Thursday, September 28, 2017

Help me, Obi-Wan, you're my only hope

This posting is nothing but me venting, mostly about the adult pointe class debacle. If this interests you, by all means proceed. If not, you've only yourself to blame.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Pointes all over

When I arrived for class this morning, Susan and one of my classmates were in the hallway limbering up in pointe shoes. Apparently this has become a regular thing with Susan before class.

Friday, September 22, 2017

The Ballad of the Stinky Shirt

But first some real ballet-related stuff.

In the last few classes I've been having trouble with my pirouettes. They just didn't seem to be working as well as before. Last Sunday I realized that I'd gotten lazy about the placement of my working foot during the turn, getting it only to mid-calf and probably not well turned-out. Last night I found myself doing it again, and made a conscious effort to correct the placement, and it really helped.

Now on to the next verse of the Ballad of the Stinky Shirt.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

That Smell

When I was growing up there was a band called Lynyrd Skynyrd. In 1977 they who released a song entitled "That Smell". It's a classic.

That's not what this post is about.

Friday, September 15, 2017

I need to learn new curse words

Ever have one of those days where it may have been better to just pull the covers over your head in the morning and refuse to get out? Yesterday was one of those.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Big Tease

This evening I arrived early for class to make sure I had time to warm up first. As I was stretching in the hallway I heard Susan come out to do the same. When I turned around to say hello she was wearing pointe shoes and doing relev├ęs. I've been taking classes from Susan for several years now and I've never seen her in pointe shoes before. Was this a sign that she'd decided to commit to teaching the beginner pointe class?

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Some people don't know when to quit

Some years back I was taking classes at the American Dance Institute. This started as a ballet school, then shifted focus to sponsoring new dance works. In 2015 they decided to stop offering classes altogether. In 2016 they rebranded themselves "The Lumberyard" (no, I don't get it either), closed up shop in this area and moved to New York.

A couple of weeks ago I discovered where many of the refugees from ADI ended up: the Maryland School of Dance. Their adult program is pretty sparse, but it does have a "Beginner/Intermediate" ballet class Thursday evenings, and I know the instructor from classes at ADI. I've been looking for a class Thursday nights, and the only one available at MYB is an Advanced Beginner class which is more of a challenge than I'm looking for at the moment.

I'd thought about going to this class last Thursday, but when I got to work I realized I'd left my dance gear at home. This evening I had a conflicting appointment, but that got canceled at the last minute. Since I'd already planned on leaving work earlier than usual I had time to drive home, change, and get to MSD early enough to check out the place. There are several studios, though some have small columns in them. The floors are synthetic over plywood (I'm not sure if they qualify as "sprung" floors or not) that are reasonably comfortable to dance on. When I arrived there were two different children's classes in progress, one of which was their Pointe I class and the other their Pointe II class. Interesting to watch!

There were several folk in the Adult class that I recognized; one or two from ADI, and one from MYB. Unlike the classes at MYB, which vary from a dozen to as many as 25, this was a class of 7 or 8. I chose an unfortunate place at the barre which had me facing away from everyone else during the first side of each exercise, and of course I was unfamiliar with the exercises. This meant I botched bits of most of them as I tried to remember the sequences. I'm also still kinda tight from class Tuesday resulting in a bit of cramping in my calf muscles, though that actually got better as the class went on. Overall I'd put this on par with the difficulty of the Sunday Beginner II class at MYB, and much easier than Susan's Beginner 2.75 classes. The students ranged from two or three who were clearly much better than the rest down to a few who struggled with basic steps. I'm still not doing double pirouettes, but I fit nicely just below the top few. Maybe this is a way for me to get three classes a week without having to flail in the Advanced Beginner classes.

Speaking of pointe classes... I spoke with Susan after class Tuesday evening. Apparently Joy of Motion is pretty insistent that a series class needs to run 13 weeks, and she isn't sure she wants to commit to a 13-week series. I'm feeling like I really can't encourage her any further without becoming really annoying. It's really up to her, so if y'all want this class to happen you should probably talk with her yourselves.