Day one – Alarm goes off at the usual time and I hit snooze and jump back in bed, but then realize, ASDP starts today! Bound out of bed and rush to get ready for work.
Day two – Alarm goes off at the usual time and I stumble out of bed, fumble for the snooze button, collapse back in bed and repeat this process about 4 more times. Four hours of sleep is SO no enough.
What a difference a day makes!
I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve driven to work in the past two and a half years. And two of those were before I was even on the payroll. Driving into Boston is a royal PITA. The cost of the commuter bus and T pass is well worth it to be able to sleep, read, or daydream while someone else takes responsibility for getting my butt to work. Plus parking near work is at a premium, therefore comes at a premium price.
But after trying to get to and from BBS’s Newton studio via public transport I knew that wasn’t a viable option for the duration. I needed to find a better way, but my bleary-eyed self didn’t have time to figure out the ideal plan at 5am, so I figured I’d suck up the drive and the parking fees for one day and map it out when I was more caffeinated.
As the day wore on, the soreness from day one started to kick in. I blame the Pilates since most of the sore muscles were in my core. But surprisingly my arms were feeling it, too (we hadn’t really done much upper body stuff… so either I’m a weakling or I engaged new muscles without realizing it). My legs a bit, too. But walking four miles in flip-flops may have contributed to that. Don’t get me wrong, the soreness felt good, but was definitely there!
I left my office in the afternoon around 4:30, cried bitter tears at the parking kiosk while I paid dearly to remove my vehicle, and got on the road to Newton. I was in the BBS-Newton parking lot a little after 5, cool, calm, and collected with plenty of time to change and figure out where I needed to be.
Day 2 was already off to a better start and I hadn’t even danced yet!
Which isn’t to say all my jitters had vanished. Because today the intermediate-advanced enrichment class was modern. I have experience in modern, but there are differing techniques and I didn’t know how this class would be structured.
We were in the grand studio for modern, which is where the intermediates had ballet & workshop the day before. As you can guess from the name, it’s a spacious studio. We warmed up by just walking and running around, waking up our bodies. Then moved into more traditional exercises. Helena Froehlich, our teacher, approached the class differently than the modern class I take occasionally at the home studio, but it was very similar to what I experienced with one of my modern professors in college. I loved that professor’s style, always found it very freeing and grounding at the same time. All in all, a great class and I left feeling warmed up and somehow very centered, too.
For technique class we were back in the studio where we had Pilates the day before. Definitely nowhere near as spacious as the grand studio, but still perfectly adequate. Christopher Anderson, our workshop instructor from day one, was teaching that day. I found his suggestions the day before so I was excited to take full class from him. But what impressed me the most was when he went to demonstrate the first exercise on one of the portable barres, noticed that it wasn’t at a perfect 90 degree angle from the mirror and straightened it. My fellow dancers at my home studio find me amusing because I have this weird thing about the barre needing to be perfectly perpendicular to the mirror. Yes, he and I will get along just fine.
There were a few new faces and few missing from the day before. Apparently we ladies scared away the two guys… they both moved to different levels. Class was good. Lots of focus on engaging turnout muscles. I also learned that I need to lift my elbows more in first which I had never ever heard before, but it definitely helped me to feel my back more. As with the day before I felt very centered and balanced during most of class. I think having Pilates and/or modern before really helps. I am terrible about warming up for class in my real life, mostly because I just never have enough time, but if I DO have time… I might need to think about what I can incorporate from those classes into a warm-up. Hm.
The one bummer with this class is that we only got through petit allegro before time ran out. This was the second day we never got to grand allegro. I like grand allegro! :( But I appreciated that we got a ton of corrections and spent time working on details. I had a thought about halfway through class that I would have handled the advanced class fine (granted, I came to this conclusion without seeing what they’re doing, just assuming it’s a step beyond what we’re doing in intermediate). The combinations at my home studio tend to be far more complex than what we’re doing at BBS. But… what I was really wanting to get out of this experience was a good technique scrubbing. Sometimes we get so into fancy, complicated stuff in my regular classes that I feel my technique going sloppy and I know I resort to bad habits at times. I want a chance to remind my body about where it should be placed, focus on the small details, and hopefully come back to my regular classes stronger for having gone back to basics. Time will tell on that front, I suppose.
After technique class we were back to the grand studio with the advanced level to learn some repertory! We found out we’d be learning a dance from Mikko Nissinen’s production of Swan Lake. Which — by the by — they will be performing this fall! I know it’s supposed to be an updated version, so not sure if the choreography we learn will be in the ballet, but would be cool if it is! The music is a piece I’m familiar with… I think our director used it in our production of The Wild Swans last summer. It’s a courtier dance or, in some versions, a villager dance. Basically… we get down, we boogie… 17th century style.
Between the advanced and intermediate levels there are 40 people altogether. Huge! Christopher Anderson was teaching this class as well and joked that we had a corps the size of the Bolshoi going on. It worked out, though, since the dance we’re learning was choreographed for 20 people, so he split us into two “casts”. It felt like it took a really long time to learn maybe four phrases of music, but I suppose that’s inevitable when dealing with that many people. Apparently we got farther than he expected us to. It’s a lovely, dance-y piece. Looking forward to learning more.
Managed to get home at a much more reasonable time last night. Much less stressful all around! Onward to day 3!