Maybe This Is What I’d Been Waiting For…

I find myself having a lot of fun during class, really enjoying it. During the combinations that I can sort of do, during the combinations that I can’t do, and the ones where I’m nowhere close to be able to do – it doesn’t really matter. Even in Intermediate class where the tempo is often much too fast, and in the moment I forget one whole ‘phrase’ of the movement, I still find the fun in it. Even though the classes at my regular school are not too much on the recreational side (meaning people that come in for the exercise and don’t particularly care about improving, just having fun), the mood feels somewhat lighthearted. New Studio class is definitely on the recreational side though, and laughter while forgetting half the combination and just jumping randomly is not only not frowned upon, but expected. I think the mixture of both environments is good for me, one more serious, one more laidback, both an enjoyable time.

It irritates me that it took me getting this comfortable in class for me to find the joy in all of it. I spent so much time in the past looking forward to the future. I can see it in my old blog posts (because I do spend a ridiculous amount of time reading through my blog posts – no one better to internet stalk but yourself. No, being serious though, I enjoy my blog because for the most part it is a safe place for me to read about a ballet experience without any unpleasantness accidentally creeping in. Anyways.), that I was always looking to improving, and almost forgetting to have fun along the way. There were so many times when I went home upset because I couldn’t balance, and I could ballet so pretty as long as we stayed at the barre. Center was always a clumsy mess, very discouraging. I feel like an awful person for not having been able to find the joy even in that situation – here I was learning a beautiful art form, being able to do something that I never got to experience as a child. But no, I was being ungrateful.

But, on the other hand, at least I’m happy now? I’m definitely not saying that I’m good at ballet, just that at least now it feels like during class I’m actually doing ballet instead of just trying to not fall over while attempting to point my foot.Most importantly, often times I even forget about the shape/type of my body being unballetic. It’s like me feeling like I kind of know what I’m supposed to do cancels out me feeling  like all anyone can see when they look at me is my unballetic shape, so I can finally feel neutral, and from there I finally was able to feel good. I have a feeling the whole body image thing plays a big part in this, and I guess I feel like I’m at the point that when other students watch me dance they can look past the body shape and it’ll actually be about the dancing. Or maybe I’m just dreaming.

In Beginner class, F Teacher divided us into several groups, so there’s always an audience. It’s not just paranoia that has me worrying about what people think as they watch me, it’s an irrefutable fact that people are watching. But the thought of being watched is much less terrifying now.

Beginner class there’s two tendu combinations, one more basic beginner level and another more challenging one. The basic one was tendu a la seconde, weight shift to both feet in second, tendu back to first, repeat on the other side, then 4 alternating tendus a la seconde, all closing in fifth. The more challenging one was two tendus devant croisse,  two tendus croisse derriere, en face tendu devant, a la second and derriere, two chasses forward, change to croisse for other side. So yes, more challenging but not like combinations in intermediate with pirouettes or promenades or deep lunge cambre port de bras mixed in with the tendus. Those promenades really get me. It seems like I can do it when we mark the combinations, but then when we actually do it I don’t hold my core and wobblyness occurs.

In Beginner class we also worked  a lot on glissades. The easier version was slow glissades a la seconde, and by slow I mean each part of the step was isolated: plie in first, slide leg out with pointed foot, land in plie in that foot and transfer the weight, close in first, straighten legs, plie for the next one.Actually, the slow tempo doesn’t  make it sound very easy. But for the harder version we did glissades en croix (I really need to work on my glissade derriere especially) to both sides with a sous-sus balance in the middle.

In intermediate we had a balancé combination with 4 balancés with different port de bras, pas de bourre to a fourth position lunge, push into attitude derriere and promenade en dedans, allonge, lunge, pirouette en dedans, soutenu, other side.The hardest part was definitely the promenade. I really don’t like promenades, though they look so impressive to watch.

At NS there was a really pretty combination (that I forgot to write down, I feel like I’m missing a part of it there…) that went something like 2 balancés, pique arabesque, faille, pick up pas de bourre, repeat to the other side, then 2 pirouettes en dehors from fourth.

In Intermediate we’re doing petit allegro in two tempos, one a little slower and one that’s more, um, allegro. For now it’s just (2 changements, echappe)x2, (glissade assemble)x2, 2 soubresauts (faster group does entrechat instead), repeat to other side, for both the slower group and the faster group. In all of the classes I attempt both options, just to maximize my ballet class studio time. And building stamina can’t hurt.

And since I’ve been getting really bad about taking class notes, that’s about all that I can remember at the moment from my ballet week.

Which reminds me, I still haven’t finished watching Flesh and Bone (our DVD player broke a few weeks ago…), but there is a girl in one of my classes who is totally a dead ringer for the main character. It’s pretty uncanny.

2 thoughts on “Maybe This Is What I’d Been Waiting For…

  1. Basia

    Actually when I watch others in my class, my eyes are invariably drawn to the person who can express the art the best. Their body type doesn’t figure in it at all. Unless I suddenly notice they are not the classic ballerina figure, and that just increases my admiration because I somehow believe they work harder than the ones that have the classic look naturally. (Even if they didn’t!)

    1. kit Post author

      Completely agree!
      I’ve seen dancers of all body types and I have noticed that my eyes are initially drawn to the artistry. And I do admire the ones with more unconventional body types more. Having a mix of body types in class is so inspirational for me.


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