What is it with women in ballet classes?
Recently I've noticed that, with the exception of a couple of regulars, none of the women seem to be willing to share one of the portable barres with me. Last week, a woman picked up her stuff and moved to another barre already occupied by two other women when I went to stand at the other end of the barre she was going to use. This evening that spot was empty while some other barres had three people. It just seems silly to crowd the other barres when there's open space at the one I'm using.
It's not like I'm unwashed; Saturday I was no more than 90 minutes out of the shower and I always wash my dance gear between classes. At 5'10" I'm not so tall that I'm going to kick someone, and no one seems to have a problem standing at the barre that's end-to-end with mine. It's just sharing that piece of steel pipe that seems to freak them out.
I brought this up with a couple female (non-dancer) friends. Some have opined that many women have body image issues, and standing in front of a man wearing a leotard and tights upsets them. Others suggest that I'm intruding into "safe girl space" by even being in a ballet class. Dare I use the word misandry in this situation? It's not like I just wandered in off the street and started drooling. As much as I appreciate the female form, I'm far too busy trying to get my form to follow the steps to ogle theirs.
In better news, it seems they've made yet another effort to clean the floor of excess rosin. Tonight it squeaked rather than sounding like flypaper. Add a little dust for lubrication and it should be just about right.
We did the combination I described in a recent post. The instructor said its name again, but I didn't recognize it and soon was too busy trying to do it to remember the word she said. But after seeing it a second time I think I got the description correct. Quite a few of the other students had a real problem handling a sissonne that didn't change feet (i.e., the working foot both opens and closes in front). Most if not all of the examples I've seen in books or in videos change, so it seems likely they learned it that way. My problem, on the other hand, is that we did it at the very end again, right after jumps, and my energy level is at its lowest ebb then.
Oh, I almost forgot. Rheumatic Princess recently posted about having a moment when the stars align and suddenly you're totally balanced and can seemingly hold a position forever. I had one of those moments this evening: attitude derrière on demi-pointe, right arm high in fifth, and I suddenly felt balanced. Tentatively I let go of the barre entirely, then raised my left arm to match the right. Still balanced. It was the last position in the exercise, and I held it longer than I was supposed to -- until the music stopped -- then stretched to an arabesque and came down in a controlled plié. I was kinda in shock, and the instructor gave me a compliment. It was a wild feeling.