We made it up here yesterday evening.
Y’all, I had no idea a place could be this pretty.
My Brother-in-Law is from here and we are visiting his parents. I had looked up adult ballet classes nearby but wasn’t sure if I would get to go or not (counting more on the not.) It’s not really a big deal, I just thought it would be cool to do if I had the opportunity since I’m in a new place. My one concern was going this long without a class. I’ve gone longer, and it’s not really a big deal, but sometimes if I go too long my stomach gives me issues. Plus I’m missing nutcracker auditions, so I feel I must do penance or something.
This morning I woke up and headed downstairs to see if my sister was up. Instead I ran into Chad’s mom, Terri. She was heading to water aerobics and asked if I wanted to join.
I said yes, having been told it’s great cross training, and easy on the joints, and knowing that my friend taught a class during the summer intensives and how much the girls said they loved it. I was excited to try it out.
Now, if you had known me 5 years or so ago, I never would have tried something new like this. And if I managed to go, it would have been after much coaxing and I would have been nervous the entire time. I think choosing to go to ballet has really helped me become a better person, in many different ways, this being one of them.
Terri is really great and confident. It seems to run off on you and makes you feel very safe and comfortable. We drove over to the place, which wasn’t very far from their house, and got right to it, putting our stuff in lockers and heading to the pool. (After showering off first, of course.)
I opted not to do the hand weights, since I didn’t know what all this would do to me. I figured it wouldn’t do anything bad but I wasn’t feeling too hot yesterday with all the flying and travel and lack of sleep and just didn’t want to over exert myself. I probably could have managed, but I was glad that I was able to just focus on the different things they did instead of what to do with extra things.
I met a few ladies as we were walking from the lockers to the pool, including the instructor Sharon. She was really nice. It’s funny, because people comment on how friendly Texans are, but really most Americans are friendly, just some in a different way than I guess what people expect. But these ladies welcomed me right in.
It felt like ballet class, where we did different combinations, if you will. The instructor was really good about explaining the details of what to do, since I couldn’t see what she was doing due to being underwater. I found her giving general instructions that sounded rather much like ballet class: shoulders down, string up through your head, tucked rear, etc. I really felt like it was helping me with my ballet technique.
Being in the water like that, you feel your muscles differently. It’s almost like everything my teachers tell me were better defined through the resistance of the water. Plus, having to have my feet flat on the ground stretched out my calves really nicely and helped me feel where my center of balance was as well as where I place my weight on my foot. I have a bad habit of rolling in and it’s effecting everything I do. This helped me really feel where it is and work to be better about it.
Sharon used a lot of analogies that referenced winter sports. Terri made a comment that I’m from the south and wouldn’t know what she meant. We laughed about it and I told them I watched the Winter Olympics so knew generally what she meant, though I have never done any of them. It was funny. They said I was following along really well, which I completely thank ballet for that because it really helped me focus and understand and know how to take direction.
We did a few bits at the edge of the pool, almost using it like a barre. I loved it. I loved being able to feel what I was doing in that different way to better identify if I was doing it correctly or holding my alignment the way I need to. When we got out of the water I felt like I weighed an extra 100 pounds! Just goes to show you how much of a difference all that resistance makes!
Overall I really feel I benefitted from going, and I’m so grateful I got the spontaneous opportunity!
After that, we went hiking on this mountain. It’s not too strenuous of a hike, and I was able to take my camera and get some incredible pictures!
Then we went to Loon Lake, and I got in even though the water temperature is cold for a southerner like me. It was fun. They have a Newfoundland that is trained and would come and rescue you. So apparently he thought my feet splashes meant I needed rescuing and I grabbed his tail as he towed me back to shore.
It’s been great so far. I’m thoroughly wiped out and we still have more to go!
Oh! And an update on classes before I left.
Saturday’s 3-4 year old class over doubled. I only had two, so that didn’t take much, but I did have three new girls bringing the total to five.
One of them didn’t pay a lick of attention, and wouldn’t listen to anything I said. Ms. M even had to come into the class a time or two to try and get her to pay attention. I tried to go on my way and still have class for those paying attention. It was a struggle.
After class Ms M asked to speak with me. I was a little nervous that maybe I would get corrected on how I handled the class. Instead, she commended me on the way I handled it, saying I ignored her when I needed to and tried to include her when I needed to and dos the best that could be done for what I was handed. That felt so good to hear.
Then she made a comment later, saying, “You’ve really improved a lot!” And even going on to recount a time in class she saw someone who had a straight knee on something and she was curious as to who it was, and it was me. I felt really good, which was really nice considering how hard I’ve seemed to have been on myself lately.
Things have been good and I’m grateful.
Started ballet late October of 2011 at the age of 23.
Began pointe training late August of 2013.