Sunday, January 15, 2017

On a roll

Does twice in two weeks count as a streak?

I made it to class today. Even got there early enough to get my "regular spot" at the barre. The ladies at the front desk clearly recognize me, but I've been coming too irregularly for them to remember my name. How quickly fame fades!

I think I did reasonably well. A few twinges in my forefoot when pointing really hard, but otherwise no cramps or other nastiness. I'm not expecting more than a little stiffness in my legs tomorrow, unlike last week where I could barely get up and down steps until Wednesday. We still seem to be in the early part of some nominal semester, and I'm going to try to not miss any classes for a while. Some things my brain remembers how to do my feet seem to have forgotten, but nothing that won't come back with a little practice.

My balance seems to be pretty good and my turns continue to improve. One of the key things I'm learning to focus on is staying upright -- the more "vertical" I am the better my turns are. This also seems to be true when merely balancing in arabesque and attitude, and especially so during a slow promenade turn.

The instructor has begun to offer me more corrections, and even tease me a bit in class. This is a good thing, by the way. Maybe she's forgiven me for my transgressions.

I made the comment to someone (not someone from this studio) that I was going to sit and decompress after class for a bit. She replied that ballet classes were decompression for her. Frankly I was a bit nonplussed by this. Ballet doesn't come naturally for me, and requires a lot of concentration. It's also completely different physically from anything else I do on a regular basis, so it's quite a workout for me too. I would have expected someone who has taken ballet in the past to understand better.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The start of another year

Happy new year, folks!

I'd planned to go to the stretch class yesterday, but it was snowing. I don't really have a problem with snow, but too many drivers in the DC area have no clue how to deal with it, and I just didn't want to be on the roads.

So this morning I attended the Beginner II class. I'm rusty. The studio was closed both new year's and xmas weekends, and there was ice the weekend before that. According to this journal I got to a stretch class December 10th, a ballet class October 4th and two in September. Bleagh.

To top things off, I overslept and didn't arrive at the studio until after the time class should have started. They never manage to actually start on time, so I walked in as the instructions for the first exercise were being given and didn't have time to warm up first. Fortunately there were only about 18 students and I found a place at a barre easily with minimal disruption to the the class.

Barre was long, lasting about an hour. Nothing terribly strenuous, though, as if this was the start of a new class and not just the continuation of the year-round drop-in class. On the other hand, that's pretty much what I needed. My muscles aren't really happy about being stretched in now-unfamiliar ways, but my balance was pretty good. In center we did a series of exercises that built in complexity, and when we added pirouettes I didn't have too much trouble with them (I'm sure my form is off, but I got around okay and felt stable doing it). If I tried to focus too much on any one of my problems other things fell apart, but I figure that will get better as I get back into the routine.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Like a frosted doughnut

While the folk farther north are getting snow, we got something I consider worse: ice. Overnight we got a thick coating of freezing rain that has left trees, building, sidewalks and roads covered with the slippery stuff.

To make it to the stretch class without hurrying, I'd want to leave home at noon. Although temps are forecast to rise as high as 60F (15C) tomorrow, at 10:30 this morning it was still below freezing, giving me cause to doubt whether it would make sense to drive to the ballet school 40 minutes away. As noon approached it was clear that it would be foolish to try. Now, at 1:15pm, the air temp is still only 32F (0C) and my street is still a sheet of ice.

On the other hand I'm healthy and warm, have plenty to do at home, and have the fixings for far more food than I'll eat in several days. So life is good.

Sunday, December 11, 2016


When I finished the stretch class yesterday I felt trashed. The muscles that are tightest (hamstrings, quads, and glutes) were twitching and I really hoped I hadn't overdone it. Yet after lunch I felt pretty good. Good enough, in fact, to make plans to go to the Beginner II ballet class this morning.

It was not to be. After falling asleep shortly before midnight (a common time for me) I found myself wide awake shortly after 2am for no apparent reason. Try as I might I didn't get back to sleep until almost 6am, which is very unusual for me. When my alarm went off at 8am I had already been up for 10 minutes, feeling very sore in several areas. The soreness and lack of sleep scuttled many of my plans for the day. Eventually I was able to get back to sleep for another couple of hours.

The worst of the aches are my hamstrings and psoas, to no great surprise, as that's where I'm tightest. My shoulders are also sore, which attests to both my present inflexibility and the thoroughness of the class. Even after taking some ibuprofen it still hurts to move around. Not so much as to be incapacitating, though, and I'm hoping it'll end up being a step in the right direction.

Let's do it again next weekend!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Stretch class

It's amazing what excuses one can come up with to avoid going to class.