I used to know this!

I’m loving the comments that Adult Beginner’s post has generated (see: OMG, like, wow). Based on what I’ve read so far it seems that my instincts on how to approach this class were spot on. Phew! I’m planning to post a response to all the great comments soon, will give it another day or two to see what anyone else has to say!

In the meantime, I wanted to blah blah about last night’s ballet class. This was the first time I attended Adult Ballet II at this studio. The instructor suggested I join the class a month or so ago after I’d been attending Adult Ballet I for a few weeks, but with the holidays and whatnot this was the first time I was able to actually get there. I almost didn’t make it there last night, either. I’ve had a dull sore throat for the past few days… not a full-blown cold, just enough symptoms to be obnoxious. Then started up with a headache fairly early yesterday and didn’t take ibuprofen in time to kill it (if I don’t catch them at the beginning, forget it, the only option is to sleep it off). Not to mention that a drug rep brought in Mexican food for lunch, so I knew that heartburn was lurking just waiting for me to try to do something athletic. So the whole hour-long drive from work to the studio I was going back and forth on, do I go? I want to go! But I really just want to sleep. But I’ll be sad if I don’t go! But what if my headache gets worse? Well, I’m already dressed for it, I might as well go. I don’t want heartburn! But I really want to dance!!! I pulled into the parking lot, popped another 200mg of ibuprofen, and dragged myself in.

I’m glad I went. I was actually able to mostly forget about the headache, sore throat, and the heartburn during class. Yay! But man, oh man. The combinations were definitely more complex than the other class. To be honest, I thought that for a “beginner” class the combinations in Adult Ballet I were pretty challenging! Though I think she bases a lot on who happens to be in class that day and lately we’ve had a lot of former students who are home on college break dropping in, so the average ability of students has been higher. Things are definitely a little easier when there are more true beginners in class. Anyway…

So, yeah, the teacher loves complex combinations and loves doing them fast! Assuming I can remember the order of steps, I can at least try to get my feet in the right place at the right time, but my turnout goes to pot, who knows if my foot is sickled or what it’s doing way down there at the end of my foot, and my arm, oh, are we supposed to be doing some sort of port de bras in all of this? I love fast combinations, but feel like I need some sort of remedial class in everything before I can even remotely make them look like ballet! When we aren’t doing stuff fast, we’re doing things slooooooow. And if there’s anything that’s ugly it’s watching me try to do a grand rond de jambe en dedans. That working leg just wants to turn in and the hip it’s attached to insists that it must come along for the ride and not keep quiet. Ugh.

And then we moved on to the center. Oh lord. Pas de basque? Yeah, the name rings a bell… it’s been a good 10 years since I’ve done one. How does that go again? Oh, tour jeté, yeah, I rock at those! Oh wait, yeah, I rocked at those 10 YEARS AGO! Now I just look like a spaz! Grumph! It made me think, gee, I wish I had realized exactly how much I was capable of back in the day (and wish I’d kept up with it!). Never know what we have until it’s gone, I guess.

But the funny thing is… people complimented me! Um, I’m sorry, what? Were you watching me or one of the other ladies? I’m the one with the burgundy leo, the one clomping around like a poser. That would be me. “You’re doing a great job keeping up in this class!” one of them said. When I told another that I’m just picking this back up after some years off she said, “Really, I can’t tell! You dance beautifully!” So either they’re A) lying or B) delusional or C) maybe I don’t suck as much as I think. Jury’s out.

But, yeah, I’m excited to add this class to my week. I’ll still go to the level I class, partly because if I want to join the group petitioning to reinstate the adult pointe class I need to take two technique classes a week. And besides that, the level I class is on Mondays and you’ve got to have something to look forward to on a Monday!

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