About Me

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Snowy Sunday

The wind was my dance partner as I bourred across the icy street to get some Vanilla yoghurt on the way home from the pool at the gym.  The water was just the right temperature and it felt good to throw myself into the water and let its weight support me.  I learn a lot from just being in the water, finding my equilibrium and it's a good cardio workout, too.

Ballet class was fun today, even though I could not find this same elasticity a terre as I did later in the water.  After class, I remarked to the teacher that I felt awkward in center because I think too much about every detail instead of just dancing.  I remembered how my voice teacher used to tell me, and another ballet teacher I once had, too, that you don't talk to someone by saying each word in a monosyllabic way, as if reading from a dictionary, so why would you dance like that, thinking of every step.  Another dance teacher said in class once, when you walk down the street, how do you walk?  Do you think of every step you take?  Well, that's what I'm doing...everybody says I think too much.  I like to think but if I am going to get better at dancing, I will have to let it go...like a classical string version of the John Lennon song I heard while having coffee and a carrot coconut muffin before class.

Barre:  warmup, grand plie, releve, stretch parallel 4th position.  Plies with port de bras, then tendus 1st position, plie, 2nd position, plie second, tendu derrierre demi-plie; port de bras forward, back, around, back, down.  Tendus in 5th position en croix with plies, balance passe. Swing legs.  Ronde jambes:  fondu ronde jambe, 4x ronde jambes, fondu extend leg front, passe, arabesque, rise and balance arabesque on demi-toe.  Stretch break.  Frappes en croix, then 2x en croix, beats, passe, attitude balance, bring leg back to passe, hold.  [I always collapse in the torso here when I let go of the barre.]  Fondus front, side, developpe a la seconde, fouette to penche, rise and balance; then reverse.  Grand battements, front, swing leg down almost to floor, battement again; repeat to back, 4x side, hold a la seconde.

Center:  Adagio:  Grand plie, developpe seconde ronde jambes, promenade a la seconde and rotate to fourth arabesque, fondu, pas de bourre en tournant, pique attitude to attitude turn, extend leg to arabesque, plie pas de bourre.  Before adagio were tendus with tendu front, pirouette from 5th position, pirouettes from 4th position; then pas de bourre under and over to step pique hold.  Jumps:  changements, glissades with assembles, changements with echappe.  Jump combination: temps lie glissade assemble, sissonne coupe assemble, sissonnes in arabesque ferme and ouverte to bas de basque, step releve; half turn step releve, step assemble forward.  I asked the teacher to explain some jump steps and acknowledged that jumps should have more attack in keeping with their dynamic -- I was treating mine like they were adagio.  The teacher remarked to one girl who seemed dazed, it's ballet class.

Yes, and so to take it apart like this destroys the beauty of the movements.  So, I think from now on I will make less notations like this and just describe my feelings and approach in class and maybe not blog every day because I'm sure it is quite boring!

The most fun today was staying to watch the teacher teach some little girls.  I love watching children dance, they are so innocent and playful.  Me and my friend wanted to stay and give the teacher Christmas presents, so I watched the entire class while stretching.  There were a couple of girls in class who were quite talented beyond their years; in particular, one little girl had amazing feet that she articulated very well and the other girl had amazing flexibility.  I notice how the teacher rotated their legs around to arabesque and said to one child to get more into her supporting side while her working leg was in passe, otherwise she would fall over if she let go of the barre -- also, to stretch the supporting side to make more space underneath the ribs.  In center, the girls were learning to pirouette and the teacher said to spot and use their arms; also in jetes, to use the correct arms -- 1st position to arabesque, and extend the leg and arm together when jumping.

Watching them learn made me feel less awkward because, even though I am an adult and wish I had studied ballet as a child, I am still learning just like them.  The teacher thanked us for our presents and I thanked him for teaching us.  I must work harder though and listen more, so the teacher doesn't lose patience with me, although he tells me I am doing fine.  Still, I know I could do more...

P.S.  While hunting for some boots, I paused in my building gym and worked out for a while.  It was nice to be alone, just me and my thoughts.  I rode a recumbent bike, did the elliptical, the leg press, hamstring curl, adductors and abductors, lat press, and ab curls on the resistance machines.  Now I feel strong!  Good night.

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