Yesterday I noticed my teacher watching me.
Not to say that they don’t watch us in class at this studio, because they do. They walk around and look at each of us to make sure we are doing the full execution correctly. Some will correct us separately, some correct the entire class in a general statement. My Monday teacher is usually the general statement type.
I missed class last Monday, and really wasn’t feeling too hot yesterday either, but I really wanted to be there and I had this notion in my head that going to dance would make me feel better. (Sometimes it does. And yesterday it did, if only for the 1.25 hours I was there) So I went, and was really wanting to do well and think about the movements as I was doing them instead of just going through motions.
I thought about what my turnout looked like, about leading with my heel, having a straight supporting leg, keeping my hips square, ribs over hips, arms strong. Ms. Lori has been challenging us with this and even though we haven’t had her for two weeks, I want to implement the things she’s been teaching us.
There was a good class full, but not an excruciating amount of people there yesterday, so our position at the barre was comfortable. As we were doing one of the combinations, I could feel my teacher watching me. I noticed her eyes in my direction, and she had stopped where she was (probably to avoid getting grand battement’d in the fact by some of the students) and was looking my way. Not just a glance, but an actual attention-focused gaze.
My first thought was, “Crap. I must be doing this wrong. It probably looks funny. Please tell me if it looks funny.” But I just tried to do my best and keep on the music and beat correctly and do the combination right.
When we went to the center, I noticed it again.
I stay on flat in this class because I’m not confident with some of the things we do. (I’m hoping to gain confidence and be able to do it next year.) The combination involved a tendu, coupe, pas de bourree, pique coupe, pique coupe, pique passe then it transitioned to a pique sous sous and a few other things I can’t remember now, but it was a lot of change of direction and keeping the energy up. It was quick.
When my group went, I noticed her watching our side of the floor. The good kids most people watch were on the opposite side, but she was watching ours. I figured she was focusing on my friend Mari who really has been improving substantially and doing really, really well overall. When we finished, I asked if she noticed her watching our direction and she said she did.
So it wasn’t just me imagining things.
The next thing we did across the floor, which involved adagio and a lot of balance and holds, was actually a really pretty piece. It felt good, even in it’s challenge. Chasse, temps lie, develope a la second, waltz, waltz, pique, pique, pas de bourree, pirouette, rond de jambe, en dedans pirouette, passe, extend arabesque, fondu in arabesque, and something else. (I might have mixed up two differen’t combos. Oh well.) Anyway, it was slow and specific and I’ve noticed my balancing ability improving so I’ve been really trying to hold balances at the barre and on the floor. I’ve also been trying to use my epaulement and have been paying attention to my head placement and all that. This time she walked over to my side and was watching. I felt her eyes in my direction again and just did my best even though I flubbed here and there. But this time, Mari was in a different group.
I’m not 100% sure she was watching. She could have been watching someone behind or beside me. If she was watching me, I’m not sure why–I could be doing something incorrectly, or holding myself in a funny way, or I could be commanding presence, or not at all. But this isn’t the type of class where someone like me is watched so intently for so long. It’s seen more as a class to practice rather than to learn new things all the time. (Many of the more advanced dancers take it to get more dancing into their week.)
Either way, I want to work harder. I want to improve. I want to be better.
Also, my new pointe shoes were finally located and are now in my possession and sewn. I’m hoping to be able to break them in today or tomorrow. I wish I knew more tips and trips for breaking in capezio’s, because they’re made as a “pre-broken in shoe” yet I break the shank before the box.
Trial and error I suppose.
Soon I’ll have the space and ability to practice more and really get my strength up. I’m on pins and needles.