Almost through Stage 1 of the Perfect Pointe book. Today is the day I’m supposed to retest and see how much progress I’ve made. The theme of the first stage is flexibility and I’m not expecting much change, to be honest. This is the difference between a, uh, mature ballerina and your average 10-year-old. Though, to be fair to myself, when I tested initially my abilities seemed to already be where they were supposed to be. I don’t struggle with getting into a deep plié, I am able to get into a high demi-pointe, and my regular pointe range is fine. My insteps and arches will never be accused of being pretty, but they’re adequate and do what they need to do.
But I went through all of the exercises diligently for the past two weeks anyway and — maybe I’m imagining it — but I do feel like it’s making some sort of a difference in my dancing ability. Yesterday I got complimented on a balance at the barre in attitude derrière. On both sides. This was in technique class, so I was in soft shoes, not en pointe, but still. Balances in general were feeling like less of a shot in the dark and more of me feeling well-placed and confident that I could remove my hand from the barre and not topple over. I can’t help but wonder if all those foot-strengthening exercises are contributing to that.
Maybe… if your feet are stronger then the rest of your body doesn’t have to fight to stay upright? Kind of makes sense. If you have your feet and ankles well-placed then the rest of the body can just rest on top rather than having to “help.” Efficiency. Something like that.
Physics and the Art of Dance just arrived from Amazon yesterday. Maybe Dr. Laws will have some insights into my theory. I really find the whole application of science to the world of dance fascinating, in case you haven’t picked up on that yet! I’m such a nerd.
Back to the pointe exercises…. I’m looking forward to moving on to the next stage; change up the exercises if nothing else. It’s gotten awfully repetitive and boring. And repetitive. And boring. And it’s been taking up a huge chunk of time every evening. BUT… I can definitely feel the burn when I’m working, so it’s got to be doing something. I’m looking forward to my next pointe class to see how I feel up there!