Yesterday was our first class back. And boy was I happy to be there!
It’s cold here (okay, okay, compared to most it’s not that cold, but for us it is! Especially the wind!) so most of us were lagging a little bit and the class was only about half-full, but it was a great class.
I realized on my way to the studio as I mentally went through everything that I would face, that this is the first time in this studio knowing as many people as I know. Our Nutcracker rehearsals are done at the Corpus Christi Ballet studio downtown, and the last time I was here at Munro Ballet Studios, I didn’t know near as many people. I was curious to see what would happen with that, if anything. Usually I sit and read until someone I know shows or until class starts, whichever happens first.
Yesterday was no different. Okay, I guess there was a slight difference. This time when some of the girls were showing one of the others how to use a stretch band, and it was funny, I could laugh and not look like a creeper. Because I knew the girls and man was it hilarious!
I was actually okay with it being like this. I didn’t want anyone talking to me just because of pictures (feeling obligated to, or like they could milk some special treatment out of me, etc. Dancers like pictures of them dancing, it’s just how it is. And photo shoots can be expensive. Or just cost money at all. When, let’s face it, most mom’s or little siblings or cousins–especially those uninterested in dance–don’t always get the best shots.) But it was normal, if anything, the air was friendlier. Nothing was awkward. It was wonderful.
We get into class and get started. All of us are freezing, so warming up was loads of fun. (hah.)
From the first plie in first, I noticed something. I looked down at my feet and saw that, hey, wait, those weren’t always that far apart, were they? Continued on and we got to the grand battement section. Mine usually aren’t extravagant, and I remember them being slightly below 90 degrees starting at Munro. But yesterday I noticed that I could see my foot in my peripheral vision. (this doesn’t usually happen.) So I started paying attention, while making sure my hips stayed square and didn’t go all crazy and I wasn’t leaning and all that, and wouldn’t you know it my foot was higher than 90 degrees! Not super high, but that’s irrelevant. Getting above 90 is a pretty big deal and quite the milestone. In this class, especially, the teacher will say, “oh, just keep it at 90” and I laugh because getting it there doesn’t typically happen, but now it does! I’m pretty excited.
I had noticed last year when I came back from one injury or another that kept me out for a couple weeks that when I’m gone for some time, and come back, I’m stronger. My flexibility increases. My focus is better. And I used to panic when I had to miss because I didn’t think I could afford lacking any classes because I was so behind in comparison, but really, it helps me.
I didn’t practice any ballet over the break. (aside from the occasional ronde jambe in the grocery store aisles or tendu in the closet) I did go walking when the weather was nice and stretched a few times, but even with that my foot and ankle started hurting so I couldn’t do much. (the cold, maybe?) And maybe I had hit these things during Nutcracker. I know I could feel my turns getting stronger and other things. Maybe I just didn’t notice these happening.
Whatever the case, I’m glad to be back!
(Pointe on Thursday!)