Dance Class Recaps

ghost in the balanchine

Free class day was on Saturday, so I went back to that big, old studio I’m in love with. The class was accurately labeled for once, as “intro/beginner.” But the “intro” part was maybe too accurate, and it may have been just a little too watered down for my tastes. It was still a good workout but I’m not sure how much that class would really help me improve.

Taylor’s Saturday class at my regular studio is much more on my level. Next year when I start taking class on Saturdays, I’ll probably just go there. Both classes have a pointe class afterward. Just sayin.

After class, one of the regulars at my normal studio introduced herself to me! Her name is Elizabeth. This is the same woman that I made small talk with that night a hurricane was coming. Now I know her name! Elizabeth! Unfortunately, I don’t think she remembered that conversation we had months ago, because she asked where I’m from and why I moved here, and I had to repeat the information about having done a long-distance relationship with my boyfriend for a year. I don’t blame her at all (she probably has more than 1 conversation a day) but I was disconcerted by it all the same—and then just as that had happened, as I was hesitantly repeating my story to Elizabeth, the teacher of the class came up to me and said, “I’m so glad you decided to come back!” to which I confusedly smiled and I think I said something generic like “Oh yeah!” as she smiled back happily and moved on.

I have never been to her class before! I have never seen her before! Who did she think I was?! Am I a ghost? Am I the ghost of someone you know?

Thoroughly flustered by being simultaneously forgotten and (erroneously) remembered, I looked down and saw that Elizabeth was putting on pointe shoes. “Oh you do pointe!” I blurted out. Elizabeth explained that she had never done pointe before, but the teacher of this class helped her understand when she was ready, and told her where to get shoes, and how to pick ones that fit.

Hearing that, I began to reconsider my initial aversion to this particular class. I may be more advanced in soft shoes but going on pointe would start me back at zero. A super beginner pointe class with a hand-holding teacher sounded awesome. Hmm.

What I will probably do next year when I get my unlimited pass, is try out both pointe classes in soft shoes and then decide from there. I’m curious how difficult Taylor’s pointe class would be. I just lean towards her class because she’s such a good teacher and by now I have a lot of trust in her. If she told me I was ready to go on pointe, I would believe her. This other teacher, I might have some doubts…

I chatted a bit more with Elizabeth and then said I would see her next week and left her to her shoes. She only comes to Wednesday classes, but I didn’t remember that because the two classes blur together in my mind.

So that was Saturday. I took class on Monday as usual and it was just bleh. I went into the office instead of working from home, so I was more tired than I would have been otherwise. It’s a little easier to do work + ballet on Wednesdays when one has become accustomed to the Grind. I basically just went through the motions during all of barre. I even watched the clock a bit: is it over yet? A tragic thought to have during precious ballet class! After barre, I woke up a little and enjoyed class much more. Calla gave us a simple pirouette combination that she said was part of a variation from Swan Lake. All it was, was a chasse to second arabesque, step through to fourth, then an en dehors pirouette closing in fifth front (a lil tricky). But it was so lovely! And I liked the song too, which I don’t think was music from Swan Lake but I’m not sure.

Sarah Lamb of Royal Ballet in a lovely second arabesque

We repeated it right-left-right-left and by the second time to the left (my good side) I could barely complete a single pirouette. I didn’t even attempt doubles, even though I know I should more often. I’m doubles-shy. I’ll do it when I’m READY. Some of the more advanced dancers in the class go for triples or more, but don’t do them cleanly, and I kind of don’t get it. Just do two beautifully? I wish I could! But to each her own. They are probably watching me and wondering why I don’t go for two.

We have a male dancer in the Monday class now, too. He is very, very tall and we keep standing next to each other at the barre and it’s somewhat ridiculous. We have to stand like 10 feet apart. I sort of have a “place” at the barre now which is at the corner of the wall across from the mirror. NO it’s not because it’s a skinny spot in the mirror (yes it is).

We ran out of time for a diagonal combination, which was fine with me, because she had just ran us ragged with petit allegro. One more time! Ready? (Nobody answers; nobody can breathe.)

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