Thursday, October 1, 2015

World Ballet Day

Today is World Ballet Day. Professional ballet companies around the world have been presenting performances on the 'net, starting just west of the International Date Line and moving west as the Earth rotates. In DC, the Kennedy Center had this showing on a big screen, and I heard rumors of free ballet classes. Of course, some of us had to work.

My contribution was to attend the Advanced Beginner class this evening. As I entered the facility I came upon a volunteer selling 50/50 raffle tickets to benefit the school. As I filled out a ticket, the volunteer attempted to be polite by asking if I had a child in the school. "No," I said. "I don't have kids." She looked perplexed by this, perhaps confused by the bag slung over my shoulder with the school logo on it. Come on, people! Adults take ballet classes. Even men.

In this class I often take a position at the end of the front-most portable barre, mostly to make it easier to see the instructor's demonstrations. Today that spot was already occupied, and I ended up front and center. This brought me a significant amount of attention from the instructor regarding everything from the level of my hips to the height of my demi-pointe to the order in which the parts of my feet touch or leave the floor during a tendu or degage. This attention is not exactly unwelcome, as I am actually there to learn and improve as much as I am there to get exercise. I'd like to think it means she thinks am, or am capable of, improving, and am thus worth the effort.

Again, it's hard to tell whether this class was easier than some others due to the mix of students who chanced to brave the rain this evening, but I didn't feel quite as lost as some other times. During one sequence in center I sat out the first run though while I slowly figured out what others had picked up immediately, but I joined in for the second run through, and had it mostly figured out for the third. I guess I've moved from being totally lost to merely being slow on the uptake. That'll have to do for the moment.

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