And it’s not even a “nice” Denny’s

Ok so we’ve just done a combination that ends with a big kick, sort of a leap up, bring your arms up and back to meet your feet, then land lightly on one knee,
(Don’t worry, Gentle Reader, I modify the hell out of that)
And Smirnoff is encouraging us to leap as though we are going to kick the conductor’s baton right out of his hand!
And then he goes on to tell about this composer he used to work with. Smirnoff would be leaping! and spinning! and kicking! And he’d look out and see this guy put down his baton and look down, away from the stage and Smirnoff would say, “why have you stopped? Why are you not looking?” and the composer would say, “You terrify me. I am afraid to watch.”
And, ok, it sounded like he said Stravinsky.
But he couldn’t have said Stravinsky.
Right? I mean, what kind of crazy world is this? I mean, the autocorrect on my iPad fills in the name Stravinsky by the time I get to the V, how could I know somebody who knew him?
So I ask, “who was the composer?”
And he says, “Stravinsky.”
And I say, “Whah- You Knew Stravinsky?!!!!”
And Smirnoff says, “Oh yes! He would come by and get my father, they would go to the Denny’s on Sunset and watch the young people walking by and make dirty jokes!”
Gentle Reader, my mind. Is totally blown.


Ok, the larger picture there is Diaghilev, and Stravinsky in the glasses. The small picture with the three men is Diaghilev, Nijinsky, and Stravinsky.
I have to go stick my head in a bucket of ice now.


About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
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19 Responses to And it’s not even a “nice” Denny’s

  1. I’m not gonna lie, I am super jelly.

  2. Hannah says:

    who is this Smirnoff man? my goodness!

  3. Nellie Dean says:

    o_0 That is somewhere totally and utterly beyond cool.

  4. Every single time you write a new thing about Smirnoff, I am just like WTH!?!
    B-but, like, does this man know every single awesome person in the world? REALLY, STRAVINSKY?! Like, the super famous and BRILLIANT COMPOSER?! WHAT THE FFFF…?!?!?!?

    • Yeah seriously.
      Was talking to a friend a while back, and she was like, “No, for reals, who is this guy? Is he famous?” and I was like, “No. Every time I try to google him I get nothing.” and she was like, “Ah. He is one of those people! That’s a fascinating type: they know everybody and are part of The Scene but history doesn’t remember them.”

      • candice says:

        I have a ballet teacher like that as well. If Smirnoff spent any time teaching/studying in NY in the 60s-70s, she probably knows him too.

      • lalatina says:

        hahaha! Nerea’s reaction, lol, mine are exactly the same.
        I tried to google him too, by the way! Every time I read what you say about him I think I wish I could meet this man! You’re sooooo lucky to have a teacher like that!!

      • O'Fla says:

        :) I am sure there are many many many of those! ^^
        It is great that Smirnoff lets you all in on little tidbits such as that now and then.
        And it is great that you write about it. :)

  5. guyenne says:

    It’s that the ballet world at that time was TINY compared to now. I’m one dance teacher from Balanchine and Madonna, and I ran into a teacher in CA who had danced with my teacher from upstate NY.

  6. mladen says:

    wow. smirnoff IS batman.

  7. Alli says:

    Wow. Just WOW.
    And do you know what this means? You are separated from Stravinsky by only ONE degree! Suck on THAT Kevin Bacon, HA!

  8. Kaija says:

    Wow…that is pretty freaking amazing and very cool that your ballet teacher has a direct connection to one of the icons of music and ballet!!! :)

  9. I’ve been following your blog for a few months now, having found it while searching for adult beginner classes. Tomorrow, I’ll finally take my first class… no more excuses. Thanks for writing about your experiences and giving someone like me that extra bit of encouragement that I needed.

  10. Kirra says:

    So I know this is a super old post, but I’ve been going back and reading through your blog from the beginning because I’m FINALLY starting ballet next week (I’ve been dying to do ballet since I was 12 and am now 27… finally got the stars to align!)! But I had to comment, because when I was (very briefly) a music performance major at a good, but not outstanding music school, the orchestra director liked to casually mention how he played under Stravinsky. Crazy! I think our music history teacher did also, since the two of them were buddies from waaayyyyyy back.

    Anyway, I’m really enjoying the blog (even though I’ve been reading it occasionally for a couple of years) and am now amused to find there are just a few degrees of separation between you and me!

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