Pilates seemed effortless today, although I still have difficulty with the waistline area and articulating the bones of the lower back; however, I feel the kinks coming out slowly the more I practice Pilates. We used the magic circle again and at the last part of class did some movements for our pecs -- definitely have to get better arms...then I went swimming and did swan arms in the pool, noticing how my shoulders were too heavy. I had to walk across the running track at the gym because no one told me they had closed the women's entrance to the pool -- so I was walking around the gym in my Speedo!
I arrived at Joffrey Academy and realized I had forgotten my tights so I went across the street to Macy's and found some pink glittery tights on sale. They looked a little strange and I think the teacher was trying not to laugh. It was a challenging class, and afterwards, a dancer's mother said that I shouldn't hoist myself up and that I do this because I lack core strength. Hmm, I will have to discuss this with my teachers...
So we did plies and port de bras at barre and lots of extensions with huge cambres and huge extensions. We did fondus to second, beats, penches. This teacher emphasizes arm strength radiating from the back and several movements later in center required this open and flexible back, such as the pas de poisson, where you arch the back while crossing your ankles and jumping up.
I felt stronger at barre but my left leg still is not pulled up enough. I think I have had the bad habit of leaning into and away from the barre with my arm on the left side, and now I am paying for it with a pinched back and weak hamstrings. In Pilates last night, I showed the teacher how I could stand on my right foot forever but could not balance very long on the left side without caving in and falling over.
The male dancer who told me to contract my glutes last week was there again. He is very kind and I enjoy dancing with him. In center, he stood behind me which made me nervous, but, as a dancer, I need to learn to show myself more. This leads to better fluidity in dancing, too, because you are forced to dance if you are together with someone who responds to your movements. My usual awkward movements almost looked better, until we got to a point in center where we were jumping and I did not look very graceful doing beats. Then, we did a menage of fast pique turns and coupe jetes, and I lost my spot going to the right.
A lot of this awkwardness comes from improper body mechanics. I noticed as I did pique turns to the right how my left leg kind of lagged behind and was not rotated and how my arms didn't move into the turns. But, at least now I am noticing these things. Now, to have the courage to fix them in the face of everyone else and how to live with this scrutiny -- as in an interesting article by the dance critic Alistair Macaulay in the NY Times today, "Some correspondents have argued that the body in balet is "irrelevant." Sorry, but the opposite is true. If you want to make your appearance irrelevant to criticism, do not choose ballet as a career. The body in ballet becomes a subject of the keenest observation and the most intense discussion. I am severe -- but ballet, as dancers know, is more so."
Center: Tendus croise front and back, promenade tendus, pirouettes, pas de basque, inside pirouettes.
Pretty Adagio: developpe croise, cambre back, passe to arabesque, pas de bourre, raise arms to 5th position, extend leg to arabesque, penche; chasse to lunge, grand port de bras, temps leve pirouettes.
Jumps: 4 changements, jete entrelace, assemble, quatre; glissade brises, pas de chat, pas de bourre en tournant, chasse jete.