Saturday, October 8, 2011

Another good week

Went to class both days this week, as usual. Tuesday I was still a bit sore from the barre stretches the previous Tuesday, which seemed to excite our instructor no end. I'm pretty sure she's thinking it's a sign that we're really working hard; I'm thinking she owns stock in Advil.

My pattern now is to finish class feeling pretty good, but an hour or so later I'm hobbling around like an old(-er) man as my feet, ankles, and calves tighten up. The day after I'm a bit stiff in the morning, but the second day after I'm really stiff and the soreness lasts for hours. That's just in time for the Thursday class to build on the Tuesday class's aches, and the weekend... well, you get the idea. The cramps I used to get in my calf muscles are mostly a thing of the past, though.

Can I assume these sorts of aches and pains are pretty common among dancers? (This is the audience participation part of today's program!)

We started yet another petite allégro sequence, in two phrases. The first phrase goes: tombé, pas de bourrée, glissade, assemblé. The second phrase is: tombé, pas de bourrée, piqué turn, piqué turn. The steps seem to come fairly easily, though there's a bit of a mental hiccup between the phrases, and I'm still figuring out the arms. The piqué turns are pretty stable, though I'm still working on the spotting.

I'm feeling comfortably in the middle of the class, as far as skill level goes. There are some who have had years of classes and are far better, and I try to watch how they move and position themselves. Others are good for my ego, asking to be behind me at the barre so they have someone to follow when the instructor isn't in view. I'll never have a company clamoring for me to join them as a soloist, but I think five months of class have helped a lot.

I moved away from my traditional place directly in front of the mirror, and I'm finding the floor is less slippery there. It's not sticky in the middle, but I don't think I'd want any more traction.

I think I've already mentioned that a week ago I coaxed the studio owner into doing barre stretches with us. Predictably the barre slid just a little (I didn't even need to help it) and not being prepared for it she let out a big "woah!" Thursday night our instructor made a big deal of pointing out to everyone that they'd put rubber pads over the plastic gliders on the bottom of the barre supports, and it no longer slid. They'd also put height marks on the adjustments to make it easier to get the barre level when we moved it up and down, something we do regularly. As our instructor was saying that, the owner came over to me, put her arm around my waist, and announced that her function in life was to make me happy. Everyone laughed, knowing that everyone has espoused the same concerns, and I'm merely the most outspoken.

This studio is a storefront in a little town center cluster of similar storefront businesses. It's not uncommon for people to walk by and glance in the window at the classes in session. Thursday night, though, we had a crowd of a half-dozen people who stood there watching for a fairly long time. It was a little disconcerting, but they were soon forgotten.


  1. > Can I assume these sorts of aches and pains are pretty common among dancers?

    At your level and age, absolutely! If you have the time stretching at home after a good warm-up would speed your becoming accustomed to it

    Did you ever ask to dry-mop the studio floor?

  2. Thanks for the reassurance, Jill. It's nothing that's causing a problem, but I wanted to be sure this wasn't a sign that I was doing something wrong. I want to get healthier, not injure myself.

    I've had a couple of conversations with the staff, but I never dragged a mop out myself. I think it's mostly a matter of the wear pattern on the floor, with the less-worn spots being a bit slippery. There were also some hard, shiny patches on the pads of my shoes, and scuffing these up seems to have helped too.


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