Class on Wednesday was packed! We were already pretty full when three students walked in slightly late, all absolute beginners. I forget sometimes Wednesdays are billed as “beginner ballet.” We had to pull out a second barre, a rare occurrence.
It was nice having the beginners in class, although Taylor didn’t change much and it was still a good level of challenge for the regulars. She just jumped in with the beginners and gave them some variations (hands on hips, etc). It was nice to see ballet class through fresh eyes—like wow okay what I am doing is actually pretty difficult and it really did take SO MANY YEARS to get to this level I’m at now (that sometimes feels like the lowest level possible). When you start taking a lot of classes and getting super into ~*~*ballet*~*~, it’s easy to forget how much you’ve had to learn and how much you already know. Like the positions of the feet, what a tendu is, which hand goes on the barre, which foot goes in front. The stuff that’s like, DUH well EVERYONE knows that, I’m not going to list “knowing what a demi plié is” to my list of accomplishments. But maybe we should; it’s not like we were born with this knowledge.
The beginners talked to Taylor afterward and she recommended they try out the “intro” class the next night, but welcomed them to keep coming to this class if it fit their schedule. Taylor is as welcoming and accommodating as humanly possible, but I’m sure it is so overwhelming stepping into a ballet class for the first time ever, and I hope they liked it enough to keep coming! EVERYONE SHOULD DO BALLET
Let’s see, what did we do in class? I am still in that mode where I’m like “I suck, everything I do sucks” although my confidence was maybe a little better than it was on Monday. Taylor came by and smooshed my feet together in sous-sus. And she also suggested I move my second position working leg forward a bit and concentrate on turning out from there. I will try to take that advice; I know I’ve heard it before. And I have gotten my feet smooshed together in sous-sus one million times. It’s my turnout combined with my weak demi pointe. I was grateful for the personal corrections at any rate.
She told the entire class to watch out for leaving our butts behind in grands battements derriere. Pull up after. She also reminded us to keep moving/dancing during fondues, which led me to actually feeling good about that combination on the second side. Fondues had been feeling awkward forever so remembering to make them GOOEY helped a lot. They used to be one of my favorite barre exercises but I guess I kind of forgot the trick to them and now I hate them.
We did a zig-zag combination from the corner, and I somehow stubbed all of my toes on my right foot. Not badly but they all stung for the rest of the night. I got too excited. I was on the same parallel as the male dancer and was trying to sync up with him. I don’t even know what I did. Probably tried to float for too long and didn’t have time to prepare for landing.
I kind of hate grand allegro unless it’s something obscure that I randomly feel good at. Like pas de chats (so obscure). Something about stretching out and leaping in a grande jete or saut de chat is super difficult. I have no control, flailing around in the air like that. At least I imagine I don’t. Grand allegro is the #1 thing I would like to see a video of myself doing so I can see what exactly is going on there. It never feels good but I can’t figure out why not. I also have such a problem with transition steps. Why does it look SO different when other dancers do them? Taylor shouted “Nice! Great ballon!” at another of the regulars (who does always have great ballon) (and great feet), and I was so jealous. WHAT is she doing that makes her look like a real ballerina? I know the steps! Why don’t I look like that? Are there different, secret steps?? WHAT IS THE SECRET PASSWORD
Doing ballet in high school probably.
I wish I were a braver and/or more outgoing person. So I could have told the beginners to please come back! That ballet is hard but also the best thing ever! Don’t be discouraged! Or, be discouraged but come back anyway (that’s the real secret).