Tuesdays and Tutus

Guess who is inspired to choreograph again?

I’ve been trying to dance to this song for a while now, but have not managed to get much more than one or two counts of eight. Today however my creative juices were replenished while taking a contemporary class with Enzo Celi, a guest choreographer invited to our school for a workshop lesson. I’m not sure what it was, whether it was his Italian charm that made me remember my passion for choreography, his European flair and accent that reminded me of home, or his free and flowy choreography similar to those I cherish in my memories from my classes back home.

Whatever triggered my creativity, I’m glad it did; school work has slowly been getting to me and on top of that dance was slowly becoming an unnecessary chore and time-waster that I would sometimes even consider skipping (GASP) for an extra hour of sleep or study. Now I’m feeling the total opposite, with any small dance step barely quenching my thirst for new sequences and ideas! I’m all bubbly with energy and constantly eager to get to the studio to dance. I even showed parts of my ideas so far to my friends in my Uggs while walking to class – but come to think of it when don’t I dance in wide open spaces?

I’ll be posting a video of my dance up soon (not in Uggs!) I have an amazing dancer friend here who will be helping me out with the partnering (yes, I am planning it as a pas de deux! :))

With attitude and nail polish, Anoushé xoxo

 

Wasn’t this meant to be a dance and beauty blog?

My dear Blog-osphere community, dear family and friends…

What has become of my blog? What has happened to this once manicure-crazy, half Iranian Swiss girl with a passion for dance and writing cutesy, funny posts? I went from posting three times daily to every so often, to maybe, if lucky, once every other week! It has happened…

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College has happened..

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I am going mad…

New people, new courses, new names, new food, new-found unstylish days walking around with no make-up and in my dance clothes all day.

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I have become… Americanized!

Who knew I – of all people – , who swears by concealer and at least a little bit of powder before EVER leaving the house; never going in to town without an okay-ish outfit; changing out of my dance clothes before setting foot outside the studio; Who would’ve ever thought that I could:

– Go to brunch in my pyjamas

-Walk around without any makeup, unless I don’t have a dance class

-Wear my dance clothes all day because I have class at odd times

-Not be judged because everyone knows I am a dance third and am thus allowed to look tired and sweaty all day (yuck, but it has happened..)

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When I dress normally and try to look like I would for school back home, people would ask me why I looked so fancy. I choose to wear kitten heals and skinny jeans and suddenly people think I’m dressing to impress. I don’t wear my dance clothes and suddenly my friends don’t even recognise me anymore… whaaaat?

Anyhoo, since this technically is a dance and cosmetics blog and not so much a “Day in Anoushé’s shoes” blog, let me bring myself back to basics.

Morning College Routine:

The earliest classes here don’t start until 9am, and lucky me, being a dance third, I have movement classes every morning, which is great to wake me up! My first two weeks I would wash my face and apply some BB cream, but now, mid-week 3, I don’t even bother since it will all be off again by 11… I stick to the basics: Face Wash, Toner, moisturizer, Under Eye Toner

In the evenings, if I did manage to put on some make-up during the day, I use face wipes.

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I got these hawaiian 3 in 1 towelettes at Whole Foods for easily removable make-up, but use eye make-up remover for the super-long-lasting stuff.

In addition to basic care, I am using a new face mask that I recently picked up when I was in need for more body lotion.

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My pores have been in major need of some extra work and I really enjoyed this oatmeal scrub and mask from The Body Shop. It has inspired me to make my own this weekend! 🙂

IMG_0273Now I even feel confident without makeup 😉

So back to dance…

After I get dressed in my dance gear and pack an extra Tshirt and spray-deodorant (which they don’t even sell here!) I trek on over to the dance studios, which is on the other side of campus. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I take Contemporary and on the other two weekdays I’m in Ballet. In addition to the morning classes, I take a choreography and improv class on Tuesday afternoons, Improvisation on Thursday after Yoga and I recently started with Capoaira on Mondays and Thursdays!

This picture was taken after Capoaira last week, where we learned to play traditional instruments to a classic Capoaira song.

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Yes, we have random shopping carts on campus (there are currently three on our floor!!).

And I am taking other classes too! I am currently in a Green Romanticism Literature class where we are reading everything from Rousseau to Frankenstein, and I’m also in a French class to brush up on my skills! There will be a few more additions to my schedule, which I will fill you in on soon 🙂

Oh and I made Persian Rice..

IMG_0269With a gas stove!

IMG_0264Happy times!

I cannot be content without my rice 🙂

Also, if I didn’t cook, my friends would be eating cereal for dinner 😉

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Or peanut butter (ok I’m more guilty of that one…)

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And when I’m not dancing, reading or cooking (eating…) I take pictures on campus…

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IMG_0252My super-cute mug!

IMG_0250Room decoration 🙂

Now that you are up to date, and I have passed  on at least a bit of beauty knowledge, I will go to bed! As you now know, I have an “early” contemporary class 😉

With attitude and nail polish, Anoushé xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

Funky Friday

Today is Saturday which means that yesterday was Funky Friday!

DANCE!

DANCE!

So far we have looked at music and what choreography means to me. Today we will take one step away from my personal affiliation and dive more into the stone cold facts. Let’s take up music one more time..

So let’s say you’ve done the grueling task of finding your music. That’s checked off your list; vital part number one is done. So now what..? Well, it’s time to create! And depending on how you wish to perform your piece there are various ways of setting forth…

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1. You are choreographing a solo for yourself. You must know the choreography, no one else matters.
2. You are choreographing for others

OK so choreographing for yourself doesn’t take much more than your brain and great memory, and maybe some pens and paper to help you out. You decide how it should be and can adjust your moves accordingly. No one will be around to contradict or criticize – you are your own boss.

JAZZ HANDS!

JAZZ HANDS!

Great.

But most choreographers don’t work that way. Most choreographers wish to create for the masses, i.e. get amazing dancers to learn the routine and dance, dance, dance the night away in front of thousands and thousands of people. They want their name known, not so much as a dancer, but more as a choreographer! I am different that way, I’d rather do both, create and perform, but that’s just cause I MUST be in the spotlight… which we will deal with another time…;)

Dance

Dance

Let’s assume you are trying to choreograph for others. Your students must be able to understand and translate your vision into their own moves and display what you want to see to the pointe (tihiii 🙂 )

You shrug and think that’s simple, cause all you have to do is stand in front and show them what to do, right? Well maybe you’re right, but in my experience it is tough! I don’t think that’s just me…

Teaching a class..in Tango/HipHop

Teaching a class..in Tango/HipHop

I’ve been told that I’m a total fuzzle head. My brain goes haywire when it comes to dance-creating and I’m always 5 steps ahead rather than being at the actual move. That’s not very productive when trying to explain what my choreography is. So working with me is..well..difficult.

Oozing with ideas which is technically good, can easily backfire. These random thoughts don’t always go down well with normal human beings. Somehow they are unable to understand the craziness of what is also known as my brain. When they don’t get what I want and they aren’t performing what I had envisioned I get frustrated. Painstakingly so..

..meltdowns might happen..

Meltdown..

Meltdown..

Impatience and unorganized thoughts do not go together, so in my experience of my previous choreographic conundrums, I have learned some vital old-man wisdom: write down your thoughts and organize them before even considering to teach other people. Sure, if you get a spontaneous idea during a class, be my guest and incorporate it into the existing choreography. Just make sure the base of the choreography is well prepared and ORGANISED! Don’t keep wanting more and more and more, the others don’t have that wide an attention span to take in all your creative info..

Exactly how to organise your thoughts we will look at next time 🙂 Until then,

With attitude and nail polish, Anoushé xoxo

Tuesdays and Tutus

If you’ve read one of my blog posts, or even just my little ‘about me’ widget on the right, you would know that I am trying to create a quote..something to remember me by, something catchy, something that describes my blog in just a few words.

You guys figure out what I am talking about? I am talking about my signature: …with attitude and nail polish.

But uuuuhm what does THAT mean?!
Let me break it down for you..you’ll love it as soon as you get what it means 😉

..I think I'm not just a conceal-a-holic....:)

..I think I’m not just a conceal-a-holic….:)

Nail polish. Simple. We all know about nail polish. Many of us use nail polish. I blog about nail polish every Monday.. Ok. That’s clear.
But attitude? What’s that all about? Is Anoushé talking about a state of mind or a feeling? Or even worse, an ARROGANT or HOSTILE state of mind? (Yes, I looked it up in the dictionary, and if you do so as well let me be clear, I do NOT mean the orientation of an aircraft’s axes relative to a reference line, nor do I mean the orientation of a spacecraft relative to its direction of motion, and I definitely do NOT mean being arrogant!!!!)
So, my dear imaginary internet friends, what do I mean when I sign my post with this quote above..?

It’s quite simple really..

Take one type of dance I do (Ballet), remember it, check the dictionary for something to do with that dance, and nod in understanding. Nooooooow you get it, and you smile (or not).

For those of you not in close vicinity of a dictionary, or are too lazy to check because you know I will tell you anyways…well, you got me! Unbelievable how well you already know me…;)

So here’s a picture

Attitude

Attitude..still working on it!

…and an excerpt from the online dictionary: Attitude: A position similar to an arabesque in which a ballet dancer stands on one leg with the other raised either in front or in back and bent at the knee.

Now add two and two together. Attitude = dance; nail polish = beauty addiction…hmmmm, sound familiar?
Cause it should…!

This quote basically describes a synonym for none other than my very own blog title! Isn’t that awesome? Let me pat myself on the back for a second..

But back to life, back to reality..(that song quote is for my father; he knows why..)

So why did I opt for concealers over nail polish, and pirouettes over attitude from my title? Good question!
I did not choose with attitude and nail polish because I knew the word attitude may leave many of you thinking..huuuuuh? You wouldn’t instantaneously think of dance, which is why I chose pirouettes instead! Most people affiliate this basic turn/spin with dance, no?
For the beauty part I knew it had to either be nail polish or concealers… and both are equally present in my life, both left similar dents in my bank account! So the choice was really just a matter of which one I thought fit better..

Anyhoo, as you might have already noticed, I will be throwing random dance terms at you every so often, especially in my post titles! A great example for this occurrence would be my food posts: ‘fondu’ in the title does not mean melted cheese, it is actually a ballet step!
To prevent you from scrunching up your forehead – and causing premature wrinkles, while thinking ‘what in the world does that mean?!’, I bring to you this: Tuesdays/Thursdays and Tutus! These posts should help clear up many of your dance terminology questions.. word for word..week by week..

So let’s (fan-) kick things off and start (head-) rolling with the program (har har har)..

Plié

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Translated from French, it means to bend. In dance it means we bend our knees.

There are two types of pliés: Demi-plié and grand-plié. A grand-plié is a bend to the deepest position possible, in most cases while lifting your heels, and a demi-plié is a bend where your heels should still stay on the floor. In either form, the movement should be fluent – you move downwards in the bend and then reverse back upwards to the straight leg, your body must remain tense and muscles should be flexed.

A plié can be done starting in any of the following positions (I took these pictures in the centre, without a barre, which sometimes still is slightly difficult for me…don’t judge! :))

6th (feet are parallel and closed)

1st

Plié

Plié

Grand Plié

Grand Plié

2nd

Second Position

Second Position

Plié

Plié

Grand Plié

Grand Plié, feet are slightly too far apart here..

3rd

Also called fifth position

Also called fifth position

Plié

Plié

 

On way to grand

On way to grand

 

Grand Plié

Grand Plié

 

Other foot can also be in front

Other foot can also be in front

4th

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Plié

Plié

 

 

Grand Plié. would've looked better if I could hold the barre..;)

Grand Plié. would’ve looked better if I could hold the barre..;)

Other foot in front

Other foot in front

Next time we will be looking closer at what lies behind the term ‘fondu’. Quick hint: it’s not about cheese! 😉

With attitude and nail polish (now you know why :D), Anoushé xoxo

 

Funky Fridays

Tomorrow means three things: 1. I get to see Prince live in concert. 2. I’ve gotta finally clean up my room 3. I get to see Natalie Cole Live at Sunset tonight.. Oh and one more thing..it’s the weekend!

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The amazing Natalie Cole, who even sang a tribute to my idol, Michael Jackson!

The amazing Natalie Cole, who even sang a tribute to my idol, Michael Jackson!

Another week has passed. My, oh my doesn’t time fly.. the days seemingly end at lightning speed between my hours at work and my frequent training afterwards. It seems like just yesterday I started my intensified program and finally, 6 months later, I feel like I am making actual progress in dance.

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Despite dancing ballet since I was 3, I only ever went to class once a week until a few years ago when I started to go 2 or three times. I was never amused by the technique. It was so rigid and disciplined that it was more the creative side, choreography, that I fell in love with. And it’s this love and its development I wish to bring you closer with in today’s post.

young me at a ballet performance

young me at a ballet performance, source: operah0use balletschule

Starting very young, I began to develop a bossy personality that would force lead my friends to perform numerous shows filled with twists and turns to the latest Spice Girls song. This tendency to create dances walked with me, hand in hand, throughout my life. It is probably one of my most important traits, something that truly makes me, me.

Upton house performance...notice the red slippers :D

Upton house performance…notice the red slippers 😀

In pre-primary, as mentioned above, my friends and I would dress up in costumes and perform a variety of moves we learned in front of my mom’s camera. As a first grader I choreographed to ‘Bring it all back’ by S club 7 for my whole class (20 children I believe) and we performed that at a mini play back show in front of parents and the rest of the school. In retrospect, I think this was my big break as a choreographer, because a few years later I was even asked to create a dance for the school’s 10 year anniversary!
It was around then that I started to enjoy HipHop dance more than classical ballet. By that point I had already taken 3 RAD ballet exams and had upped my lessons to twice a week, which is sadly still amateurish and not enough to become more professional. I also took street dance classes at school, which I really enjoyed, and decided that I wanted to pursue that style more.

My mom found a hiphop teacher near our home, where I – to this day – dance every single Thursday. Initially as a beginner, gradually improving and finally joining the performing ‘show group’! In HipHop I found an easier way to express myself through choreography; the steady beats of the hip and current songs were more inspiring than anything classical for me as a teen, and I used much of my ballet basics to improve the quality of my moves.

plié

plié

HipHop remained a much more constant activity than ballet. I grew tired of the finical need for perfection in ballet and no longer had the patience or discipline to work on my technique. I drifted further and further into the more relaxed world of urban dance, deciding to combine it with a newly learned tango rather than better-known ballet (which would’ve been such a cliché anyways!) for my senior thesis. It was then – while practicing for countless hours and wanting ultimate perfection for my own performance – that I realized my discipline in dance was back. My ambition for perfection had returned. That’s when I started to frequent the ballet studio more often, trying to make up for lost time.

Attitude with a Plié

Attitude with a Plié

And with this newly found necessity to have outstanding technique, my longing for urban hiphop is slowly leaving, being replaced by jazz dance and modern, swapping sneakers for pointe shoes… weird how that happens..

Recently I took things even further. I realized that in order for me to become the choreographer I one day hope to be, I knew I had to successfully complete my ballet training first. No more choosing jazz over pointe, modern over barre.. what use is a beautiful choreography if it cannot be performed to it’s full potential because I am lacking the proper basics? I have a new goal in sight and will be giving myself a year to achieve it.

Tombé in to fourth position, after a pirouette

Tombé in to fourth position, after a pirouette

My goal is not to become a prima ballerina. Neither is it to be a jack of all trades. I wish to choreograph, to create, to intertwine various dance styles, incorporating moves from everywhere while remaining inspired to pursue my passion. As soon as I feel there is a force behind my dancing, a ‘I must’, then I will reevaluate things again and ask myself whether the path I chose was the right one.

Ultimately this is what I wish; to master many styles, but remain joyful in doing so, and gradually create choreographies dancers will love to learn. My dream is to see my name in spotlights, my routine on stage, screaming audiences clapping and smiling…and I believe that my first step in achieving this is to build a proper ballet basis to grow from.

So bear with my people, while I try and get my arabesque higher, my turn-out wider, and my back-bend deeper and stay tuned while I continue down my path to becoming – what could have been – one of Michael Jackson’s choreographers 😉 (he is one of my all-time dance idols!)

With attitude and nail polish, Anoushé xoxo

This is it!

Michael Jackson, Moon walk.

Madonna, Vogue.

Beyoncé, Bootylicious Booty-Shake.

PSY, Gangnam-Style horse dance thingy.

Me,…

Ecarté derrière

Ecarté derrière

Whirling Dervish

Whirling Dervish

Tango meets HipHop

Tango meets HipHop

Contemporary

Contemporary, prop: chair. Interpretive dance

HipHop

HipHop

:D

😀

…in the making!

It’s finally here, the day we thought would never come, the moment we were not waiting for, and certainly never expecting..

It’s time for me to spread my wings and leave the comfort of my old dance studio. Gone are the familiar warm-up and strength training routines, the friends (now like family) standing in the same spots on the floor ever since I’ve been there, the familiarity of being known as the ‘bouncy ball’, always filled with energy, always one to help bring the stage to life. Tonight, I hung my baggy jeans up for good, as tonight meant good-bye (for now) to the Funky Crew I’ve grown to love.

My performance crew...! Going to miss them soo much!

My performance crew…! Going to miss them soo much!

With a heavy heart I shut the door behind me, giving the studio one last look before walking off in my hot pink heels. My security net has been taken away from me; it is time to make a name for myself on my own; a choreographer.

I say security net because our teacher was my mentor; the person I went to with questions on choreography, shows, dance routines and music choices. She gave me opportunities to work with children as a substitute dance teacher. and taught me most of what I now know about being a choreographer. Most importantly she helped me pull my senior dissertation together back when I was such an amateur and too overwhelmed to think straight enough to teach my dancers. Choreography is not as simple as putting steps together and telling other people what to do. No, there is much more to it than that. Exactly what that “much more” entails, I will now be figuring out – on my own two feet, in the real world!

As I mentioned yesterday, good-byes at the studio mean one thing: sugar, and lots of it! I had originally wanted to bake something special, but due to lack of time, energy, and motivation to later clean up the kitchen, I chose the easiest way out: a bakery. It couldn’t be just any bakery though.. it had to be a bakery worthy of baking a dessert divine enough to symbolise my nearly 9 years of dancing with that group (jeez that’s a long time..). I decided that I wanted the most decadent and delicious cake I know everyone adores, and set off to purchase the little luxury before my class…

mhmhhhhhm :)

mhmhhhhhm 🙂

They didn’t have it in the right size though so I ended up buying something else as well (being Persian and all, I’d rather have an abundance of food). We had a great line-up for class today, in celebration of the last lesson before the holidays; first we warmed up with a fun old school choreography, and then we got to do some acrobatics on this thing called ‘Tissue’.

Splits

Splits

 

more splits

more splits

 

something amazing

something amazing

 

......and me.

……and me.

 

I'm just oozing gracefulness !

I’m just oozing gracefulness !

When the class wrapped up (or rather unwrapped ha ha ), we head out to the table and chairs and dug in to the desserts!

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Two more of the girls are also heading off in to the real world, so we had a cake-overload!

Now you can also see what I brought! The special bakery I went to was Sprüngli. It is a traditional, Swiss confiserie and café, with stores all over the country. They use high quality ingredients and have some of the most divine desserts, with the all-time favourite Truffe-Cake being the biggest hit! I was told it was for 4 people, so I decided to purchase two more small cakes: a Lemony Creamy Torte and a Sour Cherry Crumb Cake.

Truffes

Truffes

Lemon

Lemon

Streusel (Crumb)

Streusel (Crumb)

This is it. The end of and old chapter, and the beginning of a new one; my life, my dance, my future..it all starts now!

goofing off after class, saying our good-byes...

goofing off after class, saying our good-byes…(you can see the ’tissue’ in the background :))

With attitude and nail polish, Anoushé xoxo

Beginning of the End

Youuuuu guuuuuuuuuuuys! This is my last week of dance class before the schools close for the summer! As of next week I get to attend some awesome workshops instead though! Woopwooooop!

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I am really starting to feel a wave of nostalgia coming on; tomorrow is my very last hiphop class with my performance group! I’ve been dancing at that studio for 8 years, joining the performers a mere 3 years after starting out. They’ve been like family to me and my experience there has drastically helped improve my choreography skills. I was allowed to teach a lesson for practice, learned a lot about stage presence by performing and picked up on urban dance skills that, in retrospect, definitely formed my passion for jazz and modern. What’s more, if it hadn’t been for them, I would’ve never pulled my dissertation performance together; they were my dancers, my performers, my number 1 critics (I will write extensively about that when the time is right 😉 )

My performance crew...! Going to miss them soo much!

My performance crew…! Going to miss them soo much!

As tradition has it, a leaving dancer must bring in a baked good to help ease the pain of losing a fellow friend. 🙂 I’ve been wracking my brain for ideas all day, and have decided to buy something delicious to take with me, as my baking skills often fail me, although I luuuuurv to bake (I don’t get much more practice than the annual Christmas cookie bake-a-thons, but hopefully that will soon change!). More about tomorrows class on Thursday..

A massive VEGAN chocolate chip cookie just before going in to the oven..

A massive VEGAN chocolate chip cookie just before going in to the oven..

Today was also my last regular class at my other dance school before the workshops start, as on Friday I am going to a very special concert and will not be able to go to barre à terre and jazz! So today, I was extra jazzed for a double jazz power session! 😉 The classes were both amazing, teaching incredible choreographies and offering me great advice for the future. It was a great way to end the dance semester!

Jazz Hands!

Jazz Hands!

Last night I prepared a delicious portion of Creamy Earl Grey Oats for sustainable energy. Yumm! I think I might have overdosed on the chia this time though..oh and I forgot the vanilla! Oh well..I used some maple syrup instead 😉 I have to say, they were absodoodally scrumptious and extremely filling!

look at them oats!

look at them oats!

So that’s all for now folks! Will be back tomorrow with more nostalgia and a new recipe! Also, stay tuned if you want to learn some Swiss german!

With love and nail polish, Anoushé xoxo