
We believe we can create a community of dancers 
that extends beyond physical location.

If this is something you'd like to be part of, please click through, fill out the form and provide a video by January 31, 2021.


Happy dancing, everyone~

Thursday, December 31, 2020

First newsletter of 2021! Welcome to the New Year!

 


Blossom is a fun barre mate but I will be happy to return to the studio!

January 2021 schedule

HAPPY NEW YEAR, BEAUTIFUL DANCERS! All classes in session as scheduled (view here). Please sign up online here.

ALSO! Outdoor class at Inspire is now on the regular schedule! Saturdays 12-1PM. Sign-up in advance; limited to 6.
 

Coming soon: A second Easy Basic Partnering Workshop & Spring Break Online Intensive!
Did you miss the first partnering workshop? No worries! We're doing another one in January (either Saturday 1/23 or Sunday 1/24 - email me which date you prefer!). Here's a little tease of what we did last time: Blossom & Mo & Me!

ALSO! I'm planning a Spring Break Online Intensive in mid-February! Stay tuned and contact me if you're interested...
 

Access to YouTube video archives

A new Beginner/Intermediate with Pre-pointe playlist is now available! The link will be valid from 1/1/21 through 6/30/21.

ALSO! A new Friday playlist is available! It includes November & December 2020 videos and will be valid through 6/30/21. VISIT my website for more information!

 

Extra fun!

On January 2nd at 2:30PM PST/5:30PM EST, I will be hosting an online book launch party for Terez Mertes Rose, a former dancer whose newest novel, BALLET ORPHANS, is now available. Because the story is set in 1989, we'll be doing an 80s theme with costumes, a trivia game, readings from the book and a mini-class with 80s music taught by me! It's FREE and open to ALL!

ALSO! Terez will be giving away lots of AMAZING prizes! (Did I mention it's free?) Sign-up in advance here and read more about the book on Terez's blog. Or check out my review of the book for Dance Advantage.

A TEASE of a video to come!
"A Taste of Nutcracker" is a mini-showcase of my students performing Dance of the Snowflakes PLUS a collaboration with two studios in Vancouver, BC and Peru! Students from Chicago,Nashville and Northern California joined too! Click the photo for a tiny tease of what's to come.

 

LPBC News

One more fun link featuring the dancers of Leigh Purtill Ballet Company!

Company Member Spotlight!
The newest video in our ongoing series on our YouTube channel, Company Spotlights created by Alexes Ciardi, is an interview with company member Jen Marchain, below.  Be sure to subscribe to our channel to see more in the series!

Spotlight on Jen Marchain

P.S. Have YOU ever considered joining the company? We'll be posting information on our 2021 season very soon! Follow us on Instagram to learn more!