I had class today (this summer schedule has me mostly classless and on my own). Unlike the last 2 times that I’ve previously been to this studio, a month ago before I sprained my ankle and last week, we had a full class. Or at least as full as it’s I’ve seen it. There were more than double the number of students today as I’d seen before (5 the first few times, 13 today). There were 3 guys, 2 I’ve never seen before and the same guy from my last two classes there. By process of elimination – or subtraction, whichever way of viewing it that works – that must mean there were 10 of us ladies.
The skill levels ranged from “This is my first time ever. I’ve never done this before,” – two students – to a girl that had the most awesome port de bras so she has clearly been doing this a while. The way she moved her arms and head was like “Wow! How did she do that?!” It was so intimidating because it would just happen that her barre placement was right in front of me – you know, which becomes so I’m directly in front when we turn around ( to do the left side which also just happens to be the recovering foot!) and there’s also no mirror on that side, which also doesn’t help. When we went across the floor her group was also directly in front of mine but her groupmate (partner?) was a beginner so it wasn’t as intimidating, lol.
Since the combinations at this place are starting to become familiar, barre went a lot more smoothly. I hate it when I technically know how to do the move – correctly even – but I mess up by not remembering something, like whether to close in the fron or the back from a tendu a la seconde (to the side for anyone who might not know). On the one hand I’ll feel like “Oh cool, I’m getting the hang of how it goes,” as far as keeping my legs straight or articulating my feet, pointing my feet. But as long as I mess up combinations because of little mistakes like that, or messing up on the timing, I’ll feel like I’m doing some complicated stretches not quite dancing. Of course, everything the best student did looked like dancing, lol.
Since we had the two brand new students (and quite a few that were not brand new but not much more than a few months), we did a LOT of very sloooow tendues. It was a nice warm up and my ankle did not give me any trouble. I finally was able to put my finger on why I kept messing up on the tendus to the side : I’m used to doing 3 counts ( so close back, close front, close back), but in this class we also do 4 counts (close front, close back, close front, close back). I kept wanting to switch legs on the first count out of force of habit the last two times that I’ve had class there but today I was able to keep that in order.
The level of today’s class did feel way easier than the last times though. We did plies and grand plies, tendus in different tempos and counts, tendu degage, ronde de jambe, grand battement. No developpes or frappes like the last times. The teacher spent more time than usual explaining things and possibly conducted class in a slightly more “official” way – at least by my perceptions. It was still fun and laid back, just somehow like a “light” version of the classes I take at community college.
I’ve been working on my arms a lot this week since the correction last week, and hopefully the fact that the teacher didn’t correct me today means it’s worked – at least a little. Of course, compared to the best student’s port de bras my arms looked so stiff and lifeless – though curved!
In center, I decided to go for it and not sit out on the jumps. We did sautes and chagements and my ankle did fine. We also did this thing that I’ll describe as a “fondue-walk”, because we basically walked while fondue-ing. I did ok, but I’m sure after practicing this at home I’ll have it down better.
Today I didn’t really get many corrections – of course not because I was doing everything right but because the teacher had her hands (or her eyes) full with the newer students. I did remember that my ballet teachers in the past said to apply others’ corrections because chances are they apply to us also, so I did that. Mostly the arms, and just making sure to keep the core tight, legs straight. It’s always good to be reminded of the basics, the foundation is very important.