Yesterday began our new schedule, July classes.
They only offer adult ballet and ballet classes for Intermediate/Advanced dancers (combined) which doesn’t feel any different to me, but is very different from the dancing-every-day that the intensive girls are used to. I’m really glad they give the teachers a chance to have a break, but I’m also extremely grateful they still have classes for us available.
This weekend was rough, and all I wanted to do was be in the studio, surrounded by people whom I love and who love me doing the thing we all love. I wanted to feel alive.
There weren’t near as many of the younger girls in class, and there were more of the older girls. It felt so good to be in that room. I can’t say that enough.
I was at the barre between two of my good friends, Annika and Abarrane, the latter fresh off a stint at a summer intensive. I don’t know what it was, but being sandwiched between these two dancers made the class even better. Maybe I’m not used to being around dancers that are a higher level, I don’t know, but it was ideal.
Ms. Munro taught our class, which I was excited about. I couldn’t really tell when she was talking to me or Abarrane, unless she specifically said one of our names, which typically she doesn’t. So if it was a correction, I took it like she was talking to me. If it was a praise, I took it like she was talking to her. That way if it was her, and I was jacked up or something I wouldn’t think I was doing it right when I clearly wasn’t. Does that make sense? Anyway.
I really felt good about the way barre was going, minus the fact that I kept forgetting to breathe or not breathing enough. It was particularly bad this time, my only guess that I wasn’t breathing enough this weekend and didn’t really notice, so it caught up to me in class that I wasn’t aptly oxygenated. Is that a thing? I don’t know.
I made a point to really try in class. To do my best. To not just go through the motions, but actually dance. What if I never got to see my next class? What if this is my last chance? No regrets, right? Right.
Ms. Munro apparently saw this, and commented that my epaulment looked nice. She also complimented me on my arms (elbows being lifted) and my back attitude balance. (!!!!) This was a first on the back attitude, because my leg typically dips. But something clicked and the stars aligned and I was able to get my back leg flat and lifted while keeping my hip down and my balance was there so I was able to let go and even hold it. And she saw it. And she complimented it by name. Victory.
We did center en pointe. The younger ones stayed on flat, but I wanted to try it. I felt like I was capable of doing it and wanted to try and see. I was nervous.
My toes actually did better than they ever have. The left foot’s toes didn’t even fall asleep. (I wish I knew how this was achieved!) I was able to do what she asked and not look like a fish on dry land floppin’ around. When we did this combination across the floor, I had a little trouble, but not too much. Apparently in the balance (I can’t get the accent on that last e.) back I wasn’t making it as juicy as she wanted, so she came over and moved me physically into how it was supposed to be. I’ve only seen her do this with people that show promise, so it made me happy to have the correction. Plus, I just didn’t know. It startled me since she’s never done this with me before so I was a little thrown, but it ended up being okay. I finished the combination decently. (In execution.) Apparently my face was super focused cause after that run through (which was the second time) she told me not to look so worried. You could read on my face that I was nervous for the pirouettes. Gotta work on that.
Also, pirouettes on pointe. (!!!)
I hadn’t done these since Nutcracker, which were really rough and so much has happened since then. I was extremely grateful that this was part of the combination so I could have a chance to work on them, but also nervous. Obviously. I managed to get around, but on one of the sides, my bad habit of putting the toe behind the knee crept up and the turn was less than successful. But I am grateful for the mistake. On the other side, I did it right and was able to feel the difference putting the toe in front of the knee makes and how it really affects the turn in a positive way. I wish I could work on them more, but I’m grateful to have had the positive exposure to them again.
By the time we did the last combination across the floor, my brain was apparently fried. I was spacing out. The first time was decent until we got to the pique turns, which I was attempting, but my knee wasn’t straight and I didn’t want to do it half way. (It was because that toe was hurting. Still gotta figure out this formula.) It was okay. The second time we did it, I completely spaced on what we were supposed to do, which was frustrating since I could actually turn on that side! But that’s okay. It was a Monday, and a heck of one at that. The rest of the class was really great and so informative and constructive. I feel like I can be in these classes and actually swim instead of feeling like I’m drowning all the time. I’ve almost crossed that hurdle. I’m excited to see where the rest of the summer session takes me, although missing two weeks of classes will be a bummer. (It’s for Europe, though, so it’s really okay.)
I wish I could dance every day. I’m hoping next fall to be able to dance four days a week, but it’ll depend on if I can afford it. And if I’d be more over my head than I think I would be right now. We’ll see when I get there.
Until then, I really hope to get more pirouette practice, and hopefully be able to keep my brain more clear so I can dance better and prove myself. So far, so great.