About Me

Saturday, February 19, 2011

It's Saturday...

so why am I so tired?  I got up today and felt like I weighed a ton and I don't feel much better now.  I think it is moving things in storage, too much lifting, but as I told someone in ballet class this afternoon, if it doesn't kill you, it will make you stronger. My arms feel great but my back is even more sore.  A guy at the gym told me to really suck in my stomach and keep my back straight, but how do you bend over piles of miscellanous items and maintain decorum?  It's one thing to lift weights in a gym but heavy labor in the real world is a different story...hmm..

So I went to Lou Conte Studio and there was a big audition going on for the Oklahoma Ballet and some girls afterwards told me they were cutting people at barre and all throughout, saying, you can go now.  It was nice to see so many dancers all sitting around and stretching and dressed for the audition and I recognized a few familiar faces in the dance community to which I feel accepted, even though I am not a dancer.  It felt good to be surrounded by my "friends."  A man walked past me as I was eating my subway roast beef sandwich with spinach and extra guacomole, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, black olives, cucumbers, hot peppers, carrots and pepper and oregano, spiced with mustard, the way I like my sandwiches, and asked how to get out of the studio.  I was sitting in an empty corrider because all the dancers were sprawled out by the exit.  I told him, go down the hall and turn left and he took one look at the hallway and realized why I was sitting alone...

Dance studios like this feel like home to me and I never want to leave. I stretched until I felt all pulled out, something I didn't do yesterday since I had to leave early to attend the ballet and then my feet felt tight all night as I walked home.  The cold air finally froze them and the sharp pains disappeared.  I think people marvel at how I can walk like this for miles but the girls at the audition understood.  One young girl said that dancers don't feel the pain and it's scary.  I said, yes, because you can overdo it and not realize it, but dancers at her level are so fit that they have a higher pain tolerance.  She agreed, saying that a person off the street wouldn't make it through plies...you want me to do what?

Class Highlights:
1. Friday night class was packed...we did a nice barre and I concentrated on really using my feet and being properly aligned and moving within my frame, trying to hold my back straight and not "stick out."
2. I stayed for a little bit of center:  tendus croise and seconde with pirouettes.  I tried to push from the floor maintaining a straight leg and holding my arms properly.  Later I was told by someone at the ballet that I really need to spot.  It is the key to turning, to look at something and really look where you're going.  True, I'm too stiff and need to loosen up, I said...
3.  A little bit of adagio:  developpe croise front and then croise back, developpe a la seconde, fouette arabesque pas de bourre...
4. Saturday barre I focused on my feet again and being as tall as I could be.  How tall can you be, asked the teacher.  This will lift your focus to the torso and not dwell on the legs so much...
5. Ronde jambe and really hit all the corners.
6. Try to use the ball of the foot in frappes.  This is what prepares you for jumps, the teacher said.
7. Developpe seconde only to your turnout or else you will "stick out."
8. Center tendus with demi plies, chasse forward and pirouettes.  I tried to spot, like I was told so many times.  It is so important to use the torso...dancing is not just legs.  Hopefully someday I can use both with equal finesse...
9. Adagio croise front, croise back to promenade in third arabesque, sou sou balance.  The teacher said not to look at yourself in the mirror in croise devant.  You should be looking at the corner of the room; also, cambre ever so slightly so that your back spirals, instead of looking stiff.  Watch the arms in arabesque.
10. Floor allegro: balance front, balance back, developpe ecarte, balance en tournant, chasse pas de bourre pirouette finishing with arms held in front, Bourneville style, acknowledging your successful pirouettes.  Be proud you nailed it, the teacher said.  I remembered the ballet last night and how the dancers did just this and then everyone applauded.
11. Jumps:  32 changements to warm up.  I tried looking up at the ceiling to feel the fifths.  They need to feel natural.  Then we did glissades with jetes and assembles and the teacher said there is no assemble that you pick up your leg -- the assemble comes together in the air before landing.  We did reverse jetes and the beginners could not understand but the teacher said they are the same, except going the other way.  I was even confused at first until I remembered this principle.  When in doubt, always use logic, I thought to myself...
12.  Actually the last two should have been in reverse order, because the allegro was the last thing before reverence:  stand first position, bend forward, plie, bend sideways, bend back, tendu back and bow to teacher and pianist.

All done!  No swim today.  Winter is returning and I have too much to do at home to prepare for my new puppy!

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