So, I drove myself to my regular school, with my black leotard pink tights “uniform” and plenty of time to spare, and I was so excited and happy that classes were starting up again and – surprise! – turns out I got the date wrong and classes won’t resume for another week! Although I’d been looking forward to taking class in “uniform” again, I took myself to New Studio instead, where we had quite an challenging class.
My extension was back! After that last class the week before with the mediocre extensions, I was happy to have it back. Don’t know if it’s related, but I did give myself a nice long Pilates and Yoga session at home before class, which was out of the norm – and the day before the bad extension day I’d been cooped up in the car for hours, But yeah, in class I felt both well-stretched and strong.
A challenging extension combination we did was rond de jambes a terre, lift to rond de jambe en lair, from derriere position leg goes to passe, then developpe a la seconde (don’t remember the rest, i was too busy being happy my extension was back, it may have been the combination with a penchee, bring it up to attitude derriere and balance, or the one with failli, pas de bourre en tournant, other side ). then fondues to releve front, side back, bring leg to a la seconde, to retire and back out four counts up on releve the whole time, plie on supporting leg while keeping working leg en l’air, soutenu, other side. I really started to feel both my supporting and working leg by this point, for sure. And that was before the really slow fondues up to releve, with more of holding the leg out in extension while up on releve after doing at least 6 consecutive fondues per side.
Center was intense. We jumped a lot – 32 sloooow changements, with a sous-sus balance every eight counts, then sautes in first, second, echappes from fifth to fouth, second, and fouth, and changements, twice, at regular speed. 32 pas de chats, changing directions every fourth one, which is way harder than it looks, if for the slipping factor alone. We did a combination that included a jump called a gargouillade which appears to be (to my undeducated eyes), of course(a pas de chat while doing little rond de jambes in the air with both legs. Despite looking hard, it was actually really fun to
do attempt and I started running into the problem of … laughing. It reminded me of when I was a kid at school, someone else would do something funny (or dumb, probably, looking back) and I would get the giggle fits and not be able to quiet down long after then initial set off had happened, therefore getting in myself in trouble. This was reminding me off that because I just kept cracking up everytime we got to that point in the combination. It just looked hilarious in the mirror and it felt funny, and the whole time I was amused that I could even do a crappy attempt instead of just freezing up like I used to, or tripping over or something. I don’t think I’m much a fan of the step even while done correctly, after seeing it on youtube.
We also did tombe, pas de bourre, chasse, pirouette en dehors, en dedans, repeat. My pirouettes still remain my weakest point in center. While it does feel discouraging, at the same time I don’t mind because I know these things take time, sometimes lots of time. I mean, breaking it down to all the parts of a pirouette – I was too weak to even go up on releve on one leg at the barre until I’d been down ballet for maybe 8-9 months (and at the time still couldn’t balance on releve on two feet for any length of time ), and I’m pretty sure I wrote on here back sometime in late Fall 2014 about the first time I went up in passe releve in center, and barely about 3 months ago I had my first good barre releve retire balance (and I have not really been abl to replicate it), so yeah, these things take time. I am patient… it’s weird because I actually struggle with being patient quite a bit in other areas of life, but with ballet it feels different. Perhaps because I’ve improved so much at ballet in other areas that I know it’s at least possible to get better. I don’t think I expected to get “good” when I started, but I hoped to get to a level that I could participate in center without immediately losing my balance. At the time even that seemed unbelievable and far off, but I’ve gotten there at least. That helps me convince myself that some day when I least expect it pirouettes will become no big deal, but for now I just practice without expecting too much results.
The other classes I took were more on the basic beginner level, so mostly working on technique fo plies and tendues. I’m happy to notice that my grand plies, especially in first, have really been getting deeper. I wish I knew what exactly I did differently to improve or get stronger though, because it appears to be one of those things that did improve when I least expected. I was not happy to note that during grand plies in fourth I have a tendency to lean forward. Sometimes my torso just feels so heavy. Sigh.
Anyway, ballet classes at my regular school should return this week – this time for reals – and I think I’ll be doing Intermediate level as well as Beginner, so we’ll see how I hold up.