My WordPress Reader has been down for a week now (previously when it was down it was only for a few hours, during busier times I guess, and the problem was solved by turning my tablet off and back on), and all my attemps at fixing it have been useless. Also, I can’t access my draft posts, or even my published posts unless I go to my site directly. Since WordPress’ customer service is practically nonexistent (I know about the help forum, but my questions never get answered), I have no idea what to do from this point. I know this is super off topic but, any one out there reading this who’s paying for the premium service (when you get your own url, like http://www.yourblog.com), does that get you a response with customer service or a more user-friendly interface? Although I’d rather save my money, it’s been getting so inconvenient to even write a post – not to mention read other’s posts, which I haven’t been able to access since the Reader went down – that I may consider it if it’s worth it. From the beginning I didn’t want to blog with blogger/blogspot because I’m kind of not a Google fan, but WordPress’ glitchiness is making me regret that.
Anyway, back to talking about ballet…
Over the past week I took several classes at New Studio, as well as some youtube Kathryn Morgan classes on days without class. Since classes at New Studio are much shorter than classes at my regular school (1 hour vs 1 hour and a half) I’m considering doing the “Easy Barre” video on class days as well, if I have time. One of the things about NS is that it’s open level, so the difficulty of class changes depending on who shows up. So it can be a super-easy-mostly-barre kind of class or an extremely difficult class with petit and grand allegro and lots of long combinations in center. And there’s no way of knowing which it’ll be until we’re about 10 minutes into the class (I really don’t want to play ‘spot the beginner, spot the ex-pro’ beforehand).
This past week it was 2 mostly easy classes and 1 that was a great fit for my current level (in other words, we didn’t have the day when the difficulty gets pushed up extremely). As fas as center goes, the most challenging things we did was a quick combination with balancés (one right, one left), two soutenus right, contretemps, tombe, pas de bourre, glissade, assemble, repeat to other side and a straighforward – if long – saute combination (8 in first, 2 in second, 4 echappes, and 4 changements, repeat). Both combinations went well; I was especially happy to see that me feet stayed pointed thoughout the whole saute combination, and that even though the other combination was fast I managed to stay on it.
We did a lot of work at the barre, working on our plies and turnout. Since I’m one of those dancers that believes in always reviewing the basics no matter what, no complaints here. Actually, I think if I regularly only took an Intermediate level class with no basics thrown in there I think it’d be a disaster for me – it appears I haven’t been doing ballet long enough to have everything so engraved in muscle memory that if hold up even at high speeds.
Which brings us to the youtube video classes… One day I did the “Classic Ballet Barre 2” video, and while I was fine for the first four or five combinations, by the end I was lost. Which gives me two options of where to go from here: I can either do the same video daily until I memorize it (both in my muscles and brain), but not really feel like I’m at that level because if I was in class and these combinations were thrown at me I’d be lost; or I can do the “Easy Ballet Barre” and just modify it to make it more challenging if needed, like adding arms, or maybe do it in double time (this is that gap between beginner and intermediate that I was whining about in a recent post, popping up again). To be honest, the second option was the one I took last time I gave myself class, but I do think I’ll try both, sort of how I’ve been taking both levels at school. As far as center, I’m still doing the “Easy Center” video, especially because she gives several options for increasing difficulty, and the level reminds me of the end-of-session time in Beginner class with the harder combinations. Perhaps I’ll attempt the “Classic Center” video sometimes soon again and see if it makes more sense to me than the last time I tried it around a year ago.
Ok, more whining about the in-between-beginner-and-intermediate gap: I found out recently that my regular school is going to be having the Beginner class at the same exact time as Intermediate, on purpose (supposedly to keep student dancers in the appropriate level, without the possibility of the time conflict excuse). I think this is a terrible idea! Perhaps I’m being selfish, but I think this does not help the in-between-levels dancer at all. Originally I’d been planning on taking both classes, as I did this past session. But if they’re at the same time I have to choose, and that’s a hard choice. I did ask ‘Have you considered offering a Beginner 2 or Advanced Beginner class?’ and the answer was ‘That would be Intermediate’, which may be true on paper but in actuality is nowhere close – there’s a mile of difference between the end of Beginner and start of Intermediate, as I’ve complained about a million times on here.
Luckily, I still have a couple months to think it over and decide (this is for Fall session, Summer session this year will be just Beginner).
Somewhat related to what I was just saying, in class recently NS Teacher refered to me as an Intermediate dancer and I was so pleased (though I don’t believe her – I mean, clearly I’m not at that level yet – I just think it was relative to the newer people that were there). But still, somewhat encouraging!