Went back to my first ballet class in a few weeks. While I wanted to make my return during Basic Beginner class, that would have meant waiting a whole week longer, as I wasn’t able to make it this week. I’ve done two classes back now, actually, Adult Ballet open level, and Intermediate (during which I told Teacher that I couldn’t do 1-legged jumps, and tried to avoid the fifth position issue, mostly by hoping Teacher wouldn’t notice me too much).
How did it go? Did I dance worse than usual? In short, yes. It was obvious that I’ve lost some strength. My balances in first position releve felt a little wobbly, and my supporting leg was so tired by the end of barre combinations. Luckily, in my first class of the week the barre combinations were on the shorter side, and by my second class I had at least somewhat reminded my muscles of what to expect. Despite losing strength, I didn’t necessarily feel weak, and my muscles did feel well rested.
While I felt like I did regress a bit techinque wise, it wasn’t terrible. I’d say I’m no worse off than I was a few months ago. I still had the ability to point my feet, and my coordination was still somewhat there, even with the faster tempos of Intermediate class. I still felt the urge to use epaulment at barre. I’m definitely not trying to go hard on myself about this temporary stop to my progress. Since I won’t be doing Intermediate class for a while, I’ll instead be focusing on rebuilding my strength and improving my technique. I think that’ll be a good change of pace for me. Adult Ballet class varies in difficulty depending on who’s in attendance and NS Teacher’s mood, but I think the variety will keep me from getting bored. Basic Beginner class is a good way to focus on technique without having to worry about speed. And there’s always the home barre for other times…
My favorite parts of my class back were a nice slow tendu en croix center combination that I really enjoyed (especially the fact that I wasn’t wobbling, despite my time off, and the fact that it was slow enough that I could actually make it look pretty), and the general feeling of being happy to be back. I really did feel glad to be back, I kept thinking about it. The combinations in Intermediate were a little overwhelming, but since I didn’t have high expectations I wasn’t particularly devastated. I’ve officially made it through a whole session of Intermediate ballet class, that’s something. Last spring I had not been ready (lasting only several weeks in Intermediate), or had at least been much less ready than now, so it’s a clear sign of long term progress.