I’ve been enjoying my new practice area complete with giant mirror tremendously. It’s really been helping me get an idea of how I look in motion while I’m moving (so I can instantly correct it, rather than try to remember what I need to adjust). I’ve especially been enjoying practicing glissades, pas de bourees, and balances (the jumping side to side move, not actually the art or balancing, which I am also improving on.) Since I have so much space to work with, I’ve even been working on one of my weakest points, running.
I am not one of those people who enjoy running as a hobby or way to stay in shape. I’ll take hiking and uphill walking over running any day. I’ve had friends tell me that they love it, it’s relaxing, etc, but I must be missing something because I just don’t see the appeal.
Now, ballet running, I’m not sure how I feel about it. I’ve seen it done right, and it looks beautiful, graceful, like the dancers are so lightweight and about to float away. How do they do that?! It appears that I am having trouble making sense of the instructions the teacher gave us on how to ballet run.
She said to keep our feet turned out. Ok that makes sense, since it is ballet after all. Then it gets more confusing because she said to run fast, like you’re being chased or the building is on fire. The problem is, when I try to run faster I tend to look even less graceful. Like I’m doing some kind of crazy sprinting thing complete with bent arms. She also possibly said to keep our knees bent, or was it to always land in plie? At times like these I wish I could have just recorded everything the teacher ever said so that I can listen to it again and again at my leisure and practice it repetitively at home until I get it right. In private.
Because there’s another problem, one that the other girls in the class didn’t have: when I run, I bounce. A distracting amount, for sure. I mean, even when practicing by myself at home the bouncing manages to distract me! In class, more than once I caught someone blatently staring at my chest as we were doing the bouncier, more running-ish part of class. It was so awkward! It remind me of p.e. class in high school when the more well-endowed girls would always cross their arms during the jumping jacks segment to hide the bouncing. Except in ballet class, instead of crossing your arms to hide the bouncing, your arms are wide open and everything is like RIGHT THERE. Not to mention that besides the whole aesthetics of it, when your boobs are heavy and they bounce, it hurts. A lot. So there you are, trying to hold your balance, make sure your arms are in the right place, and make sure you get that grimace of pain off your face!
I’ve seen for myself that practice, while it may not make perfect, it does make improvement. And improvement is all that I ask for. But this ballet running thing is so discouraging! I don’t know if all I can hope for is a teacher that doesn’t include a lot of running in her combinations or if there is actually hope for me improving on this particular aspect. I’ll keep a positive attitude and continue to practice but this may be one of those things which my body just may not be made for.