Friday, August 26, 2011

Cyd Charisse

Have you ever seen Cyd Charisse dance? It's just amazing. Purely amazing. 
As a child she overcame polio. To strengthen her muscles, a doctor reccomended dance lessons. She was thirteen when she began to take ballet class. 
She was Gene Kelly's favorite dance partner. That man was a hard act to follow, let alone keep up with! Yet, when I see them dance together, she manages to claim her half of the spotlight.

Yesterday I traipsed all over the city visiting several dance studios. All of them impressive. I have pretty much narrowed it down to two, based on location and accessibility. The dance studio I liked the most, unfortunately, is not easy to get to. 
I was able to watch class in two of the studios through the windows. It was amazing. The flexibility and strength that shows through their movements. The control and freedom that shows through the dance. They put everything they have into one single movement and carry it into the next. I could almost feel what it would be like to dance the combination they were practicing. It was thrilling just to watch them. Like I was home. Ever since my summer camp I've known that I am meant to dance. I need to dance. It's apart of me as much as breathing...well...that might be an exaggeration, but the point still stands. Dance is inside me, aching to be released. I have taken the next step in my journey of dancing. I can't wait to start taking class again. 

The downside to running all over, taking buses, trains, and walking/running/sprinting a great deal is...shin splints. If you've never had shin splints, they hurt like heck depending on how bad they are. And they can take weeks to heal. I can't properly flex or point my feet. Hopefully with a few days rest things will start to get better. 


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

ASL- Dancing With Your Hands.

Yesterday I entered the world of College Classes. Community College Classes anyway.

My English Prof reminds me of my friend's father...he sounds exactly like him! This semester will be interesting listening to a professor who sounds like my friend's dad. He seems to be very fair and no-nonsense, but good natured.

My ASL class, which is almost 4 hours long, is going to be a challenge but completely enjoyable. We don't talk at all during class, except through signing and finger-spelling.
Being a dancer my whole life- ASL is just like dancing, but with your hands. Like in some forms of Indian dances (from India, not Native American) hand movements convey a message. It can take years to memorize all of the hand signals and signs. I can't help but feel like I'm learning a new sort of dance. I've always had good muscle memory, and I love putting movement to meaning. 
I like not speaking with my voice. Sometimes silence is a much more powerful tool than noise. Silence can  make a person go mad. It can help someone to calm down after being around too much noise. If you listen to the silence, sometimes you make believe you can hear things in it. Sometimes you do hear things you wouldn't normally hear if you were talking aloud or listening to music. I'm a writer and I don't often write with music on. I write better when I'm not listening to anything except whatever sounds nature is making. That's sometimes as close to silence as you can get.
God can speak to us in silence. I wonder, do deaf people have an easier time hearing God because they don't have the external noise?

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Astonishing isn't a word you hear very often. 

Definition of Astonishing (According to the online Merriam-Webster Dictionary):

adj \-ni-shiƋ\
Definition of ASTONISHING
: causing astonishment : surprising <an astonishing discovery>
as·ton·ish·ing·ly adverb
  1. He showed an astonishing lack of concern for others.
  2. The truck can hold an astonishing amount of stuff.
  3. She gave an astonishing performance in her first film.

First Known Use of ASTONISHING- 1593 


Antonyms: unsurprising
The word astonishing may just be a fancy way of putting "surprised," but I feel like it holds so much more than just a birthday party you weren't expecting or a friend you haven't seen in a long time and ran into at the mall. 
To me, the word Astonishing conveys a certain hitch in your breath when you realize just what is going on. Astonishing is an achivement you gain with excelence. 
Astonishment is something when people look at you and say "You've come so far!" with genuine admiration and pride in their eyes. 

This year I am leaving behind almost every comfort place I know. 
I'm starting Community College tomorrow as a part time Freshman. The first steps to getting a major in Something-I-Don't-Know-What-Yet-That's-What-Gen-Ed-Courses-At-Community-College-Are-For. I'm terrified. I started hyperventilating last night when I lay in my bed thinking about starting classes tomorrow. Thank goodness I'm memorizing the Serenity Prayer and the 23rd Psalm.

I have a job that I love. Working at Bath and Body Works. The store where almost everything smells good! At least, there are some smells that are not my particular piece of cake, but other people love! 

I'm going to leave my little dance studio in my hometown and venture into Chicago and find a studio there. Dance has always been something I love. Recently I felt called to pursue dance more seriously, so I'm going to the city. It sounds like a movie, doesn't it? 
I know it'll be tough, I know all the stories about the world of performance. Don't talk down to me and tell me that I'll never make it. I know I might not, but that doesn't mean I won't be sashaying across a room for the rest of my life. Dance will always be in my life one way or another. It's just time that I figured out where. 

My life sounds pretty exciting and promising right now, doesn't it? Well, it sounds that looks that way. My future is almost an open slate. I have the beginnings of an exciting and eventful year (or several). 
But it's almost too open ended and out of my control. I'm not a control freak- or high maintenance. Still, leaving behind almost your whole world that didn't change too much and going into a place in your life where everything is new and you don't know what's going to happen? That's stressful, and scary, and exciting. My world is tumbling around me and I can't stop the spinning. It's slipping through my fingers like grains of sand.

Stop the world- I want to get off.

So in a fit of trying to find something I could grasp onto. I dyed my hair. It was supposed to be Auburn (I love Auburn hair), but it turned out Red. Deep, beautiful, red. It's awesome, and it didn't go the way I wanted it too, though I'm not really complaining there.

I think this is enough of an introduction to who I am- before I finish this entry- I'll actually explain the purpose of this blog. 

Since my life is changing rapidly and in so many ways (so many more ways than I even wrote about here). I'm chronicling major events, posting quotes, journaling my trials and internet appropriate tribulations, drabbles, ramblings, fits of sanity, etc. 

I chose the word Astonishing, because that's what I hope to be. Much like in the musical- Little Women (I'm a Jo by the way, for all you March Girl fans out there), I wish to be Astonishing and find my way in the unexpected and unknown. In my own way- today.