Thursday, June 10, 2010

Week Three!!

During the weekend Caroline and Meredith decided that we should rent a wheelchair and go to the park (we went to the Egyptian museum as well). I've been rather frustrated at this point with not being able to go anywhere or do anything so thank you so much ladies for making my life so much better!!

Caroline was nice enough to go out and get me my very own new journal. It is beautiful!!

Day Eight

Acting with Raymond

We used a newspaper as an object today in class. We passed the paper using the body of the other partner and then using the spaces the partner had in their poses. We worked with different rhythms and approaches to our partners. The silence is just as important as the movement. It requires varying durations and poses as well. NEVER lose the tension in the body, even when in neutral. We worked a lot with the fragility of the object.

Day Nine

Physical Preparation with Fabio

Ankle strengthening exercises – standing with both legs bent – one knee up – knees together – hands on waist – close eyes – now open your eyes and jump – after the jump re-close your eyes

Day Ten

Physical Preparation with Fabio

Running – skip with one foot then switch – kick gluts with one foot then switch – skip with one foot, kick gluts with other foot then switch – one arm on heart the other around then switch – arms up in front then out to sides then back and down – leg in front, leg in back, now skip skip – up with knees in circle

Walking – regular – on toes – on heels – on outsides – on insides

Day Eleven

Nothing new to note

Day Twelve

Acrobatics with Fabio

Capovolte – open middle – vertical – over one arm – sideways role from sitting – from one knee to the side, go down on elbow first, end on opposite knee – backwards, over one side, fish -- *decide where you head wants to be before you start the movement*

Hand down, one leg up and straight, jump to the side – now keep going without changing leg or hand (front – back – front – back) – bend knees in between – now add butterfly jump after front – back

Butterfly – up down fast – keep torso parallel to the ground

Put hands where the feet were, turn in air, then put feet back where the hands are now (mano mano piede piede) – body stays in one place – keep butt high – force yourself to stay in that position

X roll

Arms wheel forward, go down so the arms walk backwards, feet go down to stomach – don’t block the movement – legs up to land on feet – hands not in a line – legs step back

Macachi – sit one leg bent (foot on ground) other leg straight out – arm over bent leg is straight over that leg – straight arm and leg twist ¼ at the same time – push with foot and push up bacino – land on feet in ¼ turn

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The first week after the ankle

Notable pictures from the second week of circus school. Thank you to Louise Mellor for taking all the pics and letting me use her camera to take pictures!!

Here I am giving advice since I can't walk. This is right after I had the real cast put on that morning.
My favorite picture of Tay Tay.... we call him Perez!!

Katie walking across the tight rope.... our teacher Dario is in the background rooting her on!
Bob's hanging pose...
William, Brian and Louise on the tissue.

Let me just preface this by saying these are the weeks following the vicious ankle breaking. I am counting down the days I have left at this point with my cast on. A whole new start to circus school.

Day One

With Elena we learned some new climbs and falls on the tissue. First, use B climbing method (right leg passes in front of the tissue for one wrap around, then the other foot pinches the tissue on top of the foot underneath). Now you get both feet under the tissue and bend knees to the right while moving the tissue around the foot and pinch again. Next you put your hands through the middle moving your shoulders to the front. Grab right tissue with your left hand and left tissue with your right. Pull tissue into a cross on your back below your shoulder blades. Make sure the tissue is around your thighs. Then your head goes down towards the floor with legs out. Now from the ornament position you fall back and tissue holds feet.

Day Two

Preparazione Fisico got crazy today!! Always begins with different runs, normal, A in-out, skip, one step in front one step in back, walk on tiptoes. Stretch Achilles, now bend back knee, then stretch thigh. Lines are intense – knees up front forward, feet hit glutes, one short one long leg (deer jump), long long long long, jumps feet together arms circle back and up, quattro zampe forwards and backwards, hands on ground – legs in A position – jump forward hands then legs (legs stay straight), plank down roll over back plank up, plank walk forwards and backwards. Next we worked on more stretching and prep. Candle up to the middle then down into a stretch over straight legs, cobra plank, headstands.

Acrobatics with Matteo – Begins with capovolta from standing (STO DURO!!!!); Preparation for Flic Flac.

Aeree with Elena – Work on the trapeze:

First you airplane onto the bar then flip forward and legs wrap around ropes. Reach up and grab ropes, pull yourself up so that the bar is in front of your bacino. Reach high while pulling bacino forward hands go out. Keep closed, do NOT straighten legs, sit back and grab bar while you scende (stringi abdominals).

Acting with Raymonde

Point of contact –

Move around shirt, move around hand, move around finger – move like a predator around finger

Walk neutral – no sounds on the ground – finger emerges – suspicion moves you around with the whole body

Couple work – SILENCE!! Take – move – give – silence! MAXIMUM!! – PRECISION all body in minimum, no stereotypical gestures – DENTRO TUTTO IL CORPO!!

Day Three

Preparazione Fisico with Matteo

Pretty much the same. We added some lunges and sagitale lunges.

Stretching on the bars –

Legs together with hands behind bar, head to feet while partner holds hands. Now feel open, arms between legs head down. Last, hands up and open, you go upside down and slide down between arms.

Acrobatics with Matteo

Trampoline work – walk, lunge, block, 1 2 3 knees to chest, feet to glutes, jump scissor, toe touch arms between legs, capovolta – normal, small push (tuffino), push land on back and return to standing, backwards normal, now land on back and then over feet,.

Day Four

Preparazione fisico was about the same. Some different things added to bar work – with elbows bent hold bar elbows near chest stay teas and swing, hang off bar and pull knees to chest.

Aeree with Elena

The first real drop we learned starts with open legs, right leg in front of the tissue the left leg prende il tessuto per fare il diaper – next step turn over so you are hanging and put it around front – now wrap it around the leg and around the stomach. That is when you let go and roll down the tissue.

Acting with Raymonde

Strike a pose and push with all of the body. Hands straight – one hand for action and the other for feeling


I ran out of paper at this point but most of these exercises are repeated on Friday. I don’t have as many notes for acting because I am usually able to participate in either a chair or on the floor. I wasn’t able to participate in many of the other classes the first week but as I continue I am able to do more. I had to stay as still as possible so that the injury was not aggravated. It was quite frustrating. That weekend I laid low. I stayed with my foot up and went out only to do laundry with Caroline and Meredith (or as I call them – the most wonderful girls in the world for constantly being there to help me out).

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The vicious ankle breaking...

One group of the many musicians Caroline and I had the pleasure to listen to on Sunday morning before the horrible ankle incident.

At the hospital... that ice pack was on my foot for 3 hours while we waited... I think this is after a guy with a blood bag attached to him walked by and Meredith sang, "Making Memories!!"... classic...

The cast... the signatures make me happy... thanks everybody!!

So, I thought I would share why I am so behind on this blog. I totally broke my ankle! First broken bone ever and it had to happen the first weekend of circus school. I was running as we always do on the gymnastics floor in a circle to warm up for some practice on Sunday night before we continued with school on Monday. During this particular run my ankle just twisted, but because we were on a gymnastics floor which gives underneath your feet, it gave way and all my weight went onto my ankle. That is when I heard a snap... I froze and hobbled to sitting on the floor while repeating over and over again to Meredith and Caroline (who were also running with me), "I heard a snap... I heard a snap". It was my worst nightmare. Meredith came with me to the hospital and kept me company. She also wheeled me all over the hospital. The doctor said I was lucky because I had fractured the bone, but not quite enough to have to have surgery. I was off by a centimeter... yuck. Monday I had to be fitted for a proper plaster cast and now I cannot put any weight on it before June 16th (I cried non-stop for about 2 days... now I just cry every once in a while). For those keeping count, Circus School ends June 15th. Anyways, here I am in Torino figuring it out. Jesse came down to give me some support and helped me figure out the public transport to school. He's a great husband!! Now, the rest of this blog will now be labeled from Day One to Day Thirty-Five (the day I have my cast removed). This will be journaling my experience in circus school on one leg. Should be interesting.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day mom!!!!

Our welcome to Torino from the bar on our corner.

I have had an eventful few days in Torino. Caroline, Meredith, and I had great fun doing laundry yesterday then Caroline and I went out exploring the city. Torino is wonderful because it is filled with artists and museums. There are outdoor markets down every other street and musicians on every corner. Not to mention the amount of museums, my weekends are going to be full for sure. Yesterday I had the great pleasure of seeing the Shroud of Turin - for those of you who do not know what this relic is, it is believed to be the cloth they wrapped Jesus in to bury him after the crucifixion. It was a pretty amazing piece of history to say the least! Then we discovered a giant park which was lovely and the Mole which is a crazy cool structure. The Mole holds the Museum of Cinema inside. Today we were going to go to the Egyptian museum but the line was much too long. We will have to get up way earlier in the day to make that happen. Tonight we will go to see the 1st year circus students do their final performance (Cart-One).

Since it is Mother's Day, I wanted to touch a little bit on mothers... more specifically my mother. She is the reason I am able to do all of these amazing things. Her support and love through out the years has kept me on my feet and running. She always wanted me to travel the world and do what there is to do in the world. And though I know she misses me so much, she wants me to live my life. She is the most unselfish person I have ever had the privilege to know. Because of her strength, I am strong. Because of her wisdom, I grow wiser everyday. Because of her love, I live. Thank you mom!! I miss you more than you could ever know and I hope you have a wonderful day!!!!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Circus School Week One

While we were on Elba Island the girls and I decided to get back in shape and do some acrobatics on the beach before we started circus school. This is one of my many handstands from that day.


Today was much harder than yesterday and much more frustrating. We started with Physical Preparation taught by Matteo. He is a great teacher but the moves are obviously difficult because it is preparation for circus. We went straight into equilibrium class with Dario where we studied tight rope today. It was harder for me than what I expected considering my dance background. Next we met Elena who taught us tissue. Also very difficult, yet much less difficult once you put resin on your hands so you stop slipping. Then we learned all about how to be a circus actor from Raymond.


I hurt myself today… of course I was the first one to hurt themselves. I sailed (literally) through acrobatics, doing fantastic work (I was even surprising myself) then went on to dance where I came down on the side of my foot during a hitchkick turn. Luckily, it was just sprained, but I hit my butt against the floor pretty damn hard and that is definitely going to hurt for a week or so. I was fortunate that juggling was in the afternoon and I was able to participate.


Today in equilibrium we tried the tight rope again, then we touched on the basics of the giant ball (walking on top of a free rolling ball), the free standing ladder (walking on and up a free standing ladder), and the sphere which is just a circular can with a piece of wood on top. This one was my favorite and it was much easier for me to understand than the other pieces. I don’t like the ball because you are always on uneven ground and I panic a little bit, but the sphere is more like a skateboard, you can gain control of the mechanism much faster. We worked on tissue and I climbed all the way up, yay me!! Then we started with basic tricks on the trapeze, which was fun but painful. In the afternoon we did more work on the actor with Raymond. We love him!!


So I almost died during physical preparation today. It is Friday and Matteo decided to turn up the heat a little bit. Since he has trained Olympic medalists he probably could have pushed us even further, but I definitely was at my limit. He began teaching us acrobatic basics but I hurt my neck and back during a backwards roll. Nothing horrible, just need to get a massage to fix it. We went straight into juggling, which is my most frustrating class. I just get really bored with it and I never really wanted to juggle so it is hard to care. But I try as hard as I can to concentrate and Dario is a great teacher and very patient, so maybe I will actually be able to juggle. Whoopee! We went into dance with Erika who looks like she dances on water, is teaching us a beautiful piece that is extremely difficult. It is an acrodance (acrobatics and dance put together). I’m picking up most of it, but with my foot still hurting I have to be careful. I’ll rest over the weekend and hit it hard again next week.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Circus School

Mer and I on the bus to Torino!

I’ve packed up my bags, left behind my husband, puppy, and beautiful new home all in the hopes of learning the art of circus. Excuse the randomness of this entry but it is quite late and my head is spinning from a day of travel. Bad news: I miss my husband and my dog more than I thought I ever would. Good news: I saw the 2nd year students of this circus school (FLIC) do their final performance… amazing!! I’m very excited to start on this adventure and thanks to my wonderful roomies (Bob and Mer Mer) I am not too lonely yet.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Motorino Crash

Me tonight after unwrapping my knee to let the raspberry breath a bit, I put ice on it to reduce the swelling... stupid!:
I had quite a rough day and I thought maybe blogging about it would help. I have been trying to learn how to drive the motorino (scooter in English - but faster really). Jesse and I spent some time on Sunday practicing together. The bad thing about me is that I am extremely accident prone. Just two Fridays ago I almost broke my toe while warming up in Music class.

Anyways, yesterday morning I was going to take the motorino to school by myself for the first time. I went down to the garage, pulled it out and then for one reason or another it was going to fast towards a brick wall, so I tried to slam on the breaks and the wheels slipped out from under me taking the motorino to the ground. Luckily, I was only jolted, not hurt, but I broke the bottom left corner of the windshield. I didn't want to wake Jesse up with the news and I knew if I didn't get back on the bike I wouldn't do it again... so I got back on and drove on the back roads very slowly to school. I made it there and back. I was pretty proud of myself and Jesse didn't care much about the windshield, he was just glad I was ok.

That brings us to this morning. I decided that it was probably the smooth concrete that messed me up, so I pulled the motorino out into the actual driveway with my feet before starting to ride it. I was doing just fine, then came a big turn and the motorino jumped a bit. I tried to slam on the breaks but I think I had the wheel turned too far so I went down on the pavement. Unfortunately, this time my leg was stuck underneath. The only thing that was hurt (thank goodness) was my knee, which is quite swollen, a little discolored, but got a bit of a raspberry. One of our neighbors came out to help me pick up the moto and dust myself off. He's a really nice guy. I went upstairs to Jesse in tears telling him the story. He drove me to school today where I wrapped and iced it before and during class.

Luckily we were doing more color exploration today in Marcello's class and then had Aesthetics with Mike this afternoon. However, I am not happy at how clumsy I am and it makes me feel vulnerable and helpless when I can't even drive myself places. Jesse says I just need more practice and our neighbor said that this is normal. He said it happens to everyone a few times when they are trying to get used to the moto. I'm not sure how long it will take me to get back on the horse, but we'll see.