Monday, November 11, 2013

Risen from the Dead

Reports of my death by ballet were somewhat exaggerated. In fact I felt pretty damned good afterward, given that I'd just been in ballet classes for 3 hours straight. Changing in the dressing room afterward, one of the older men from the class said "Oh, I'm going to feel this in the morning." I thought, "Why? That wasn't that bad." But this morning I had to agree with him. The upper part of my left calf muscle was really tight most of the morning (and it's still stiff), and it took some gentle stretching before I could flex my right foot enough to go down the stairs. But I used to feel far worse after a single 90 minute class, so I'll call that progress. Of a sort.

I think the difference in my pirouettes from morning to afternoon is due to the starting position: in the morning we started from fifth, which I haven't done much of, while in the afternoon we started from fourth. One mystery no longer mysterious. I think I'm starting to see results from the stretch classes too. Grand battements to the front put my foot at or above barre level (roughly horizontal), and while I don't get as high to the rear it's a lot higher than it used to be. My position in attitude is also looking better. My turnout in grand pliƩ a la seconde still leaves a lot to be desired but may be a bit better.

At the Advanced Beginner level I'm starting to see students showing real skill. One of the women has extension and control worthy of a pro. Another took class en pointe. I'm back to being on the bottom rung of the ladder, but instead of feeling out-classed I just feel challenged in a good way. I even got words of encouragement from fellow students when I looked doubtful. Now if I could just figure out how to get to all the classes I want to take without abandoning my already-meager social life...

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