I was not feeling well all week. It was a strange malaise with a frustrating lack of any real symptoms. I began to wonder if what was wrong with me was that it was raining, every day, all day. Or that two of my pets had to go to the emergency vet within a few weeks of each other. But telling myself it was all in my head didn’t give me any extra energy or make me feel like a living human being any faster. So I tried to rest, and I tried to patiently wait until the very idea of going to a ballet class didn’t make me want to cry out of exhaustion.
I missed my usual classes Monday and Wednesday. I didn’t feel up to a class that fit my schedule on Thursday (and certainly didn’t feel up to my usual cardio-based hip hop class either). On Friday, I couldn’t have made it from work to the evening class anyway. Finally, on Saturday, I began to feel like a member of civilization once again, and after the stars aligned just so, I made it to a Saturday morning class at my regular studio, taught by Taylor (Wednesday’s teacher).
Almost immediately I realized that something had indeed been physically wrong with me all week. My internal thermostat was all out of whack. I was sweating and shivering at once. Each exercise seemed to require everything I had—even tendus. I skipped relévés when possible, but sometimes it felt weird not to do them, so I just did them, and subsequently died, recovered, and came back to life in time for the next side or my next turn.
So I can’t really recap the Saturday class the way I would normally. I just kind of survived it.
I felt like more of myself towards the end of class, and class still improved my mood for the day. Feeling unwell always brings up strong emotions and anxiety. I have been known to burst into tears like a small child when I have a fever. Life is hard sometimes! Sometimes I’m too tired to be an adult! Why are you still here?! Go away!
Just kidding. Remember how I mentioned Taylor and Calla both play a lot of ballet instrumental remixes of songs from pop culture? Taylor was skipping through songs trying to find a song for pirouettes she really liked. At the time, I was sort of impatient because I had really liked the very first song she played and didn’t understand why she was still searching. She finally found the song she was looking for and it was from freaking La La Land.
Have you seen La La Land? Did you like it? From what I read online and heard from various friends of mine who saw it, (Academy Awards notwithstanding), it seemed to get a very polarized and mixed reception. Love it or hate it. If I think of it objectively, I totally see why someone would dislike the movie. However, I loved it. Love is not a strong enough word for how I felt about that movie. It was like it was made in a lab to tug at my personal heartstrings. I appreciate being moved to tears by a book or a movie, so if a work makes me cry, I usually ultimately like it, even if it was flawed or kind of dumb. I don’t think I have ever cried so much as I did when watching La La Land in the theatre. Maybe at the end of Brokeback Mountain, when my friend and I were still full-on snot-sobbing, embarrassingly, when the credits ended and the lights in the theatre came on!
I think I started crying at the audition scene in La La Land and literally didn’t stop until the end of the movie. It was just (*sniff*) so (sniff) beautiful. The story also reminded me of me and my boyfriend’s story in a scary ghost-of-Christmas-future way, I mean, like I said. It REALLY GOT ME GOOD
Back to class on Saturday, the pirouette song was an instrumental version of “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)”!!!!!(!!!!) I honestly thought I was going to cry right then and there, standing in B-plus. I wish I could have done more emotional and beautiful pirouettes, to do that beautiful song justice, but I was off balance and hoppy. It was still fun to try. Fun? I did feel somewhat taken aback, emotionally. It was just like, POW! “Right in the feels” as the kids say.
We did adagio to another poignant-sounding song, one I didn’t recognize. I wish I had any sort of mind for music but it’s hard for me to even remember a simple tune (part of my problem with musicality in class). So all I remember is how it made me feel, which was sad and romantic. The adagio combination was simple but pretty. It included a single en dehors pirouette from fifth that I “nailed” as much as I am capable of nailing anything. There was also a promenade in ecarté that I didn’t quite have the strength for, but was so lovely; I really tried. It’s nice to dance even if you… can’t quite dance. Is it time to end this post?
Nope! Because guess what I NEED to talk more about? (It’s La La Land.)
La La Land!!!
The one thing that bothered me about that movie was the dancing. It made me nostalgic for the days of true triple-threats in Old Hollywood musicals. Emma Stone is not a dancer, and although I LOVE her as an actress (and her singing voice!), I don’t know if my heart would be broken if they had found a different actress for the role who was actually a trained dancer. Because then it really would have been made for me and me alone. Imagine how breathtaking?!
Oh well. I never get hyped about Emma Stone, but she is also in Maniac, which is another of my newly favorite things, so I guess I love her.
I rarely get comments on here, but I would LOVE if anyone reading wanted to share their favorite triple-threats and corresponding films. Drop them on my Instagram if it’s a pain to comment here. I’m a filthy casual when it comes to musicals, and I wish I weren’t.
Anyway, my fellow adult ballerinas: Here’s to the ones who dream, as foolish as they may seem.