Monthly Archives: June 2015

Beginning Of Week 2

Rested off my soreness over the weekend (at least as far as ballet is concerned, though I did do a lot of lifting and going up and down stairs). Ready to get back to class and have my fun yet physically and mentally challenging couple of hours… and I even had a little spare time to write about it!

I love coming home with bits of Swan Lake floating through my head. It’s bugging me that I can’t identify from which part exactly this piece the pianist played for one of our barre combinations is from (and things are way too hectic right now for me to watch the whole thing right this second, unfortunately). Doing sautes and other petit allegro stuff to “Dance of the Little Swans” has been fun though.

Today at barre we did a lot of coordinating a slow port de bras with quick leg movements. One combination was something like 4 tendus en croix while doing one low port de bras; in the time it took to do the four tendus devant the arm was to have moved up to high fifth through middle fifth, then in the time it took to do the four tendus a la seconde the arm would go to a la seconde, then 4 tendus derriere while arm makes it though middle fifth to arabesque. Honestly, this stuff is so hard for me! Not enough to be completely frustrating, but just something that’s a bit away from my current skill level. I guess around the same level of frustration as the beated frappes, which I have been practicing for months now but am still not able to do them beyond a ridiculously slow speed.  I’m not feeling hopeless though. because I remember at some point it felt like that to even do a basic port de bras with rond de jambes, or tendu en croix with arms. Whatever, it just needs time.  Possibly lots of time…

We also did this cool barre combination that involved temps lie.  First we just did temps lie forward and back from fifth with port de bras. then a la second (letting go of the barre), close back to fifth, sous- sus and soutenu.  Then we did them a new way I’d never done before. When we switch our weight we were supposed to push off from our supporting leg to the new supporting leg, going up on releve and keeping the other foor off the floow.  Then closing the other foot behind into sous-sus, then from sous-sus tendu back and push off again to be on releve again. The hardest part was doing it a la seconde away from the barre, completely letting go.  I don’t really have my balance yet for quick weight shifts onto a single leg releve. From one releve leg to another, or on two legs, I feel like I’ve been improving, but onto one leg the best I got are my mediocre passe releves, and occasionally a very quick releve arabesque.

I also made it a point to work on my posture, making sure to keep the lats engaged, as we’ll as the whole core, to help with balance.  Sometimes I get nervous and I forget stuff that I already know, so I made a concious decision to keep myself aligned and catch myself if I wasn’t.  Also remembered a correction from last week about really pulling up and out when doing cambre devant durring barre and stretches.

Center was a little complicated.  We learned this new move used to switch from one side to another (might have been a pas de basque, but I’m not sure). After we did tombe, pas de bourree twice, and two glissades we took the back foot and brought it around like a rond de jambe then stepped on it and coupe the other foot, before repeating the tombe, pas de bourree and everything else in the other direction.  At first I was getting it, but then when we did it from a different body angle, I was so confused.  Kept messing up which leg was in front.  I keep forgetting to switch feet on my glissades because I keep remembering some other combination in which they don’t switch.  Or maybe I just need to focus harder…

We also did developpes en croix with port de bras in center as part of a combination that I totally can’t remember.  I do remember that I was happy I wasn’t losing my balance during the developpes and that my leg in devant and a la second is nice and high (well, at least by adult-who-never-did-ballet-as-a-kid standards). My arabesque leg, not so high.

I hope we repeat these combinations, because I think they’d be fun once I actually remember how they go.  When we switched lines and I was in the front it was not pretty.  It’s hard to follow people who are behind you, lol.  But I still enjoy watching my leg tendu devant in croisse… it’s like I can do one cool thing that looks like ballet, lol.

Regardless, class was fun.

Ballet Summer: Week 1

Wrapping up the first week of my summer course in ballet.  It has been so awesome! I am so glad that I decided to go for it.

Apparently, Day 1 was a bit of a placement/audition, in order for the teacher (F Teacher) to see where we stand as far as our ballet skills and level.  About half the people I saw the first day vanished by the second day, though F Teacher did say she would be glad to have all of us.  I was so nervous, but the level didn’t seem incredibly impossible-difficult, just challenging.

Second day was a little easier.  The barre combinations seemed more manageable, though they take some getting used to after basically doing the same combinations for months.

For plies, after first and second position, we rond de jambe the leg around to fourth, then tendu close to fifth.  In first and fifth we cambre front and back, in second towards and away from the barre, and in fouth we extend our arm out in arabesque (with the head angle, which looks so ballet-ish!) My grand plies in fourth are pretty terrible (but when I first started ballet I couldn’t do them at all), but F Teacher actually complimented my plies in first.

During rond de jambes en l’air, we let go of the barre and balance with our leg out a la seconde, instead of devant or derriere. That took a little to get used to, but it doesn’t feel more difficult anymore. For now I’m keeping my arm in second while doing the superquick rond de jambes.

We did the kind of fondu when you bend the supporting leg and slide the working foot along the floor (rather than the kind of fondu when you bend the supporting leg and bring the working foot to coupe) then lifted the foot off the floor (I guess a fondu degage?). The next move was releve sous-sus. That took up a lot of my coordination, but by the time we did the second side – after a soutenu turn, no stopping – I started to get the hang of it.

The pianist (yes, there was actually a live pianist!) played something from Swan Lake during our releves and then one-footed releve with foot in coupe combination.  I really like how F Teacher – and Teacher  to some degree – include lots of releves, often followed by balaces on releve at barre. While messing up at these balances is embarrassing to me still, I’m often able to hold them if I just engage all  my muscles even harder and just pull up . This makes me work harder, since I know it’s possible to do it.

There was a nice adagio combination: developpes en croix, coordinating the arm with the leg.  This combination feels pretty, though I feel like I’m still missing a little piece of it.

The grand battement combination was tendu, close fifth in plie, 3 grand battements, en croix, then soutenu and other side, with arms, or course.  I found this combination particularly fun.  I love the feeling of getting my leg up there.  And, I’ll be honest, I like it because it makes me feel like I actually have coordination.

We practiced glissades – lots and lots of glissades – all the way across the studio. I think this came after we completely butchered a combination that had glissades in it.

Day 3

Barre combinations are starting to make better sense to me – and to my body (though I’m still having trouble remembering additional ones to the ones I wrote about yesterday). I really like how we don’t stop between both sides, but do soutenus. We often do soutenus with no hand on the barre, and I’m actually able to do it, which is so cool. I’m also able to let go of the barre for super short periods of time when doing the passe releve and coupe releve balances.  I love how I feel much more stable on releve, especially 1-legged releves, than a few months ago. The things I need to work are my arm placements, particularly arabesque (I know it goes out in front, obviously, but I think I’ve been putting it much too high) and timing when I’m facing the back of the studio and don’t have anyone to follow. I tend to rush things at times, like somehow ending up on my cambre back already when everyone else is still coming up from cambre forward.  Perhaps I need to learn to listen to the music better…

center combinations:

In croisse, two tendus devant with the arm of the supporting leg in high fifth, arm of working leg a la seconde. Arms change to first arabesque and two tendus derriere, arms come to low fifth and body position turns en face, two glissades to the right, plie and passe, plie and passe releve, other side.  This is the kind of combination that, if I’m being honest, I’m simply glad that I’m not falling over. I know I should be concerned about the exact placement of every motion – and I am, trust me -but at the same time I’m just so happy that I’m getting through it. We then did the same combination in degage. The part that was messing me up the most was that with degages the accent is in, as opposed to tendus when the accent is out. My timing was totally screwed up on that, but once again I was glad I was actually balancing on one leg while doing quick movements and keeping the foot en l’air.

The next combination was fondu devant (the slide your foot out kind) en l’air, step out onto the working foot in releve to releve sous-sus,  come down in plie, repeat for a la second and derriere, then coupe back foot and do 2 pas de bourree (one to either side), then other leg.  I love how I didn’t completely destroy this combination. The hardest part was the arms during the pas de bourrees, as my arms kept wanting to do the movements already in muscle memory. Fun combination though.

We then did an across the floor waltz. A few of us did a more beginner version (in plie,brush the foot forward off the ground, take little releve steps, then brush other foot, more little steps) instead of the one with turning this day.

Lots of jumping. First we did 4 sautes, echappes out to second and 4 sautes in second, 4 changements, 2 echappes. Then we did 1 saute, 4 soubresauts, 2 echappes ( the more advanced people we to beat their legs in and the land in second, but just echappes for me), same thing with other foot in front.  The good news was I didn’t feel out of breath and I realized that I know which mucles I have to flex to point the feet (making it more something I’m in control of, instead of random).  The bad news is my timing sucks.

We did passe releve, 4 1/4 pirouettes, 2 1/2 pirouettes, and 4 full pirouettes. Make that, I attempted to do 4 full pirouettes, lol. We then did chaines diagonally across the studio. After that there was a spotting drill to work on our spotting.  If I could get the spotting down I think my pirouettes would improve dramatically, as I don’t seem to be having as much a balance issue in passe releve as before.

Then we did reverance. F Teacher is pretty traditional, and taught that after class we are to thank both the pianist and the teacher. I like it, it feels very much like “real” ballet class.  Finished up class soaked in sweat again – I think this’ll be a daily thing in this class.  I’m also drinking much more water than usual after class, I think I downed a whole liter immediately afterwards.

Thursday, Day 4

I’m not gonna lie – I am so sore! In fact, I gave in and did something I said I’d never do: add protein powder to my fruit smoothie.  My workout-obsessed acquantance swears by it…

After the first day I was feeling like oh, it’s not so bad about my soreness level. But by now it’s had a cummulative effect or something, because I feel sore all over. I really like it though, and it’s been a while since  Beginner Class has left me that sore. Months, at least. So long that I had even forgotten how that level of soreness felt like… anyway, I like that feeling.

Besides being sore though, I think I might also be tired.  It’s been a little over 8 hours of ballet class in the last week – a new record – and my brain is starting to revolt about memorizing combinations. Or communicating that information to my limbs.  A few times at barre I caught  myself forgetting to switch the arms, for example, finding myself tenduing derriere while still having the arm a la seconde.  At times throughout barre I felt like I wasn’t on my “A” Game, I guess. But on the other hand, as this has been my longest streak of daily ballet class, I’ve been noticing improvement in other areas.  My balance while using my working leg off the floor is better than ever.  I’ve been pulling up more (to prevent from losing my balance, obviously), but this has helped me to notice how I wasn’t pulling up as hard as I could before.

During the developpe en croix combination, the second time through F Teacher gave the option of doing it on releve (since we had quite a bit of advanced people this day (including a couple pros), she was giving more advanced options throughout) and I did it! I was feeling pretty good about that one 🙂 The fondu combination immediately preceeding had also had that option but since I was having a hard enough time remembering how it went so I focused on that.  I felt like I had to be able to anticipate what move came next, and if I was concerned with what’s next my releve techinique may suffer. From what I remember, the combination was something like fondu devant, fondue a la seconde, one of those little rond de jambes en l’air (not the kind I’m used to doing),  tendu, fondue a la second, fondu derriere and by that point I’m completely lost (especially the second side when I couldn’t see anyone) and this is one of those times when I forgot to change arms.

I completely screwed up the timing of the grand battement combination again,  but I think now I finally have it clear how many battements we’re doing. It’s tendu out, close in plie, one battement, short pause, then three quick grand battements. The part that was messing me up what whether we change in a la seconde on the tendu. Apparently, under pressure I can’t do simple math to know that it equals five and is therefore an odd number – so switch!  I’m pretty sure by next time I got it, unless we do a different combination.

Center tendu combination (same as yesterday) went a little better. I really like how when I’m in croisse and I tendu devant it actually looks like ballet! Like, my leg and pointed foot make this line that looks just lovely, something that I couldn’t have imagined I could do last year.  Which reminds me, when I complimented a classmate on his flexibility (he’s a gymnast, as well as a dancer) and said that I wished I could do that, he said “You can do anything you put your mind to!”  I like his attitude.

This day we all tried the waltz including the turns and it was much better. F Teacher even said “Yes! You got it!” However, when we put the waltz together with the balancés, my balancés were horrible. I kept overcrossing the back foot.  Somethign I need to work on.

When we did the same pirouette exercise as yesterday, my full pirouettes were better to the left. This one really talented dancer guy did quadruple pirouettes.  I’ve seen that in videos, but let me tell you, in real life it’s crazy!

During petite allegro jumps, I noticed my feet were pointed, but my biggest issue was forgetting the combination.  We went in two groups, one slower (that was me), one one much faster for the more advanced people.  We also did changements while turning in a circle, which looks much harder than it was.  We worked on our assembles, and especially going from glissade to assemble immediately after.

We then went across the floor with saute arabesques and saute coupes.  The girl that was going across with me got cold feet or something and I ended up going alone. I didn’t realize it until I was all the way across the studio, but I was surprised that I didn’t feel anywhere close to as awkward as I would’ve thought I would feel.  I think I have grown so much as a dancer in the last few months to feel this way.

It has been an amazing week!

And now, I would just like to thank all of you that left me encouraging comments when I was deciding whether or not to go for it and take this clas. Thank you all so much! I really appreciate all the support, it means so much to me 🙂

My class note updates are most likely going to be published weekly (though I may post more frequently if I find the time). Besides the fact that class lets out kind of late, and I’m super tired, we’re also in the middle of moving. Things are going to get hectic!

I Made It!

An update, as promised.  As soon as I came home though, I noticed that we had company, and now it’s late so this’ll be a little short.

Ok, I made it into class… that’s winning the first battle, right?

As I approached the studio, I noticed the door was shut. If I hadn’t obsessively checked that I was, in fact, enrolled in the class and it started at that hour  I would’ve probably taken that to mean that there was no class (and therefore I can just maybe sneak off quietly…).  But I had, so I took a deep breath and opened the door.  There was all these people there! Well, about 15-20 but they already had barres set up so the initial sight was somewhat intimidating.  I took off my shoes and pants (I had dressed at home), then looked for a place to join at a barre.  I saw a couple people I recognized from Teacher’s class and hurried over there.

Barre combinations were complex, but nothing I felt I couldn’t handle. Hopefully I’ll get some exact combinations written up on here once I’ve taken class enough times to remember. So yeah,I can’t remember move-by-move any of the combinations right now (which just shows how complex they were?). I do remember that we did a lot of going from side to side with soutenu without stopping, lots of releve cambres, long passe releve balances, fondues and developpes with port de bras. I want to say it was a little bit either slower or easier than Teacher’s intermediate class (or maybe I have improved since then?) I will say this though: I was sweating by around halfway through barre. It was nice to feel challenged but not overwhelmed.

Then it was time for center, and I was a bit nervous. There was a tendu combination; quarter and half pirouettes en dehors from fifth; sautes, changements and echappes, saute arabesque and saute coupe across the floor; a waltz, 2 balances, passe releve and pirouette across the floor. Probably other stuff I’m forgetting as well.

Overall, it went nowhere near as horrible as it could’ve been.  Yeah, I messed up all the combinations, but I’m not feeling too bad over it.  It didn’t help that where I was standing at both barre and center made it a bit hard to see when the teacher (F Teacher) was giving out the combinations. I’m not going to make excuses though… Good thing there’s plenty of good dancers to follow throughout the long combinations, though if we do the same ones often I hope to remember them soon. F Teacher told us she expects us to work hard, that she will treat us as though we were seeking to be doing auditions and stuff. Perhaps I’ll come out a much better dancer.

It’s getting super late and I’m too tired to make more sense now.  But I had a lot of fun 🙂

Eeeeek!

My Summer ballet class is scheduled to start in just a few short hours! To say that I’m nervous is the understatement of the year… make that the decade!

I keep telling myself to calm down, that it will be alright. It works, at times. I keep telling myself that it is pointless to spend time – and energy – worrying. That if I have a terrible experience after just one class (or two), I’ll drop, as I haven’t even paid for the session yet.  Teacher told me more than once that I’m ready for this class, other people from class have told me that I’m ready, so what’s the problem? (This may be a rhetorical question…)

Of course, it didn’t help that today in Pilates class I mentioned to an acquainatance, “F”, that I didn’t want to completely destroy my legs with my workout, as I have an Intermediate Ballet class to go to, and he said “Intermediate?!” You’re crazy!”.  That did not help, did nothing for my self-confidence whatsoever.

I’m still planning on going though.  I need to face my fears.  Whether this goes well or not I need to actually DO it instead of just sitting around thinking about what might have been.  It’s not like I’m getting any younger (especially with my birthday just right around the corner), and this is an amazing opportunity.

As I’m sure you can all tell, I’m trying to psych myself up 🙂

Writing all this down also makes it much less likely that I will conveniently forget to go to class.

I don’t want to say “Here goes nothing!”, but that makes it a lot less likely that I will chicken out…

So, here goes nothing! LOL

p.s. updates when it’s over 🙂

I Guess It Does Fly When You’re Having Fun…

Time, that is.

A couple days ago, I received this in my notifications,

Where did the time go?!

Where did the time go?!

congratulating me on my blog-anniversary.  And my first thought was ‘What?! A year?! Where did the time go?!’. Ok, I guess that was three thoughts, but I’ll consider it a 3-in-1.  My second thought was ‘How appropriate, given that lately I’ve been going over my video footage of my early ballet history!’ (Of course, my earliest videos predate this blog by over a year, since I didn’t begin ballet-blogging until I was almost a year and a half into balleting.)

I like to watch my videos periodically, mostly to remind myself how far I’ve come and not get too down when it feels like I’m not going anywhere.  It’s a good feeling – sometimes you really have to be your own #1 fan! My whole life there’s never been anything that I was good at – not that I’m saying I’m good at ballet – and I usually gave up and quit completely, given my obvious lack of aptitude.  Being an adult helps, I think. Not only because of the (presumed) maturity level, learning the importance of hard work and dedication, and knowing how steps are supposed to look, but also because it’s completely up to me.  I can stop if I want, I can continue if I want.  No one else is going to harass me about “Why are we spending money on dance lessons if you’re not improving?!” or “So-and-so’s daughter is already this far along, why aren’t you?” or any other similar nonsense. While I didn’t have the opportunity to try ballet in childhood, these kinds of things happened with other activites I was enrolled in, so I have to assume if I’d gotten to try ballet it would have turned out (accidental pun?) the same way.

Anyway – before I go down the trail of negativity about my childhood – starting ballet as an adult has been a great experience.  Blogging about ballet has been awesome as well – I love having class notes all together in an easily accessible place to review at my leisure.  And videotaping myself during those early days was a very useful idea.  The only thing I regret is not having done it even more…

Here is a screenshot from one of my videos from first semester. The first thing I thought when I watched it a couple days ago was ‘Hellooo, arched back!’.  It’s pretty horrible, huh? To be fair, this was during the era when I couldn’t even tendu away from the barre in any direction without falling over.

image

c. 04/2013

As you can see, my first semester I was too shy to rock the pink tights. I was mostly trying to blend into my surroundings. It kinda worked…

And then, for comparison’s sake, here’s a screenshot from a video a year later.  This one’s only about a month pre-blog:

c. 05/2014

c. 05/2014

Now, I know I’m not wearing regulation ballet attire (and we all know that a leotard and tights is the best way to identify alignment flaws), but it does appear there’s some improvement, at least as far as tucking in that pelvis. My shoulders appear horribly out of whack though, as this is way before I learned to engage my lats. And I’m sure that’s not the only alignment issue going on, either. It’d totally be easier to tell what’s going on with a leotard and tights, but it was like 95 degrees in the apartment that day! (The same reason I’m not taking some fresh pictures to share with all of you today, actually.)

I’m really wishing I could upload whole video clips, as it shows what’s going on more that still pics or screenshots. Ballet is not a still art, after all, and without movement it’s just pretty (or not so pretty when done by me…) poses, though I do realize while dancing the dancer’s body has to go through certain poses. Or something. Anyway, I’m still trying to think of a way to upload videos without comprimising ye old anonymity…

What I will say, though, is that watching the video clips does provide me with a pretty accurate idea of what my ballet level was at any given time.  In the video the first screenshot is from, for example, I couldn’t even coordinate my arm and working leg to move at the same time. My tendus, especially derriere, are slow and hesitant.  Let’s not even get started about my arm movements at all…

By the next video, my tendus are quicker, almost resembling ballet.  My passes are turned out, my plies are deeper.  My shoulders are still much too forward, but at least my hand no longer flops there like a lifeless fish at the end of my a la seconde arm.

I’ve also been working on my feet. Besides the theraband exercises (pointing and flexing ankles and toes), I’ve also just been trying to use the muscles that stretch the toes out. It’s pretty hard, but I’m getting stronger. At first all I could go was stretch out my toes in weird directions, but slowly I’m getting them to go straight out.

This is as good as it gets for now...

This is as good as it gets for now…

You have no idea how much mental effort it took to do this at first. Like, I had to stare at my feet while doing it and feel almost like I was forcing them to do it. It felt so strange, but my foot muscles are starting to get used to it. Muscle memory rules!

From there I’ve gone on to working on pointing my feet while keeping the toes outstreched, instead of them curling. I can’t really see a difference in how it looks, but I’m assuming curling toes is bad regardless.

Pointing - not the best photo angle, huh?

Pointing – not the best photo angle, huh?

And then, just for comparison, how my feet are usually. A candid pose, if I was to look at my feet at any given point, not while doing the foot exercises.  I think before I started doing these exercises my toes were even more curled, so I do believe it’s working.

I figured I should get over my fear of posting my bare feet on the internet...

I figured I should get over my fear of posting my bare feet on the internet…

And then, I managed to get a rare picture: Boyfriend pointing his foot! At random he’ll be sitting there pointing his feet, and I swear, I’m so jealous because his feet seem so much more suited for ballet than mine.  He has a higher instep and he can point further than me. I’m always trying to get him to let me take a picture and he won’t,lol – though at least he will point them whenever I ask him. I told him if we have kids I hope they get his feet and he said he got his feet because when he was little he used to wish he was a ninja and would walk around on tippy-toes (releve) lol!

His foot's in the white sock. And this is not even the best he can point. But I always have to correct him because he's sickle-ing, lol

His foot’s in the white sock. And this is not even the best he can point (but I’m a crappy photographer and pressed the button too late). But I always have to correct him because he’s sickle-ing, lol

Anyway, this post is getting kinda rambley… it was fun having random-picture-sharing-time though 🙂

As soon as I clear some space on this tablet (and the weather cools down – as doing ballet in a leotard in this heat in this apartment is just not going to happen) I will film some current ones to see what other changes in my technique or alignment have occured! As well as continue to work on feet…

Something Weird I’ve Noticed…

The first time I noticed this was during that month or so that I was also taking Intermediate class a few months back (and honestly, I had all but forgotten). However, a couple days ago I was practicing at home, doing the tendu combination off of Kathryn Morgan’s “Classic Ballet Class Center Workout” video on youtube – which is excellent, by the way, highly recommended – and it included some pirouettes en dehors, which reminded me of my experiences in IC.

It is so much easier – well, not necessarily easier, just smoother somehow – to do pirouettes mid-combination than by themselves.  What I mean is, if I set out to just practice pirouettes, like tendu, close fifth (or fourth), and pirouette, odds are very high that I will mess up. Not get all the way around, lose my form during the turn (losing turnout, foot not staying in passe), not spotting at the end, the usual.  But then, when I go into a pirouette as part of a combination, with little to no prep time, for whatever reason I actually get all the way around. Not only that, I actually keep my turnout. By no means am I saying that I have perfect pirouettes – trust me, I don’t – but there is a visible difference. (Of course, the spotting is still not there, argh!)

So now I’m wondering why this is. And, I guess, is this normal?

I have a theory, of course.  When I’m just doing pirouettes I may be overthinking it, and not letting my body do it’s thing. But in the middle of a combination, there’s not much spare time to think, just time to do.  This may be just like how it was so hard for me to go up to passe releve until all these (mid-combination) pirouettes were thrown at me. Suddenly, going up into passe releve wasn’t such a big deal anymore.  Turns out my body had the muscle memory and the strength to do it, it was just a mental block of some sorts. Is that what’s happening now with my pirouettes?

I’m also wondering, should I even question this or just go with it? Like, instead of wondering why my body is so weird like this should I just be happy that I found something that sort of works for me?

I guess I’m just confused because I thought if I just practice pirouettes repetitively they’ll get better, but they’re not.  So then, I try a combination, thinking ‘Here goes nothing!’ and I actually get all the way around. Every single time. So weird. But a good kind of weird, I think…

Oh, and just had to clarify: I am by no means skilled enough to get through that entire video. I’m working on the tendu combination, and was hoping to work on the adagio, but it is freaking hard! In the comments, someone requested a beginner version of the video and I am so with the commenter on that. Still, it’s nice to see what more intermediate combinations entail, and to have them broken down step by step how she does. She’s doing an amazing public service – much thanks! 🙂

What An Ego Boost!

After taking my written ballet final, while I was walking back towards the parking lot – for the first time in months neither tired nor sore, as there was no actual ballet class – a group of students were asking me about the terminology, mostly checking if they’d gotten answers correct, I guess. As the group broke off to just a couple remaining classmates, we got to talking about ballet class.  “Are you going to take ballet next semester?” I asked. I love seeing familiar faces in class.

They both replied that they might, or if not they would at least try a different style of dance. “Maybe it’ll be a little easier. But you’re pretty good though,” one of them said, “I suck at ballet..

Aww, thanks! “I’ve been doing it for two years. My first semester was hard. It gets better, I promise.”

“But I can’t even balance, or turn…”

“My first semester I couldn’t balance in center even just standing there,” I stopped walking and momentarily assumed second position. “I couldn’t tendu without falling over, couldn’t switch from one foot to the next. I couldn’t even balance on both feet at the barre in first!”

“Really?”

“Yes! I was horrible, couldn’t do anything at all. I felt so clumsy, like, why am I even in this class. I never got to do ballet as a child at all, so it was all new to me,” For a moment, I got the idea to refer them to this blog. But no, I like my anonymity…

“You know, I’m gonna take this class again! I can get better!” one of them exclaimed.

Awesome! We need more beginners that make it past the first-few-months stage – the worst stage, the most discouraging, in my opinion. And I think it’s so cool that some of my classmates actually thought I was (somewhat) good at ballet.

As for summer class, Boyfriend’s like “Just sign up already! You know you’re going to end up taking that class anyway.” Hmm, I’ll take that as being supportive, I guess. The boy knows I often need a push in the right direction…