Tuesday Class: BC For Me

Tuesday I took Beginner Class only. I was hoping that knowing I would go home immediately after instead of staying for Intermediate Class would make BC more enjoyable – after all, ballet class comes at the end of a long (12 hour) day away from home at school and my ballet skills are not really coming out after spending so many hours hunched over a book.  For the most part it worked, BC was fun and it was nice to be able to focus on technique without feeling lost and behind the whole time. It was nice to be home an hour and a half earlier than usual and catch up on little household tasks.

So yeah, I think that’s it for IC. It was an eye-opening experience, it really has been…

Back to BC.

The only guy in the class (absolute beginner five weeks into it) shared my barre today – front and center  – as it was the only spot left.  No one else wants to share my barre; all the people I knew from last semester insist on being at the wall barre, and all the newer people kind of paired up. I have a good spot though, we had the mirror right in front, the way I like it.  Of course I embarassed myself by falling out of my first first-position-no-hands-on-barre releve balance of the day (yes, I still do this. By the time I’m completely warmed up I can do brief passe releve balances or releve arabesque balances, but one the first balance of the day I sometimes can’t find the old center of gravity right away.), which is something I’ve almost started to expect to happen.  I feel so embarassed, but like I said at times I almost expect it as a fact of life. I just wish I didn’t feel as though everyone noticed – which they probably inevitably do, as like I mentioned, I had a barre in the front.  Oh yeah, and we’re still facing the barre for most of barre.  Probably good for lower body technique, but other than cambres back and to the side we’ve done absolutely nothing with the arms (at least at barre).  All this time I’d been getting my use-the-arms fix in IC, so now I’ll have to wait until later in the semester when BC picks up a bit more. (And of course the whole practicing at home thing.)

We did lots of releve echappes, but only from first so there was no changement action.  Kind of boring, but I guess we’ll be waiting until later in the semester to do those too. Today we did them holding the barre, luckily.  I really don’t like doing releve echappe changemens without the barre because I feel almost certain that I’ll tip over.  Right now I’m so paranoid writing this, that someone out there is snickering like “Girl’s got her priorities twisted; she wants to do something less ‘boring’ but she can’t even balance!” And maybe I do have twisted priorities, but to me doing more complex stuff at barre is more fun than trying to force myself to do stuff that seems impossible. It was a great calf workout though.

Teacher corrected me on my left foot’s arch not being lifted (on flat, not releve). One of my bad habits, for sure. I have the muscle to lift it, I just forget.  It’s not even my weaker foot, so I don’t know what my deal is. I do think that it started off as an adjustment to be able to balance barre-less at all when I first started (when I first started I could barely balance in my ballet slippers on flat woth two feet). Being forced to balance barre-less before being ready is (in my totally non-expert and quite possibly uninformed opinion) a huge contributor to Bad Habits, or at least it was for me. All I know is that I wasn’t thinking technique, I was thinking ‘How do I get myself to balance so I don’t draw even more attention to myself!”

In center we worked on the same balance combination from last semester (4 balances, tombe, pas de bourree, other side, to refresh the memories).  Chaines the long way across the enormous dance studio, twice as long the distance.  It’s harder, of course, but I start off strong and then, I don’t know, maybe my neck gets tired for spotting? Still, they went ok.  We didn’t do pique turns (too early in the semester) so I did a few after class which were hopefully not taken as showing off. I just really felt like turning!

Sautes and echappes (the jumping kind), still not my favorite part of class. Ever since school started I haven’t been able to go running as often (I’m down to 2-4 times a week, and only around the weekends) and I can’t help but feel that my legs are  getting weaker for jumps. Or is it that I feel slightly more out of breath? It’s probably in my head but it just feels like my jumps are doing the opposite of improving (worsening?), like the power I had a couple months ago is gone..

We chasse galloped across the studio, and then did a ballet run and two jetes or saut de chat (bigger than a pas de chat, and in a forward direction – student choice.  I did the jetes (I hope. At least that’s what I was trying to do…) and I do think my jete-ing ability has improved since last semester, somewhat surprisingly (I don’t get to practice jetes outside of class). Now if only I didn’t have so much difficulty with sautes and echappes…

On the note of the importance of knowing ballet terminology, today Teacher asked one of the really good dancers to demonstrate a move and she got the move wrong; definitely not from lack of skill (seriously, this girl dances so pretty) but from lack of vocab.  I couldn’t believe it, but I guess it’s like firsthand proof of the importance knowing those terms. Not that I have to worry about it, as I don’t get asked to demonstrate moves, but like, good trivia to amuse your friends with and stuff, right?

Anyway, class was mostly fun, and hopefully soon we will be incorporating arms. I’m thinking I should go over my blog archives from last semester to see if I wrote down when we finally started using arms at barre.

12 thoughts on “Tuesday Class: BC For Me

  1. Basia

    Just wanted to say, no one notices if you fall out of balance… As much as you probably don’t notice others doing that… I learnt that one in the gym. I used to worry what people thought, but they don’t really think about anything more than themselves and what they are doing. If they do notice, then it’s a fleeting thought, and moments later they are wondering about something else. I do plyometric exercises in front of all the people on the running machines. They must think I’m bonkers, and I must look funny doing frog squat jumps, but I’m ok with it now because I’m doing it for a reason, it’s too get more power in my ballet jumping.

    1. kit Post author

      Funny story: when I practice at home, every time I fall off releve I look at Boyfriend to see if he noticed and one day he says “I notice you look at me everytime you fall.” LOL
      But you’re right, other people probably forget about me falling immediately after it happens – at least I hope. Perhaps no one even notices, but when everyone is perfectly still (balancing on releve) and there is a sudden movement (me tipping over) it does make me feel like all heads turned that direction.

      1. Basia

        Ha ha…Yeah in that scenario I guess you’d assume EVERYONE looked! Lol! I just assume they won’t want to follow my moves after that ha ha

      2. kit Post author

        Yeah, I assume they won’t want to follow me after that as well. So while I like being in front for barre, I quietly take myself to the back for center…

  2. Sharon

    It sounds like you made a good decision. I think you’re right, being pushed to do steps before you have some grounding in good technique does lead to bad habits, and bad habits can be really hard to break. Another reason to feel good about your decision!

    1. kit Post author

      Thanks! I am feeling pretty good about my decision though at times I am feeling like a “quitter”. Oh well, whatever 🙂
      I definitely don’t want to get more bad habits trying to do stuff that my body is not ready for yet.

  3. Ilde

    Hehehe every time you type “barre-less” I read bra-less! Oh dear…

    I have a deal with those two friends of mine who struggle with ballet vocab. We have a cell phone app in SA called WhatsApp – don’t know if you have it? – but it’s instant messaging. So we send each other photos and videos of ourselves in ballet positions or doing steps/poses, then asking the other to say what it is. Or we send voice notes asking the other to demonstrate what we’ve asked for. It’s a good way to learn to demo the steps and say the words.

    1. kit Post author

      LOL, for me bra-less ballet moves would be even more awkward than barre-less ones. At least in public…
      My old technology phone doesn’t do apps, but that does sound like a good way to learn terminology. I would also need some friends who are into ballet to go with it, of course…

  4. Joyce

    I really think that people are more focused on their own dancing (and mistakes!) than other people’s. Like, I always think I’m the only one not getting all the way around on pirouettes and that everyone is doing good ones around me, but whenever I talk to anyone after class it seems they all feel the same way! Also, after a class, I can tell you everything I messed up on, but I honestly could not really tell you anything about what anyone else messed up on. Except maybe if I was trying to follow them, in which case I probably messed up too and don’t think twice about it.

    In the off chance that someone is judging you meanly IRL or out in the internet ether, you STILL shouldn’t feel bad, because they are probably a horrible human being and SHOULD use that energy to focus more on their own dancing and/or issues.

    1. kit Post author

      Hmmm, I think the fact that I notice when others mess up might mean that I am not focusing enough on my own dancing – I have to ponder that one for a bit. For what it’s worth, I don’t think mean thoughts, just like ‘oh so-and-so right in front of me didn’t point their feet; pointing your feet is hard when you’re a beginner’ kind of stuff.
      I do feel like people notice when the teacher loudly calls out your correction BY NAME. The dumb thing is, when I first started out I thought I was doing ok because I wasn’t really getting corrected (but little did I know that it was because First Teacher saw ZERO potential) and I thought people who got a lot of corrections must be doing terrible. Boy, was I wrong on that!
      Honestly though, I think I would stop being so fixated on the times I’m messing up if I didn’t still feel very inadequate at times for even setting foot in a ballet class. So I may be projecting a bit…

      1. Ilde

        I think that whenever a ballet teacher corrects anything about anyone – dancer by name or in general – one should listen up. More often than not it’s a correction I needed as well. And it’s a good way to be reminded to look out for bad habits all the time. You’re never too good or experienced to be corrected!

      2. kit Post author

        I agree about the importance of listening to – and checking to see if they apply – everyone else’s corrections. In fact, that’s how I learned all the stuff that I actually learned first semester.
        I guess I just get irritated when it’s the same correction repeatedly and I have no idea what to do about it… and I guess I hadn’t thought before that in order for me to benefit from everyone else’s corrections it means other people get to hear ME getting corrected as well.
        I have a new perspective on it now.

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