Sunday, February 4, 2018

Caught you peeking

After being sick for a full week and spending a second recovering, I ventured forth to class yesterday morning.

I made sure to get to bed early the night before so I got plenty of sleep, woke up early enough that I wasn't rushed getting ready, and arrived 20 minutes before class. I spent that time warming up, slowly stretching muscles that haven't really been worked since my last class two weeks earlier.

After the boys class that precedes ours vacated the studio, I claimed my usual spot at the barre and continued warming up as the students slowly filed in. Unless I missed my count, the last one who sneaked in as we started the first exercise brought the total to 30, the maximum number for this room. This is common right after a holiday, especially with New Year's resolutions, but I don't recall it being like this very often in February. Many were familiar faces, but quite a few were new to me. If this was the Beginner I class I'd think maybe the 5-week Intro to Ballet class had just finished, but this was Beginner II so that wouldn't make sense. Maybe it's because the weather forecast is for ice, sleet, and freezing rain this (Sunday) morning.

I'm going to make a short detour into a rant here. One of the new-to-me students was a man wearing a lifeguard T-shirt. He was between me and the instructor, and as she demonstrated barre exercises he wandered back and forth, blocking the view of everyone behind him. Just as we'd find a position where we could see the instructor he'd move, forcing us to move again. I don't think people think about the effect they have on students behind them when the do this.

Among the familiar faces were at least two students wearing pointe shoes during barre, and another (a recent graduate from the academy) who had her pointe shoes ready for center. Missing, though, was one of my favorites to watch during center exercises. I think she's started taking an earlier, more advanced class, as I think I saw her peek in through the door during barre.

Yes, I have my favorites. These are those who pick up combinations quickly and execute them well. When we're split into groups I can watch them to help cement the routine in my mind while my group waits its turn.

I also have my not-favorites. I swear some of these must turn their ears off while they dance: they simply can NOT follow the beat of the music. It's like they hear a "GO" signal and just start moving, and end up way out of sync with everyone else. I have to consciously look elsewhere or they'll pull me off timing. I noticed TWO of them at barre this class, and they were at least a half a beat fast on their timing.

Anyway... barre highlighted to me all the ways I haven't moved in the last couple of weeks. I've never been a flexy-bendy type, and movements I used to be able to do hurt in a stretchy way. My calf muscles weren't excited to be on demi-pointe again, but I didn't get any real cramping. Nor did I really feel too tired, which had been my worry Thursday night. My balance was only slightly worse than two weeks ago, and I expect that'll come back very quickly. All in all I felt pretty good after barre. I probably could have continued on to center work, but I decided not to push my luck and excused myself at the break. I think I'll be fine for the full class Tuesday evening.

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