Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Adult Non-Mutant Ninja Dancers

For the last few classes I've eagerly awaited the return of our youngest classmate. Every time she came to class she was dressed in a pink leo & tights with pink slippers. She hasn't shown up for a while, and in the interim everyone has switched to black. I've been amusing myself with thoughts on her reaction to suddenly being the only pink in a room full of Ninja black. Tonight she showed up, wearing black leggings and new white slippers. I think someone must have warned her. Rats.

Class itself was good. The instructor has said that she intends to keep to one lesson plan per month, allowing us to practice a fairly consistent routine with small additions along the way. As we're approaching the end of the month, it'll be interesting to see what she comes up with for next month.

They still have not replaced the rickety portable barre, though the owner appears to be actively researching a replacement now. By my count we have six students, and the only reason we aren't fighting over barre space is that we've yet to have all six show up at the same time. The current one will fit four comfortably, three on one side and one on the other, but with five the short side is crowded and we have to work to avoid kicking the legs of the thing. More on this later.

We didn't introduce anything new at the barre, and I've discovered that my balance has improved enough that I can do the fondue/développé/attitude/arabesque sequence with minimal use of the barre. I discovered this because I got tired of kicking the damned thing and stepped away a bit. I'm still a little wobbly, but not falling-over wobbly.

Moving on to the center we continued the adagio we've been developing. It's just two tendus en croisé forward and two back, one tendu to each side de face leading into a pas de bourrée derrière, finishing with a détourné. And repeat going the other direction. At least that's the best I can piece together from my references. I think the instructor called the turn a soutenu, but the action matches the description of a détourné better. We've also started to do a sequence with some pas marché ending in a tendu to the rear, lifting to arabesque and tour de promenade. I can't quite explain all the steps in that one as I'm still figuring it out.

Note that we seem to have given up on pirouettes for the moment. I'm happy with that, as I'm still working on being able to relevé to retiré (someone please correct my mangled French!) without falling over. I can do it better on my left leg than my right -- I'm having a problem with the outer side of my right calf not wanting to stretch enough to let me get the right weight distribution. Once I can do that and hold it, pirouettes should come naturally.

We finished with a series of six changements and a retiré, just to make sure we were thoroughly exhausted. I don't know about anyone else, but I was. I went bicycling this weekend and wasn't half as tired after only an hour.

After class one of the students waited to talk with me (I'd ducked into the bathroom to change out of my tights and was the last one out). She seems to want to elect me spokesman for the class to complain about the crappy portable barre, among other things. Not quite sure how I got elected, other than I'm not exactly shy about expressing my opinions and offering suggestions. The conversation went on for quite a while, as if she had pent-up frustration and just needed someone to listen to her. If others feel as strongly as this woman does, I picture us presenting a list of demands like the Magna Carta to King John. Ok, maybe not like that, but you get the idea.

During this same conversation she mentioned that she'd also received a card in the mail from our instructor. I'm glad I'm not the only one. I'm a bit of a forceful personality, and I don't want to be perceived as dominating the class.

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