I have missed quite a few classes lately, though not as many as I originally expected.
Most of the girls were at RDA festival over the weekend and a few days in the week, so we didn’t have rehearsals. I missed last Tuesday, didn’t get to teach Friday, and missed this Monday and Tuesday. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to go today, but since the class starts later, I was able to make it, even after having to stay late at work. Thankfully I got everything done in time.
It was weird being surrounded by people who have been essentially dancing non stop for the last week and I haven’t had pointe shoes on for a week and a half. The classes I did make, I had to skip pointe because of the blister I got from last rehearsal. I was really hoping I’d get to make class tonight simply to be able to do pointe and a really good barre, so I was grateful to have that. The good thing about being surrounded by a load of girls fresh from festival was all the little tips and tricks they come back with. Cheyanne really helped me to know how to tell if your leg is directly behind you in tendu (your thighs should still be touching at the top) and same for front. I even got a compliment from Mrs. Alex on it when we did the right side after Cheyanne pointed that out. So it works 😂
Mrs Alex also had loads of good advice which I really appreciated. She also corrected my head placement for arabesque, which is one of the things I really want to learn and know this year. (Along with the arms and different positions. I find as an adult coming in to this, there’s certain things that you just miss by not having all the years rising up the ranks.)
It felt good to be in class today. I was a bit nervous, since I’d hit a sort of stand still here recently, that I would have a rough night of it, but it all seemed to go really well. I have loads to work on, but I was able to do more and better than I expected.
It’s a sort of trend I’ve noticed with all the different times I’ve had to sit out for a week or so for this injury or that sickness or whatever reason I was out of town. When I come back, everything I had been cramming into my brain before seems to click.
I held my core. I kept my back straight. I stayed on top of my hips. I pulled up from the knee caps. My legs were straight. I maintained turnout.
Obviously there are moments when I didn’t, but I seemed to notice it more. I tried harder. I worked harder.
It’s almost like we don’t know what we have until it’s gone. We find ourselves in this routine and rhythm and forget to think about these things we know and are reminded that we need to do. But once we’re away from it, once we have to take a step back and then return and remember to think about the things that were becoming second nature, you remember how important these things are. How vital to proper technique and execution it is to work on the fundamentals and challenge yourself.
I need to find a way to get my grand battement higher. I know you’re supposed to think of using the muscles underneath instead of strictly the quads, but even in doing so it still doesn’t go as high as I’d like. I probably need to roll out those muscles more, but even so it seems like somethings missing, or there’s something I just can’t reach.
It’s good to have moments where you take a step back. Give your body a moment to breathe so you can come back and take it to the next level.
I remember when I was only able to take one class a week. I dreamed of one day taking classes more days than not. This notion seemed so impossible, and I cherished every day I was able to come to the studio. I was a hot mess and pretty terrible, but I felt like I could breathe. Even when it was a really rough day and I couldn’t seem to get anything right, I loved it.
I don’t want to lose sight of that now that I’m in the studio 4 days a week without rehearsal and 6 days a week with. I don’t want my privilege to overshadow the point of everything. I want to take a step back, and come to it again with new eyes and remember the things I forget when it becomes routine.
I want to remember that any class has the potential to be my last, and I shouldn’t waste it.
I missed my girls. I missed being in the studio. I missed being in pointe shoes, even though they were a little off today for some reason.
It was good to be back.