Saturday, November 3, 2018

The staff are not idots. But the patrons are.

Thursday I was all set to go to class in the evening, but life intervened. I'm really trying to get back to a regular schedule for the winter, so I told myself I'd definitely go this weekend.

This morning I was kind of ambivalent about going to class. Eventually I convinced myself to get ready and made it to the studio with enough time for a brief warmup. Barre was good, though it seemed a bit more challenging than usual. One of our regular classmates who takes barre on pointe came in just before we started, and I honestly think this instructor tailors her class based on who shows up; for example. a student on pointe pretty well guarantees more releves.

I didn't get as much sleep last night as I would have liked, and I burned a lot of energy during barre. Normally I recover during the break before centre, but today I was still feeling very tired when class started again. I walked through the explanation of the first combination with everyone else, and while it absorbed the sequence pretty well I just didn't feel up to continuing. I grabbed my bag, nodded to the instructor, and took an early exit.

Normally I'd consider this a partial waste of time, but not today. It was an unusually long barre and I felt like I got a good workout. I just felt like I'd run out of energy, and if I'd forced myself to continue I doubt I would have been very stable.

Maybe I'll go again tomorrow morning.

We now interrupt our regularly scheduled blog entry for a rant...

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

A Double Pirouette! And Tours!

Recently I've been having trouble with turns, which I've been blaming on the humidity making the floor sticky. Now that we've entered heating season the floors are dry and no longer sticky. Today after barre I seemed to be doing piroouettes pretty well and I decided to try a double. It worked! This is the first time in years. I'm pretty happy about that.

Last Tuesday evening we had six or seven students. Tonight we had 15 or 16, including three other men. Something about Halloween, I guess. Speaking of which, the two front desk staffers were dressed as a unicorn and a llama.

Our instructor decided for some reason that we should do tours. We've never done tours in the 5(?) years I've been in her classes. I tried these a couple of times during the Adult Weekend Workshop a few years back and every time I ended up flat on my back. And I mean that literally. This is one of the reasons I knew I was leaning back during turns and I've tried to train myself out of that. Since everyone else was going to do tours I figured I might as well try, and while they weren't pretty I didn't fall. So that's two good things tonight.

The sad news is one of my favorite classmates, one who usually takes class in pointe shoes, missed the last step of the stairs she was going down last week and sprained her foot. Nothing is broken, but even now she can barely put weight on it and still can't walk. Nothing is broken, though, and her doctor thinks it should heal just fine in time. She's understandably very unhappy about it and will be out of class for several weeks.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Dancing ballet is like a drug addiction

Someone asked me today why I was walking slowly and rather deliberately. I explained that I'd gone back to class after a few weeks away. Like a drug addiction, staying at your usual dose is fine, and while taking too much is bad, quitting and restarting is worse.

Okay, so it's an imperfect analogy, but it's the one that came to mind.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Ditching my Capezio Hanami slippers

When I first became involved in ballet, back in the mid 1980s, Capezio was the brand name I knew best. My first shoes, tights, and dance belt were all Capezio. Now I almost feel like the name Capezio is a code for "stay away from these".

I loved my Capezio 4945 tights. They were soft and stretchy and comfortable. Poof! Gone, replaced by the inferior MT-11. I asked the owner of my favorite dancewear store if she knew where I could find some, and she told me that if she could get them she'd "buy a thousand of them". The Capezio website now shows "Ultra Soft" footed tights (10361M), but I have two pairs each of M. Stevens and Wear Moi tights and am not inclined to buy more for a while.

I tried and fell in love with the Capezio CA222 leggings. They were officially a women's style but they fit me quite well. Again, soft and stretchy and comfortable. Poof! Gone. So far gone that this blog is now Google's top hit when searching for them.

I started with Capezio Cobra shoes. Their failing was inconsistent sizing. Eventually the Cobra was replaced with the Capezio Romeo, which was an improvement in my view. Last November, when my big toe started protruding through my most recent pair of Romeos, I went to my local dance store to by replacements. They told me they didn't stock the Romeo anymore, and Capezio's replacement was the Hanami. In case you're wondering, "Hanami" is the Japanese traditional custom of enjoying the beauty of flowers. At first I thought the Hanami was an improvement over the Romeo. The fabric is very stretchy compared to my Romeos, which makes it conform to the foot really well, and the absence of a drawstring avoids having a knot digging into my instep. However I've become increasingly disenchanted with my canvas Hanami slippers.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

The Summer of Susan

I've been busy on Saturday mornings recently, meaning I've been missing the weekend Beginner 2 class I usually take. While I like that class, it's a bit of a challenge because of the complexity of the sequences this instructor likes to use late in the class. While they're really not that complex on their own, my IQ diminishes as I get tired and by the end of class I'm just too stupid to retain them. After I've rested I often mentally kick myself for not being able to deal with them, but at the time I just don't have the brain power to deal.

The regular Sunday morning instructor, Julie, keeps her Beginner 2 class at an easier level and reserves the more complicated sequences for her Advanced Beginner classes. This gives me a chance to focus on details rather than struggling to remember sequences. So there is something to be said about taking the Sunday class rather than Saturday.

Except this summer, which has been designated "The Summer of Susan".

I'm not sure why, but it seems like Susan is teaching all the classes. I sign in for a class and the desk clerk says, "Susan is substituting". There's no escaping her. Maybe she's been cloned. Or been given a Time Turner.

It may be that Julie wanted time off. Or Susan is feeling the pinch of having to buy a car on short notice after a tree fell on her (parked) car after a heavy rain. I can't imagine what this must be doing to her social life.