Hi again. Sorry, I haven’t posted for a while, but It has been a very busy time for me at school.   November and December were filled with Nutcracker rehearsals and we were very busy in our academic classes finishing up all of our projects and tests for the end of term in December.

January was a very interesting month for me.  The first week of January, I was off on break from school.  I didn’t get a Christmas break because of the Nutcracker.  I had a great week at home, visiting with my family and friends, going out to the movies and just having some fun, but just before I was ready to go back to school, I fell on some very slippery wood stairs and broke my arm.  Ouch!  A broken arm and dance!  I have now realized that a broken arm doesn’t have to mean you can’t dance.  I was pretty upset at first, because I had to stay home for an additional week.  I didn’t get a full cast on until four days after I broke my arm because I needed to wait until the swelling went down.  Then I needed a couple of days just to get adjusted to managing simple things with a cast on my predominant “right” arm.  I write with this arm and, actually, rely on it pretty much for everything.  Imagine putting your “preferred arm” behind your back and not being able to use it to dress, eat, write, wash yourself, even putting the toothpaste on your toothbrush.  It did take some time adapting, but I am happy to say that I am at the midway point now, back to school for 2 weeks, and I am pretty much functioning normally.  I went straight back to dance class, after conferring with the doctor and the school physiotherapist.  I had to modify some of my exercises, I couldn’t do allegro, as jumping might affect the injury, and I couldn’t do some of my conditioning exercises on the floor, like planks and push ups, but I didn’t let it stop me.  At first, my balance was a bit off with the weight of the cast and I even found doing the splits put me off balance, but after adjusting a few things, I am having no problems.  So don’t be discouraged if you break your arm, you can continue on dancing with some adjustments.  The cast will be off in 3 more weeks and I can hardly wait.

I am now starting to work hard on my exercises for my evaluation which will be taking place in April.  It seems far away, but I know it is going to be here fast.  I have to work on my pelvis to help me with my turnout.  I feel it is improving, but I need to keep plugging away.  I am also working on my balance and my feet.  I am learning to use the muscles in the bottom of my feet.  It is easy to cheat and point your feet by scrunching your toes and pushing on your arch, but you need to use the muscles above the soles of your feet to get a natural curve.  It is a work in progress for me.  One of the things I love about Canada’s National Ballet School is the amount that I learn about my body.  My teachers focus on educating us about the importance of using our muscles correctly and how that helps our core and our movement quality.  It is a slow process, but when I start to see results I realize how important it is. 

I visited the Barrie School of Dance this past weekend and I enjoyed sitting in on a tap class.  Wow, the girls are finished their comp. number and it is looking fantastic.  I also saw some of the costumes which are now being delivered.  I got to thinking how much I loved competing.  So much adrenaline leading up to competitions, I could feel it in the studio.  I can’t wait to see BSD perform.  Also, Summer School auditions are coming to an end.  I hope that, if any of you auditioned this year, you had a great experience.  Whether you got a spot or not, auditioning is a great way to gain self confidence and a way to see what other dancers in your age group are like. 

Bye for now!
Matt Sabourin

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