The studio is closed this week since we have recital rehearsals two of the days and recital the two days after that. Matthew, one of the dancers in my class, offered to teach classes. Originally, it was only on the Wednesdays of the weeks before summer, but we were able to get Ms. Munro to agree to having class yesterday as well. It was a combined class with the adults, who usually have class Monday and Wednesday, but an hour earlier than their normal time.
There was a fairly decent turn out. Enough to where we had to pull out a center barre, even. As far I know, Matthew has never taught a class before, but you wouldn’t know that by how well he did. He’s essentially a walking ballet encyclopedia, which definitely helps. More than that he was also very considerate to the levels he was teaching to, offering different versions of the steps based on level, and giving a full explanation of the combination, paying careful attention to the students to make sure they were confident in what to do before setting us to it.
(As Abarrane pointed out, he could be a professor. Maybe we should start referring to him as Professor Brehm. Maybe not, but maybe.)
There was a new face among us last night, and by the tone in her legs I assumed she was a friend of Matthew’s from the athletic club. I had no clue she had never taken a ballet class before until she told me at the end of class. She held her own really well. There was a moment at the barre when Matthew had us balance in back attitude, and I looked over (she was by the mirrors) and he corrected her knee to straighten. As soon as she did that, she rivaled half the class. She seemed determined to attempt anything, which I found really impressive. When it got to turns from the corner, I could see in her face the same thing I felt when first faced with a pique turn. I told her to not worry about turning it, and showed her again. I ended up going with her across the floor, and from what I could see in my peripheral, she did really well. After the left side, Matthew corrected her to get the passe all the way to the knee. I told her after that I was really impressed since most dancers struggle at the concept of closing the working leg into a true fifth. She kept it underneath herself without being told. She could do well with ballet if she ever wanted to. I’m sure already being so fit helps a great deal as well. We got to talking a little about where we started and who’s who in the class. She was super impressed with the two principal dancers there, as well as the few summarized back stories I was able to fit in. (And she thought Abarrane’s sister Kara was the cutest thing in the world.) We finished off the class and Matthew came over to see her. She instructs a class he takes at the athletic club, and she was telling him how she felt being in the class. It was really neat to hear the opinion of a “non-dancer” after a ballet class. (I put that in quotes because, seriously, she held her own.) Being immersed in something you’re typically just on the outside of looking in is a completely different and special experience. I was really struck when she used the word “beautiful” to describe the class.
It’s not just about the shows. It’s not just about what the public sees. What we do every day is beautiful. It’s an extension of this art form, ourselves being the medium, worked on, perfected, and honed nearly every day. And all these endless hours translate on to the stage when the time comes. And though there are many ugly days, Being on a stage isn’t what makes dance beautiful.
It’s the dancer.
I got home from dance with these vast plans to cook dinner and jet glue my pointe shoes. After dinner was done, I walked to my parent’s house to get my dog. (Mom likes to have her during the day. It’s one of those kinds of adorable that almost makes you sick, haha.) As I was walking up to the house, I heard a meowing. Most of our cats don’t meow unless they’re hungry, during which its a chorus of different tones of cat sounds. (hi, we have 15 acres and many outside cats to help with rats and–come to find out last night–snakes. I swear we aren’t crazy cat people…yet.) My sister had heard a cat under her hood, but hadn’t been able to get it out. The thing had somehow gotten itself up near her engine and wouldn’t find its way out. She drove to work and back with it yesterday, heart breaking as she heard it meow the whole way home. I noticed it only meowed when someone was near, so I turned on the flashlight on my phone and looked to see if I could see it. (We left the hood open for two days, hoping it’d come out, but all it managed was to pop its head out every now and then.) I went inside and recruited help, getting the gloves from my sisters front seat. I could touch the little sucker, but it would get scared and run to a different part of the engine. I even ended up under the car a few times, which is where my bun decided it had had it. Mom noticed it would follow the sounds if you meowed back at it, so we tried to coax it out the top where it would pop it’s little head out. That didn’t work, so dad poked at it to try and scare it in the right direction. It ended up right near the tire so I got back under the car and meowed at it. Dad lost sight of it, but only because I was staring the kitten in the face. I kept meowing, and it literally followed my voice out of the car. Once it got onto the gravel, it freaked out and ran to the tire, where I grabbed it and held it close to me. Dad was impressed, my sister super grateful. Mom had been praying the whole time we’d be able to get it out, and we did. We were a bit afraid to just let it go outside, that it might try and climb back in, so we took it inside and put it in the cat carrier with some food and water. Hoping my friend will be able to give it a good home.
And during all that, I didn’t get one rip in my tights.
Needless to say, I didn’t get my shoes glued, so I’ll have to fit that in sometime tonight along with turning one pair black, and figuring out how to alter my costume for V’s recital dance. Also have to find tights close to my skin tone to cut up for V’s jazz. Still not sure how I’ll make these quick changes, but I guess we’ll get it figured out. Where there’s a will, right?
Started ballet late October of 2011 at the age of 23.
Began pointe training late August of 2013.