Back To Ballet In The New Year

Finally! My first class back since almost a month ago!

First thing I found out was that the studio raised the rates for the drop-in class by $2 – I guess new year, new prices?  Luckily I didn’t just bring exact change today…

Anyway, I was so excited to be back in class!. There were about 8 people in class today, some of them new to me, but apparently not new to ballet, as E Teacher didn’t teach at the brand-new-beginner level – which makes for a nice, semi-challenging class.

Our barre combinations were fun, somewhat complicated, with changes in tempo.  Like, 6 slow degages, then 3 fast ones, or 1 super slow rond de jambe, 4 slow ones, 3 fast ones.  I like it, keeps the brain engaged, and keeps it from becoming an autopilot kind of thing. We also did those circular port de bra cambres that I like so much, and lots of one-legged balancing.

At first, I was feeling a bit apprehensive about doing the one-legged balances on releve.  My two-legged releve balances were stable today, but since the longest I’ve been able to hold a one-legged balance on releve at home has been to about a (very quick) count to 20, and the balances we hold in class are superlong, I knew I couldn’t last.  Then E Teacher basically told me to get up there, so I did, LOL.

In center, we did a combination which got progressively more difficult.  As in, the first time through we tendu to second, bring it back in while plie-ing, then bring the foot up to passe and balance, no arms.  Repeat, other leg. Then the second time through, same thing but with arms (start with arms in middle fifth, open to second while tenduing, bring in the same arm as working leg when bringing it back in, back to middle fifth for the balance). The third time through, with arms, and the passe balance on releve.  The fourth time, with a pirouette (en dehors) from fifth instead of the balance. Fun!

In this combination I was able to see that I have, in fact, improved.  I remember about 2 months ago (possible 3, I’ll have to look it up – the benefits of blogging) I was having a lot of difficulty with passe releve balances, especially during combinations. Well, let’s be honest here, even when it didn’t involve a combination…Anyway, today I was doing just fine. Having a bit of difficulty coordinating the arms at times, yes, but the balancing in passe releve was actually not bad.  They were quick balances, yes, but very controlled; I clearly went up, held it there, then came back down without just falling out of the balance.  You know, looking like I meant to do what I was doing…

So, not necessarily good, but definitely not horrible either.

The pirouettes from fifth are a different story. I’ve mostly been practicing them from fourth, both en dehors and en dedans, but hardly from fifth (I should really get on that…). I was able to only get around about a quarter of the way when turning to the right, about halfway/ 3/4’s or so to the left.  However, E Teacher praised me for the effort, which was nice. (Yes, I happen to like praise 🙂 )

We then did a three glissades to the right, assemble, other way, assemble combination. Glissades finally “clicked” for me a couple months ago – possibly after the last time we did them in this class, actually – when a new explanation of how to do them just gave me a better sense of what we’re going for; apparently the key is always to use your plie. That was probably supposed to be obvious, but sometimes I need to be reminded. So, the glissades went well, the assembles did not.  I’d previously only done assembles to the front, and today’s were to the side, so I looked like I was flailing around. Not cute.

But I didn’t mind by that point.  It was a fun class, I got to see that I’ve been improving, and I was just so glad to be back in a class!

Until next Wednesday, more practicing at home and pilates. 6 weeks until Spring semester starts and I’ll be doing lots more ballet!

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