Okay, well, I guess the New York Times article I read about the boy who went to the American Ballet Theatre summer intensive and suffered from shin splints and such painted a correct picture…or we’ve just hit some bad luck and made some bad choices. Julian is a week and a half into the ABT summer intensive himself and on Monday he slightly injured his left foot and tonight he has an upset stomach.
The slightly injured foot definitely comes from overuse and his tendency to pronate. (Remember, boys, think about this!) The chiropractor here in New York, George Russell, is a former dancer, and after he watched Julian do a few things, like plie, he saw exactly how Julian was straining his foot. Of course, he also has jammed his heel with jumps. I’ve been taught to adjust the heel, and that is helping, as is icing.
As for mistakes…well…First, we went off to a tap class with Jared Grimes at Broadway Dance Center last night knowing that Julian’s foot was not 100 percent. Also, he’d just danced 7 hours. He took a tap class at Broadway Dance Center last week, but it was nowhere near as strenuous. So, we didn’t help the foot, nor did we help Julian’s general state of fatigue.
And he is fatigued, let me tell you. He’s better this week, but last Friday after his first full week was over, he couldn’t lift his arms and he could hardly walk up the subway steps. His shoulders were sore to the touch!
The, second mistake, Julian didn’t drink enough water today. The studios are extremely hot, he says, and after lunch he began to feel nautious. He didn’t tell me this, however, and came home to eat some things he shouldn’t have eaten. And then he ate his salad at dinner but nothing else — which didn’t really help, even though it was healthy. Needless to say, not long afterwards he began throwing up. I hope it is a simple case of heat stroke and he’ll feel better in the morning and won’t have to miss classes.
I guess we won’t be doing any dancing this weekend…I think we’ll take it easy and go see some dance instead.
We didn’t get tickets to the ABT performance last weekend, because it conflicted with a trip to see his grandmother, who lives an hour outside of Manhattan. He failed to get the student tickets for Swan Lake, which opened this week, but I might just buy some.
We did go see In The Heights last Friday. It was awesome if you like hip hop and rap music. The dancing was really tremendous. The best of the dancers, a really classic hip hopper, told Julian it was great he was attending ABT. He said, “I went to Ailey and it changed my life.”
We met one of the young Simba’s from The Lion King while at Broadway Dance Center last week. He was sweet and polite and humble. He thought Julian’s tapping was awesome; he had just finished taking a beginner tap class. We saw Kiril Kulish leaving the theater after a performance, although we haven’t yet seen Billy Elliott. And Julian met David Alvarez at ABT, where he is taking some of the summer intensive classes but not all. Julian refrained from talking to him about Billy Elliott, since everyone else was doing so.
All in all, with the exception of the hurt foot and the upset tummy, it’s been a pretty good almost-two-weeks for Julian. He loves the ABT program. He’s made some friends with the guys both in blue and green levels as well as in yellow. He enjoys all his classes. He loves the partnering class and the boys class. He enjoys the teachers. He’s enormously glad he came, and he’s learned a ton in less than two weeks.
It’s been pretty good for me too (as long as I leave out some some details, like stopped up sinks, no TV reception which prevents us from watching So You Think You Can Dance, and me falling down the stairs to the apartment and twisting my knee and ankle).
Next time: How Julian feels about his level, info on his classes, his relationship with the boys, and what exactly is wrong with his foot!