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.