Tropical Storm Bill has been threatening the area the past couple days. I wore my glasses to work in case I got stuck here due to terrible rains, but brought my ballet clothes in hopes it would be typical and go past us.
I was right.
This resulted in me doing my first ever ballet class while wearing glasses.
I walked in and the receptionist didn’t recognize me. Granted, my hair was also down and it’s short which people still aren’t used to. A couple of my babies were in the lobby, and Cheyenne walked in shortly after I got there. I hadn’t seen her since recital so I was really glad she was there. I got to talk with her Mom and little sister while she took the tap class before both of our ballet classes. We’re in different levels, so I don’t get to dance with her, but it was just great to see her and her family. Her mom has to be one of the nicest and most encouraging people I have encountered. Yesterday, Mrs. Rowland and I were talking about parents and their support and how important it is. I get that I’m an adult and my parents may not understand why I dance and they may not particularly care to go to all of my shows, but it has taken me some time to really come to terms with this. I also told her about why Mom took me out in the first place when I was younger, even though Mom doesn’t remember it the way I do. (that happens?) She was so incredibly supportive of me and told me they would be at every show I’m in. And I know she means it.
And during class, I looked at the two-way mirror and I saw here there with the other moms, watching me. And it just meant more than I thought it would. I didn’t think I needed anyone, thought I was fine going at this by myself, and I am. No one technically needs other people. But really, you do. To make life enjoyable and to take some of the strain away, you need people. Sometimes this can be life or death and you think you’re okay and you can get through it alone and then next thing you know you’re in your head and no one can pull you out or tell you that what you think isn’t how it is and you forget that things are better than you see them right now.
You need people.
The more people I find I have, the more my heart really explodes.
I have dance friends that love and care about me.
I have older dance friends to look up to.
I have younger dance friends to encourage
And the thing with encouraging younger dance friends, is they encourage you right back. You instill that in them, you’re planting a seed, and that seed turns into a flower right when you need it most.
(Like yesterday when I was really sucking at trying doubles and Ms. Munro was watching me on it and I managed to almost get a good one and one of the girls had been watching me and she made a point to mention that it looked good after. She didn’t have to do that. Such a kind soul.)
Ms. Munro taught our class, so I was a little nervous. My back was hurting and I was wanting to implement what Abby had shown me Thursday but felt the pressure of having Ms. Munro in there. I want to prove myself to her. I want to show her that I’m improving and good enough to do these things I aspire to. I want to hold up the reputation I developed during Oz.
We did this thing at the barre where we lunged forward and did a port de bra forward and then changed the arms for back. She said, “Come on, you’re doing Swan Lake next year!”
(I was a little surprised she said it in this class, because most of these girls are younger and wouldn’t be able to be in the core more than likely. But oh well.)
So I determined to dance it, not just go through the motions. To show her that I can do this, even when it’s just at the barre. I want to make her notice me. I want to show her I can do this.
We do the combination, and she walks around the room, watching and correcting. She gets to me right when we do the “Swan Lake part” and says, “Good, Emilee! That’s it!”
No just kidding, but it was still great. There were things that she would tell us to do and the class as a whole struggled so she would work on it until we got it; she wouldn’t move on with it being mediocre. (Thank God.) And every time she watched us each separately, when she came to me she had no corrections. I was doing it correctly. There were a few corrections during class, but nothing trivial.
She had me trying doubles, and working with me getting more comfortable in them. By the end, I had two revolutions and can build from there. She had me working on balance and control. She kept correcting my Third Position arms because I have a tendency to make them wonky. She complimented me a lot, and the group of three I ended up in was with the other two adults in the class. At one point when we finished a combination across the floor that the class seemed to find difficult, she said, “Maybe it just comes with maturity!” because we were the only ones that seemed to get it right.
She also taught our pointe class, which she used to teach us a variation. We learned a doll variation from Coppelia, which I have yet to see, but I recognized elements of from the doll scene we do in our Nutcracker. (which is my favorite.) It was a simple and really fun variation which involved characterization, so of course I had a blast with it.
We had to adjust the beginning part since we didn’t have props. We figured out a way to do it and Ms. Munro couldn’t seem to remember how to do it, so while running it she literally just said, “Just watch Emilee!” after she kept messing it up. (Knowing it one way for so long, then mixing it up, it must be difficult.)
I used a trick Elizabeth told me about, and that I think I remember seeing Lillian use, of stuffing the empty space from my gimpy toes with paper towels. And, wouldn’t you know, it helped. My toes still hurt, but not blinding pain like last time. We also didn’t dance as much, but I was in my shoes the same amount of time and I think that would make some sort of a difference. I’m hopeful.
So I was able to do the variation fairly decently. Except for this really quick part that no one could do well so I just did it on demi. It was a lot of fun.
I was able to do the pique attitude’s and different things and feel stable doing them, which made me really happy and hopeful. All in all, I left the class feeling really good. Maybe all isn’t lost.
I’m keeping up well and improving at a good rate. I’m able to execute the moves properly for where I should be. I’m not cowering away from challenges. And with Abby’s privates, I should be able to continue to improve.
Yesterday was a good day.