Just got home from my fourth class. I arrived about a minute late, but this time the excuse is worth sharing.
As I've mentioned I have two pairs of slippers, one white and one black. I'd left both pairs sitting on the end of the bed, ready for me to grab before heading out the door. But when I went to get them there was only one "pair": one white slipper and one black slipper. I have enough issues without going to class dressed like a court jester! Eventually I discovered the other "pair" wrapped inside something that had also been on the bed. Mystery solved, I scurried out.
There were three of us in class tonight. As foretold, the woman who had previously worn a jogging suit was now dressed in tights, leotard and gauzy skirt, all black. The instructor had also realized the impracticality of trying to demonstrate while wearing a long, opaque skirt and was wearing a gauzy skirt that allowed us to see her position and movements. I'm not sure what it is with women and gauzy skirts, because they really don't hide anything. Is it a self-image thing? Anyway, we're starting to look like a real ballet class, rather than a bunch of cruise ship escapees looking for a shuffleboard court.
At the barre we did the usual pliés, tendus, rond de jambes, battement tendus, frappés and grand battements. Instead of the développés we did last week, we did fondues. Moving to the center we had a few minutes to do personal stretches while the instructor got her music set up, then we did a simple adagio. Each of us had questions about various parts, so we did this four or five times. Although the instructor apologized for taking so much time with it, we all said we were happier having spent the time to feel more confident with it. We then finished with allégro steps: assemblé, changement, soubresaut, and échappé from fifth. At which point we ran out of both time and energy.
One amusing note: while fiddling with her iPod for the proper music the instructor started playing the song Maniac from the movie Flashdance. It really didn't fit with the step we were trying to practice, but everyone laughed and the other students thought it'd be fun to dance to. The instructor has offered (or threatened?) to choreograph a ballet class to modern music. I think I'm scared.
I'm feeling more comfortable with movement, though my turnout really sucks. I'm also spending too much time looking down, following the instructor or other students, so I'm trying to look up more. I expect this will help with my balance too. I still feel like I don't know where my arms are supposed to go, though that's improving slowly and my questions have led to the instructor coaching on this more. This is good.
Writing this journal seems to help me maintain continuity from class to class, and hunting for words in my ballet dictionary is really broadening my vocabulary. More and more I understand what the instructor is asking for from her description even before she demonstrates, although reading various ballet forum questions require even more references to the dictionary. I wonder if there's a Ballet French spell-checker for Firefox?
Now I have one day to recover, because we're also starting classes Thursday nights too!