Da da da da, da da da da da da, da da da, da, da da da da...The last cool down...walk forward, lunge, port de bras dehors and then walk, lunge, port de bras dedans...piques with soutenus, chainnes...point croise with left foot, step developpe seconde, pas de bourre en tournant, chasse, releve fouette arabesque, faille, developpe devant, sou sou, coupe arabesque fondu, rotation to other side. Fouette turns...we just kept doing them over and over and I see how I can't stand on my left leg because my thigh gives out and also I move my hip too soon instead of holding it back. There was a young girl in class who did them perfectly, and you could see all her muscles, too. On the other hand, I kept getting around and my arms were working properly!
My tendus stink. My legs are mushy, like the teacher yesterday said, and because I don't use my thighs, I am getting football player muscles from squeezing in the wrong places. I can't point my feet because I am not holding my leg muscles, I realized today. Okay, maybe I need to lighten up a little bit, but, starting late like I did, I am always afraid I'm not keeping up with the others and I can't imagine not dancing...so I feel frustrated a lot, but I'm still happy, too. Oh, the life of a dancer! Sometimes I wonder how they do it...
Now that I am constantly at the gym (going there now), I am noticing how muscles on people's bodies in class are working...at the cool down, I watched the backs of all the other dancers to see how they worked their trapezius muscles. Maybe the world is not ready for my analytical approach, but it feels good to dance right...now to relax in the pool...listening to the rehearsal music here, I wish I could keep dancing, though. Well, there is always the basement in my building...
Hate to be so negative, but that's how I feel when I don't do as well as I know I can. There is something inside of me that always prevents me from letting go of my gut feelings. Oh, well...I didn't swim today because I just went out and enjoyed the warm day and did a little shopping and then I went to the bookstore and then Pilates class. Pilates class has been amazing for me. I like it better than yoga now:
1. Lie on floor, knees bent and feet on mat, raise arms over your head and towards the opposite wall, bring arms down, repeat. Next, bring head and shoulders off floor, arms hovering, hold and breathe.
2. Make pelvic imprints, then raise hips off the floor and roll down one vertebrae at a time.
3. Take your magic circle and put your foot against it, stretch hamstring, point and flex toes. Pull leg as far as you can toward your face, put circle down and make leg circles. Bring head and shoulders off floor and raise lower leg up an inch, pulse top leg.
4. Place magic circle between your ankles, legs up in table-top, do 100s.
5. Do oblique crunches; roll down to sit bones and move arms side to side. Take magic circle between arms, palms pressing in, and squeeze; move torso sideways and squeeze the circle.
6. Do scissor legs.
7. Place magic circle inside knees, squeeze thighs together, after rising to bridge pose. Then move hips up and down and squeeze circle at top. Repeat with legs inside the circle and squeeze thighs out.
8. Lie on stomach, forehead resting on hands, raise torso up and hold. Put arms at sides and raise torso. Do the swan pose, pushing arms into the floor and rising up as high as you can; then do the swim arms.
9. Kneel on mat with one knee, arm down on yoga block, raise opposite leg and do pulses, circles.
10. Get on back and do the teaser.
11. Stand up and roll arms down to plank, do pushups.
12. Stand up and place magic circle between ankles and standing on one leg, squeeze the circle with the other leg; move circle to front, squeeze foot in, move to back and repeat.
13. Standing up, put circle on hip and squeeze into hip with arm, elbow bent. Raise circle above head and squeeze arms together.
14. Put circle down and do Pilates releve.
The exercises are endless, but they all focus on using the core muscles to maintain body stability while moving the appendages against your powerhouse. Then I went in the sauna for a while and let my muscles stretch, something a Pilates teacher told me, to just stretch and let your body do what it needs and not force the stretch. Then I went home and watched Natalie Portman on the David Letterman show, wearing a very pretty yellow ruffled dress. A lot of people are criticizing this movie as an inaccurate portrayal of ballet life. She was very diplomatic on the show and just talked about how she prepared her body and losing 20 pounds and how there were a lot of professional dancers in the movie. I think the movie sets a kind of stereotype of a dancer from the old school, where everybody starved, but I don't think it is cut-throat like she describes it. There will always be jealousy in life, at the gym, too, but there is also this camaraderie among dancers that I enjoy.
There is nothing like the dance world. I love the gym, but the reason I work out is to be a better dancer. Today in class when we did fouette turns over and over, I was surprised that I was able to keep on going. It is because I work out and I'm getting stronger. Now, if I could only feel as comfortable dancing as I do at the gym, if that's possible...