Saturday, August 24, 2013

More Less is More

Last Tuesday I again skipped class, this time to see Pat Benatar in concert. The last time I'd seen her perform, as best I can tell, was 1986. She still rocks!

Ok, back to dance. Wednesday I again attended the Beginner I class, this time with a determination to make the most of it. I really tried to work on my pirouettes en dehor (we don't do them en dedans in Beginner I). I'm getting better, but am still a bit wobbly. More on that later. Most of the rest of class went well, until the last combination where I just couldn't get my head around the footwork.

This morning I went to my regular Beginner II class. The first sign that this would be a challenging class was when the instructor walked in carrying her Bubba mug of coffee, saying it was "one of those days". Full up it holds 34 oz (1 litre) of coffee, which is a lot of caffeine. Even 3/4ths full, as she indicated, it suggested that she was going to be more energetic that usual. Meaning we were going to be more energetic!

And we were. Barre combinations included pas de cheval in singles, pairs, and en croix; I'm familiar with the step, but I can't remember this instructor ever including it. I think she's started taking barre with one of the other instructors, and this may be some of that cross-pollination. Some of the other combinations had odd timings, and many had trouble with them. I need to stop assuming that, just because those I can see in front of me are doing something differently than I am, it doesn't mean that I'm doing the combination wrong.

When I arrived this morning there was a woman in the studio practicing double pirouettes. I didn't recognize her, but that's not all that uncommon. When our instructor arrived she greeted this woman, saying, "What are you doing in this class? Were you late for yours?" I didn't hear the reply, but her blush was visible from across the room where I was warming up. There are a couple of classes that start before ours, including an Advanced Beginner class that starts an hour earlier. When we started center work it became obvious that she was a refugee from a more advanced class. Watching her tells me that I'm definitely not ready for the AB class, but also shows there's a lot more to aspire to as an adult.

One of the things I tried again today was putting double-thickness patches of moleskin on my feet, under the heads of the first and fifth metatarsals. This helps stabilize me, as my second metatarsal is a bit longer than average ("Morton's Foot"). I'd tried it before under the first metatarsals, but I wanted to see if putting some under the fifths would help my tendency to roll that direction on demi-pointe. I think it did! I certainly felt more stable. Next I'm going to see whether I can get the moleskin to stick to the insides of my slippers.

Oh! I almost forgot to explain the title of this entry. This being a Beginner II class, we did pirouettes both en dehor and en dedans. Early in class I'd done a couple of really nice (for me) in isolation, but I guess when we got to the combination I reverted somewhat because the instructor reminded everyone to favor form over energy. I don't know for sure that she was commenting on my technique, but it doesn't really matter if the reminder is applicable, does it?

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