About Me

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Busy Tuesday

Whew!  Went to ballet class, swim, and now the dentist.Then, if I'm lucky, I can get in a Pilates or yoga class.  I could have gone home after ballet, but I really wanted to get into the heated Lakeview pool now that it has undergone maintenance.  It was a short swim, but I had the whole pool to myself and some needed peace and quiet.  Even the locker room was empty.

It was nice to see Mike again after a long holiday.  I had forgotten how much he requires you to move in class.  After all, he is a contemporary ballet person.  "Move, Dorothy, or someone is gong to run into you." After class I always ask him, "How am I doing?" and today I remarked that I'm back to my old habits.  "You'll catch on," he said.  He's always so encouraging.  After I finished class I ate my grapefruit while I watched his company rehearsal for a while.  I noticed how the dancers all looked so professional; that is, they were businesslike in their approach to their art, almost cool and aloof.  For me it is hard to do this and I think sometimes I act childish in many ways when things don't go my way.

Well, I hope the dentist won't hurt too much -- there I am being childish again -- and then I'll tell you the details of what we did...

The dental receptionist wears many hats.  She gave me some job hunting advice.  A former model, she assessed my head shape and coloring and commented that I have nice skin and a good head shape and said a little color and makeup would bring me out.  Exactly what I was thinking yesterday at the comic book store, about bringing out my depth.  When she told me she was 45 and understood about competing with young kids out of school, she said she wasn't going to let age stop her from enhancing her looks, saying she was better and smarter because of her age, too.  What an inspiration...

Then I had some coffee, again, at the bookstore cafe and dutifully went to a really nice Pilates class.  I was near the teacher and so she gave me a lot of individual attention, telling me not to pop out my ribs when doing roll-ups, and to keep my straight legs even straighter, keep my shoulders down and away from my face, and breathe more.  I need to work more on my abs, she said, really hold your stomach in and it will help the back.

I was a little disappointed with my performance in ballet class, though.  I used to take much more ballet when I was younger and now seem to enjoy the gym more, because it makes me stronger.  How to translate this strength and boyish athleticism into the graceful world of ballet...

Barre:

1. Stand parallel, roll down to floor, walk forward on hands, bend alternate legs, roll up; repeat, rolling shoulders, bend elbows down to floor.
2. Plies with port de bras.
3. Tendus through feet; tendus 1st and 5th en croix.
4. Degages in 2nd with degages in 5th en croix, sou sou soutenu to opposite side.
5. Ronde jambes with sweeping port de bras, grand ronde jambes with arabesque penche.
6. Frappes in 1st, 2nd, with beats; repeat on demi-toe.
7. Developpes en croix.
8. Grand battements en croix.
Stretches at barre, splits, bridge pose; self stretch.

Center:
1. Tendus croise to coupe, elonge, efface, 5ths, to other side; repeat from croise derrierre; repeat facing away from mirror.
2. Adagio:  developpe croise, developpe seconde to passe to seconde; picked up pas de bourre en tournant; developpe arabesque, plie, pas de bourre.
3. Allegro: waltz in line 2x, pique arabesque, faille, step through, pas de bourre pirouettes, detourne, fouette arabesque to other side.
4. Jumps: beat trois, coupe, assemble, changement, glissade jete, glissade jete, glissade pas de chat, coupe assemble, changements; repeat reverse.
5. Grand allegro: chasse pas de bourre grand jete, contretemps run tour jete, pique arabesque, chasse pas de bourre, grand jetes.
6. Turns in center:  3x pique, 1x fouette turn; 2x pique, 2x fouettes across the floor en diagonal.

I realize now that it is still difficult for me to combine steps in center.  That is why I am good at barre but lose it in center; I need to learn to put the phrases together better. While dancing with a more experienced dancer in center, I noticed how she flowed gracefully from one step to another without thinking.  It was normal for her, whereas I hesitate.  When surrounded by a group of less experienced dancers, I could not hold my own because I didn't know what I was doing, so I just bailed out, but...you can't do this on stage, can you?

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