I was late to class for the first time. I was late leaving work, there was this whole thing with the shuttle I have to take to get on/off my work grounds, and then traffic was unusually terrible from home to class. I hate being late, but it wasn’t too bad. Taylor had waited a few minutes, since I wasn’t the only one stuck in traffic. I was still the last one in, but I only missed the first side of pliés.
The other day, I filmed myself doing a few different exercises. It was a strange experience, mostly because some of the faults I noticed were a total surprise (some were not, and some things were not as bad as I feared). One surprise was that I break the line of my arm with my wrist CONSTANTLY. It’s like I’m trying to add some extra flourish or something by bending my wrist so that my hand is perpendicular to my forearm. I had no idea that I did this! So of course I was overly conscious of it Wednesday in class. I felt very awkward and stiff while trying to avoid doing it. I think I’m going to go back to some World Ballet Day livestreams of pros in class and study their arms, and then try to mimic them without adding my lovely little “flair” wrist flick. My own attempts to stop the habit feel very unnatural. Maybe it will be easier if I imitate someone. I can’t believe I have such a glaringly bad habit! It’s so bad!
Me watching myself on video:
The other surprise was that I saw myself tucking pretty badly, especially a la seconde. I didn’t know I did that, so in class I just tried to think about pulling up more. In the video, I did the same movement twice and only noticed the bad tuck once, so I don’t think it’s a fully ingrained habit. Just something to remember.
Other than that, I noticed only things I am already aware of and trying to work on. Improvements to strength, turnout, general technique, quality of movement, alignment, the usual works. All things that don’t come in 2 months. Overall, I’m glad I finally took the time to film myself. I can also use the footage for comparison in the future, which is always good. I’ll thank me later.
Besides being late, class was great as usual. The male dancer is just a regular now. NBD. Oh but there was another, different, beautiful ballerina with 10-foot-long legs in this class! I think she was the exact same (unusually tall) height as the dancer who came to Monday’s class. They both had long straight hair, but the Monday ballerina was blonde and this one had dark hair. Otherwise I would have thought they were the same person. During center in Wednesday’s class, Taylor classified us both as having “long legs” while asking if we were able to do a combination as a single group. I’ll take any comparison I can get.
Taylor also mentioned that if we as adult students wanted to have a performance, all we had to do was “send an email” (but I’m not sure to whom). I was already thinking, as I was driving there with minutes ticking away frustratingly, that I wished I could text someone in class like I would a coworker to let them know I’m stuck in traffic or whatever. I wish I were the kind of person who could organize people, take initiative, reach out, connect. Say “hello.” My sister is that type of person, but I never have been. It would be nice to have a Facebook group or email list of all the regulars, and we could survey people’s feelings on a performance, go over combinations, etc. I think besides the tall dancer, everyone in the class has been coming regularly every week for a while now. Same with the Monday class, there are three or four of the same faces every week. I’m the one who is obsessed with putting my ballet journey on the internet, so I could be the one who reaches out. I feel like it’s possible I could get up the nerve… the moment isn’t quite right. Not yet. It’s only been 2 months.
The nice thing about all of this—wanting to connect, as well as my infatuation with that other location—is that this location (my regular studio) is actually brand new. It only opened earlier this year. So there is no real community yet, like there was at the other location. It’s up to us to make our own community, and we have the advantage that we’re all equally new.
I really will try to scrounge up some courage and make connections. I just have a lot of other emotionally taxing stuff on my plate these days. In the meantime, some of the groundwork is bound to happen naturally. No need to force it when I’m maxxed out on such things as “interacting with people” and “smiling on purpose.”
Final update – this weekend I am traveling to see my aforementioned sister-who-is-able-to-organize-a-club, who is herself an adult dance student! She teaches preschool out of her home, and the mother of one of her students is a dancer and choreographer from Russia! My sister has been taking modern dance with her for a while and is now in intermediate level classes. Last time I visited (before I started this blog) we took a private lesson with just the two of us, and it was a fun disaster! My ballet training did NOT come in handy in a modern dance class (although my sister says it did and that I caught on quickly). I had taken modern before, both at CPCC in Charlotte (once or twice, I think) and an entire semester in college (but the same teacher taught ballet and it was very watered-down and basic). Anyway, I remembered nothing and Alyona, the dancer, was surprised I didn’t know certain basic moves. Sorry that all I do is ballet and hip hop? Somehow?
So of course I’m going back for more! We scheduled another I will definitely write about it here, possibly with some pics and/or videos (the video from last class shall never be shown unto this world).
S t a y t u n e d