Today I will go to church and remember my father, but this morning I went to dance class -- "this is church," a teacher said once. My teacher has been so busy performing and I was so happy that he would be teaching because he is the best classical teacher -- so true to form, always. He has corrected my form many times and I hope will continue to do so, since I am really the same way, I want to be true to form. But it is difficult to be as sincere and giving as he is. He is such a good model, I even learn just watching him.
Well, there were a lot of girls in class today for a Sunday and we proceeded to barre, warming up with tendu devant, demi-plie, tendu seconde, turn leg in and out, tendu slide leg derrierre, stretch. Then we did tendu front, demi-plie, tendu side releve, tendu derrierre, releve, tendu side, balance in releve. Next was two tendus front with demi-plie passes balance, two tendus side with demi-plie passe balance, etc. I like the way this teacher makes us test our balance suddenly, because it really tells you if you are holding your body, from the beginning.
We did tendu plie, pas de chevals, tendu plie back, pas de chevals, tendus to the side, plie, passe balance. We did degages en croix, 4x each direction; then, ronde jambes: passe tendu fondu to back, passe, plie 5th position, ronde jambes, reverse. I liked the batterie combination today, to Bach's Fugue No. 1 in C, I think it was. I was trying to match Bach's rhythm to do beats, plie, beats, plie, beats on releve with balance a la second. We did developpe to the side, ronde jambes en l'air, extend leg to arabesque, penche in arabesque on other side, come up with torso leading (very important). We also did fondu passe to attitude balance, extend to arabesque -- I think this was after the ronde jambe combination. I wish I could remember everything more precisely, but I am not that technically skilled and focused yet and still struggle to do what is required of me...
We paused and then resumed in center with pas de basque, head looking under arm, to pique balance in arabesque, promenade to third arabesque, pas de bourre en tournant, pique attitude, move attitude leg to seconde to devant and then swing back to arabesque, pas de bourre en tournant, sou sou passe leg; repeat to other side. Lots of balances again, on demi-toe, which is the true test if you are holding your body. Fabrice often stopped the combinations to tell us to hold our torsos and keep our shoulders and hips aligned and always came by me to tell me to straighten my leg.
Then we did some pirouettes: glissades changing to tendu side to 5th, pirouette from 5th position to lunge, pique arabesque, fondu pas de bourre, pirouette en dehors, swing leg to croise to pirouettes en dedans, detourne, pique turn en dehors. We also did two tendus front, two back, four to the side to pirouettes. Also, later we did developpe seconde, 3 little jetes to developpe other leg to passe to attitude turns. The two teen girls next to me were movers and I have to always remember to position myself well in class, out of courtesy as safety.
Later, dancing with a little girl as we did chasse chainnes, chasse, chainnes, chasse, chainnes to inside pique turn, I found myself too close to her and the teacher said to move it. Sometimes I wish I didn't do these careless types of things but I find myself so preoccupied with myself sometimes I forget I am in a class with others and, to be a great dancer as this teacher is, I need to learn this, to think about where I am. Before this, we jumped with assembles, echappes, sissonnes to changements and quatre beats. I tried to point my feet and it is getting better, but my left foot, the foot I injured, still hangs. Use it or lose it, a teacher used to say. In order to get stronger and prevent injury, I must engage myself better.
After class was over, the teacher told everybody to stay and stretch, and then he proceeded to give a private class to a little girl. Lucky girl, I thought, she's in good hands. I watched for a while, hoping to wave good-bye to the teacher to wish him happy hoidays, but he is always very focused in his teaching, which is how dancing should be, I thought.
Now, after eating a peanut butter sandwich on some very good bread which always tastes best after class, I am off to the gym for a swim, thinking of sugarplums but eating bread instead...
I don't want to leave the gym but I must get home and rest for class tomorrow at Joffrey Academy. There are so few places to take class over the holidays. I felt so aligned in the water today. Maybe it was because I was so happy in ballet class today. I don't know why, I just felt happy for some reason, which is unusual for me because I'm always so moody. In the pool, I always warm up by walking forwaard and backward on my toes, then sideways, then I run back and forth and sideways. Then I use the kickboard and just kick and next I lie on the kickboard and swim on my back, doing "swan arms."
Then I do some more kicks and then I walk foward doing developpes in parallel and then turned out. Then I try "walking" by doing a developpe forward to passe to arabesque. Arabesques underwater are really freaky because the water bends you way up high and you really feel it in your back where it should be. That's what I like about the water. A teacher said that it pushes on you in all directions. There is no other feeling like it. Oh, and after I do all this, I float on my back and swim with swan arms, without the kick board and sometimes I use the pool noodle the same way. Then I lie on the paddle board once more and do the breast stroke. Then I put the paddle board away and do the breast stroke, followed by the crawl, and then the back stroke. Then I go in the whirlpool and then I wash my hair and stretch. So relaxing...zzzz