Friday, September 28, 2012

Right or Wrong?

After my two-week break from ballet, one class has left me aching in what I'm identifying as my "turn-out muscles" in my butt. It hurts a little to sit, and more to walk.

Does this mean I'm:
    A) Doing it RIGHT?
    B) Doing it WRONG?

Make your vote count!

Full of Twitch

Last night's class was a mixed bag. I felt pretty good at the beginning, but I felt sloppy: tendus weren't precise or quick, even for my beginner definitions of precise and quick. Balance was ok, but flexibility is out the window again. I got the floor combos well enough, but ran out of steam by the end of class.

I'm blaming it on recovery from the flu and two weeks off.

This morning my legs are full of twitch. Is that a sign that I stretched a bit too hard, or just lack of recent use? I think I'm going to try running through the barre warm-up exercises to see if that will calm them down.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

No class this Wednesday either

It's Yom Kippur, and the studio is closed. Who knew? I don't really keep track any of the religious holidays, so this caught me by surprise. I don't know if it would have been a good idea to go if there was class (I'm recovering but still tired), but I'm dreading the aftermath of yet another two-week break.

I hope I can get to class Thursday.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Not gonna make it to class this week

Last week was fun. I was a only a little sore after class Wednesday, and it didn't get any worse after class Thursday. I was really looking forward to class this week, but I seem to be coming down with a cold or something. I'm fixing to go home from work early today, and if I'm not up to sitting an a chair banging on a keyboard I really have no place in a dance studio.

Unfortunately, I don't think there will be a class tomorrow night, even should I be feeling up to it. Maybe I'll be recovered enough to sneak in the mid-day class Friday, but that's iffy in more ways than one.

Friday, September 7, 2012

No walker, but maybe a cane?

After a good night's sleep I woke up feeling pretty good. That is, until I tried to walk. Standing was fine, but stepping forward pulled on my calf muscles which did not want to stretch in the least. Normally that feeling goes away after a few minutes, but not this time, and I was still sore as I hobbled into work.

I work sitting down most of the time, but I get up and move around enough to notice just how sore and tight my calves felt. About mid-day I took some ibuprofen, as much for the anti-inflammatory effect as to dampen the ache. One or the other helped, and I felt stiff but not prohibitively so when I got to my class at the old studio.

The studio director really isn't a ballet type, but she oohed and aahed politely over Merrill Ashley's book and pointe shoes. Candace, though, is a ballet type, and she lit up like a birthday candle when she saw them. She commented, "oh, look... she burned the satin off the toes for better traction." I said I thought she'd cut the satin, as it's a very clean edge, and she said, "You start by burning it so that it doesn't fray, then you trim it to be neat." I'll take her word for it for now, and I'll look more closely this weekend. Maybe I'll get some high-res photos of the tips and someone who knows more than I do can comment. Hint... hint...

Then we started barre work. For some reason I was the only regular to show up. A new student showed up; yet another who took ballet from age 3 to early teens, and hasn't had a class in 20-mumble years. Candace's barre routine is different from Caitlin's, and we devoted a good bit of time to stretching (I'd explained my situation, so that may have had something to do with it). We didn't do anything strenuous, and it was a good class. As much as I like Caitlin as a person, I prefer Candace when it comes to ballet. It's a shame the class she'll be teaching regularly is late morning Fridays.

Leaving class I was still sore, but not any worse than earlier. This morning, though, was rough. It's felt like I have two big knots where the upper and lower calf muscles join, though it's not particularly hard to the touch. Sitting and standing it's just a mild annoyance, but walking is hard and stairs are a strain. I don't have anything particularly energetic planned for this weekend, and I'm hoping I can stretch things out a bit. Maybe I'll make an effort to get to yoga Monday evening.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The start of the fall semester

Last night I started back to class at the new studio. It's amazing what you can forget in two weeks.

This was the first week of classes for the studio for all levels and age groups, and it was night-and-day different from the summer. Rather than walking in to an almost empty building, there were four full classes in progress with parents milling around in the open lobby. The change of classes was accompanied by the sounds I remember from grade school, with kids moving in clumps and chattering away. Rumor is that a nearby dance school imploded, and this place has been inundated with refugees.

But on with the adult beginner class...

The teacher, Joy, was well-known to some of the students, and she knew some of them by name. As this was the first class of the semester, she said she wants to figure out what people know and don't know, so she'd put together little combinations and see who recognized names and who could execute the steps. Joy is also hugely pregnant, which made for some interesting teaching techniques. She'd find a student she knew by name and ask her to demonstrate a step. This mostly happened with jumps, which she said she simply could not do.

Speaking of jumps, we did quite a few, mixed in with other steps. And relevés. The rond de jambes were interleaved with passé relevés, which I'm not sure I like: switching back and forth prevented me form focusing on either technique. It also left me aching, but that's my own fault for not keeping up during the two-week break.

The end of the class was a simple sequence starting in first en face, then tendu a la seconde with arms in high fifth, pivot on the standing foot to tendu derrière, then lift to first arabesque and hold. And hold. And try not to fall over. Damn... how did my balance get so bad so quickly? At least by the time we switched sides I felt a bit more stable, more of that "hanging by a string" feeling.

Tonight I have class at the old place. I decided to play show-and-tell with Merrill Ashley's book and pointes. Caitlin won't be there tonight, which I'm a bit disappointed about, but Candice is subbing and she might even be more appreciative of these things.

We'll see if I need a walker to get out of bed in the morning.