Lots Of Jumping, Some Improvement, And A Ballet Dream

After the weird landing on my right foot mentioned in my last post I took a night off class – and I felt so guilty! It was weird, the feeling quilty. I mean, I’m taking class more often now than ever before so surely there’s no harm in taking off just one day. On the one hand, I kept telling myself that it’d be good for me to let my body rest and recover. On the other hand, I was like ‘I’m not that badly hurt, I’m sure it’ll be fine’, not to mention I felt so uncommitted for not going (yeah, I’m obsessive…). But then, I did have a headache… oh, and I had another weird issue: when getting dressed for my first class of the week, I was rushing it and as I pulled on my tights I noticed that they were ridiculously tight on one side (I may have put them on crooked), so tight that they were creasing into my upper thigh. Well, I told myself that it’ll  be fine, that they’ll stretch – that’s what tights do! So I went off to class like that, and my tights – and thigh – was feeling uncomfortable but other than pulling at the crease in between combinations I just dealt with it. Fast forward to the next morning and my thigh is so sore, extending my leg forward, even bringing it up without extending (bent knee). I’m doing much better by now, but lesson learned – if the tights are creasing into your flesh, don’t wear them! I’m really hoping it’s that those pair of tights are irregular and not that this means I have to go up another size in tights (I’ve already gone up a size since I first started ballet 2 1/2 years ago. When I started, I seriously had no meat on my thighs or butt whatsoever. Since my legs are so long they still look so scrawny though, even with all the added meat-age).

Classes in the latter half of the week were challenging once again, with that rare mixture of improvement and am-I-ever-going-to-get-better-at-this going on.  At barre we did lots of frappes… with port de bras – another first. You might have been wondering “Frappes get port de bras?”. Well, I know I was. It was every bit as hard as it sounds. We did (single) frappes, 3 of them front, side, and back, then 4 double frappes a la seconde. Then reversing it (back, side, front, 4 doubles a la seconde). The whole thing twice through – with arms! Oh man, my supporting leg was dying from being on it for so long, and my working leg was going everywhere as I tried to concentrate on actually coordinating my arms with my leg. It was a mess!

We also did lots of echappe releves at the barre yet with no hands on the barre. To add to the difficulty we were doing them in this weird pattern that I wasn’t aware of, instead of just open-close-open-close. It was something like open-close-open-close-open-hold balance -close-open-close-open-hold balance or something.  It was so hard and we did the whole thing twice. At least I didn’t fall, I guess?

In center, Teacher actually told me “good job!” during our tendu combination, specifically my ecarte position. Also, oddly enough, I was getting around on my pirouettes (from fourth, en dehors) consistently, at least enough to not trip me up for the second side of the combination.  I think NS Teacher’s advice on not trying to get around, just going up and it will happen is working, because I’ve actually been getting around and not flying off balance. In the combination (after the tendus and degages devant, derriere in croisse, and ecarte a la seconde) we were going up to passe releve, closing back in fourth position, and preparing for the turn. It was actually pretty smooth, so much better than the first time I attempted Intermediate class like 6ish months ago.

We did waltz step turns across the floor, 2 of them, then pique arabesque, soutenu, chasse, chaines.  It was fast, but to the right it was going ok. To the left, to begin with I started a little too late (and Teacher corrected me on it, but I had no idea how to fix it), and then one of my classmates and I collided in our chaines.

The petite allegro combination was fast and hard to remember. Something likes saute, echappe, changement, changement, pas de chat, echappe, pas de bourre, changement, other side. Yeah, I kept forgetting which jump came next, but I do appreciate how Teacher says “If you don’t know, just keep jumping!” It does help me feel slightly less inadequate as I just bounce on along. At least I’m still building jumping muscles, you know? Which probably explains the outgrowing of those tights…

Class at New Studio was also very jumping-oriented as well.  One of our combinations was 8 sautes in first, 8 in second, 8 changements, echappe, close, changement, changement, balance in sous-sus, bourre turn, other side repeat.  I was panting and sweating after that.  She then gave us a similar combination which i can’t remember exactly, but I remember it had a lot of changements and echappes as well as petite jetes.  I’ve realized by now that the only way I can get stronger at jumping is by actually jumping more, so even if I mess up at the combinations I’m just glad to get a chance to keep jumping.  It’s also got to be good for my overall stamina, since I remain worried about that. I haven’t really been running much lately as to not stress out my knees and right ankle too much, so other than practicing jumping I haven’t been getting many ways to get that heart rate up.

Before the jumping we did an adagio combination (developpe derriere, brush through front while switching arms, brush back again, promenade in arabesque, penchee, tombe and pickup pas de bourre, other side.  I still haven’t got the pickup pas de bourre down, so it messed up my transition to the other side. I think this is one of those steps that I’ve got to spend a lot of quality time with at the barre. I remember when I was first learning regular pas de bourre (the kind where the foot goes to coupe in the back) two years ago, how I practiced them over and over at the barrre until the pattern became a muscle memory thing.  I got to get on it and do that with these other pas de bourres as well.

Last night I had a dream about our upcoming-ish recital/performance thing.  It wasn’t quite a nightmare, but it was one of those dreams where stuff goes wrong.  Like delays on the way to the venue, and not being able to find the costumes once there, and stuff like that. I vaguely remember something about the parking lot being muddy and needing to be carried up a hill to get to the venue – weird, right? Then on the way to the stage I caught a reflection of myself and all my performance make-up had washed off or something (or perhaps I hadn’t put any on to begin with?). I do wonder if this dream is telling me that I’m feeling horribly unprepared for this – or maybe I’m just having stage make-up anxiety. I don’t usually wear make-up -at all (gasp!) – but I know for the perfomances I’ll have to, so I’m stressing just a li’l bit.  Of course, I’ve already decided that it’s worth it in order to perform.

Also got a private post for all you guys that have the password at https://balletandorbust.wordpress.com/2015/09/19/awkwardness/

If you don’t have it yet, feel free to email me

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