Tiger, my kitten, looked me in the eye and said, "Get up, time for your class. And I will just sit here by the window all day, ha, ha!" Magically my buses arrived on time and there I was. I even had time to purchase coffee between buses. There was a young male dancer from Thodos Company there and I stood behind him at barre. Barre with Mike is always fun) because he plays classical musical recordings), except for the extensions...get into the splits, bend forward, rise straight up, point your toes, now arch your back...at barre, lean sideways and grab leg on barre (you are stretching a la seconde) with opposite hand, bring leg up to head, plie, releve, let go of the leg and ronde jambe to arabesque. Then, lying on your back, do the bridge pose and walk your feet closer to your hands, releve, squeeze knees together, slowly come down.
I especially like the ronde jambes in this class, where you pas de bourre and temps leve to the other side. Mike likes circular movements, I think, and I watched the company rehearsing one of Mike's pieces and noticed how he motioned to them to move around in circles more. He is so creative and intuitively understands movement...I wish I did. I think today he was watching me more since I am learning about how to move correctly through Pilates and yoga training. Now that I am on this track, I feel less awkward, too, because I am moving correctly at last.
In center, we did waltz in line three times, then a detourne to pirouette en dedans, coupe pas de bourre, point croise tendu, third position arms, swing leg to arabesque, coupe, contretemps to other side. The teacher spent some time on the different positions and precision of the movements, including correctly using the arms. Although he doesn't dance anymore, he still has a great line; better than his students! So I tried to mark the movements with him like I like to do, to see if I was bending the right way. It's so easy when I move with someone -- when I am on my own, I just don't have the same energy and attack.
We did this combination facing away from the mirror and then back the normal way, and soon I was not so preoccupied with the steps as with the movements, which eventually felt like dancing, like I had just heard this music and was moving to it. This is how center should feel, I thought, and I remembered talking with the dancer yesterday after class who said that, by the time you arrive at center, you have set yourself up and then don't have to think about technique. I relayed this to a girl in class after the end of class, when I remarked to a regular student of this class, "Spaced out at center," and then I told her, "I wish my center could be as neat as my barre." Mike always says when things aren't right in center, it's time to get to another technique class and do the barre again, like getting back on a horse after falling off.
Then we worked on a jump combination -- there were not a lot of combinations today, as the teacher chose to spend the time showing us how to refine our movements. Do it slow by yourself, he said. He teaches us good ways of working in his class, too. The jump combination was temps leve arabesque, glissade assemble, faille assemble, tombe pas de bourre glissade pas de chat, glissade, jetes. The teacher illustrated how the pas de chat was moving one leg and then the other, like a cat. Since the dancers were running out of room at the end, Mike said to do the jetes en menage.
Class over, now downtown to settle business. It's nice coming into the city now, as everything is decorated for Christmas. But, since it's not too bad outside today, I want to get to the gym for a yoga class and then my now daily swim.