Monthly Archives: February 2015

Two-Class Thursday: Still Sore

End of the second week of class.

My thighs were still sore from Tuesday’s classes (and I’m sure my Pilates classes may have had something to do with that as well), so I was hoping we would go easy on those slow 4-count grand plies during B(eginner) C(lass) – no such luck.  We also did lots and lots of releves and eleves (going up with a plie and without plieing beforehand, respectively) so our calves could be as sore as our thighs.

Barre combinations included tendus and degages without holding on to the barre. I remembere last semester I was so stressed out about these. Six months makes quite a difference apparently…

We went across the floor with our waltz step, and then added a turn to it.  Definitely felt less scary than last semester, or all the other past semesters for that matter. First Teacher didn’t really teach how to do this, just said “Ok, you’re going to be doing a waltz step, yes?” and since most of the class was like “Ok!” she didn’t go into it further. Strict Teacher was actually pretty horrible about my lack of an ability to pick up the step quickly, kind of treating me like I was an idiot because I couldn’t get it right away.  But by now I’ve been practicing it – or at least had it in my body – for almost a year, so it’s starting to feel more effortless. Now I’m actually having fun with it, letting the arm movement carry my upper body side to side, as Teacher said it should.  Feels so lovely, so dance-y…

Thankfully, in I(ntermediate) C(lass) we didn’t do much grand plieing. Just the standard 2 demi plies, 1 grand plie, cambre forward and back (side when in second position) plie combination.  Our port de bras for the plies was confusing me, though now that I’ve (slowly) gone over it at home I see that it’s nothing new to me (we were starting with a low arm, going out and in during the first demi plie, then up to middle fifth and out during the second demi plie). But in the spur of the moment I just blanked out a little bit.  I think it was the perceived pressure; somehow I ended up in the barre that was up front and in center and I felt really on the spot. While in BC I’m happy with a spot up front – mirror space! – in IC I feel like I should hide a bit.  At least until I don’t completely destroy the combinations…

Speaking of destroying the combinations… where do I even begin?! The fast rond de jambes with the slow port de bras are still not looking good.  If anything, doing attempting to do the arms confuses my body so much that then even my rond de jambes get sloppy. We did a tendu combination at barre that involved angling our body differently – epaulement, I guess? – and it was so confusing. The only thing I remember out of all that is that in ecarte you look up at your hand. And then, during the beated frappes I totally slammed my foot into the floor – ouch. Beated frappes just don’t make sense to my body yet. At all. But by now at least I figured out that the reason I was confusing myself was that I’m used to frappe-ing out however many number of times and then tendu back in, but in this class we frappe front, a la seconde, and back without ever tenduing – and then we do the beated ones.  Also figured out that another reason I mess up is that I’m used to doing stuff en croix, but in IC we usually just go avant, a la seconde, and arriere, and then do something completely different for the fourth thing.  This is taking my body some time to get used to, and I still remain a somewhat slow learner…

For center we did the same tendu combination, except now Teacher told us to do a different port de bras. It was close enough to what we’ve been doing that it went ok for me.  I’ll be honest though, I feel like I am a bit out of my league. Like, here Teacher is telling us to be concerned with the way our hips are facing our “audience” and I’m still like ‘Yay! I didn’t tip over during those tendus and I can’t believe I can chasse and yay my pirouette almost went all the way aroung!’  I feel like there is this huge gap between what you learn in BC and IC, like how do you learn the stuff that comes after BC leaves off?  I mean, it seems like in IC it is assumed that the students know certain things but we weren’t taught this in BC!  I’m having lots of fun doing, I mean attempting to do the more complex combinations in IC, but I feel so overwhelmed!

We did the same 4 balancé, tombe, pas de bourre, en dedans pirouette combination, which unfortunately I hadn’t had time to practice at home at all, but with different port de bras (the first two with arms at middle height, the second two with our arms up high).  We did it in two separate groups so it was like ‘Great! Spotlight on my terrible dancing!’  The strange thing is though, I was having fun, just super-aware of my bad dancing. I couldn’t help smiling while attempting the combination (and falling out of my pirouettes, or completely botching the arms, or being a count behind, or any other mishaps.) – I know I’m not good at this, but I’m better than I was before and that means a lot to me. I refuse to punish myself over my far-from-perfect dancing. No, just no; as I have no intentions on ever doing this for a living I just don’t see the point in coming down so hard on myself.  Dance is supposed to be fun, in my opinion…

In pique turns across the floor, I got a correction: apparently, I don’t come down off releve in between pique turns.  I hadn’t even realized that I was doing that. Great, another bad habit that I have to break…

Our petit allegro combination was 4 sautes, 4 changements, 2 echappes, pas de bourre, echappe, pas de bourree, repeat.  I kept getting confused on the pas de bourre from the echappe, and the tempo was super fast (duh, that’s why it’s called allegro, but I guess I’m more of an adagio kind of girl).  Our across the floor jumps (grand allegro? or is it still petit?) combination was saute arabeque, saute with foof in coupe x2, saute arabesque x4 while switching the arms from one side to the other.  Yeah, I’m not even going to pretend that I knew what I was doing with the arms there…

There was this dancer though – possibly one of the regular students in the class but I’ve never seen him before – who was just absolutely amazing. When he jumped it was like he flew, seemingly catching some hang time, his body making perfect lines in the air, and he was doing beats with some of his jumps. It was so enjoyable to watch him, so hopefully he’ll be taking class with us again.

On Friday I finally got some time to go over the combinations from class on my own and at my own pace at home.  Something that helps me as I practice the move is to say the name of the move to myself as I do it, to remember the sequence of moves better. I’m getting it – slowly – and it’s enough to keep me from getting completely discouraged. Don’t get me wrong, I am feeling slightly discouraged, at times feeling like I have no business in IC.  I think what I’d had in mind was that it would be like BC, but just slightly harder.  I feel like in BC we were learning how to do the moves whereas in IC we’re supposed to know how to do the moves and we just get corrections on all the moves we should already know.  Sometimes I feel almost like I’m back at square one, feeling lost with terminology I don’t understand (yet) and unfamiliar body motions.  It’ll make sense, I’m sure, but for now I just feel exhausted.

Two-Class Tuesday: The Soreness Begins…

..and I love it!

In B(eginner) C(lass)we did these super slow grand plies, really holding it down and the lowest point before bringing the ankles back down. My thighs were so feeling it, as I held my turnout and tried my hardest to keep my tailbone from poking out.  Since Teacher knows I’m doing Pilates, she’s really on it with those corrections to keep my core tight and my tailbone it. So true about BC level classes being harder in a way because of all the attention to detail.  This did remind me though that I tend to rush through my grand plies when I do my practice barre at home, a bad habit (and this, kids, is why it’s not recommended to practice without teacher supervision. However, until ballet is free we’ll all make do with what we can…) that I’ve apparently fallen into.

And then we did grand plies in center. I remember last semester when we did that I was freaking out, like ‘seriously?! Grand plies in center?!’ In Beginner Class?!’ (link below) But today I was like ‘Oh cool, whatever, just keep your core tight,’ which was definitely a step up. I like obvious reminders like this that there’s been progress. That’s one of the reasons I like taking the semester-long ballet class; I get to see my progress compared to how I was doing the semester prior. (I have my notes from a year ago on my computer, as it’s from my pre-blog days, and I’ll probably end up posting it as a blog post at some point. Unfortunately, I don’t have anything from my first semester ever. At the time I was too flustered by the difficulty of doing ballet to even think about writing about it, though I really wish I had…

Anyway, BC was fun, if slow paced.  Really feeling the burn on the thighs though.

Then came I(ntermediate) C(lass).  Faster-paced, more thinking involved for sure, and lots of little challenges.

Barre combinations were tricky: switch closings on tendus (like close first, close fifth front, close first, close fifth back) or close the tendu with a plie. The  slow arms during 4 fast rond de jambe combination is still not going so well, but arguably better than last week. And then we did beated frappes. I’ve never even attempted beated frappes! It was not pretty…

Then came center, which is not as scary as I would have anticipated as little as a few months ago.

The tendu combination from last week ( 2 tendu devant, temps lie, 2 tendu derriere, temps lie (in croisse) 4 tendu a la second (ecarte), pas de basque, en dehors pirouette from fourth, other side), was making way more sense to me now.  I realized that I was getting confused because I didn’t know how the arms go in tendus in ecarte (the arm in hight fifth is the same as the working leg), so I asked Teacher beforehand and tried to get used to the motions.  During class it was way better, I even noticed that a few of my classmates were sort of getting mixed up on that part too. Made me feel less alone…

So now the main problem I’m having with that combination is that my pirouettes don’t quite reliably make it all the way around. I mean, if I really wind up and kind of throw myself into it I can make it around (and probably lose control), but if it’s with bad technique then it’s just cheating, in my opinion. At the same time, I’m thinking ‘This is so cool, I can’t believe I’m actually doing combinations with pirouettes! (High pitched squeal)

After doing it with tendus twice or so, we did the whole thing over but with degages instead. Fun – and I actually held my balance!

We did a 4 balancé, tombe, pas de bourre, pirouette en dedans combination, which was super fast.  However, I was happy to see that en dedans pirouettes were part of today’s class.  For whatever reason, the en dedans direction for pirouettes has always felt more “natural” (an oxymoron in ballet?) than en dehors.  Unfortunately, it’s not like I can actually land my en dehors pirouettes cleanly either…

Chaînes were going well, I was actually spotting correctly for once, and then another student and I collided. It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be, but it did mess up that series of turns.  We didn’t, like, fall or anything, just kind of bumped arms, apologized quickly, and then attempted to keep going.  Before the semester started, I’d been super worried that in I C everyone would be an awesome turner, but I’m glad to see that I’m not the worst one. (Great, now that sounds so mean. Isn’t it so sad that in order for someone to be better it means someone has to be worse?)

After our sautes, we did a jumping combination (4 changements, echappe, pas de bourree, 4 changements, echappe, pas de bourree) and there was just so much to focus on! I felt like I was barely finishing my 3rd changement and it was already time for the echappe and so on, always one thing behind. And now I’m thinking, ‘A jumping combination – does this mean we did petite allegro?’. If so, that is so cool!

Then we did reverance, which we’d never done with Teacher. She called us through it, so it went ok. Felt so pretty!

And then I limped my sore self to the car 🙂

Me freaking out over grand plies in center last semester:

(Actually, reading over that post, I realized that I went into super detail of what we did in beginner class at that stage in the semester.  I’m thinking of including a link to what what going on in beginner class during that week last semester for all my posts, since I tend to be focusing a little more on intermediate right now (and I don’t want to be redundant.) )

Quick Recap On Thursday Classes

Better late than never…LOL

During grand battements at barre we did the infamous “swivel step”, the one where you angle your body towards the barre, after one of the grand battements a la second. The way it went down was that Teacher went though the combination (3 grand battements devant, a la seconde, derriere, then one a la second, swivel in, back out a la second while going up in releve (!), then when the leg comes back in the momentum carries over to the soutenu for the other side), and then we sort of marked it. I’ve never officially learned how to do this, just seen (more advanced) people do it.  So I marked it, and to my extreme surprise I did it! Grand battement on releve, soutenu, swivel – all of it! I was in some strange state of disbelief, and Teacher actually caught when I did it and said “Good!”  This is such a weird experience for me, as I’m not used to being able to see others do movements and actually mimic them. I’ve been blabbing excitedly about this to anyone who’ll listen for the last 2 days…

We also did these tendues at the barre where you alternate the feet – tendu right foot close back, tendu left foot close back, etc.).  The challenge was the head movements; when you tendu your right foot out you look towards the barre, when you tendu left foot you look away from the barre.  This is all unfamiliar to me, so I’m sure I’ll get it more in the weeks to come.For our barre stretch, after putting our leg on the barre both a la second and devant, we also did this thing where we grabbed our foot and kind of pulled it overhead. I was able to do this as well.  This was definitely a day of surprises…

Same tendu combination in center as Tuesday. Now that I’m getting a little more familiar with how it goes I’ve been going over it at home and it’s definitely improving.  I keep seeing how one of the better students does it in my mind, and the visual is really helping, like giving me something to strive for.  Once again, I’ll say how the vibe in intermediate class just feels different from beginner class.  For whatever reason, in beginner class I easily get intimidated by better students, but in intermediate I’m thinking ‘What can I learn by watching this person?’ Very cool.

My sautes are also doing well. Besides the pointing of the feet, I’m actually getting pretty high of the ground. It’s so weird, like I’ll see my feet in the mirror and I almost find it hard to believe that it’s me.  The changements need work though, especially landing in fifth. My pirouettes are improving as well. The marley floor in the studio is much more pirouette friendly than the wood floor at home, so I’m actually getting all the way around (and landing not-so-cleanly). Of course, I’m messing up by putting my foot behind – as with pique turns – instead of front, but I’m working on it. I think practicing all those pirouettes from fifth really helped my pirouettes from fourth improve.

In beginner class (immediately preceeding intermediate) Teacher showed us some exercises we can do at home to help strengthen our feet and turnout muscles and then we mostly went over arm and feet positions again, alignment while plie-ing and releve-ing, and a little bit of a waltz step with arm coordination.   A little slow, yes, but I think this is so valuable to brand new beginners.  My first two teachers didn’t really go over this stuff and I think unless you grew up dancing you may not have a clue about how to properly condition your body for ballet.  So, very important stuff.

Surprise Wednesday Class

In a nutshell…

Got out of lab early so I raced on over to Evening Studio. Since I knew the first day of lab we usually do very little, I had packed a pair of tights, leotard and shoes in case I had time to make it to class.  Well, traffic sucked (even though it’s all of 8 blocks – I think I could have sprinted there faster…) so while I did make it to class, I didn’t have time to change into ballet gear. Luckily, I had my clothes from Pilates class on me as well, so I didn’t have to take class in jeans.

And it felt so strange! I realized during the first barre combination (that I got to participate in) that I hadn’t taken class without my leotard and tights ever. Practice at home, sure, but class felt so odd.  I couldn’t see in the mirror if my body was aligned properly or anything.  And – TMI alert – ever since that first time I took class without undies (using the tights as the undies) I kind of got used to it.  All the extra fabric was so getting on my nerves – and unlike practicing at home, you can’t really adjust your clothes in a roomful of people. At least I can’t…

However, I am completely positive that it would have taken too long to change into my leotard and tights, as opposed to throwing on a pair of yoga pants.  I considered it briefly, looked at my footed tights (I was already wearing socks), considered the somewhat sweaty state of my upper back (it was hot today!), and decided there was nothing that sounded more unnappealing than trying to squeeze into a leotard and tights in a hurry.          Whenever I try to do things in a hurry I always manage to take even longer!  As it was, I missed the first combination (plies), so as E Teacher was explaining the next combination I was sort of plieing lyself warm.

This is one of the times when I’m glad for the extremely laid back atmosphere at Evening Studio; not only did E Teacher not mind my late arrival, but also I fit right in as not one person wore a leotard.  Still though, I missed my ballet attire, and felt like a mess. Much respect to people who can feel balletish while wearing other clothing, but I think I need to dress the part.  For some reason though, at home it’s ok and I have no problem feeling balletish. Weird (actually though, I have a theory. But it is just too out there so I will be keeping this one to myself for now. It’d be a really long and convoluted blog post though…) …

Class went well though. We had time for frappes at the barre.  We did the tendu, plie, passe relelve combination and it could be my imagination but I think I went up into the first passe releve a little straighter and qucker than usual. We did the 3 glissades to the right, pas de bourree, 3 glissades to the left, pas de bourre, repeat combination again which was fun.  We did the jete prep (step, leap, arabesque arms) and then a faster version of it that I really enjoyed.

And that was it. I was pretty glad I could make it.

Oh, and I had a chance to extensively youtube pas de basque. It looks to me like it’s part rond de jambe, glissade and chasse, but all rolled into one. Like half a rond de jambe, jump from what had been the supporting foot to the other as if it were a glissade, then chasse on through it. Well, at least that’s how it looked to my unsophisticated eyes, lol.

First Ever Intermediate Class

Ok, I’m feeling waaaay too scatterbrained and exhausted (yet so excited) to write a coherent post, but I really want to jot down these notes on my first ever intermediate class…

First off, I had so much fun! I haven’t been challenged this much in a long time. I mean, I know ballet is not easy (and if it feels easy it probably means I’m doing it wrong) but this was just, like, a new level of intense. I left flushed and sweaty, and in such a cheerful mood, as I stepped out into the cool night air.

Barre combinations were challenging, required lots of thinking.  Looking back, I guess part of the challenge is that we were mixing up the moves (like tendu devant, a la seconde, derriere, then swich to pas de cheval a la seconde, devant, a la second, close back then reverse) and my brain was trying to catch up. instead of 8-8-4-4-2-2-1-1-1-1 degages we did something like 16 right-8 left-4  right- 2 left- 1-1-16 left- 8 right- 4 left- 2 right- 1-1.  I actually kept up on that, which surprised me.  During rond de jambe we did this slow port de bras while the rond de jambes were in fast timing. Something like it took the time of 4 rond de jambes to bring the arm from low fifth to high fifth and out to second. I’d be lying if I were to say that my arms   during this were anything short of horrible.

One of our barre combinations included chasses, temps lie, and this pretty fondu while cambre forward. I don’t know if it has a name, but doing it made me feel graceful.  When we did cambre back in that pose though, I felt very ungraceful. Looks like I found which side of my body is weaker or something.

The grand battement combination included a pas de bourree turn instead of a soutenu. I was so not prepared for that…

Center was, ummm, interesting; on the one hand I am just so amazed at how far I’ve come in my progress (for sure at the start of last semester I couldn’t do the stuff we were doing today without falling off balance), but at the same time it was so clumsy and uncoordinated.  The first combination consisted mostly of tendus, but changing from croisse to efface to ecarte and I was always one beat behind. Why? Because I was totally following the best dancer, as I had no idea which leg was in front, or even which leg was the working leg.  By the time we went over it the last time I was sort of starting to get it so I don’t feel hopeless.

Another combination involced pas basque which I’m off to youtube, as I had NO IDEA what I was doing. However, the combination also had pirouettes (from fourth, en dehors) and I was getting around enough that it wasn’t messing me up too much. Not that it mattered, as I was messing up on which direction I should be facing. I’m sure once I know what’s up with that pas basque things will simplify a bit…

During sautes, I saw my feet in the mirror in midair and they were so pointed!  During changements Teacher corrected me on my final landing position, as it was not closed.  I remember last semester my correction was always on my unpointed feet and crash landings so I think I’ve improved.

We did 4 pique turns and then chaines for 4 counts, repeat if there’s enough space (and if you’re not too dizzy).  I was sooooo nervous, but I just did it and it went ok.  To the left I started getting a little rushed and started forgetting to spot, which sucked. We also did a jumping combination (saute arabeque, saute with foot in coupe, repeat x3, saute arabeque, pas de chat x2) and it was the coolest feeling ever, very much feeling like dancing.

Class size was about 20 students, a big range of skill level and body sizes, which I was glad to see. Honestly, I had been a bit worried that everyone in Intermediate would have the stereotypical “dancer” body, but there was enough diversity to make me feel somewhat comfortable.  It’s kind of weird, but the vibe of intermediate class felt less intimidating than during beginner class, which doesn’t really make sense.  I need to ponder on that some more…

There’s probably some other stuff I’m forgetting, so if I remember I’ll be adding it in.  I also took beginner class, but we mostly just went over stretching and the positions of the arms and feet.

Schedule Changes

Tomorrow is the start of Spring semester at my community college.

Ballet-wise, I will be taking beginning level class and staying on to intermediate, twice a week. Each class is an hour and a half so yes, that’s 3 straight hours of ballet twice a week. At least there’s a 10 minute break between during which I’ll probably be found frantically trying to stuff something that’s both nutritious and calorie-dense in my mouth. Class will be on evenings, rounding out the end of an already busy school day.

It looks like I will be temporarily giving up Wednesday class at Evening Studio, unless I finish up early. But I’m not scheduled to be out (assuming it takes the entire lab period) until around the time (ballet) class ends, though school and Evening Studio are only minutes away from each other. Out of all my possible schedule combinations before I signed up for classes this schedule was the best one I could figure out, so I did realize at the time that I would most likely have to choose between class at Evening Studio and fitting in all the other classes I’m taking.

I managed to work around my schedule so I can once again have a daily Pilates class – start my day off with Pilates class, actually.  By the time this semester is over I will have been doing Pilates for about six months, and the structure that attending a class provides versus doing it at home alone is really beneficial to me.  By then the exercises will be embedded in my muscle memory for sure. My college also offers a certification program to teach Pilates, and since I’m doing the classes anyway, I figure “why not?”. This semester I’ll be taking a class that focuses on mat work and another one that’s specifically for dancers. So, if nothing else my ballet skills may improve due to the additional core work.

And then, academic-wise, I’m going into some uncharted territory. The thing about community college is that the pros of affordable tuition and small (at least compared to when I attended University a decade ago) class sizes are offset by the cons of too-long waiting lists for classes due to overcrowding and budget cuts.  I started going here three years ago, and it was really difficult for a few semesters to even get classes that were not electives (but at the same time this is a good thing, as it’s how I found ballet). But now that I’ve been there for a few semesters, I’m finally getting a sign up date that actually gets me into classes that I planned on taking when I decided to go back (provided there’s no scheduling conflicts).  And I’ve got to be honest, part of me’s been glad that there’s been this delay, because I could just put it off, wonder at what could have been, whether I can do it or not. But I’ve decided, it’s now or never, so I’m jumping in headfirst.

I am so excited/nervous/anxious/happy – I think I can say without it being an exaggerated statement that I’ve been waiting years for this. And as much as a ballet has become an increasingly bigger – and important – part of my life, I have to keep in persepective that it is not the reason I went back to school. I mean, don’t get me wrong, if I was 10 or 12 years younger I would  try to pursue it more seriously that just a very dedicated recreational student (and yes, I may – and probably am – be deluding myself here, but seeing as I’m not 10-12 years younger, it doesn’t really matter now, does it?).  But at my (still relatively young, but not to begin a professional career performing in dance) age  I need to remember what else is important to me, how it even came to be that I found myself back in school which allowed me to even discover for myself something as amazing as ballet.

Anyway, I think my point is that I’ll be putting in lots of homework and study time, as this semester will be a determining factor for me, academic-wise.  What this means is that while I’ll try to update the blog after every class (and write the occasional ramble about ballet-related stuff), both the fact that class will let out pretty late and my homework load may make that difficult. As I am obsessed with recording my ballet progress (or lack of, lol), I will be updating as best as I can, even if it’s short and grammatically incorrect. Or maybe I’m totally fearing the worst, I have better study habits than I give myself credit for, and my classes will be a breeze…

We will find out together, won’t we?

Oh, and except for ballet class. Ballet is NEVER a breeze.

Apparently, I’m Tall…

… or at least that’s my leotard size.

As this blurry picture shows, it's size Tall

As this blurry picture shows, it’s size Tall

Went on another expedition to the Big City that included a stop at the dance outlet shop.  When I went last time, right as I was paying for my stuff I saw that they had those little knit bun covers and I thought they were so cute, but I already had exact change in hand.  So I figured it wouldn’t hurt to go by and see if I could pick one up.  And the best thing about (dance) outlets is that you have no idea what cool (dance-related) stuff you might find (Now, the worst thing about outlets is that often times everything is there for a reason…). Unlike last time I went there, I decided to not go by the sizes marked alone; instead if I saw something that may fit I would put it on the Maybe Pile regardless what size it says.  Besides, as an outlet, you almost got to expect that the sizes will be a bit irregular. One of the leotards I tried on was marked Large and wouldn’t even come up over my thighs, so yeah… Anyway, this not-paying-attention-to-size resulted in me trying on a variety of leotards that I previously wouldn’t have. I’d tried on about 5 or 6 when I picked up a shiny navy blue camisole leotard. Under size, it was labeled Tall.  As a short-waisted (meaning proportionally my legs are waayyyyy too long for my torso) person, I sometimes may appear tall, due to the excessive leg length, but I’m only 5’4, (1.63 M) – not short, but not tall either. Since not only am I not tall, but my height is mostly in my legs, I figured the leotard, probably made for a tall person’s torso may not fit.  But the feel of the fabric felt so nice and smooth and shiny that I was willing to give it a shot.

The front

The front

So, on comes the leotard and it fits perfectly.  It’s snug – as a leotard should be – but it doesn’t feel like it’s pulling on something.  It doesn’t squeeze in an unpleasant way that makes me feel smooshed up, like I can’t breathe (or pull up).  I loved it! I’ve bought several leotards now and while there’s been some that fit okay (as opposed to not at all), this has been the first one that fits great. It went from Maybe Pile to For Sure Pile. Now having worn it to class, I still think it fits great but I really wish I’d been wearing both of my sport bras when I tried it on – apparently there’s a slight cleavage problem in class that wasn’t there in the fitting room. At least it’s only a problem when I’m bending forward (as I found out while getting down on the floor to stretch – awkward), when I’m upright it’s fine. I still would have bought it if I’d known at the time I tried it on, but I guess it’s a good rule to wear the same undergarment set-up to try stuff on as you’d wear to class.  (Except please don’t try on stuff without underwear, that’s just gross)

The back view. I like how it has full front lining. It's also not cut too low on the back.

The back view. I like how it has full front lining. It’s also not cut too low on the back.

I went through the rest of the leotards, but, having experienced what a perfectly-fitting leotard feels like, there was just no way anything could compare.  But since the leotards at the dance outlet are so cheap, I was planning on getting a second one.  I settled on another navy blue one, this one a tank style with a ruched front.  There was another one that was almost identical but without the ruched front. At first I thought that any detail in the front of the leotard would be a bad idea (in a drawing attention to myself way) – and who knows, it may be – but that one felt so much more comfortable and less constricting than the flat front one. So that one it is.

This is actually front view, but it's so dark that it's hard to see the details

This is actually front view, but it’s so dark that it’s hard to see the details

In addition to the 2 leotards, I picked up another little dance sweater to wear over my leotards.  Ever since I got my little sweater on my last trip here I’ve been wearing it to every class and it’s really helped me feel more comfortable. It disguises my chest to the point that from the front in the mirror I don’t even notice that it’s there. I don’t know if anyone else is fooled, but it still helps me feel less awkward about my body in class and therefore I am able to focus on dancing instead. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to have a second one on hand in case the first gets dirty and I don’t have a chance to wash it.

I guess if I hold it up to the light I'm able to get a picture of the ruched front...

I guess if I hold it up to the light I’m able to get a picture of the ruched front…

As I was browsing through the leotards, the guy that worked there asked me if I wanted some tights.  At $3 each, sure! I ended up getting 3 pairs of Body Wrappers footed tights. The material of the tights feels a bit coarse compared to the silky smoothness of my favorite tights ever (which tore after about a week of wearing them – that would be the Theatrical tights… silky smooth but flimsy as hell), but we’ll see how they hold up.  They have the outline of where the heel goes already in them, which I thought was kind of weird (and I guess that means I can’t wear them forward-side-back, which makes them very unversatile).

See what I mean? Little shapes of feet!

See what I mean? Little shapes of feet!

A pair of regular tights (above) and these foot-outlined tights (bottom) for comparison

A pair of regular tights (above) and these foot-outlined tights (bottom) for comparison

Notice how I didn’t say I got a bun cover. That’s because they were all out, which really sucks. I wonder if there’s a lesson to be learned in this… However, one of the leotards came with this elastic band. Is it a hairband? Am I supposed to already know what it’s for?  (And no, it’s not a replacement strap, as this leotard is a tank style, not spaghetti-strap.)

The elastic band that came with the leotard

The elastic band that came with the leotard

(Edit: my last dance clothes trip to the Big City)