Sunday, August 30, 2015

Working on my tan

I decided to take this morning off and went kayaking instead of going to class. The weather was gorgeous, but I stayed out longer than I expected and got a little sunburn. On the inside of my thighs only, if you can believe that. It doesn't show up really well in the photo, but there's a line down the middle of the lower part of my thigh, over the middle of my kneecap, and down the upper half of my shin; inside that line it's red and outside that line it's virgin white.



Right now it's stingy (and slathered in Aloe Vera gel) and I'm not looking forward to putting on pants in the morning. But when I go back to class I think I'll wear tights instead of shorts!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Shoulders over Hips

That seems to be the secret. Apparently I've been leaning back when balancing all this time, and no one corrected me until I asked for help a few weeks ago. With a conscious effort to move my upper body forward I can balance with less effort than before, and some of my turns immediately improved (others I'm having to unlearn bad technique and relearn).

I'm at once relieved and annoyed. Shouldn't one of the five instructors I've taken classes with over the last four years have said something before now? Is it because it's not as obvious on an average adult as with a stick-figure pre-pro kid? Or do they assume most adults aren't looking to be taught and corrected? I suspect it's mostly the latter.

Thinking about it, students in adult classes seem to fall into a few categories. One is the accomplished, experienced dancer. At my school these are often retired pros or could have been pros. They want a good workout but rarely need instruction. A second group are those who are happy with the level they've achieved and either don't want or won't take correction. That leaves the third group who want to improve; sometimes we need instruction and sometimes we just need practice. It's a challenge to the instructor to give help to those who want and need it while still leading a class of 20-some students.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

This ain't cutting it

Two weeks ago I had to skip class to finish a project for work. Last weekend I was away on vacation. I thought about going Tuesday evening but I was fighting off some sort of allergy or cold thing and felt awful. I was all set to go Thursday evening, but left my dance bag at home. Yes, it's been that sort of month.

Which brings us to today. I was looking forward to a nice, measured, Beginner II class with our regular instructor. A chance to ease back into things. As I was walking away from the front desk after checking in (at which I was greeted by name, thanks!) I heard her call, "You know {Tuesday night instructor} is substituting today, right?" Well, no, I didn't know. Not that that would affect my attendance, but it did mean that nice and measured wasn't happening.

I made it through the 50 minutes of barre feeling pretty good, though a bit tired. But 15 minutes into center I started having real trouble wrapping my head around the sequence. Not that they were terribly complex, but the steps just wouldn't stick in my head. So I sat down and let my body recover. I got back up for the last two exercises, though I really wasn't all there yet.

Clearly I need to go back to my previous three class a week schedule, if only to maintain physical fitness. My technique isn't suffering too badly yet, but if I can't make it through the entire class it will. I guess the good news is the the studio is between my new job site and home, so I'm not going out of the way to get there.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Instructor Impersonation

For the two previous Sundays the Tuesday night instructor substituted for the regular instructor. The first Sunday I took the beginner 2 class with thought of also taking the advanced beginner afterward, but with her barre I was too exhausted. The second Sunday I took only the advanced beginner, and decided to leave half way through center because I was shaking with lack of energy.

One of these recent Tuesday evenings I asked her for help re my tendency to fall backward out of turns. We only had 7 students that night so not only did I get
suggestions before class, I got more feedback during class. I think it's helping.

Today the regular instructor returned. Much less intense and I thought about taking both classes but I managed to trip over my own foot during a glissade, of all things, and my foot and ankle are sore. Nothing serious I'm sure, but I decided to call it a day after the first class.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Falling backward

Work has been kicking my ass, the effect of which being that I've been getting to only one class a week. I'm not liking that.

Today's class was taught by the instructor who usually teaches the Tuesday and Saturday classes. Her barre is usually more strenuous, with longer and more complex combinations. Not what I was hoping for, as it was more tiring than I wanted, but I still like her.

The big problem I'm wrestling with is not falling backward out of turns. If I keep my arms in first I'm mostly but not quite stable, but in fifth I find myself leaning backward. One of the corrections given to another student is to not bring the arms too far back, but that only alleviates part of the problem. And the problem is definitely worse when I'm tired.

Anyone recognize this, and want to offer suggestions?