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.

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