I missed Tuesday night's Beginner II due to other commitments, and took this opportunity to check out the Thursday night Advanced Beginner class. This was a class I was taking semi-regularly a year ago, but somehow I developed some apprehension about it. Unlike Sunday afternoon's class we had neither pre-pro nor professional dancers, and it felt a tiny bit easier. Or less unfamiliar.
My balance is getting pretty good. It's no longer unusual for me to be able to hold retiré on demi-pointe with both hands off the barre for a full measure of music, and sometimes longer. Not always, and not always at first, but not uncommon. I got a smile and a head nod of acknowledgement from the instructor tonight for that. Some of that is greater strength in my feet, but a lot of it is greater flexibility in my hips so I can hold a more erect posture with less internal stress. I credit my therapist for the latter.
Sunday I'd skipped the last exercise in the center because I just couldn't wrap my head around the entire sequence. I didn't feel all that confident with it tonight, but I got through it with only minor screw-ups, both left and right. Maybe it's time to make this a regular part of my schedule. Again. What a difference a year (and a good surgeon) can make.
One of the steps new to me this evening is "précipité". As you might expect, this is French for "precipitate", which tells me almost nothing except it usually is a lead-in to something else. I seemed to be the only one who didn't know this term, so the instructor briefly described it as "a couple of quick steps" that, in this case, lead to a piqué arabesque. I'm still looking for a better explanation.
In my search I came upon a new (to me) adult blog that I want to check out: "mercietchatons". She wrote on the same step on November 4th, 2012. Her explanation isn't any clearer, but the blog itself seems interesting.