Friday, October 2, 2015

Paying for it now

Despite realizing that I really need to make at least two classes a week, and three would be better, I haven't been able to do it. Some I blame on work, some on other commitments, and occasionally just because I didn't feel like going. But oh, am I paying for it now.

Last night I got schooled in the proper motion of the foot in a tendu. I don't have great arches to begin with, and even less flexibility in my ankles. But I tried. I really did. And I think the instructor understands my limitations. But I really worked at it.

When I got home last night I crawled into bed, wrote up last night's post on my laptop, rolled over and passed out. I even forgot to plug in my phone to charge. This morning when I woke up the first thing through my mind was, "Oh bloody hell, my FEET HURT!!" Not in a way that suggests I've injured something. But the medial longitudinal arches of both feet hurt.
And they still hurt. I guess I really was working my feet last night. I'm glad I don't spend my work days on my feet. Now I'm gonna scare up some ibuprofen.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

World Ballet Day

Today is World Ballet Day. Professional ballet companies around the world have been presenting performances on the 'net, starting just west of the International Date Line and moving west as the Earth rotates. In DC, the Kennedy Center had this showing on a big screen, and I heard rumors of free ballet classes. Of course, some of us had to work.

My contribution was to attend the Advanced Beginner class this evening. As I entered the facility I came upon a volunteer selling 50/50 raffle tickets to benefit the school. As I filled out a ticket, the volunteer attempted to be polite by asking if I had a child in the school. "No," I said. "I don't have kids." She looked perplexed by this, perhaps confused by the bag slung over my shoulder with the school logo on it. Come on, people! Adults take ballet classes. Even men.

In this class I often take a position at the end of the front-most portable barre, mostly to make it easier to see the instructor's demonstrations. Today that spot was already occupied, and I ended up front and center. This brought me a significant amount of attention from the instructor regarding everything from the level of my hips to the height of my demi-pointe to the order in which the parts of my feet touch or leave the floor during a tendu or degage. This attention is not exactly unwelcome, as I am actually there to learn and improve as much as I am there to get exercise. I'd like to think it means she thinks am, or am capable of, improving, and am thus worth the effort.

Again, it's hard to tell whether this class was easier than some others due to the mix of students who chanced to brave the rain this evening, but I didn't feel quite as lost as some other times. During one sequence in center I sat out the first run though while I slowly figured out what others had picked up immediately, but I joined in for the second run through, and had it mostly figured out for the third. I guess I've moved from being totally lost to merely being slow on the uptake. That'll have to do for the moment.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Cutting Class

After getting to class Saturday and Tuesday evening, I was all set to go to class this evening. Enroute, though, my stomach started feeling unsettled, and by the time I got parked and to the door it was definitely upset. So instead I'm having a light dinner and will go home shortly.

It may be that Tuesday night's class was made easier to suit the skill level of the attending 7 students. Except for barre, which was not particularly strenuous but we bollixed up the combinations anyway, the class as a whole seemed easier to me.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Doubt and Reassurance

Thursday night's Advanced Beginner class left me questioning my motivations. Why do I go to classes that leave me feeling awkward and frustrated? The instructor has been giving me small compliments at the barre, and I can see tiny improvements here and there. I seem to be struggling less than some others. But in center I got put in a group with two other men who are semi-pro (I think). Just shy of 9pm, at the end of a long work day, I'm having trouble keeping the sequence straight and my assembl├ęs are sloppy; they're springing high in the air and adding clean beats. So what's the point? I'm never going to be able to do anything with this.

Today (Saturday) I went to the Beginner II class. I haven't been to this class for a while, but the scheduling worked out better than catching a class tomorrow. This is the class I've called B2.75 because it's a lot harder than the Sunday B2 class, and not that much easier than the AB classes. Something weird happened at the end of center. The last combination seemed too complex for me to wrap my head around at first and I planned to sit it out. But as I watched the class mark it I realized that it wasn't really that hard. When it was time for my group to go the girls seemed very unsure and I kept running into them, so I moved to an open area and ignored them. I made a couple mistakes but on the whole it went quite well.

This still isn't going anywhere. But maybe that's not that bad.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Holiday break update

This weekend is the American Labor Day holiday, and the studio is closed. I also had to skip last Tuesday evening's Beginner II class due to the sunburn on my legs, but I did get to Thursday evening's Advanced Beginner class.

Even though the adult classes don't stop over the summer, Thursday's class felt a bit like the start of a new semester. I didn't really have trouble with any of the sequences until we got to the petit all├ęgro portion. The sequence was easy but the pace was not; I just can't seem to move that quickly. Even when I don't get stuck between phrases I have trouble with changes of direction. This exercise involved sissonnes to the front, side, rear, side in rapid sequence. The four girls from the academy classes did it beautifully, some of the adults did it passibly, and I couldn't keep up with the music.

Is this sort of speed something you can gain with practice?