Wednesday: A Full Moon And A Full House

Well, at least a full ballet studio…

You know how last week I said that Evening Studio was about as full as it could get (and right now I wish this browser would let me do that “embedding a link” feature, ’cause it sure would come in lovely right now…)? Apparently I lied – today was packed! We have these little portable barres that usually hold a person per side (on super slow days, a person per barre and we walk over to the other side to do the other side. So not Traditional Ballet Class probably, but whatever, it’s nice to have the mirror for both sides.) and the studio fits about 6 of these without it becoming likely that someone will grand battement their neighbor in the face (or butt, I mean, you’d need really high extension to reach a fellow adult’s face, right?).  Today all barres were full and then people kept coming! A few of the ladies volunteered to use the rail holding the barres together or other miscellaneous fixtures, and we were on our way.

Now, this is probably due to a larger sampling of people, but today’s classmates were friendlier! I’m not saying I met my new BFF (lol, apparently I’ve been texting my little sis too much) or anything today but a few people actually spoke to me.  There was also other people talking to each other.  It was different; nice, but different. I could get used to it…

Barre was more or less the same as last week. Nice and basic to work on technique fundamentals.  During grand battements, I was watching the mirror and kept alternating between being amused by my pointed feet (in second) and worrying about kicking the lady behind me’s foot when going to the back.

We ran out of time to do frappes, which probably made some students happy (and others, disappointed).  I don’t mind doing frappes, since I obsessively worked on them at home after being completely lost in class during first semester.  That said, it took about a year and a half for me to feel comfortable with them, that weird motion, the flexed foot. Besides, in this class we only do them out to second so they’re not that big of a deal.

Did not make it all the way around on my en dehors from fith pirouettes during the tendu-plie-passe releve combination. I’m going to blame it on the change in the combination (at least to the right; to the left it’s totally me). During the first few times through (the ones without the pirouette) E Teacher wanted us to not do the arms so as to not confuse the beginners. But for the pirouette, those of us who were going to attempt it were to do the arms.  My brain decided to have a mometary lapse and I couldn’t remember the arms – having done no arms on the rest of the combination – until a second too late. Which means then I was late, which means I (felt like I had to) rush on to the pirouette without really thinking about it.  So I kind of sucked. But at least I tried it, I guess.

Also, the pressure of not being all the way in the back: not conductive to stress-free pirouettes. But the back is so crowded that I did find myself inching forward, somewhat begrudgingly.  I think my ideal dance studio would have a room so big across that the students would still have room – and mirror space – even in the back!

During sautes, I was having fun. Too much fun, as by the end I wasn’t even on timing, just enjoying the jumping. Enjoying landing in a plie and just pushing back up. Even remembered to point my feet about halfway through.  Was really happy about that, as before I started working out I used to be too exhausted with just getting off the floor to even think about pointing my feet.

We practiced jetes, or more accurately, some kind of preparation for jetes. Just step with left foot, leap onto right foot, repeat. Arms in first arabesque. With so many of us crowded into the room we were going every four beats of music, which I had mistakenly thought meant every four jumps. So I was a bit late on it.  My partner and I were the thrid group from the front to go, so there weren’t that many examples to follow. Instead we were the ones being followed! So weird!

It get’s me thinking – I feel like it’s so much easier to improve physically at the moves -through lots of hard work, practice, patience – than it is to change the ideas in my head about my ballet-ing.  What I mean is, to myself I will always be a beginner, however much I improve.  No matter what, I doubt I’ll learn that dancer attitude (and no, I don’t mean the attitude involving the bent leg going into developpe) that so many of the more advanced students come with. That confidence.  While my confidence level is at an all-time high these days, I spent the vast majority of my life being a very unconfident person. Almost three decades of habit can’t get erased immediately (and if anyone says differently, I challenge them to show me how.) Besides, I tend to confuse confidence with arrogance, and I desperately try my hardest to be humble in other areas of my life, so to put the humility aside for a few hours a week is just a bit out of the old comfort zone.

I’ve been improving so steadily now, but I fear at some point this attitude problem won’t let itself be set aside for later.  Will it be like I hit a wall then, unable to get past it unless I tackle it head on? Or will I be able to “muscle through” it, improving my technique, getting stronger and stronger, while my attitude remains the same?

We will see how this all plays out…

On the way home there was this beautiful full moon, had to take a picture of it.

Except my camera on this iPad kind of sucks... Well, it was gorgeous in person

Except my camera on this iPad kind of sucks… Well, it was gorgeous in person

Oh, and I updated my Learning Curve page, on mostly what I’ve been up to the last couple months, if anyone wants to check it out (you’ll have to scroll down through the older stuff first, obviously, but I didn’t want to feel all “false advertising” and stuff, LOL.)

6 thoughts on “Wednesday: A Full Moon And A Full House

  1. Ilde

    We also have the problem of too many people crowded on a single barre – we’re in a school hall (with sprung floors, yay!) and only the one barre affixed to the wall. No mirrors (good thing or bad thing, depending on the day…)

    But what we do to avoid kicking each other in the face when derriere and kicking each other’s… well… derriere… when doing devant, we all angle 45degrees inward, so that you’re almost facing the barre semi-sideways. Then no-one kicks no-one!

    And pirouettes = bane of my existence. I can. not. turn. You get spinners, and non-spinners, just like you get quick feet and non-quick feet, leapers and non-leapers, and balancers and non-balancers. Good luck – you definitely have the right attitude towards tackling and overcoming the Great Pirouette Stumbling Block. And THAT is the only attitude one needs for any ballet class.

    1. kit Post author

      Wow, all against the wall with no mirror, I’m trying to imagine what that’s like. I think I may be using the mirror as a crutch…
      I’ve seen that sideways-angling move – and during one class when all the advanced people showed up it was included during barre – but my beginner self has never been taught it. It looks so pretty though, almost choreographed. Maybe I’ll learn it in Intermediate class.
      Pirouettes are hard for me, but I am improving in my across-the-floor turns. I’m also not a leaper, a quick-footed person, or a balancer – or at least for most of my ballet studies so far – but I’ve been making progress 🙂

      1. Ilde

        @Joyce and @Kit, we do the entire exercise angled in, to avoid accidents in all directions. Also to avoid the confusing swiveling thing, especially if core strength isn’t quiiiiite there yet. You just imagine a new front. My teacher always tells us that your hip bones are like a car’s headlights: wherever they point, that’s your front (in this case specifically, take note).

        PS @Kit I wanted to send you a pic of our barre, but I see I can’t do that on a blog. Oh well.

      2. kit Post author

        I’m trying to imagine swiveling in on a wall barre but my imagination just isn’t cooperating with me. Maybe I’ll youtube it…
        I’ve seen people post a picture as a comment, but I have no idea how to pull it off. I think it may involve having the picture hosted on a (separate) website and then linking it on the comment. It would’ve been cool to see it!

  2. Joyce

    I was just going to mention that angling thing that people do for battemants back. I kind of confuse myself when I do it though, and wind up late going to the side again, haha!

    1. kit Post author

      Yeah, it looks confusing! I feel like if I angle in I’ll probably lose my turn out, or twist from the hip, or any other ballet no-no’s LOL.
      I’ve heart it referred to as the “swivel step”, as well, because of the swiveling action.


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