Ze neck

Everyone looks better with a long neck, so of course dancers really benefit from having a long neck naturally and will work hard to increase the illusion of long-neckedness. You keep that head lifted and those shulldahs down.

In ballet classes with U., the priorities are (1) timbits sqveezing, (2) shulldahs down, then (3) neeeples to the sun. But if you’ve got this all working to the best of your ability — and perhaps particularly with her ::ahem:: older students — U. will start hollering, "Neck!" No, it would be: "N E C K !!!1!"… because when it’s only one single-syllable word, you have to put a lot of volume and vibrato into it. I can’t show the vibrato in text. Well, maybe I can?

Celia Franca, above and below, had a lovely, long neck.

I’m thinking about necks because our beloved GJ broke her neck on the weekend. Yes — broke her neck. She’s fine now, though. Well, they are keeping her neck immobilized, but apparently she is walking around, taking showers, phoning people and so on without incident.

She and U. and Ullx were swimming on Saturday and GJ somehow took a blow while diving into the pool that opened up a huge gash on the top of her head. Blood flowed everywhere, but she did not lose consciousness and she was able to walk and speak, so they took her to the hospital with concerns just about having a head injury. At the hospital, they stitched her up and CAT-scanned her, but the doctors there called in a neurologist because they worried that sustaining that bad a wound from diving head-first might have other repercussions.

Sure enough, they found x-ray evidence that she’s either cracked or broken a vertebra in her neck. They have to do more x-rays later this week to decide whether it’s a crack or a break.

GJ never had a bit of pain in her neck following the incident, or even since. It was her open gash that was painful and she thought the amount of blood she leaked was what made her feel a bit faint at the time.

GJ, though, is a strong girl, she’s always had a great deal of flexibility, and she’s young. She couldn’t be more fit — she takes every single class U. teaches, whether beginners’ or advanced. She’s always been a good swimmer and diver, too.

She has a beautiful neck-and-decolletage area, but hers is not a long, slim neck like Celia Franca’s. In this instance, that’s probably a good thing.

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