Friday, May 30, 2014

Sixteen Weeks

Yesterday it was exactly 16 weeks ago to the day when I bailed out of my last Advanced Beginner class after barre because I couldn't keep up with the pace. I told the instructor I had a doctor's appointment scheduled to find out what the problem was, but I'd be back.

After 10 weeks off I was permitted to start easing myself back into ballet classes starting with the easiest of the classes the studio offers, in which I discovered I'd lost flexibility, balance, and the ability to turn. Slowly, with practice, these have come back. Last week I started to get the hand of pirouettes again, finally getting a full turn without falling out of it only this past Sunday. Tuesday's Beginner 2 class confirmed my progress, and last night I showed up for Advanced Beginner again.

A couple of the other regulars acknowledged me with querulous smiles that indicated recognition with a hint of, "hasn't it been a while?" No one asked, though. None of the other men who had been taking this class were in attendance. The instructor has seen me in her Sunday Beginner 2 classes, and she gave no indication of approval or disapproval. Barre was okay, with a few missteps but nothing out of line with others in the class. Center was a challenge with long (to me) combinations. To my surprise I did pretty well learning the combinations, though I had some difficulty getting my feet to do some of the linking steps. Often I was behind the beat but never completely lost it.

I also did better than I expected with the pirouettes, both en dehor and en dedans. One combination included one en dedans to fifth, then later one en dehor to coupé, and ending with one en dehor to arabesque. I got all the way around on all of them, and by the end I was able to finish in coupé or arabesque without touching the working leg to the ground first. I was quite excited by that, despite my so-so form.

So... Sixteen weeks, and I'm getting closer to where I was. Not too shabby.

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