Friday, March 27, 2015


I was featured in Adult Ballerina Project! Click on over and read my profile. :)


Ever had a problem with a particular move and then just changed one thing and then suddenly, everything was better, the clouds opened up, and the sun was your personal spotlight?

Well, that may be a tad bit exaggerated, but you feel me.

My boyfriend/waltz partner and I were struggling with the lifts we have to do in our waltz dance we're performing in June. The first is basically a turn that I get into by doing a chaines to him and then grabbing my right arm around his waist and the left just hangs open/back while my legs are in double attitude. He grabs his right arm around the left side of my waist. This was the hardest for us. I'm not one of the little size 0 girls...far from it. I'm a plus-size woman and have a good 80lbs on most of the others that are doing lifts. (Ugh, I hate that number...I need that to go down!). This makes things difficult with a lift where he has to lift around the waist.

So, anyways, we have been actually doing it with my right hand clutching his right shoulder as well, for now, until we've got it down, and then I'll do it with my arm free and hanging gracefully. But what's been happening is that we haven't been able to get around two times (he does two turns with me like that). We have been lucky to make t around once and usually, I was slipping out of it, and we have tried everything. But...not really. I was previously wearing a leotard that was a more slippery material (lycra?) and as I'm a bigger size, I was not about to go without one. NO. Not happening.

This Thursday, I wore a cotton leotard and guess what? We nailed that lift AND the third lift. (Facing away from him, I grab him around the neck with my right arm (behind me) and he puts his right arm around the left side of my waist. I end up kind of at an angle with toes pointed in second and he takes me around once.

It was SUCH a relief to get them both and almost effortless. My teacher was commenting across the room, cheering for us, because, dammit, we finally got it! YES!!

The second lift is the only one we've got to get now. It's more complicated and has me doing a fankick overhead IN THE AIR, but I have no doubt we'll get it. Our one practice with it went well. I just have to get the end. The only reason we didn't get that one yesterday was that he always ended up facing me instead of the same direction so I could get into it.

Let me paint you a picture. But um...with words. So, never mind. haha. I do a chaines away from him as he pivots to be facing the same direction (upstage). I then take a step with my left foot and battement my right leg and he gets his left arm under my butt (and right around my waist, where I grab his wrist with my right hand, and put my left arm around his shoulder/neck). Then when he's pushing me way up, I fankick the right, then left leg. and then arch my back as my legs warm around his back and he lets go under my butt and grabs my left thigh with his left hand and I'm literally wrapped around his back.


So, that's...happening. Now that I think of it, I'm not sure what happens with his and my right arms. We've only gotten as far as the fankick. (WHEEEEE!) By the way, the fankick is basically parallel with the ceiling. Like a helicopter over his head. It's fun.

Stay tuned for more news on THAT. lol.


In other news, I've been nailing a double pique on both sides just about every time (single, single, double is a regular for my ballet teacher).

Things are good.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Name (Pic Heavy) and My Bedroom

 So, back when I was a little one, I was OBSESSED with teddy bears. Seriously, my childhood bedroom looked like a teddy bear museum. And/or a Boyd's Bears museum. I'm not even kidding. This led to my childhood nickname. When I was around five years old, my uncle started greeting me with "Erika Bearika of America!" Over time, this shortened to "Erika Bearika" and then, finally, "Bearika." I'm 29 years old and this nickname is still used by a few family members. (I usually use another nickname, Hysterika, for some social media, but Bearika is near and dear to me.)

So, now, as a 29 year old, I live with my boyfriend about half the time, and live with my best friend half the time. My fur babies live with my best friend because my boyfriend and I haven't gotten a place of our own yet and my babies can't live where we currently are. So I share a bedroom with my boyfriend Monday night through Thursday night and stay in my own bedroom at my best friend's house Friday night through Sunday night. I miss my babies too much to be away from them the whole time. The wonderful thing about having a room of my own is being able to decorate it how I want. It's like 50% teddybears and teenage decor from when I was a teen and about 50% "Oh-a-dancer-lives-here." So, it probably looks like a 12 year old's room. hahaha.

I also recently got some of my things back from my parents from when I was a kid so I'm surrounding myself with these things of comfort.

This was one of the teddy bears I cuddled up with when I slept as a kid. I loved Precious Moments.


 Some super heavy bookends I had as a kid. Boyd's Bears, I'm pretty sure. (Sorry the second one is blurry.)


An adorable bear I love because of the color.


A bear my best friend got me years ago. Skelanimals are pretty great. Fits me so well. :)


The top one here went above my bed as a teen. A Boyd's Bear, as is the one with the hat. I think the Winnie came from The Disney Store.


This was a thrift store find (a few years ago). How perfect is it that it mixes two things I adore!?
Bears and ballet. Yassss. (This should have been the picture I used at the top but I'm too lazy to do it now.)

And now, just because, a few pictures of my bedroom. Needs improvement, obviously.

I should have turned the light off. I threw and old dance ("Step In Time") performance hat over my fan. Old school calendar turned to the Phantom of the Opera photo. This calendar is from the 60's, I believe. Above my closet, BAD WOLF is spray painted in stencil. Points if you get the reference.


My paternal grandfather traveled the globe and brought back those two dolls near the corner. Yes, I do still have my old Treasure Troll collection. *smirk*

I need to find a way to make this prettier, and wash my actual comforter (not pictured), but I love my room. I have so many more dead pointe shoes I could add to that but I'm not sure if I want to. I kind of want to hang some of that fake snow above them so it's more like the "pointe shoe cemetary" I envisioned it to be. This was just a quickie thing.
Anyways, feel free to link up your bedroom in the comments, or tell me the story of your blog name! I'd love to hear it.


Sorry I have not been blogging as much. I have been hit with the stomach flu and haven't been to a single class since last Thursday. (I dance Monday through Friday, and teach Monday, Friday, and Saturday.) This thing has really messed everything up. I can't keep much of anything down and have zero energy. I am not 100% yet (maybe 40%) but I'm returning to classes tomorrow. I don't really have a choice. I have to work on lifts (aerials) in Dance Performance tomorrow, so we shall see how it goes! I plan on writing a blog about last week today sometime. Stay tuned!

And please, send happy thoughts for tomorrow!

I hope none of you caught this! I've had it about a week now. *grumble*

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Friday Lyrical Matchy Matchy

     So, this past Friday, I taught my third Lyrical class of the season (ever). So far, I've had one student, but I'm gaining two more next week, so I'm excited about that! The one student I've had is thirteen and so cute! She is focused, driven, excited, and asks questions and I just love that. She really wants to work. 

She got her first pair of Lyrical shoes (similar to these)

I've got them in a nude color and she wanted to get some like I had so she got some, but in pink. So cute. So, again, we started with ab work and then I showed her the foot positions and arm positions and after, we moved on to barre. We worked on plies in first, second, and third (new), tendus and degages, which I slowed down, rond de jambes, and battements. My battement combination includes doing it all over again, but in attitude, so after showing her what attitudes are and how they look and feel, she did them. I love her natural turnout and winged feet. She does them second nature. Wonderful!

After barre, I introduced her to the barre stretch. I want to put splits into the Lyrical dance, so I really want to work on doing them at the barre. I love a good barre stretch.
When we were there, I noticed that she had leggings and sliding a bare leg on wood feels good for nobody, so I tossed one of my pink legwarmers to her. She loved the stretch. Who doesn't!

We went on to a brief across the floor and center, and then on to the dance. Her attitude on adage has improved. I think to further improve it, I need to work on having her balance it in center and then slooooowly turn. The turn in the dance is four counts, but I'll slow it down for her further in center. 

I took out the pencil turn and just had a slower roll to the floor and up into a skater turn (is there a real term for that?) and into an arabesque. I then added on the next part, which is actually around 30 seconds after the first section I taught. I will fill in the blanks later. 

I realized Bella had a black leotard on, and black leggings (along with my one pink legwarmer), and that's what I had on underneath, so I whipped off my tshirt, and threw on my second pink legwarmer so we could be twinning. 

I stuck a cute bunny sticker over her face but trust me, she's cute as a button.

Photo Dump from 3.2.2015

     So, Mondays have been a frustration for me at the studio I teach at. Before the December show, I had more students in my Monday class (I only had one Monday class and one Friday class at the time). A problem with the area I live in is that it's a spread out desert area and jobs are harder to come by than in many other areas. This leads to people not being able to afford to put their kids in dance (or adults not being able to easily afford hobbies that cost nearly $50 a month). 

     This, paired with the fact that the only time I could get to the studio was three hours early, led to me getting in some much needed pointe practice. I just got back into technique classes again and though I have been en pointe for nearly five years, I have craptastic feet and I'm not where I could be. 

So, though I'd taken Intermediate Ballet at the junior college en pointe that day, I decided to get in some extra practice. My feet were hurting. Especially my big toe on my right foot. I decided to try to get some photos of me failing dancing en pointe. Most are stills but I took screen grabs of a video for some chaines that definitely need work. I had thought they were okay, but seeing the haha.


Purple tights I forgot I owned. I need better turnout. 
What photo dump wouldn't be complete without a smudgy mirror pic?
I need to work on turning out my back foot.
I'm over my box...but my feet suck. It's an issue I need to work on. Perhaps some love for my elastic band is needed. Okay, ALL the love.
And strettttchhhhh. I'd possibly love this if my knees were over my toes.
I actually really like this one (shitty turnout aside).
Now, some motion!
At first, I was not aware that my feet were so far apart.
Better...ish. (took off the top because I need to face being able to see myself like this. Ick.)
At the front desk after. Where are the students?!

Though I'm not exactly proud of these photos, it gives me something (everything) to work on. But I'm sure I'll have this next Monday to work on things too. *sigh*