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Emilee

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Mischief Managed.
I solemnly swear that I am up to no good. #leakycon #leakycon2018
Y’all, check out my friend Baileys announcement!! I’m so excited for her and super pumped to watch this series she’s a part of! #Repost @catchingbreaths with @get_repost ・・・ The concept is simple: follow someone’s journey from surgery to stage. Showing the life of a mucus mutant. Showing the life of a bilingual Deaf family. Showing the life of a dancer and @companythreesixty dancers. It technically hits all the hashtags: #spoonie #deaf #adultballerina #bodypositive #chronicillness. It hopefully connects with many communities and provides another voice in the chorus of those wanting representation in media abound. It is positive: a positive network with a positive focus wanting to counter the negative swarmy troll farm that is most modern media to date. But... what if the concept becomes a reality? What if I show not just the recovery from latest rounds of surgeries... but the pain and swelling and funk between? What if I don’t fulfill some sort of diagnostic paradigm being that I am an Atypical diagnosis (and someone who hopes not to be defined by that anyways where I can)? What if we capture not just the invigorating process of putting together a show with women I ferociously admire and protect... but also, how totally messy dance life can be? What if we showcase a family that’s equal parts Deaf as hearing... yet our variable mix of signing, reading lips, caption and speech isn’t in keeping with what the world wants from us? Choosing to share our story has come with a lot of IFs... but we are braving it none the less. Although I can’t believe our pilot episode premiered TODAY and that I can finally announce the news... fear of judgement subsists. Can perspective, positivity and living an imperfect life as openly as possible actually be of benefit? The verdict is still out... but I’m excited to try. I’m excited to see. And I’m excited to get started.▪️Click Link In Bio To Watch The Pilot Or Go To: onlygood.tv▪️#CatchingBreaths
The builders weren’t out today, so I decided to have one last hoorah in our still empty, hurricane Harvey-Ed house. They’ve finally begun repairs, and I’m super pumped for it to be fixed, but also a bit sad at the loss of the house as we knew it and how it was growing up. Here I’m in our game room, the red wall is my bathroom, and to the right is my old bedroom, where I was the night before the storm came. The bed I slept on had ceiling and insulation fallen on it the next day. Still pretty surreal almost a year out. TL;DR I love my new @sodancausa dance sneakers I got from @cinqdanceessentials ! Super pumped for the new year!
We had a guest teacher in class last night. I wrote a blog post about it! Link is in the bio. (Spoiler. It was wonderful.) Thank you so much, @linds779 for teaching us! (Ps. My shirt is from @balletlibrarian ‘s book Cantique, you can totally still get ya one. It’s my favorite, obviously.) PD: photo of me and Lindsi Dec from Pacific Northwest Ballet after class.
Once upon a time, my toes used to touch the floor.

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Motivation?

We went to a class at a new studio to see if we could hold up last week, and yesterday was our first day in the fall classes.
This also meant it was our first class including pointe.
I can’t tell you the last time I was on pointe. I’ve put on my pointe shoes to try and keep up my ankle strength, but I don’t know if I’ve ever been able to leave them on for a full class. Not because I’m incapable, but because the pain was so intense that my toes were literally numb within minutes. And not the nice kind of numb where you don’t feel anything; this was the painful numb. Like when your leg falls asleep and you start to wake it, or the numb spot on my leg from the car wreck. It’s “numb” because if I scratch it I can’t feel it, but if you press on it, it warrants me immobile.
But this is a new class of students at a new studio. I don’t want to count myself out because I don’t try. They’re watching me to see what I’m capable, and my greatest hope is that they’ll see that I’m trying and it’s not because of my inability in skill but a separate problem. I want someone to tell me something different than what I’ve heard. (“You’re just going to have to suck it up.”) I have a pretty high pain tolerance. There’s no way all these other girls are doing these moves so simply with this kind of pain.
I didn’t cry. Thank God I didn’t cry. Because I really wanted to. I was embarrassed that I couldn’t do a simple task that I should be able to do. Everyone else is busting it out like it’s nothing, and I should be able to as well.
Thankfully, the teacher was kind.
It didn’t help that I was having a really off day. My co worker has a weird way of teasing that is kind of degrading, and it was really getting to me. Then my leotard didn’t fit right, and it seemed I was the biggest one and the only one in class that wasn’t ballet sculpted. Thank God my friend’s little sister whose more my size came in to the class. She made me feel so much better. The fact that she went out there and danced with confidence made me believe I could, too. You know, there’s times I’m glad that I’m not the perfect dancer, the perfect shape, the perfect _______________. (insert expectation here.) I was beyond grateful to have here there to help pull me out of the insecure slump I had fallen into. I had to keep reminding myself that this was permanent, that “home” as I knew it (in a dance studio) didn’t exist anymore, and I had to adjust–either adjust or give up, and the latter is not an option.
Class ended, and the owner of the studio came over to us to ask how it went. My friend and I were honest with pointe–she struggled to keep up, and I struggled with my toes. (I had heard once that “bad dancers blame their shoes” so I refused to do that. It must be me.)
She was so patient and considerate. She suggested some other classes to try to see what might be best for us. I told her I knew my friend Lilian–who was in a class in studio B that started before ours let out–and she told us how she had found her fit and tried many different things.
Then she helped me try and figure out what was causing my toes to hurt so badly. She asked me about it and I explained the best I could, while trying to say “Yes, Ma’am.” But slipping a couple of “yeah”‘s when I was on an epiphany.
She asked me to point my foot.
I did.
“You have really good feet.”
“My toes are kinda gimpy, which gives me some trouble.”
“But that shouldn’t matter. See, your first two toes are rather level, which means the weight can distribute on two instead of just one. That’s good, see I only had the one here as my other toes are much shorter.”
I have good feet?
My friend Liz had these gel toe pads, and Ms. Munro had me try them and see if there was a difference. She suggested using those, as it may make all the difference in the world. I had always been told they were horrible. Just like I was told that Grishko 2007’s were the cop out shoe. But it turns out I just may be the one foot type that is perfect for Grisko 2007’s and gel toe pads.
What are the odds?
So now we are trying out an adult class on Wednesday with Alex, whom Lilian loves and I’m excited to get to dance under, and then trying out a ballet IV class on Thursday with Lori to see how we do on pointe there. A bit younger, but we’re used to that. (I’m also excited to take with Lori.)

Nothing worth having comes easy.
The struggle reminds you that it’s worth it.
You have to encourage yourself if you want to make it through.
You got this.
You’re better for it.
Never. Give. Up.

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