Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Well THAT was stupid!

I thought I saw a typo in my previous post ("We're gonna die") so I went to edit the page, then changed my mind and tried to cancel the edit. Poof! No more post!

After some flailing about I realized I'd reverted the page to draft state rather than deleting it. I've reposted the page. Whew!

After the one-legged relev├ęs we did at the barre Sunday I was expecting to be sore this week, but I wasn't. I worked late today so I didn't go but I am starting to think about going back to two classes a week at some point.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

We're gonna die

I was determined to get to class this morning to avoid missing the next step in whatever our instructor is developing. My knee-length shorts haven't gotten through the wash yet, so I dressed in full-length tights. It's winter, right?

Checking in at the front desk I was reminded that our regular instructor was out, and the instructor from the Saturday morning class was substituting. Yes, the instructor who teaches Beginner 2 as if it's 2.75. I love her dearly, but I'm still ramping up from my months-long layoff. If I wanted to be in her class I would have shown up yesterday.

Quite a few of the regulars were absent, and there were a fair number of new (to me) faces. Two of them were younger women who showed up because they knew this instructor and wanted to take her class, and the three had an animated chat while I warmed up.

Barre was fairly typical for this instructor, meaning most of this class's regulars were puffing and sweating from exertion. When we broke after barre I went out to fill my water bottle. As I passed the two women I overheard one say to the other "We're gonna die!" The other nodded in agreement. Hey, this is not your average Dolly Dinkle ballet school; even the adult classes require real work.

Center went pretty well. I've been working on stretching my hip flexors and psoas so I can maintain a more erect posture with less work. I spend much of my life sitting so these are abnormally tight on me. I think it's working because my balance continues to improve in tiny but noticeable increments. Most of my turns are more stable than they ever have been, which allows more attention to things like spotting and how my working leg is positioned. I did have to sit out part of one exercise as recovery time, but that was a conscious decision that I'm comfortable with.

I may be a year older but I'm not the ones thinking I'd die.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

On a roll

Does twice in two weeks count as a streak?

I made it to class today. Even got there early enough to get my "regular spot" at the barre. The ladies at the front desk clearly recognize me, but I've been coming too irregularly for them to remember my name. How quickly fame fades!

I think I did reasonably well. A few twinges in my forefoot when pointing really hard, but otherwise no cramps or other nastiness. I'm not expecting more than a little stiffness in my legs tomorrow, unlike last week where I could barely get up and down steps until Wednesday. We still seem to be in the early part of some nominal semester, and I'm going to try to not miss any classes for a while. Some things my brain remembers how to do my feet seem to have forgotten, but nothing that won't come back with a little practice.

My balance seems to be pretty good and my turns continue to improve. One of the key things I'm learning to focus on is staying upright -- the more "vertical" I am the better my turns are. This also seems to be true when merely balancing in arabesque and attitude, and especially so during a slow promenade turn.

The instructor has begun to offer me more corrections, and even tease me a bit in class. This is a good thing, by the way. Maybe she's forgiven me for my transgressions.

I made the comment to someone (not someone from this studio) that I was going to sit and decompress after class for a bit. She replied that ballet classes were decompression for her. Frankly I was a bit nonplussed by this. Ballet doesn't come naturally for me, and requires a lot of concentration. It's also completely different physically from anything else I do on a regular basis, so it's quite a workout for me too. I would have expected someone who has taken ballet in the past to understand better.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The start of another year

Happy new year, folks!

I'd planned to go to the stretch class yesterday, but it was snowing. I don't really have a problem with snow, but too many drivers in the DC area have no clue how to deal with it, and I just didn't want to be on the roads.

So this morning I attended the Beginner II class. I'm rusty. The studio was closed both new year's and xmas weekends, and there was ice the weekend before that. According to this journal I got to a stretch class December 10th, a ballet class October 4th and two in September. Bleagh.

To top things off, I overslept and didn't arrive at the studio until after the time class should have started. They never manage to actually start on time, so I walked in as the instructions for the first exercise were being given and didn't have time to warm up first. Fortunately there were only about 18 students and I found a place at a barre easily with minimal disruption to the the class.

Barre was long, lasting about an hour. Nothing terribly strenuous, though, as if this was the start of a new class and not just the continuation of the year-round drop-in class. On the other hand, that's pretty much what I needed. My muscles aren't really happy about being stretched in now-unfamiliar ways, but my balance was pretty good. In center we did a series of exercises that built in complexity, and when we added pirouettes I didn't have too much trouble with them (I'm sure my form is off, but I got around okay and felt stable doing it). If I tried to focus too much on any one of my problems other things fell apart, but I figure that will get better as I get back into the routine.