About Me

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Bowl Sunday...

The streets are deserted because everyone is watching the game.  I returned from the gym after my swim and made some popcorn to watch the game.  I am still thinking of ballet class, however, because that is my favorite sport.  I go to the gym but now I am trying to streamline my training to adapt to ballet.  Ballet is the challenge and something I want to master if it's the last thing I do and since I lost my job last year I feel that this is my time.  It has been a rocky year, trying to be in class and working out and I'm not used to trying to stay in shape.  It is hard work!  I always admired dancers and how they could dance on low incomes and still manage to stay in shape.  It is tough mentally, too, when your budget is uncertain and the stress can get to you and then you get depressed and it reflects on your body.  I don't know how dancers do it.  Sometimes I think I would have liked to be a dancer but since I started late, all I can do is make a hobby of it.  Still, dancing has always identified me as a person and I have stuck with it all these years because it is the only thing I know where I can express myself, my thoughts and my feelings.  For me it is almost more mental than physical, but I know I must master the physical part if I am to succeed in conveying my deepest feelings as a person.

The Sunday class was small and I really tried to focus on the combinations and do them accurately.  Sometimes I get so involved in the mechanics of movements that I forget what I am doing and it is rude and disruptive to the class to not pay attention and go and do your own thing.  I remember a dancer and teacher who used to be in a class of mine and I always overheard the other dancers commenting on how he would stand at barre and modify the movements to satisfy himself and he didn't really participate in the class.  The teacher there would remark that if we wanted to do whatever we felt like, we should rent a studio and do our own class.  Of course, at the gym, you can do what you want, so I need to be more mindful of this, or my teachers will soon lose their patience with me.  It is also difficult because as an adult you are more independent; whereas, as a child, you are used to being disciplined and listening to others.

End of confession.  Class consisted of the usual plies at barre, then the usual traditional plies, tendus, degages, ronde jambe, developpes, passe and attitude balances, arabesque balances, grand battements.  Then in center we did several moves that I found enjoyable.  The whole class today seemed geared around the core and holding the middle, the back, and finding stability, also pointing the feet, especially in jumps, because it looks so much better and I'm sure it is physically a more effective way to jump as well.
1. Pas de basque assemble, changements, sissonne arabesque, sissonne side with pirouette en dehors, leg in back.  This type of pirouette seemed easier than the traditional one, because I think with the leg in back, I could feel my knees, something the teacher always says to me, straighten your knees.
2. Pique first arabesque balance, plie, pas de bourre, grand ronde jambe, pas de bourre, attitude turn en dehors.
3. Developpe a la seconde, plie pas de bourre, pirouettes, rotation, pirouettes en dedans.
4. Sixteen changements with assembles sideways; echappes.

After class I lingered like I always do, watching the others, chatting, watching a young boy taking a private class where he jumped on one foot over some free weights placed strategically on the floor by the teacher.  I always feel that dance class is home to me and never want to leave...


  1. i love how you remember all of the combination and write them down. that is a skill all by itself!

  2. Homer Bryant, former teacher and principle of Dance Theater of Harlem, made us do this and I have kept it up because it helps me think about the steps, although I need to get a little more vocabulary!