Sunday, February 1, 2015

Ballet Double Header

I spent a week in the Frozen North (aka Ottawa, Ontario, Canada), during which I attended NO ballet classes. I did look, but when my initial searches came up empty I let it go. Turns out I wouldn't have had time or energy anyway. I did get to class this past Tuesday, which went well. Yesterday I had other stuff to do, so I went to class today.

Apparently I haven't been to a Sunday Beginner II class in a while, because when the instructor walked around greeting new students, she stopped in front of me and jokingly asked my name too. I swear it hasn't been that long!

I noted several interesting things during class. The first was that during the first barre exercise the instructor told one of the students that she wasn't ready for this class, and could stay and observe if she wanted but she really needed to be in the Beginner I class that followed. It was done encouragingly and semi-privately, but still... Ouch! I guess I've been taking Beginner II or higher for long enough that I don't really think of it as difficult anymore. That's not to say I don't have something to learn in every class, but it was eye-opening.

Another thing I noted is that more and more women are wearing pointe shoes for barre, and some in center, even though this school does not offer adult pointe classes. It's instructor's discretion whether to allow it, and another student in this class was asked to switch to soft slippers until the instructor got to know her better. Again, quietly done, but still an Ouch.

I've been thinking about going back to my old routine of 3-4 classes a week, and that would mean going to Advanced Beginner classes again. For some reason this idea seems a bit scary, especially since the Thursday evening class is reputed to be a bit harder than the Sunday afternoon class. I felt pretty good at the end of Beginner II, so I took a spot at the barre in Advanced Beginner. No, I didn't get kicked out. I made more mistakes and got more corrections in AB than in B2, but nothing embarrassing And in what I suspect is intended as encouragement, the instructor mentioned to everyone that some of us in AB were taking their second class of the day. That wasn't necessary, but I think it's her way of telling me I should be in this class more often. Maybe she has a point.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Dancing for Green Bay

Today I discovered our instructor is a Green Bay Packers fan. She told us that if we didn't get a certain sequence in the center right, the Packers will lose. I guess we'll have to wait until tomorrow afternoon to see how we did.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Oh class, how I've missed thee

For the first time since the 22nd of last month, I managed to get to class. This was the "Level 1" class at the Raleigh School of Ballet, which presented not huge challenges but may have been just what I needed after almost a month off the floor. I came close to skipping it, as the siren call of my hotel bed was strong, but I'm glad I didn't.

I was a bit surprised to find that the instructor remembered me, given that I haven't been there but once before, and that was a couple months ago. Then again, male ballet students aren't exactly common in these parts. Yet there was another man in tonight's class! I'll admit to a twinge of competitiveness, and I think I may be a bit better. But both of us were pretty clearly near the top of the class tonight.

I was a bit hesitant to attempt even a simple pirouette en dehor tonight, not wanting to totally botch it from lack of practice. But when I tried it, it worked quite well in both directions. I even attempted a few fouette turns, and they worked better than I remember from class last month. Hmmm... Gonna have to ponder possible explanations for that sometime.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Winter weather freak-out

Last weekend, events conspired to keep me from class. So I promised myself I'd get to class tonight even though I'm 300 miles from home. What could go wrong?

One problem with traveling to areas where winter weather is uncommon is that they aren't prepared to handle it. With a forecast of the possibility of a bit of sleet and maybe freezing rain overnight, everything is shutting down. Including the ballet studio.

Maybe I'll do some stretching in my hotel room, cuz there ain't much else going on in this town tonight.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Not a whole lotta shaking going on

Right after my posting on Dec 24th I came down with whatever has been going around. I don't know if it was a cold or an attenuated version of the flu, but it knocked me on my ass through the weekend after New Year's. Yesterday morning, just as I was about to collect my dance gear in preparation for last night's class, I received notice that classes were canceled due to snow. Gimme a break!