Sunday, September 17, 2017

That Smell

When I was growing up there was a band called Lynyrd Skynyrd. In 1977 they who released a song entitled "That Smell". It's a classic.

That's not what this post is about.

Friday, September 15, 2017

I need to learn new curse words

Ever have one of those days where it may have been better to just pull the covers over your head in the morning and refuse to get out? Yesterday was one of those.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Big Tease

This evening I arrived early for class to make sure I had time to warm up first. As I was stretching in the hallway I heard Susan come out to do the same. When I turned around to say hello she was wearing pointe shoes and doing relev├ęs. I've been taking classes from Susan for several years now and I've never seen her in pointe shoes before. Was this a sign that she'd decided to commit to teaching the beginner pointe class?

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Some people don't know when to quit

Some years back I was taking classes at the American Dance Institute. This started as a ballet school, then shifted focus to sponsoring new dance works. In 2015 they decided to stop offering classes altogether. In 2016 they rebranded themselves "The Lumberyard" (no, I don't get it either), closed up shop in this area and moved to New York.

A couple of weeks ago I discovered where many of the refugees from ADI ended up: the Maryland School of Dance. Their adult program is pretty sparse, but it does have a "Beginner/Intermediate" ballet class Thursday evenings, and I know the instructor from classes at ADI. I've been looking for a class Thursday nights, and the only one available at MYB is an Advanced Beginner class which is more of a challenge than I'm looking for at the moment.

I'd thought about going to this class last Thursday, but when I got to work I realized I'd left my dance gear at home. This evening I had a conflicting appointment, but that got canceled at the last minute. Since I'd already planned on leaving work earlier than usual I had time to drive home, change, and get to MSD early enough to check out the place. There are several studios, though some have small columns in them. The floors are synthetic over plywood (I'm not sure if they qualify as "sprung" floors or not) that are reasonably comfortable to dance on. When I arrived there were two different children's classes in progress, one of which was their Pointe I class and the other their Pointe II class. Interesting to watch!

There were several folk in the Adult class that I recognized; one or two from ADI, and one from MYB. Unlike the classes at MYB, which vary from a dozen to as many as 25, this was a class of 7 or 8. I chose an unfortunate place at the barre which had me facing away from everyone else during the first side of each exercise, and of course I was unfamiliar with the exercises. This meant I botched bits of most of them as I tried to remember the sequences. I'm also still kinda tight from class Tuesday resulting in a bit of cramping in my calf muscles, though that actually got better as the class went on. Overall I'd put this on par with the difficulty of the Sunday Beginner II class at MYB, and much easier than Susan's Beginner 2.75 classes. The students ranged from two or three who were clearly much better than the rest down to a few who struggled with basic steps. I'm still not doing double pirouettes, but I fit nicely just below the top few. Maybe this is a way for me to get three classes a week without having to flail in the Advanced Beginner classes.

Speaking of pointe classes... I spoke with Susan after class Tuesday evening. Apparently Joy of Motion is pretty insistent that a series class needs to run 13 weeks, and she isn't sure she wants to commit to a 13-week series. I'm feeling like I really can't encourage her any further without becoming really annoying. It's really up to her, so if y'all want this class to happen you should probably talk with her yourselves.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Total eclipse

Like many, I headed off to see the total solar eclipse last Monday. It was absolutely indescribable. One of the most interesting things I noticed was that the cicadas got louder and louder as the sun's light became dimmer and dimmer then abruptly stopped at the moment of totality, leaving an eerie quiet. Then, when the sun peeked out from behind the moon, their song began again even louder than before, then diminished as we returned to normal sunlight.

What's this got to do with ballet? Not much, except it meant I missed my weekend classes. The Tuesday before I missed due to another social activity, and last Tuesday I missed due to car trouble. So it's been a couple of weeks since my last class. This weekend I had commitments Saturday, but next weekend is the Labor Day three-day holiday here in the USA and my regular school is closed and I really didn't want to skip yet another weekend. Thus I found myself in the Sunday morning Beginner II class.

The Sunday morning Beginner II class is the easier of the two weekend classes. The routines are shorter and less complex. I find some of it lacking in challenge, but I make up for that by focusing on the details of technique that I may not have time for while trying to keep up with the Saturday morning class. It's also something of an ego boost because I can generally get through all of the centre work without feeling lost. I even earned a few compliments from the instructor!

On the other hand, being away from class means I hurt more during and afterward. The seat I sat in on my way to and from the eclipse is uneven, which torques the muscles in my lower back (quadratus lumborum I'm told) which makes my hips hurt and aggravates my right IT band. By the end of class I was walking rather unevenly. I guess I really need to get that seat fixed. It looks like TWB's adult program will be open this weekend so I may try to get down there rather than miss yet another weekend.


For anyone wondering about the adult pointe class, I know nothing new. I haven't talked to Susan since my last update and she's on vacation this week. I'll probably see her in class a week from tomorrow.

Speaking of adult pointe, I met commenter Michelle M., who introduced herself at the beginning of class. I've seen her in class before but I didn't have a name to go with the face. It was nice to meet you, Michelle!