Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Words to ponder

I happened across a video on YouTube today entitled A Day in the Life of a Ballerina. It's well shot, well produced, and not terribly exciting. But the dancer makes a statement I thought worth sharing (emphasis mine):
"I've done all of the steps a million times. I'm completely ready to do it. This person picked me out of this company of people. I'm realizing that I will actually get closer to the performances that I want to give by letting go of trying to be perfect."
 The first three sentences really don't apply to me. I'm still learning the steps, and sometimes I have to re-learn steps I haven't done in a while. I'm not ready to perform, and I got picked by having paid to be there. But the last sentence is so true for me. I have an internal drive for perfection, and I chose ballet in part because there is, at any given moment, one right way to do something. But in dance you can't obsess over each step and still get the combination to work. You can't worry about how the imperfection in the last step because the next is coming right now.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The One with the Fake Monica

My GF and I have been watching the TV show "Friends" for the first time. We just watched the episode entitled "The One with the Fake Monica". In this episode, Monica takes a tap class. She there only to figure out who has stolen her identity, but the instructor insists she has to either participate in the class or leave. Of course, she has no clue what she's doing. Hilarity ensues. Eventually the impostor is caught and Monica can go back to her normal life.

Why am I mentioning this? Because at the end of the episode we're back in the tap class with Monica standing in the doorway looking unsure, clearly out of her safe zone. The instructor tells her "In or out!" and she steps forward and joins the class. When the instructor says "You don't know what you're doing!" (something a good instructor wouldn't say), she replies with something like, "But I'm here."

Sometimes it's necessary to get outside your comfort zone. And sometimes it's the being there that's important, not the result.

After a week break to recover from the Adult Weekend Workshop, I went back to class today. I decided to go with the Beginner II class rather than Advanced beginner so I could focus more on technique than complex sequences. Which was probably a good idea, since I'm apparently still sore in places (mainly my lower calf muscles). The bruises on my big toes are as dark as they've ever been, but they don't hurt like they did earlier this week.

My turns are getting better. At the AWW I pulled off my first decent double pirouette in 18 months, though it was in practice before class rather than in class, of course! Today the instructor pointed out that many of us were pulling our arms in rather than keeping an open first, and fixing that also helped. I'm thinking maybe I gained more than aches and pains over those three days.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Injured in the line of duty

Three days later most of my aches have dissipated except for my feet. Especially my big toes, which are still very sensitive to touch. This morning I realized that the odd shadows on either side of the nail I'd noticed were actually bruises—here's the worse of the two:

And that's after wearing soft slippers (one pair canvas, the other leather) with socks.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

It's OVER!!

The short version is that I got talked into doing the variation piece anyway. I didn't fall. I didn't do anything embarrassing. But am I ever sore!

Running on Empty

If I didn't have such a visible role in the repertory piece I'd go home now. I have no energy left and I'm sore in so many places. I sat out most of the last 15 minutes of Technique because I couldn't wrap my head around the combination, only to realize with a few minutes left that it really was fairly simple and I had little trouble executing it.

We didn't have Floor Barre this morning, so not as much warmup before Technique. The next two classes, Variations and Repertory, are switched today, allowing me to put off until last my decision on dancing the variation. It really isn't that complicated, but I'm not sure I want to attempt it anyway. Then we get a 30 minute break before launching into the recital. I may need a wheelchair to get back to my car.