Our regular instructor is finishing up her state teaching certificate, so we had a substitute instructor.
I like the way she does port de bras. Not the way she teaches it, but the way she moves. She has about 80 degrees of turnout on either side, which looks really great. I think it'd be fun to watch her dance. As an instructor, though? Meh. She had a brief outline from our regular instructor, but she really should have just made the class her own rather than constantly asking what we usually did. Kinda wishing for more experienced instructors rather than these fresh out of college types.
We got to use the new barre. It's far more stable in almost every way, except that the feet that it sits on are more slippery so it slides across the floor more easily (that's a bad thing). It's going to be a bit more fiddly to adjust, requiring loosening and tightening wing nuts rather than pulling out a spring-loaded pin, but it stayed set without having to put a lot of force on the wingnuts so it's well designed.
As previously threatened, we did stretches at the barre. She took pity on me and set one side quite low, leaving the other side higher for the more flexible women. Even so, the stretches we did were a pain in the ass. And in the hamstrings. I'm just not that flexible. In the words of a massage therapist, "You know all that paste and glue you probably ate as a child? It went to your legs." I tried to balance the goal of getting a good stretch with the need to be able to walk afterwards. I think I did an OK job of that, but I'm still a bit sore 11 hours later. All you naturally flexy-bendy folk, you don't know how good you have it.
The instructor introduced a new stretch for the feet. Standing on one leg, wrap the other around the standing leg and with the foot pointed place tops of the toes against the floor. Stretch the top of the foot and the ankle, adding to the stretch by doing a plié and using the front of the standing leg against the back of the working leg. I can't say I recommend this one on such a hard surface, as both my big toes still hurt under the toenails.
We did some tendus, dégagés, and and an interesting exercise with piqués en croix. We then put the barre away to do some work in the center.
Center work was mostly more of the same-old, same-old. She did her chaînés turns a little differently, placing the working foot further around and getting a more rapid, tighter turn. I liked the effect.
All in all, it wasn't the best of classes, but it wasn't the worst either.