Second Ballet class of the semester, rounding out the end of Week 1.
Once again we started out with some stretching. Class meets for an hour and a half, twice a week, so there’s plenty of time for some warm-up stretches before we go to the barres. I LOVE how this semester’s teacher lets us get out mats to do our stretching on. last semester’s teacher made us stretch on the bare studio floor and it hurt like hell, especially on the pelvis and tailbone when we would lay down to stretch our hamstrings and work our cores. I guess she was trying to build character, LOL.
Anyway, we started out today with some theraband stretches on the mats, working on strengthening our feet and ankles: slowly pointing our feet as we worked through demi point to fully pointed, tying our legs together at the ankles and trying to separate our feet from each other, crossing our legs at our ankles and once again trying to separate them from each other. Then we lay back and stretched our hamstring by pulling our straight leg back toward our shoulder with the theraband. We also did this stretch where we lay face down and brought our feet together with our knees out to the side, kind of like a frog. My body didn’t really like this stretch very much; looks like it’s something to I need to work on.
Then it was barre time! We did a LOT of plies, releves, and tendus. The teacher was focusing attention on making sure that our feet weren’t sickling when we did any of those. We did our tendus really slow at first, working through the foot in demi point before fully pointing. I’ve done those before but they have a tendency to throw me off – I get over-eager and point all the way sometimes. I surprised myself by actually remembering the combination after she had only said it once, which was unusual ( though I hope it keeps up).
There were some challenges though. Teacher asked us to take our hands off the barre and balance in releve, which I was managing ok (actually, better than ok) when we put our arms in middle fifth, especially thanks to the correction I received two weeks ago at the other studio regarding arm placement. Going right from holding the barre to high fifth, not so well, unfortunately. I had to put my hand down to keep from going forward at least twice. I think I may not have been engaging my core to its fullest potential because I feel like I’ve totally been able to balance better before.
Another challenging moment was when Teacher asked us to step back from the barre and do the tendu degage combination without the barre. My initial reaction – which I did not show, thank God – was panic. It’s not that I can’t do tendu degage without the barre – I can – just that I’ve only done it bar-less at home and after a LOT of warm up. It went better than I expected (or hoped), so I guess around this time my abs were finally getting the message that they needed to wake up and work.
We put the barres away and went to center. Teacher said we could use this as an opportunity to have a drink of water. Unfortunately I did, and by the time I had drank a few sips from my bottle everyone else had taken up most of the room near the front. The reason it mattered was that the teacher would be leading us through our first center combination and I didn’t get to actually see what the teacher was doing, due to a very tall guy standing right in front of where I was. Note to self: prioritize getting a spot over a drink unless I’m super dehydrated.
The center combination involved grand plies, so it was almost (another) moment of panic. I honestly can’t remember exactly how the combination went (brain started to get tired?), but I remember it involved tendus to the side, plie and shift weight to other foot, feet back together, grand plie, tendu devant, shift weight to forward foot, arabesque, feet together, repeat other side. All with a really pretty port de bras that (due to the unfortunate placing of the tall gentleman) I wasn’t really doing right. I felt like I was a beat behind on everything.
For our across the floor work (if that is what it’s called) we did this step I learned last semester. I can describe it as a fondue, releve, releve, while walking. I remember when I first encountered it last semester I was having so much trouble with the coordination of it – I can sometimes be a slow learner – but lots of practicing at home helped. We added arms to it and it felt so pretty!
So that was about it for Wednesday morning class. Since it is Wednesday, it means there’s also class at the studio downtown. And since I have a high tolerance for ballet, I’ll probably find myself there in a few hours unless some unforseen circumstances were to occur, like last week’s flashflood thunderstorm.
6 hours later…
Ok, I had every intention of taking my second ballet class today at the other studio. I got ready at home, double checked that I had my shoes, cell phone, water bottle, small snack to have in the car before going in (an apple and the rest of this morning’s sliced plantain that I didn’t finish). I get there, look for parking, take several minutes actually parking (I’m not exactly the best at parking, especially if it involves backing into the spot), and have my snack. Right before I’m about to leave the car, I go through my stuff and what did I forget this time, but my wallet! Seriously?! So obviously since I didn’t have my admission fee on me (which was in my wallet, on the couch, at home), I couldn’t attend class.
Not wanting to give up too easily, I did dig through my center console and under the seats just in case I got lucky, but I only came up with a couple dollars in coins. Which is kind of funny…
Well, at least I had a good morning class. Evening class is only for an hour anyway.