Monday, May 18, 2015

The Central School of Ballet

I spent this afternoon sightseeing in London. I've been feeling like I might be coming down with a cold, so although I had my dance gear in my backpack I really didn't expect to feel like going. Standing in line to see Churchill's War Room I noticed that many people around me were also sneezing and sniffling and wiping their eyes. There was so much pollen in the air you could see it, like little dust clouds. Inside the museum, which is all air conditioned I felt better, so I Hunt d down a Chemist's (pharmacy for US readers) and bought some Clarityn. That and more food (and lots of herbal tea) has fixed many of my issues. So about 90 minutes before class I headed into the Underground for the short trip to Waterloo.

Only to find my day pass had ceased to work. It took about 45 minutes for the three people in line to understand how an Oyster card works. No problem, I think, the bus will only take 17 minutes. Except it took forever to find the fricking bus stop, and then the bus took a diversion (detour) through the worst of London rush hour traffic. I managed to walk in to the door all of 2 minutes before class start, and I still had to change.

Paid my £9, climbed one set of stairs to the changing room and hurriedly changed. Ran back down those stairs, down the hall past the front door, down another flight of stairs, and into a concrete block basement room where the class had already started. Music was blaring from an amplified iPhone, but the floor was nicely laid Marley.

I found a spot at a rickety portable barre (barely) and tried to blend in. This class is called "beginner improvers" and is supposed to be for those who have grown out of the "beginner" class but aren't ready yet for the more advanced classes. My schedule really didn't allow for any other class, but it seemed like it'd be a good fit. In many ways it was. Some steps they're just learning, like pas de bourrée, while others they clearly have been working on like pirouettes. Other than having balance and flexibility problems from the lack of warmup, my biggest problem was remembering the sequence of steps.

The instructor, a man, was wearing a shirt that had his full name written on it in sequins and a hat that had his full name on the back and his initials on the front. Clearly he's shy and not given to self-promotion. He has a good rapport with the class, and knew many of them by name. I didn't get any direct comments bad or good, but a a newcomer in a class with well over 30 students in a relatively small classroom I would expect them only if I did something seriously bad.

I'm on my way to my hotel now where I'm going to take a long soak in the tub. Cuz I'm sore!

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