I went to the storage place again and then I went to get some dog supplies and then the bus was right there outside the pet store to take me to Pilates class. The substitute teacher ran us through our drills, leg kicks from the side, spine stretches, rolling up, and after class I asked her what I could do for my back and shoulders while doing my spring cleaning and she recommended lunges to develop the hip flexors and the yoga pigeon pose, lifting the back leg up to try to touch the head; also for the shoulders, get on a rowing machine at the gym to work the trapezius muscles.
Then I had to go to the dentist. I really had a fun day, right? I went to the health food store and on the way walked into an art exhibit of cake sculptures. There were all kinds of cakes and I bought myself a piece of art: a white bonbon made of old coffee cups shaped together with glue. And then I was right by the train, which whisked me away to ballet.
There was a young man in class, a really good professional dancer I knew from the past, and he made being in class so much more fun because he loves to dance. I watched him take command of the combinations and when I felt lost, I glanced at him and he always knew what he was doing. Same in center, I followed him through pirouettes and later through a rather tricky jump combination which the teacher told us to remember for a future class, so I will write it down shortly...
As promised, class:
1. Plies with port de bras. Demi, demi, grand plie in 2nd, port de bras forward, back, force arch, grand plie, releve, force arch in releve, balance.
2. Tendus 1st, 5th, 4x second, 1st 5th back, 4x second. (I tried to use the floor and make my legs heavy and then the teacher said to lift the heels up and this seems to help, too. I told the man in class I am working on my feet...)
3. Degages 4x front, 1st 5th side, 4 back, balancoire, fondu passe extend to arabesque balance.
4. Pique front side, side front, swing to back, 5th, degage out seconde, degages in second position with arms.
5. Frappes 3x en croix, batterie; do on demi pointe. (Really strike the floor and go down into the ground, the teacher said).
6. Fondus en croix with developpes in 4th, ecarte, fouette to attitude balance, extend to arabesque.
7. Ronde jambes with fondus, ronde jambe off floor, kick to back.
8. Grand battements. (Don't hoist the hip up, teacher said at me, push down into the ground -- keep the hips still).
1. Tendus croise front, point tendu in second, pas de basque, pirouettes en dehors. (The teacher stressed through class to keep the lats muscles down and squeeze the floating ribs together so your back doesn't stick out. Put your fingers on the ribs and pull together at the waistline -- that much you have to suck in the middle -- and it really helped my pirouettes. Painful but good at the same time.)
2. Chasse pas de bourre forward to pirouettes en dedans, chasse to pirouettes en dehors.
3. Echappe beat trois, glissade jete battu, glissade jete battu, brises, pas de bourre ouverte, trois, assemble, entrechesix. Repeat left side. (This was the tricky jump, and it was tricky because it was fast. I tried to assemble my legs in the air with pointed feet and plie with my whole foot on the floor every time.)
4. Chasse pas de bourre glissade grand jetes.
I think the man in class was amazed that I could actually turn and I almost looked like a dancer -- since he had seen me last in my gangly state, many have noticed I am much improved due to my constant Pilates workouts, swims, yoga, and lessons with my best teacher to whom I owe so much. The dancer in me is finally coming out...
The art gallery I visited was full of cake sculptures which are nice to look at but forbidden in the world of sports. I wish I could afford this giant cake, which is filled in the center with a pink toy poodle and other kinds of sweet things, which took the artist two years to complete, which probably costs around $7,000, or the most expensive price I saw on the "menu". I settled for the white bonbon, made from styrafoam coffee cups bent into shape with layers of glue, a work of art purchased by me for $4!