Thoughts after a six-month hiatus from ballet

Six months is officially the longest I have not danced. Ballet has been the constant in my life since I started at five years old. My Saturdays are planned around my afternoon ballet class. For two hours a week, I find myself in the studio, (sometimes) pushing myself to be a better dancer than I was the week before. Before exchange, the longest break I’ve taken from ballet is probably about a month? Most likely because I wanted to spend more time on my studies or the like. My mum definitely would not let me skip a whole month of class. But six months WHOA.

So I finally went for class last Saturday after delaying the inevitable for two weeks since I’ve been back. I was a bundle of nerves and excitement really. Haven’t felt so excited about ballet in ages. I was quite worried that my ballet teacher will take one look at me and banish me from class because I am now an overweight hippo HAHA. But thankfully it didn’t happen hehehe. She actually welcomed me with open arms and I was squealing inside heh. I get this feeling that she doesn’t like me much tbh. But she gives me opportunities because of how tenaciously I am holding on. Waiting 5 years to take the grade 6 exam and watching younger girls (who are better than me no doubt) taking it before me is no easy feat. I was rly quite close to giving up at certain points but 1. my mum didn’t want me to give up 2. I feel like if I don’t dance, idk what else I am?? Doing ballet has become so central to my identity (despite my lack of aptitude and talent oops). While I’ll probably be quite happy with the time that is freed up if I stop dancing, it would feel more weird than anything else.

Class itself was… tiring. It never occurred to me how difficult class is if you haven’t been dancing at least semi-regularly. Two hours of dance was INTENSE man. My ankles were really sore after class – I think my feet weren’t used to moving so quickly and the whole pointing my feet thing again. It was really quite amazing tbh. I’ve taken ballet for granted for so long and never realised how tuned one’s body has to be to dance to be able to attend a two hour long class. It really made me appreciate ballet a lot more.

It was also really interesting how my body remembers the exercises and movements. it’s almost second nature? Even though I was stiff from the lack of practice, my feet and arms still remembered the movements, it was almost automatic (for the lack of a better word)?? I guess it really comes with years of practice.

Speaking of which, I should take the opportunity to mention that I participated in my third concert organised by my ballet school last year! I’ve been meaning to blog about it but yknw me. Heh. Titled The Power of Dance, Music and Hope, the proceeds of the concert went to Multiple Myeloma Cancer Research. I was in the exact same items I was supposed to be in the last concert. And this time I even managed to perform wheeee. Long story short, the last time I dropped out of the item that required pointe work because I wasn’t strong enough and didn’t have enough time to practice D:

It was a really good experience. I’ve been wanting to participate in a concert for years omg and to finally be able to was super. I know I wasn’t really up to scratch though which is disappointing but what to do.

Morning Hours
Morning Hours

That’s the pointe shoe item! It’s from Waltz of the Hours from the ballet Coppelia. I’m hidden somewhere in the third row ofc.

Super grateful that my friends and family came to watch me dance (gna be lazy about this and just screenshot from Instagram because this happened awhile ago and Instagram had the more real and that moment in time emotions yknw):

Manda and Ming!
Manda and Ming!

The both of them have always been super supportive of me – be it in school, CNM Society, or life in general. Super glad that they made the trip down to support me for the concert :’)

ST, Hazel and PJ
ST, Hazel and PJ

MY PILLARS OF SUPPORT. MY BEST FRIENDS. (MY ONLY FRIENDS??) In some ways, it felt like I was dancing for them yknw. To show them what I have been doing for most of my life and to thank them for always always believing that I can do it and offering kindest words of encouragement. So grateful for the three of them in my life.

And ofc not to forget:

the family
the family

Rly my number 1 supporters since I started ballet – both emotionally and in many other ways like occasionally having to work their schedules around my ballet schedule.

Okay that’s all for ballet thoughts bbbbbbbb.

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Thoughts after a six-month hiatus from ballet

The day I walked and walked and walked

Finally an update not from like one month ago! I scheduled my internship to start a week after my finals because I wanted a break to just nua and enjoy life so I had a whole week to myself!! So luxurious 😀 Wednesday was my eat lunch w PJ, shopping w mei and finally dinner w my family. The problem was… PJ’s lunch hour ends at 2pm. But mei had driving until 4.30pm so I had 2.5h to waste ON MY OWN. So not used to being so free w nothing to do. If it was during the semester it’d be easy, just bring my school work and find some place to study. But then… I didn’t rly have anything to study. And I didn’t want to bring Saffy out. And I didn’t have a book to read. So I was quite lost 😦

Anyway lunch w PJ was yummy! We had rosti but omg it was waaayyyy too much potato and we were so mega full after that. Was so nice to hang out w PJ ~ Even though we just met for lunch the day before for aerobics + Korean food for lunch. It’s always nice to hang out w my dearest PJ ~

After lunch I felt so lost 😦 2.5h WHAT TO DO?!! D: Luckily I remembered that… I’ve been wanting to buy my pointe shoes for the longest time EVER. So I took the train to Dhoby and WALKED TO WILKIE EDGE T.T It’s rly rly far okay 😦 Especially when it’s not like vv nice and cooling sigh. I decided to buy from Sonata this time instead of OKH because I saw that they have pointe shoe fittings! And becos I’m such a noob and know nuts about pointe shoes and how they should fit, I decided to go for a pointe shoe fitting and have an expert help me out. I really wanted to be able to do pointe this year – my ballet goal of the year! And hopefullyyyy do pointe work during the concert (if I get selected that is).

The shop lady (shop keeper? shop assistant?) was reallyyyy nice! Like she was super patient in explaining everything to me and let me try on so many different pairs to shoes to show me the difference between the brands and the kinds of fits they offer. IT WAS A WHOLE NEW WORLD AND SHE WAS MY GUIDE, HOLDING ME BY THE HAND AND SHOWING ME THE MAGIC THAT ARE POINTE SHOES.

Finally decided on my pointe shoes after trying on at least 4 pairs and yayyy I can’t wait to dance in them.

After my purchase, I checked Google maps and realised that it seems like walking to Bugis is the fastest way. SO I WALKED T.T Therefore you can technically say that I walked from Dhoby to Bugis. SO AMAZING EH CAN YOU BELIEVE I WALKED SO MUCH. Because I can hardly believe it LOL. So atypical of me

I was still mega early to meet my sis so… I just walked around and was basically q lonely. Wanted to sit somewhere to read but then everything so expensive and I’m a poor student 😥 Ended up at Macs w a sundae omg fsw really.

Sissy came finally then we walked around a bit. WASTED TRIP THO we both didn’t find anything we liked SIGH. Sad. Treated my mum to dinner then homeeeee. It was such a tiring day phew.

The day I walked and walked and walked

BALLET EXAM DAY!

Actually I have already noted down EVERYTHING like in super detail in my dayre already because it was v convenient hahaha. So please read from there!!

But this is my beloved bo ke so I cannot let it go to waste and die lonely. I AM NOT THAT KINDA PERSON. 喜新厌旧 (cue: waaa your Chinese #likeaboss) So here are some thoughts about my ballet exam 🙂

TBH I’d say I’m kinda disappointed in how I did because I know that I could have done better. But like in all exams, there are hits and misses. Sometimes if you’re lucky, you nail that balance. Sometimes if you’re not, you wobble and stumble. But I guess the lesson to take away is that failure is perhaps inevitable. What matters is what you learn from it and how you grow from it. So instead of dwelling on how it’s upsetting, I’m going to tell myself that it’s okay. That instead of looking at one exam, I should be looking at the whole process – how I’ve grown as a dancer and how I’ve gotten stronger and better.

OKAY LA CHEAP COMFORT LOL /dies. But really, there’s nothing for me to do now and there’s nothing I can change now. It’s kinda like my school exam philosophy also which probably explains why I usually don’t seem that upset after exams. Just live with the mistakes you made and know that you didn’t ONLY make mistakes. I hope there were moments in my dancing that made the examiner go ‘wow I didn’t think she could do that’ – that would be quite enough for me already.

ALSO IF I GET A DISTINCTION LA.

I really want a distinction to finish off my Grade 8. Please please pleaseeee. I don’t even have to top my Grade 7 results which really, to me, seems likes some fluke result haha I really dk how I managed to do so well. SHOCKED MYSELF. Just let me get 75 marks and above and I’ll be super thankful already.

Yup so that’s all. For a blow-by-blow account of the exam do check out the dayre post where I talked about every single dance. For now, it’s back to school for me ~

BALLET EXAM DAY!

Solo, yolo.

My rhyme for the title is funny right. Right.

We had ballet at 9am today instead of our usual because people wouldn’t be able to make it for class at night. I was unfortunately slightly late because I overslept and was huffing and puffing even before class started becos I was rushing.

A little explanation about the way the Grade 8 exam works:
Everyone has their own group of 3-4 dancers. And we each have to perform four solos – one compulsory and the other three chosen by ourselves.

Solos are rly rly quite frightening things – especially if you’re an unprepared dancers. There’s no crowd to melt into and it’ll rly only be you, the examiner and the pianist in the studio. Talk about nerve-wracking.

I haven’t actually had the chance to try dancing alone before, partly because of luck. So imagine my surprise when my ballet teacher suddenly said she wanted me to try dancing Valse Printemps solo. I was rly taken aback because I wasn’t expecting it and… okay better the Valse than the free movement one which I am rly rly unsure of.

That said though, I really appreciated the chance to try it out alone because at least now I have the feel of the space a solo dancer has to make use of, and it kinda boosted my confidence in an odd way. Super nervous and the greatest compliment was ‘Good effort’ rather than ‘good’ but it’s okay. Gna practise harder and work on the things she points out to me. One day (hopefully sooner rather than later), it’s gna be ‘good’.

Oh yes and I’ve ‘good line’ ^^ Rly have to take the rare compliments and hug them to myself and reassure myself that I’m not that lousy. Go go go PS G8 is not that insurmountable.

Solo, yolo.

A manicure and a bit of ballet

6 December 2014

I’ve been wanting to do my nails for AGES really. My nails have been unpainted since recess week I think. I just have not found the time to either paint my nails on my own or go do my nails somewhere. Okay probably not the paint my own nails thing. I’ve tried so many times but really, it just fails most of the time sigh. And it happened that Ming Ming was free that Friday afternoon so we made a date to go do our nails together yayzors 😀

Agonised over what to wear for a vv long time. Because I was going to watch a ballet in the evening = must dress better. But then I was going to Orchard / Far East to do my nails = don’t rly need to dress that well sigh. Ended up wearing my dress because I was too lazy to pack any extra set of clothes heh.

Met Ming Ming and we explored Far East a little and ate yummy rojak before going to a nail salon to do our nails. Yay for $5 nails teehee. Unfortunately we weren’t seated together because they were quite busy. So we had to take whichever seats were vacated first sigh. Oh it was the first time I had a male manicurist. He was quite fabulous and quite reminded me of Adam Lambert (thankfully my dear friends reading this aren’t really great fans of his hahaha oops). Anyway, halfway through painting my nails, the CD stopped playing. Maybe it was like his turn to choose the music or something but in any case I WAS SO PLEASANTLY SURPRISED WHEN I HEARD A FAMILIAR TUNE PLAYING.

K-pop omg. Oh the familiar lovely tunes of K-pop started blasting through the speakers of the nail salon. I WAS SO DELIGHTED. I think it was Coup D’etat. Anywho, I heard him singing along and I was thinking like OMG A FRIEND. A CHINGU (Korean for friend my dear PJ who doesn’t understand Korean). So I decided to strike up a conversation with him.

The conversation didn’t last that long though sigh. I thought we’d be able to connect through our mutual love for K-Pop but noooo he was more interested in painting my nails (which I should be grateful for I guess LOL). But still i was v pleased by the choice of music. I reveled in the fact that I could identify and even hum along to most of the songs YAY.

Of course Ming Ming did not share my sentiments teehee. I was mouthing to her several times ‘OMG I KNOW THIS SONG’ or like we were tweeting/ messaging each other on LINE sigh the wonders of technology keeping two people separated by two chairs connected 😉 We decided that it was time to leave the place because we were quite tired of mouthing to each other so we paid and went on our merry way.

Took a picture before we parted ways though:

This is how Ming Ming looks like
This is how Ming Ming looks like

Sigh I’m going to miss Ming Ming when she flies off tomorrow 😥

Met Hazel at City Hall after that! We decided to have our dinner at this little hawker area next to Esplanade which had q hawker fare. Decided on Pad Thai and Satay to share! Didn’t want to stuff ourselves because we wanted dessert heh. Who doesn’t want dessert right! 😀

Had Haagen Dazs and Hazel dropped her little surprise secret on me and I had to act calm and composed but was cool. Happy for you Hazel, happy that you’re happy 😀

Then we went to watch the ballet! The Nutcracker, put on by Singapore Dance Theatre. I was quite upset at missing the Bolshoi Ballet because they came during my exam period and by the time i realised that I’d be able to go, it was too late 😦 Sold out sigh pie and I heard it was so good too.

SDT’s Nutcracker had kinda an interesting twist to it. Like they injected a more Asian figure to it. TBH, my impression of Nutcracker is from Barbie LOL so is Hazel’s as she confessed to me in a whisper just as the ballet was starting.

SDT’s Nutcracker was set in Shanghai, where characters have taken on a more Western take on life and dressing and are quite affluent. The story is that a family holds a Christmas gathering for their family and friends. One uncle gifts the younger daughter with a nutcracker which has some magic in it. At night, the daughter wakes up and goes to the living room to hug her nutcracker to sleep. To her surprise, the mice in the house (tsk dirty) come alive and some soldiers come and rescue her. After the soldiers win the battle with the mice, she’s whisked away on this magical journey were she sees the snow queen and king and finally the sugar plum fairy (sorta like the highlight) and then.. she’s returned to the living room. Yup so that’s basically it.

I thought it was nice that they tried the Chinese twist to it? Especially since most of the dancers were of Asian descent. But it still felt quite weird, I don’t think it was handled that well. Actually, overall I found the story a little boring. The battle scene between the mice and the soldiers was, for a lack of a better word, quite silly to watch. Probably because the mice were children whereas the soldiers were dancers in their 20s I’m guessing? So yup, quite silly to watch the way they ‘battled’. Felt so much like a staged show (which I suppose it is).

I didn’t felt that swept away by the magic or the dancing. Of course there were moments that wowed me (it doesn’t take a lot). But I suspect that because the plot was so nonsense to me, I didn’t enjoy the ballet as much as I could have. Oh yes and there were at least three times when a dancer slipped oh gosh. My heart went out for those dancers – it must have been so heartbreaking to slip especially after they practised so hard. Everything kinda went down the drain when they lost their balance sigh.

So yup it was quite a disappointing ballet sigh can’t believe i’m saying this.

Anyway after the ballet Hazel and i took the train to Orchard to meet my parents and my sis and they gave Hazel a lift home. I think my dad forgot how far Hazel stays LOL. Doubt he’s gna offer to send her all the way home anytime soon! 😛

A manicure and a bit of ballet

Dance to Live

During my 4.30pm ballet class today, we were doing a big waltz. I absolutely LOVE big waltzes. I love jumping and using the space and learning new beautiful steps.

Today’s waltz was easy to do but not easy to look nice doing it. But the point of this post is to remind myself that today while doing the waltz, I suddenly felt so happy to be able to dance. To jump and dance and spin. I really couldn’t but smile 🙂

Love dancing so much!!! 🙂

Dance to Live

My Grade 6 exam

I can now FINALLY say that I’m at Grade 7 for ballet. Or that I’ve finished my Grade 6 syllabus WOOHOOOOOO. :D:D

The journey to the Grade 6 exam has been amazing and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. The exam itself, like all exams, ended really fast. The examiner was nice and smiley which made it so much easier to smile at her.

Andddd I’ve a lovely partner 🙂

Oh yes, Hazel showed me a trailer for a movie I now want to watch because I know it’s something that will make me go ‘wow’ every other moment.


These kids have so much talent (and flexibility) that it’s quite scary.

AND THE BOYS DOING BALLET. WHY CAN’T MORE SINGAPOREAN BOYS DO BALLET.

My Grade 6 exam