About Me

Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday, Monday...

I said I wouldn't write every day but I love it, writing, that is.  I awoke to the sound of the telephone, asking if someone could view my apartment, so, once up, I got to the gym in time for Pilates.  Very traditional class, with ab work, roll ups, side kicks, chest lifts, but I couldn't do the pushups.  Every time I go I learn where my weaknesses are and, as I said to the teacher after class, going daily has been good maintenance.

I stopped for a sandwich at subway, the daily special with lots of spinach and guacomole, briefly cleaned up my apartment and left for the stairwell with my kitten, where I sat reading a magazine, waiting for the showing to be over so I could go back and get ready for ballet.  It was nice spending quality time with Tiger, my kitten and he seemed to like just sitting with me.

So I packed up my ballet clothes and stopped for a coffee at the bookstore and then went to intermediate ballet with the teenage girls.  I was the only adult today but I thought, in order to get better, I need to develop a tougher skin and not care that they thought I was weird for taking ballet as an adult.  Since when did artists conform to standards anyway?  So I stood at barre, scrutinizing myself, and the teacher didn't really correct me that much today, except for saying that I was off my leg, but after watching yesterday's teacher correct a young girl for this, I knew how to correct myself.  Today's teacher also corrected a student for constantly raising her hip, but I knew what she meant from watching yesterday's children's class.

The teacher remarked at barre that, if you train correctly, you will be able to dance effortlessly, making the point that the pianist there could play the piano without looking at the keys, once she trained herself.  So, we proceeded to center, where we did a pirouette combination:  tendus to the side, tendu front, pirouette from 5th, tendu ecarte to second, pirouette to 5th, tendu croise, double pirouette to end.  I tested my stance, noticing that what this teacher had constantly told me about being forward on the supporting leg was true -- my hip was too creased and I was therefore off my leg, as she keeps saying.  She said to the others, you will have to work harder and listen to me!  Lazy, lazy.

Then the teacher went into jumps, 1st, 5th, seconde to warm up, then a combination:  degages second, echappe trois beats, saute de basque, chasse coupe assemble.  She told me to move my body into the turn and as I was about to assemble, to straighten up -- I was still going forward into the assemble and that was not necessary.  Then she briefly described coupe turns, which I imagine she had been working on with her students, and, as I was not a class regular, I watched the others and tried to follow.

We did coupe turn temps lie, same with other leg, glissade pas de bourre saute de chat; then we repeated with glissade grand jete.  Then I stretched while listening to the pop music of the jazz class starting, and now I am ready to tackle yoga at the gym...

Impossible Noah's yoga class.  He was wondering why people kept leaving after he did the plow and then inverted his back in bridge pose so that his hands and feet touched.  There is one girl who could actually do a walkover from the camel pose; me, I just tried to do the best backbend I could and this girl said you can always modify poses.  She is a devotee and it's true, you can't expect to be perfect when you are there with people who have studied for years.  It was a fun class, though, because it was so physical and extreme but in a good way.  I like the pose where you are in a straddle and then hold your arms behind your back and raise your arms overhead as you try to reach your head to the ground between your feet and ultimately swing your arms around your head to the other side.  It's possible, Noah said.  Also nice is the pose where you are in warrior one, straighten your legs, place your arms behind your back in fists and then bend down over your leg.  Nice hamstring stretches here and good for stretching the lower back, as is downward facing dog.  Supple from ballet class, yoga was fun.

Now I'm home.  It was nice to just stay in my neighborhood and not have to get on buses.  I also enjoyed the coffee in my neighborhood bookstore while getting free Wi-fi.  A man next to me had something up on his screen and I asked if he was writing a short story.  He was, to take a break from his novel.  It turned out he lived in New York and when I asked him how he liked it, he said it was like Chicago on steroids.  I like writing, too, and I like the feeling of just being able to walk everywhere and stay near home on such a cold, snowy day.  New York is nice to visit, but he said it was too dirty and not as liveable...


  1. I greatly enjoyed reading your interesting blog with the large amount of detail of your class as well as other aspects of your life. One advantage of being older is that we do not have to worry about what younger girls might possibly be thinking about us, as we know it's more important to get on with a life we are enjoying. I particularly liked your teacher's parallel with a pianist not needing to look at the keys.

  2. Yes, she is a very wise woman. As for worrying about the younger girls, I still worry about what others think of me and often get self-conscious but there are also moments when the love of dance transcends this. It is like when I was a lector at church and reading scripture. You become the instrument and what you are no longer matters. I live for these moments.