About Me

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snowy Tuesday

The snow came and ended my long walks. Now the streets are slippery and wet and require careful footing. Dance class with Mike this morning was fun as always and today I finally got the flow of some combinations we had been doing for a while. Of course, they were not technically perfect as I like my dancing to be, but a Russian dancer I met once said that the flow is more important. You can have flawless technique but if you don't know how to move, you will always look amateurish.
I hope I didn't knock anybody over but the movement overtook me today: tendu croise 2x with moving arms; coupe tendu elonge, tendu efface, tendus in 5th to other side; repeat; then reverse, tendus 2x back, coupe, tendu efface, croise, tendus back in 5th; repeat other side.
Waltz in line 2x, inside pique turn to swivel around to arabesque pique, windmill arms, arabesque pique other side with same arms, detourne, chasse forward, pirouette en dehors, arms out a la Bourneville.
Beats trois, coupe assemble, changement, glissade jetes on both sides, glissade pas de chat to tendu fondu efface coupe assemble, changements; repeat other side; then reverse.
Temps leve arabesque glissade assemble, faille assemble 2x, chasse pas de bourre glissade grand jete. Then cool down with stretch legs, hands on floor.
That was center. As I remember from learning songs in church choir, too bad I can't yet see the simplicity of these movements. I tend to make too much of everything, as my pointe teacher says. She always says, it's just a tendu, it's just a pirouette. Big deal -- so dance, already! I have to get over my fear of being more physical someday. That is what drew me to dance classes in the first place and I have always admired those who become absorbed in the movement, like the girl's rival in the Black Swan movie. The director in the movie pointed out, she is really doing it, it's not fake...
The barre was Mike's usual, with rolling our heads, rolling our arms away from the barre, rolling down and stretching our calves, bending opposite knees; tendu, ball, point, en croix after his plies to Chopin's music with sweeping torso and arms. Then degages in fifth to pas de bourre into the other side; then ronde jambes with pas de bourres away from the barre, with penches. We stretched on the barre and grabbed the opposite side in seconde and stretched forever and then stretched in splits and tried to do backbends in splits, too. Then we did frappes with quivers and high developpes. And in grand battements, he always lets us do what we like for the first 4 beats. Mike's classes have always been creative and experimental like this.
Then I went swimming after a big salad (and a yummy French toast flavor muffin) with the children and the swim instructor said hi, me being a permanent fixture of sorts. I did swan arms in the water as well as developpes and runs back and forth and sideways, my usual aerobic warmup before the 6 laps of crawl stroke, followed by back stroke and breast stroke. Today I attempted the butterfly stroke and it wasn't too bad, because all my dancing, yoga and Pilates is making me supple enough to extend my body more in the water. Movement is everything, and it was easy after being energized by morning ballet class.
Then I went to the bookstore cafe and had a latte and protein bar (white chocolate chip flavor) and headed for Pilates class, which was my best ever. I could even do the marches while my back was in bridge pose. I always try this in the pool, hanging onto the sides. We started with pressing our spine to the floor and releasing, then with bent legs up as if sitting, pulsing the arms, then knee-to-chest movements with oblique crunches, leg circles with pointed feet, hamstring stretches, and squeezing our thighs together with the magic circle between our legs. We also held the magic circle between our hands and rolled up and down and bent sideways while our back was at a 45 degree angle from the floor.
A new move I learned tonight was tough. Sitting in a modified split with knees bent, we had to raise our knees off the floor with our entire side and then move the leg back and forth and pulse up and down. The teacher said this works the obliques, which are a weakness of mine. This will be a good one for better attitudes in dance class, I thought, if I could control my side which always pinches because of weak obliques.
So now I am home stretching with my kitten. He is pleased with me, I thought, acknowledging my new flexibility. Not bad, he thinks!

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