Sunday, November 10, 2013

Death by Ballet

Having carefully cornered myself mentally into attending the Advanced Beginner class this afternoon, I made preparations. I packed an extra shirt and hand towel for the class, along with an extra pair of socks and tights just in case. Walking up to the check-in counter I announced my intention to take both the Beginner 2 class at 11 and the Advanced Beginner class at 12:30. That earned me a double-take from the clerk.

In the Beginner 2 class I felt pretty stable. A couple of minor hiccups at the barre but nothing significant. In the center I felt pretty good, though I couldn't do a pirouette in any direction with any grace. Starting a combination of piqué turns across the floor I somehow got nominated to be the lead-off dancer and did pretty well. I was a bit conservative with my energy and finished class feeling like I had enough left for at least barre in the AB class.

There isn't but a few minutes gap between the B2 and Advanced Beginner classes. I ducked into the men's changing room, toweled off and changed shirts before heading into the new classroom. I found a spot at the barre near the back next to the guy I mentioned in my last post. The combinations were unfamiliar, made more difficult by the students standing between me and the instructor who completely blocked my view much of the time. I must find a way to get a better spot. But none of the combinations were that difficult. When I screwed up it was because I'd mis-remembered the sequence not because it was too difficult, even the double frappés. Except, of course, for the petit battements: I have the worst trouble with them.

I expected the center work to be horrible. It wasn't. Some of the combinations were unexpectedly familiar, and my ability to turn pirouettes was restored as if by magic. Not that I was doing triples like some of the girls did, but my singles weren't bad and I didn't feel rushed or off-balance. It wasn't until the last 15 minutes of the 90 minute class that things started falling apart, and even then it was the speed of execution combined with my unfamiliarity that caused the trouble. At the end I walked out feeling better than I do after many of my Tuesday/Saturday B2 classes.

So this weekend I've taken 4.5 hours of ballet classes and a 75 minute stretch class. That's a new record for me.

Now I have a time management problem. Which classes to I take from which instructor on which days?

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