Wednesday: Compliments, Ballet Class, And A ‘Lil TMI

Fun day today, first Pilates, then ballet…

In Pilates class this morning, I was sitting on my mat with my in legs front of me, open about, let’s see, I wanna say about 120° or so, and one of my classmates was like “we can’t even get our legs to do that!”

So, I was like “Oh, I’ve been doing ballet for, like, two years (!) so I’ve gotten a lot more flexible; my flexibility has increased so much!”

And a different girl, her friend, asks, “Is that why your feet are so archy and stuff?”

I’m thinking, ‘Me? My feet, archy?!’ and I was so happy, seriously, but instead I taught her the theraband feet exercises that I do (after pointing my feet for the group a couple times to their ooooh’s and ahhhh’s, lol), and encouraged them to try out ballet.  But yeah, someone noticed something ballet-like about me outside of ballet class; perhaps that means I’m a (real) dancer.

Anyway.

Evening class was fun, though not really challenging today. We had a bunch of brand new students, both new to ballet and new to me.  We did pretty slow and basic combinations at barre (though I totally destroyed the timing of the slow ronde de jambs – impatient me!), and in center we did the same combination as last week but without the pirouettes.  E Teacher had me be in the front row (eeek!) so I was worried that I would mess up – thus embarassing us both (me for my clumsiness, and her for her error in judgment in thinking I could be in front row) – but I didn’t.

Sautes. I think the last time I did an actual saute-echappe-changement combination – (attempted) pointed feet in midair, ballet arms – was last year.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been jumping plenty to keep conditioned for the real sautes, but since I don’t have anywhere outside of class to practice jumping in ballet shoes and last week we ran out of time in class, it’s been a while since I’ve gotten to do sautes.  At least now I can remember to land in plie and it no longer sounds like a crashing elephant.  I think once I saw a ballet teacher wince (though she attempted to hide it) when watching – and hearing – some of my horrible heavy-landed sautes.

I really want to practice this foot pointing thing more, as I hope to get it into muscle memory.  By this point I don’t think it’s lack of muscle strength that causes my difficulties but bad muscle memory patterns that need to be overridden. Which brings me to…

Balancing.  Ever since I’ve been putting my shoulders back, my balances have improved so much.  You know how ballet teachers always say to lean forward, not back? Before I felt like I was already leaning forward, but I think it was just my shoulder positioning that was making me feel that way.  But yeah, my two-footed balances are getting super long and stable now that I have my shoulders back and I can actually lean forward. During my one-footed balances I’m afraid I’m too focused on what the working leg is doing to devote my full attention to shoulders. Hopefully once the “shoulders back” thing becomes  muscle memory it’ll be easier…

And now, the TMI part.  Ok, so I have a few pair of “dancing” underwear – basically, the leg openings are high enough (higher than the leotard’s) that they won’t be visible through my tights – but today I forgot that I had ballet and was wearing regular underwear.  Then I remembered that I read somewhere, possibly a dance forum, that the tights are the underwear (or so the dancers say). Ok, why not, I’ll give it a shot…

It was awesome! As much as I hate to admit it, I sometimes have this fear of looking in the mirror because I won’t be happy with what I see. My “lines” are different, to say the least, but besides the lines I worry about the bulges, the kind that happen between the waistband of the underwear and the waistband of the tights or the waistband of the tights and the bra strap.  With one of those taken out of the equation I looked so smooth, which helped me focus more on my placement and less on my body image anxiety. It was a nice change 🙂

But yeah, class was fun.

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10 thoughts on “Wednesday: Compliments, Ballet Class, And A ‘Lil TMI

  1. Ilde

    I’ve never worn undies under my leotard – maybe because I had class from a young age – but the mere thought of it makes me cringe… all that extra material bunched up in there!

    That being said… if you reeeeeally WANT to wear undies, go for those flesh-coloured no-seam / no-hem ones. They don’t make lines and bulges, and won’t show (as badly) through your tights. I sometimes wear them for performances when there are quick changes in the wings involved…

    And congrats on being recognised as and “looking like” a dancer! It really is one of the best feelings. I really love following your journey.

    Reply
    1. kit Post author

      After today, I think I’m sold on the idea of going undie-less. I had previously thought that it would be uncomfortable or feel like being too, I don’t know, naked, I guess. But it was out of mind as soon as I entered the studio, only to be reminded (in a good way) by the lack of skin-digging-in creases in the mirror.And it was so nice to not have to worry about the leg of my leotard going too high during my grand plies…
      I will keep an eye out for the flesh no-seam/no-hem ones as well, for any days when I’m in a wearing-underwear kind of mood.
      And thanks for all the nice words; it means a lot to me 🙂

      Reply
    1. kit Post author

      Right now I’m only taking 1 a week 😦
      But during the regular term I take 2 1.5 hour classes a week (and this coming term I may be taking 4 1.5 hour classes a week, both beginning and intermediate). I also practice at home almost every day, also for between an hour to 1.5 hours.
      It took me several months – at least! – to see any improvement though…

      Reply
  2. amandakash

    I love how we are all about no undies, too. hahaha. A couple of girls in my class still wear them and all I can think is that I’ve got enough layers going on, I don’t need another line/crease in that area! The best thing I’ve found for my *unconventional* ballet body is the Body Wrappers tights. They come up basically to my bra so there is no dent in the middle of my body. Looks a little cleaner I think. Plus they are super soft.

    Reply
    1. kit Post author

      Oh, that sounds cool! I think next time I order some tights I’ll keep an eye out for those.
      Usually I can tell when people are wearing undies because they do look a bit bulgy, especially in a colorful leo, and black, though more flattering, still shows while bending the body. Whenever people looked smooth I always though “Wow! She muct be solid muscle or something!” but now I’m like LOL “No undies, now I know the secret!”

      Reply
  3. wedoballet

    Yay for archy feet!
    And welcome to the undie-free world of dancers 🙂 I think I actually said then sentence “The tights are the underwear” just this week to a mother at TBS!

    Reply
    1. kit Post author

      Yes, I think someone forgot to give the majority of my class the memo LOL… To be fair, the syllabus mentioned wearing “appropriate undergarments” but I think those of us without a background in dancing had no idea what that even means. And then the discussion on dance belts began…

      Reply

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