Sunday, March 31, 2013

Still a bit like Tigger!

Tiggers are wonderful things. Their tops are made out of rubber, their bottoms are made out of springs.

Ok, so I'm still a bit bouncy. I've had the feeling that I've been improving for a while, but getting external validation is really exciting. Hence yesterday's very brief posting. Here's a bit more detail.

Saturday, March 30, 2013


Feeling a little behind; "challenged" not "lost". The instructor told me I looked "really good" and suggested I keep coming to this class.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Not my best night

I'm not sure why, but I didn't feel as energetic as usual this evening. My calf muscles also threatened to cramp more than usual. The result was that I struggled a bit, my balance was off, and my turns didn't quite make it all the way around. Frustrating.

After class I asked the teacher how much trouble am I going to be in taking Saturday's Beginner II class. She suggested that I should definitely come for the barre, but I might find the jumps somewhat challenging. Given that I found today's combinations not much of an intellectual challenge, it'll depend on whether my body is having a bad day like today, or a good day like the previous couple of classes. Oh, to be 20-something again!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

I think it's time

After missing three consecutive Sunday Beginner I classes (twice for travel, once for illness), I finally got to class this morning.  And it may be my last.

Spring performances

This weekend is MYB's spring performances. A friend and I attended this evening's performance. Not quite as polished as the Nutcracker I wrote about here, but impressive nonetheless. There was one fall, a slip, and a couple of missteps, but there were a lot more dancers so this wasn't just the creme de la creme. I think all involved have cause to be proud.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Back in the swing of things

I'm mostly recovered from my cold this weekend, and decided to go to class this evening. My balance still isn't what it was before the break, but I felt less tired than I did a week ago — no trembling this time.

We had a lot of newbies this evening (totaling 15 women & 3 men, if you're keeping score), so none of the exercises or combinations were particularly challenging. This allowed me to focus on form. Would anyone outside a dance class understand what a comment like "Nice feet!" means, or how good it feels to hear it?

In the center we worked on piqué turns. To the right I found myself rolling off to the outside of my right foot, even when I consciously tried not to, which threw off my balance. I didn't have the same problem to the left, so I'll have to work that side. We also did a bunch of jumps: sautés, changements, a combination of glissade and assemblé, another of chassé and arabesque. About 45 minutes of very energetic activity. Pant pant pant. I haven't been that glad to get to reverence in quite a while.

I may try out the Monday Beginner II class. I'm told it's more advanced than the Wednesday night Beginner I class but not as hard as the Tuesday Beginner II. The Saturday Beginner II class would fit my schedule better than the Sunday Beginner I, which would give me a Mon-Wed-Sat schedule. But not this week.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

No ballet for YOU!

During Wednesday's class I felt like I was low on energy, the most noticeable sign of which being the trembling in my outstretched hand in arabesque. At the time I attributed it to the lingering effects of jet-lag, and perhaps my irregular eating schedule. I figured it would be long gone by the weekend, and was even debating whether to take Beginner II rather than Beginner I. Wrong!

I felt fine Friday evening, but by early Saturday morning my nose was runny and my mouth tasted sour and slimy. I ended up sleeping until 4pm, was up for a few hours, then went back to sleep until 3am Sunday. Although I never had a fever, I decided that ballet class would be pushing things. I fell asleep again around 5am and slept until noon. I'm hoping to get to class Wednesday evening, cuz I'm really missing it.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Oh, my aching ________!

Two weeks off due to travel and illness. Thirty four hours in flight in a coach-class airline seat. Insufficient time spent stretching on my own. To top it all off, the 12-hour time shift left me with enough jet-lag to lose track of time and arrive at class almost 10 minutes late. This meant I missed pliés and other opening stretches. Pick a body part and at some point during class it hurt. (Ok, maybe not that part, but take your pick of the rest.) My calf muscles protested the most, but they didn't make good on their threats to cramp.

On the other hand, I still felt like I was one of the better folk in the class. I'm not competing with anyone, but it's the easiest way to gauge my progress. Right now, inconsistency is my biggest problem. I can see a time coming when I'll move myself to the Beginner II classes. Not yet, but it's coming. That excites me enough to keep me going to class on a regular basis.

Tonight was another class first, with FIVE men and 13 women in attendance. Not that it makes any difference, but I've never been in a class with so many other guys. Since I arrived late I ended up on one of the side barres. Both the woman who slipped in after me and I got nearly immediate corrections on technique, which felt slightly punitive, but they were technically appropriate and delivered in the instructor's normal tone. Most likely coming in late drew her attention and she saw things that needed fixing, so I'm not complaining. I did manage to score a compliment on my petit jetés at the end of class: I may not have the flexibility to get much extension in attitude and the like, but I can get altitude in jumps and I'm even keeping time doing it.

A little side observation. I'm often one of the last out of the little men's dressing room, and I'm amazed by the stuff people leave behind. Tonight I was the last out, and there were still a large polo shirt, a small T-shirt, two leather dress belts, and a pair of large footless tights with white leather slippers still stuck in them. wtf? The slippers alone are probably worth $45. I guess someone was in a real hurry!