Monthly Archives: October 2015

Whoa There, Dude – Hope You Don’t Drive The Way You Dance!

There was this guy at one of my classes this week, and he was all over the place. He insisted on traveling twice as fast – or faster — than everyone else when we went across the floor. It was really scary, especially when we were doing turns across the floor. One of the times I wasn’t anywhere close to finishing up my turns when he comes out, doing the other side, and almost crashes into me. He would’ve, if I hadn’t stopped my attempts at turns and just ran out of the way (very un-balletically, by the way).  At this point I was getting beyond irritated. Like, what was his problem?! Obviously he can see that whoever is already going across the floor is not up at his level and won’t be able to turn as quick or travel across the floor as quick. I know it’s the person in front’s responsibility to not stop and to keep moving (and I did keep moving, though not as quick as him), but is there some kind of responsibility to move faster than my ability permits as well? I could’ve sworn that the ettiquette was that the person who’s following is supposed to not run over the person who went before them? Or was I in the wrong? Either way, I was getting upset and feeling like I was being cheated out of my class time, not being able to complete my turns and stuff. This is the regular class that I signed up for the whole term, and he’s just an occasional guest, so it’s not an everyday problem. But how obnoxious! And unsafe – what if I hadn’t just abandoned the turns and ran off? He would’ve tackled me or something!

That class was definitely the low point of the ballet week, The presence of professionals had Teacher adjust the class level harder, even barre.  I was messing up on everything! The center combinations were really long (so long that I can’t remember how they went), and petite allegro was much too quick. Something I remember we worked on was balancés en tournant, which is a balancé while turning. Never done those before, so it felt super awkward to my body. We did ballote again, and that felt even weirder. Defiitely need to youtube both of those…

The glissades forward (as in right before a grand jete) are still not making much sense to me. I’m just working  on how a glissade forward should even feel for now, and doing it as part of a series of connected movement is not working for me yet. Luckily, we worked on glissades en croix in Basic Beginner class, so I got in some extra practice on those.

This week my pirouettes weren’t as horrible as they were last week, so that was good.  At New Studio we worked on both types of pirouettes en dehors from fourth – the kind with both legs in plie and the working leg in front, and the back leg in a lunge and working leg in back. The ones with the leg in the back feel easier for me, and I was happy to be somewhat getting around. NS Teacher was emphasizing the “passe” part of the pirouette – she said since “passe” means to pass, make sure the leg passes though and makes it to the back during the pirouette (when starting with that leg in front). After she said this, I was making sure to get the leg to the back after the retire position, and I think my pirouettes got a little stronger.

NS Teacher mentioned again that I’ve improved, which is always good to hear. I hope she really does mean recently and not since the first time she met me (I took class with her about 6 months before I started going to the studio where she teaches). Well, either way it’s something, I guess, and she also did invite another girl and I to take a different class offered at the studio (a higher level class, and not just adults, so I probably won’t).  I have been improving (and not just by my initial ultra low standards), but the things that feel completely foreign to me, like ballotes or beated jumps, make me feel completely out of my element. Then I’m able to do something somewhat cool, like begin a center combination with a developpe on releve and it’s like, wow, I never thought I’d be able to do stuff like that. Those moments are so encouraging!

At Intermediate Class we’ve been doing things to work on challenging our muscle memory. Changing up the arms when we do our grand battements (like arabesque arms for grand battements devant, or high fifth for grand battements derriere), or balancing up in releve while keeping the arms relaxed. This is so much harder than it sounds for me! However, every time we do it it’s a little bit easier.

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Introvert-Girl Problems

One of my ballet teachers once said something about ballet attracting the quiet people, the shy people, introverts. And perhaps she is right –  after all, the chatter heard from dance students of other forms of dance seems much more boisterous than from the ballet students (I’m specifically thinking of the jazz class that has the studio before my ballet class, or the hip hop class that was in the studio before my ballet class a couple sessions ago). So yes, she is right, to an extent. Yes, those of us who are quiet and shy may gravitate towards ballet, but this definitely does not mean that all ballet students fall into the quiet and shy category either.

As I may have mentioned once or twice, I am an introvert.  Being introverted, combined with having anxiety, being socially awkward,  and somewhat emotional can make things – sometimes everything – complicated. I feel extremely uncomfortable in group conversations (though 1 on 1 conversations work much better for me), shy away from eye contact, and seem to have a much larger personal space bubble than others. I’m prone to tearing up, suck at picking up social cues, and often times I’m terrified that others are upset at me.  Those who are the closest to me have said that I build a wall around myself, and they’re somewhat right. What they don’t seem to understand is that I do it not because I’m upset or angry but because I’m afraid of being hurt. Again.

You can imagine how much fun my teen years were… *sarcasm*

Anyway, one of the things I like about ballet class is that there’s not a huge emphasis on it being a social occasion. I mean, once class starts it’s expected that we’ll all shut up and give our undivided attention to the teacher.  The pre-class period though, when everyone is kind of sitting around sort of stretching while waiting for the teacher to arrive, that is the worst. I mean, there’s some days when I have a ballet friend, another quiet-ish girl like me who’s content to warm up off in the corner, as we quietly discuss the latest happenings in our ballet lives. But when there’s no one there that falls into my “ballet friend” category, yeah, those days suck…

(why can’t I make any other/additional ballet friends, you might ask? Well, for whatever reason, most – though definitely not all – extroverts scare the crap out of me (plus they tend to prefer groups to one on one like I do). In turn, they seem to think there’s something wrong with me because I’m so quiet. “Why are you so quiet?” or “What’s wrong?” I’ve heard dozens of times. It’s like, nothing’s freaking wrong! I’m just thinking!)

Those ballet-friendless days, the pre-class period is so awkward for me, as (mostly) everyone sits around talking.  I used to never know what to do! Now I just go off to a spot as far away as possible and warm up, facing the wall. I worry that they all think I’m unfriendly – or worse, stuck up – but in truth I’m just scared.  Everytime I’ve tried just sticking around and being part of the group it really hasn’t worked out for me – I just don’t know what I’m supposed to do! Like, just sit there and smile? Laugh when everyone else laughs? Look down at the floor and pretend there’s something fascinating there? It doesn’t help that we don’t seem to have much in common, besides ballet. They talk about things like clothes (but not ballet clothes), hair/hairstyles (but not ballet-specific hairstyles), t.v. shows (not ballet related, but by now I think you get the picture), and other non-ballet things.  Sometimes without participating I like to listen, other times I’m bored out of my mind so then I escape to my own world – welcome to Kit-land; population: me!

Despite growing up feeling like there was something wrong with me, I do like my introvertion.  I just wish there were more of us out there, or there was an easier way for those of us that are shy and quiet to befriend each other.  When both people are shy it’s hard for one of them to make the first move, you know? Like last year, I shared a barre in silence with another quiet girl until we finally became ballet friends near the end of the term – all that wasted time!

Wrapping up with a funny and completely non-ballet-related story about my introvertedness: when I was five or six, my mom invited over a small group of girls my age to have a playdate of sorts with me. She left us in my room, then went off to the kitchen to prepare dinner. When she checked on us, she found all the girls playing in my room with my toys while I sat quietly in the living room with a book by myself. She was so mad (and I felt like such a disappointment to her)! I tell this story because I feel like I’ve come a long way, to be able to accept and love my introverted nature instead of feeling like it’s something wrong with me. We’re all just different, with different strengths and weaknesses, and there’s plenty of room for all types of people. 🙂

A Small Taste Of Performing, And Other Random Class Happenings

We had our midterm exam for Modern class, which meant that we were going to perform our little, minute-or-so long, dance combination we’ve been working on in class. It wasn’t a solo, but in 4 person groups, while the rest of the class watched. It wasn’t my first time performing for the whole class, and my first – and only, so far – time did involve a solo, but it’s been a while. Like, over two years ago kind of while. My point is, I’d forgotten that nervousness, combined with the rush of energy. And that feeling of almost denial up until the moment has all but arrived, this feeling that it’s off in the future, and not right now, so I don’t have to worry because I have bigger, more immediate things to worry about.  That is not to say that I haven’t been practicing it the whole time, but somehow convincing myself that I’m practicing it only because I enjoy dancing, and not because some time soon I will be doing it in front of people. Lots of people.

It went well though. Except for this one part on the second side where for one instant I started to lower my left arm instead of my right arm, I didn’t forget the choreography. I’m still debating with myself as though this is because modern choreography is easier to remember than ballet, or because we’ve been working on the same combination for at least 5 weeks.  A little of both? I’m not saying the combination itself was super easy, because it wasn’t (it includes a leap that lands down to a squat of some sorts, and then we roll on the floor, which sounded terriying to me until I actually did it). But somehow it stuck in my mind, and I’d say I practiced it much, much less than I practice ballet.

With the exam past, our upcoming recital is now the thing that is in my not-immediate-but-it’ll-get-there future. If someone would ask me if I was nervous I’d say ‘no’, without giving it too much thought – what goes does it do to be nervous on top of everything else? But when I thik about it, yes, I am nervous. The goal is that by then all the movements are in muscle memory, and that’ll override the nervousnesss, and I’ll just react. So far, I’m remembering the order of the steps pretty well (after the thousandth time going over it). I just keep making myself go over the steps and arm movements, thinking about the choreography constantly thoughout the day. But I don’t think about the actual performance…

This week, my ballet classes didn’t go as well, and unfortunately I did a lot more focusing on improvement than on enjoyment. The improvement I’d noticed on my pirouettes from last week appears to have disappeared – I was back to not getting a full revolution with the correct foot in back for both sides. It was a bit of a disappointment, to be honest. I hope last week’s turning success wasn’t some kind of a fluke.

While my improvement in basic sautes in first appears to be here to stay (finally!), the same can’t really be said about my other jumps.  I think I’ve identified the problem with my changements – it has to do with balance and fear. I remembered that back when my sautes were downright terrible (I’m talking flexed feet mid-air), I was afraid of jumping higher and pointing my feet because I thought I would lose my balance upon landing and hurt my feet. This is not completely unrealistic, because back when I first started, I did end up losing my balance and traveling horizontally as much as vertically quite often.

Anyway, we were doing changements, and Teacher wanted me to cross my fifth position more (because I was doing third, rapidly heading towards first), and I noticed that I felt a little off balance when I land. Since I am much stronger now than when I first started though, I think the problem is fixable.  I need to really focus on holding my core and not letting my chest fall forward when I land, and that should really help. We also did temps leves (the one-footed sautes), which I hadn’t done since summer session. They felt a little less difficult, and afterwards my ankles didn’t feel sore like they used to.

At New Studio we worked on entrechats and royalles, and I think the problem from the changements is the same problem here. I had a good mirror view and I could see my feet perfectly – and the very un-perfect, flexed at the ankle thing they were doing. I was, however, getting the beats done with my legs (and flexed feet). So I think I’m doing that thing where I fear landing so I don’t point. because in my head that means I wont be able to land.  So weird that the muscle memory about pointing mid-air with sautes doesn’t translate over to all the other jumps.

We also did tombe, pas de bourre, glissade, jete, contretemps, repeat all the way across the floor numerous times. That forward glissade is stil feelling foreign to my body, and I made a mess out of that combination. At New Studio, we did (saute passe, saute arabesque) x3, chasse in the opposite direction, tour jete, pirouette en dedans, sous-sus balance, waltz across the floor. I feel like I could have done better on that combination, at least to the right) but the reversed order of the sautes (I’m used to saute arabesque coming before saute passe), and the different port de bras during them messed me up. It sucks, because one of my classmates had said she wanted to go across the floor with me because it looked like I knew what I was doing, and I didn’t do nearly as well as I could have. Is that what matters – how you perform under pressure instead of how you perform after practicing it repetitively?

Not to ramble about modern class excessively, but I think all the exercises and combinations we’ve been doing have been helping me out with balance, and timing, and stuff like that. We do this exercise that is kind of like adagio in ballet, but with no turnout and flexed feet. We walk three steps, then on the fourth instead of putting our foot down we keep it off the ground, then bring it up to a kind of turned in passe but without bringing the flexed foot to the knee, then very slowly we bring it to turned out passe (still keeping the foot away from the knee), then to the back and slowly extend the leg and finally bring the upper half of the body down while bringing the leg up even higher, kind of like a penchee arabesque without as much technique.  We also do lots of sautes, and leaps across the floor, as well as long balances in first and second. I’ve been noticing that I’ve been holding my balances, especially in second, for much longer.

I don’t want to say that I find modern to be easier because, as I said earlier, it’s not easy, but at the same time I can see why so many people who are new to dance would try it before ballet. The ambience in class is more inclusive, and much less intimidating – and I want to say, feels less judgemental. There are students of all sizes in there, as well as other forms of diversity, and I don’t feel like so much of an intruder in the rich and skinny little girls club. I realize that probably sounded really bad, but the demographics in some ballet classes I’ve taken did make me feel like an outsider, and for someone as introverted as me it can really be a struggle.  I don’t want to go into too much detail (because I don’t see anything positive coming out of it), but sometimes in some of the (ignorant, insensitive, borderline prejudiced) things some of these students say I am reminded of the students who made my life hell in middle school. As a grown woman now of almost twice their age I have a different perspective on the whole situation, but who likes being reminded of an ugly time in their past? Not me, at least.

Anyway, modern class has a wide variety or dancers/students and that makes me happy.  To be fair, it is a beginner modern class. In the past I’ve noticed that beginner ballet class seems to have a more well-rounded group than intermediate, so who knows how intermediate modern class is (though I do have an acquaintance who takes intermediate modern, and she doesn’t have the stereotypical dancer look). But I do wonder if there still is that relaxed atmosphere that I’ve been finding in beginner class.

Closer To Actually Dancing

Made it to Basic Beginner Class again, and it was great as always. I was a little upset over missing this class last week (I’d forgotten my dance stuff and ran late), so this time I made myself get up extra early to make sure I had enough time to get ready and have breakfast, and not forget my dance stuff. I did end up forgetting my water bottle – I guess you can’t do it all…

Barre was fun. I was thinking about how I’ve really improved on my preparation port de bras, you know, the arms when the music first starts but before the leg’s movement begins. One of the benefits from taking classes with really advanced students is that you’ll pick up some things seemingly through osmosis, it seems. Ever since this session of Intermediate Class started I feel like my preparation arms have improved so much. In Basic Beginner class it can sometimes feel weird to me if I’m one of the only ones doing it, but I’m starting to feel more comfortable with it. Possibly because it’s becoming a muscle memory thing over any conscious though, which somehow makes me feel way better.

We did this new-to-me exercise during degages. It was two degages, and on the third we’d plie before doing it and then degage into a glissade but pushing off our bent supporting leg. It really helped me get the coordination down for those forward and backward travelling glissades (which are not one of my strong points, as we usually just do lots of them to the side in my regular classes). We balanced in releve in first and sous-sus, and on flat in coupe and passe. Since I has a good mirror view, I continued to work on making sure to cross my fifth enough. I really like how the tempo of the combinations is slow enough to work on applying all the corrections I get during my quicker paced classes, like not losing turnout and screwing up the timing.

Center was also extemely fun, and definitely not basic beginner level for the whole thing, I’d say. Still beginner level, but a challenging enough to make it interesting. After plies with port de bras, we did degages and glissades en croix, in this pattern that I can’t really describe any better now (I had all my brainpower focused on doing it). The barre combination really helped me prepare for that, though I’m still getting used to glissade derriere, traveling backward. It feels so awkward, but like I said, breaking it down during barre really helped it make more sense to me.

Then we did the balancés, waltz step, chaines, chasse into arabesque to finish across the floor combination. This was so much fun! I liked how it feels like I’m really dancing, not just going through the steps, but actually on the music and knowing what I’m doing with my arms and head focus. Like, instead of worrying about remembering the order of the steps, or how fast the whole thing is, I get to dance. It’s an awesome feeling – I love it! I also finished my chasse to arabeque with a nice arabesque with my foot off the ground and it just felt so good, like all my struggles of not being able to balance in the beginning have paid off. In regular class, usually by the end of going across the floor I’m so flustered about all the steps I did wrong that I don’t even have a nice finishing pose. I’m not going to say that I did it perfectly, because I did mess up and do an extra turn and finish late the first time, but it was still so much better than my usual across the floor combinations. This combination works out so well because of the slow tempo, yet not impossible moves. In Intermediate Class and New Studio Class we do slower combinations all the time, but there since the combinations are so long (so it’s hard for me to remember what’s next) and there’s steps in there that I absolutely suck at – hello, promenades! – it takes away from the whole beautiful, I’m-totally-dancing! feeling.

Reverance was really nice too. I like the way B Teacher tells us exactly what we’re going to do next so we can follow along. I remember back when E Teacher taught this class she would just tell us to follow along as much as possible, which led to some ridiculously awkward poses as we tried to do what she was doing, with hilarious result. When we know what to anticipate it just seems more do-able, for me at least. One day I’m going to remember exactly what we do so I can write it down here, but for now I’m happy that I can follow along. It’s a lovely ending to a great class.

Still Staying Positive

It was another good week, ballet-wise. I mean, it definitely had its moments…

At barre during Intermediate Class (as well as during open level class at New Studio), I mostly felt like I was keeping up, not making too many huge errors (though I do need my posture adjusted now and then). I’m continuing to work on letting go of the barre for my passe releve balance and get both arms in middle fifth. We did echappe releves without hand on the barre and I noticed that my balance has gotten way better. I think all that bare-less warm up work during modern class has helped with this. I’ve also not been getting corrected on not crossing my fifth position enough, so hopefully that means I’ve been doing it better. While barre went well, center in Intermediate class has been on the challeging side.

This week we worked on a new center combination, lots of tendus, changing the angle/facing and 2 pas de bourres between each set of tendus. and unfortunately I forgot the rest, but there was at least one pirouette en dehors involved. This may have been the time when Teacher asked us for a double. While I cannot do a double yet (obviously!), I’ve noticied that when teachers ask for a double I somehow end up getting all the way around on my single – yay!

Another day we did this somewhat difficult adagio: developpe devant croisse, close and brush back to arabesque, pas de bourre, chasse into fourth position, lunge, from lunge go into attitude derriere and promenade, to developpe a la seconde, close, pirouette en dedans, soutenu, pique sous-sus, other side. The biggest challenges for me here were remembering what step comes next (obviously), and the promenade. While promenades in attitude derriere are easier for me that in arabesque, it was the transition that was getting me, the super quick weight shift. We did something similar in class at New Studio when we weight shifted from plie in fourth to a passe releve balance, but for whatever reason the lunge to attitude weight shift seemed more unstable. I caught a glimpse of my positioning in the mirror and it was so ugly!

We did a drill for pirouettes, lots and lots of pirouettes (en dehors)! On pirouettes I’ve been working on making sure to bring the passe foot in front of my knee, as opposed to behind like a pique turn (which just feels so much easier to me). For whatever reason, my body was cooperating this week, and I did several decent single pirouettes en dehors from fourth, to the left. To the right I think maybe I did one or two that were ok, so for now the left is my stronger turning side. At least for pirouettes – when we did pique turns across the floor, I noticed my left side is definitely not my best. Pirouettes from fifth were harder, but then too the ones to the left were stronger. It’s so weird though, because for the longest time my passe releve was much stronger and stable onto my left leg (so this would help for pirouettes en dehors to the right), and now my better pirouettes are on my right leg, when going left. After class I had a little talk with Teacher regarding the uneveness of my pirouetting ability. Since it’s not my weaker balancing leg that is the problem we figure it’s my core, so she suggested doing additional core work to strengthen my weaker side.

One of the days we did a slightly slower petit allegro that I somewhat kept up with. It was sautes in first, changements, echappe, pas de bourre (right), echappe, pas de bourre (left), temps leve, soubresaut, other side. Then we did it at a faster tempo, and it was challenging but I didn’t feel completely lost. To be fair, there were no assembles involved, so that’s probably why it went ok for me…

The second time I did Intermediate Class we had a different petit allegro: (glissade, assemble) x3, glissade jete, and ballote for the rest of the counts. Yeah, me doing ballote looked completely ridiculous. I’m probably going to do lots of youtubing to see what it’s supposed to look like. In class at New Studio we did a petit allegro that included jumps from second to fourth and back to second then fourth.  I guess like echappes but closing in fourth instead of fith. It was pretty difficult getting the coordination of that right. Combinations at New Studio are usually really pretty, and we do pretty port de bras and lots of bourres – and for whatever reason, my promenades tend to work out better during that class. I like the layout of the studio as well – while it’s much smaller than the studio where I take Intermediate class, New Studio has a mirror that runs lengthwise so everyone gets an opportunity to see themselves. At Intermediate Class it can be so hard to find a good spot that’s not right in the front. And, unless Teacher asks us to switch lines, I feel awkward going in the front, especially when I keep forgetting the combination.

So, in the middle of all those ungraceful movements – fun, still, but definitely ungraceful –  there are the things I’ve actually improved at. The all-the-way-around pirouettes are a big one.  For the first time, I’m feeling confident about my pirouettes en dehors, at least to the left. And not just from fourth, but also from fifth which I used to be complete inept at. Also, I didn’t even realize when I managed to be able to do changements without stepping on myself at all during the whole set, or be in correct timing.  I was also thinking about how at some point I also got comfortable using the head at barre. In center not so much yet – I’m still focusing on what step comes next – but it’s getting there. And my timing during sautes has gotten so much better – it’s been a little while now since I’ve been corrected on being out of time, not pointing my feet, jumping too quickly, or going up when everyone else in the group is coming down. I’m especially glad to see improvement in that area, because jumping’s been one of my bigest dance weaknesses the whole time I’ve been balleting, from my unpointed feet to my horrible timing, and feeling out of breath. I feel like I tried everything (and I mean everything – theraband foot strengthening exercises, lots and lots of releves, running in order to increase stamina) in order to improve at jumps. In the end, I think what worked was doing lots of slow sautes in all the positions with correct form at home that I’ve been doing at home. I try to do those any day I don’t take class, to not feel out of shape the next time I take class and we have to do 48 sautes or something.

My biggest challenge is how slow I am at picking up new things. Once I get the basic idea my obsessive part of my personality will work to get it right, but the initial understanding is so hard to come by. The ability to see movements and mimic them is not something that I have, at least naturally. But by now I’ve taken so many movement classes (ballet, pilates, modern) that I feel I somewhat have a good understanding of my body and what it can do, and which muscles do what actions which result in what. The visual part though… I don’t know, I’d hypothesize that it has to do with different learning styles and I’ve just never been a visual learner. I’m not much of a visual person naturally, but I think ballet has helped me so much in that respect, like now I notice a lot more details that I used to. So, even though my lack of this ability makes ballet harder, doing ballet actually makes me better at more than just ballet.

Taking Requests?!

… and other instances of “culture clash” (ballet class vs. modern)

Something that shocked me just a bit happened during my latest modern dance class. We had finished our very extensive group warm up (which was really fun actually. It was a cold day, so Modern Teacher had us walk around the studio – literally in a circular pattern around the studio – then pick a shape and walk in the pattern of the shape (I picked a parallelogram, lol). Then we went faster into a sort of prance-walk, first around, then in shapes, then backward(!). Then we did all of our ab work and pushups and all that good stuff, followed by the barre-less ballet steps), and were getting ready to do our center combination. As we lined up to do the combination, and the accompanist retook his seat behind his drums, one girl raised her hand. I’m assuming she was going to ask about the steps or something. But instead she asks “Hey, can we listen to the piano music instead when we do this? It’d be really nice.”

My jaw dropped. In all of the dance classes I’ve taken, I could never imagine requesting a particular piece of music or style of music. I figure that’s completely up to the teacher and accompanist, and to make a request would be seen as disrespectful. When I think of some of the stricter classes I’ve taken, it just makes me want to shake my head at her boldness – and I admit, for a supershy person like me there is the slightest bit of admiration in there as well. Modern Teacher was very cool about the whole thing though. She said something like “A request, huh? It’s up to him,” (the accompanist), and he obliged. But this really showed me the difference in culture between different dance styles.

I mean, I don’t know… I’m new to modern dance, so maybe this is something that happens regularly or is not frowned upon, but it’s just so different from how I’ve seen ballet classes run.

Then there’s the issue of hair.

When I first started modern class, I decided that I didn’t want to wear my hair in a bun for that class – I didn’t want to look like a bad wannabe “bunhead”. I mean, in this class I wear my leotard underneath my leggings (plus a T-shirt. I don’t think I can rock the leotard-under-tights-and-nothing-else look.) Besides, I’ve watched enough Dance Academy to know that you don’t dress for ballet class when doing other types of dance (or did that only apply for hip hop? Can’t remember…).

So I just threw the hair in a ponytail, and got on with it. And it worked out fine for the first couple of weeks, but now that we’re doing more complex, and longer, combinations, my hair is getting on my nerves! I’m wondering, how can people dance with all their hair going everywhere? I can feel it getting stuck to my neck, and in my face, blocking my eyes, obscuring my vision – so annoying. I actually fixed it quickly during class, pulling the ponytail through the elastic halfway so it at least wouldn’t keep getting caught on my neck.  Now that we’ve started turning – and spotting – I’m finding the hair to be evn more problematic. SInce I’m not particularly good at spotting, I need all the help I can get, and tidy, secured hair helps me.

From now on, I think it’s a bun for me. Hey, it’s functional!

(Not that I think there’s anything wrong with being a bunhead. I feel like I’m a total bunhead on the inside, especially when I know all the terminology better than most people in the class and obsess over ballet class nonstop. But due to my body – and age, compared to my classmates – I feel like I don’t look like a bunhead, so I thought I should tone it down. Save the wannabe bunhead-ness for ballet class, perhaps.)