Saturday, August 17, 2013

A better pace

Today's Beginner II class was comparatively sparsely attended. Rather than the normal 20-25 students we had 15, with none of the really exceptional folk. The result was a slower-paced class, with less complex combinations and more focus on getting them right.

The advice on turns continues to prove its worth, with my pirouettes en dehor working better than they ever have. My pique turns have also benefited, both en dedans and en dehor. However, this being the Beginner II class, we also did pirouettes en dedans, which I'm still finding to be a serious challenge. I thought I'd figured them out before, but that involved a lot more energy than they should, so I'm sort-of starting over with them. The instructor advised us that it's more important to get the motion right than to get a full turn; that if we only managed a quarter turn but did it with proper form she'd consider that a success, while a full turn with poor form was a failure.

Last Saturday, toward the end of class we were doing some rather complex combination, in groups of 5 or 6 at a time. I was standing in the front of our group, and I kept getting lost. As our group finished the instructor said, "If you don't know the combination, get in the back of the group."

For some reason, few people are willing to stand near the front of the room. Even if they're in the front row, they'll stand as far away from the mirror as possible. This means those in the second row are often crowded against the back wall with no room to move. This is why I often move to the front of our group: that's the only place I can go without standing on the heels of those in front.

Her comment wasn't addressed to me by name, but I felt like it was directed to me. So I replied, "But it's crowded in the back!" I think I got my point across, and I hope I didn't sound petulant.

With today's combinations being simple enough and slow enough I found I could pretty much keep up. Although there were moments where I was a fraction behind the music, there were also times when I could think ahead to the next step. This made me feel like I'm making progress. Maybe I won't need to be in the back much longer.

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