Wednesday Class, Now With More Sniffles

Only made it to one class today. Despite yesterday’s sore throat and today’s sniffling I managed to last (and do pretty good (for me))through a pretty demanding morning class.  While I have no doubt that I wouldn’t collapse or anything during evening class (which is usually much easier), I decided to stay home and catch up on my studies and writing.   Besides, I can’t think of many things more embarassing than running from the barre for a tissue for my runny nose!

(Actually, true story, that totally did happen to one girl like a year and a half ago.  We were all mid-plie or mid tendu and she just bolted out the door. I remember thinking I was so glad it wasn’t me – especially when she returned and F Teacher started asking her if she was ok.  Way too much public attention for me, I feel like I would have passed out!)

It could just be me, but I think our barre combinations are getting longer. We’re spending a lot of time in center compared to barre, so while we’re not doing as many exercise, the ones we are doing are longer. It really works out the memorizing moves part of the brain.  I do wonder if knowing how to physically do the moves makes it so that the brain has more “power” to memorize, because back when I first started I absolutely sucked at remembering the combinations, my concentration being occupied by doing the moves.  Now, I usually take the leading spot at one of the barres so I can see myself in the mirror  (which sounds so conceited and wrong, in just about any context other than ballet.  I promise, outside of ballet class I’m not a mirror hog; I actually get freaked out when people see me looking at myself in a mirror outside of a ballet setting. It’s just one of my many weird quirks.) which means that I better have the combination memorized.  For the most part I do! I guess now the moves are in muscle memory.

After we did the 8-8-4-4-2-2-1-1-1-1 exercise twice, Teacher had us plie and releve 4 times with no barre, with a long balance on the fourth. It was the weirdest feeling, like I thought I was going to wobble and tip over but I squeezed my core and pulled up and it felt like I was willing my body to do it, and it worked!  It kind of set the tone for the rest of the class, because my balances were not bad (for me) today.

I liked how we spent a lot of time on releve at the barre, doing cambres both forward and back, and passe releve and coupe releve, as well as echappe changements.  Being on releve is actually really fun for me – as long as it doesn’t involve balancing – because my calves don’t get tired.  Since back when I started ballet they used to burn, it’s a sure sign that I’ve gotten stronger.  Which reminds me, Teacher referred to echappe changements as “pushups for your ankles” – I should do more of both!

In center, my 4 balances (balan-says), step into arabesque, pas de bouree, releve sous-sus, other side combination is coming along.  It may have had to do with the timing of the music being slowed, so I didn’t have to rush my balances. Especially the coupe to the back part, which starts looking sloppy if I rush it.

The 3 grand battements devant with arms in high fifth, then passe releve while bringing the arms down the side combination was also looking better today.  My balancing in passe releve has really started to improve ever since I’ve been thinking more about shifting my center of gravity to be lined up over my supporting leg.  Today, on my left leg I stayed up for long enough for Teacher to say it was “much better.”  Also, I’m able to do it  bringing up the foot from either the front of the back, and I was feeling as stable as ever.

I did a few half-pirouettes (en dehors, from fifth), and felt stable. If I could figure out the spotting part I think I could actually make it all the way around.

We did glissades, which Teacher wanted to be extra jumpy – they reminded me of sissones.  I think each of my ballet teachers has taught us how to glissade a different way.  The cons of having multiple teachers, I guess.

My sautes seemed higher off the ground than before (which is really not saying much, since before I could barely leave the ground).  By the time we got to changements I was running out of steam apparently.  My changements are not very good, but much better than as little as two months ago for sure.

When doing chasse gallops I could feel my feet touching while in mid-air. While I was moving too fast to see in the mirror, I do wonder if that means I was doing it right. Teacher had said that we are supposed to touch our (pointed) feet in the air…

No class next monday, so I’ll be practicing on my own until a week from now.

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