A new teacher (eek!)

Showed up to class as scheduled on Monday afternoon. Chaos was reigning supreme… I think the kids’ ballet class had just let out or something. Waist-high children running helter skelter around the school. Adults and teens getting ready for class.

Got me and my new slippers into our studio. I’ve never seen so many barres set up in there in my life. They must have been importing them from the other rooms. One of the adult regulars was in her usual spot and mentioned to another person, “No, you can’t go there, that’s [Director’s] spot.” [Director’s] spot? Isn’t her spot, you know, over by the sound system? Or roaming throughout the studio making corrections?

And then I saw the unfamiliar face and I realized… new teacher!

How simultaneously exciting and terrifying! Who is she and from whence did she come? Is she here to stay or just a guest teacher? Will she be hard? Easy? Yaaaahhhhhh!!!

Turns out she’s here to stay, new to us from a now-closed studio. Background? Typical American ballet mutt. Seemed pretty friendly and happy to be with us. Always a plus!

After a brief intro we got to work. Nothing terribly taxing, but… this teacher has a huge technical focus. Not a combination went by where she did not comment on something we could work on to improve. And I? I love that… maybe because it’s the way I teach. I love those little tidbits for the brain file. Although I’ll admit that it was a bit disheartening in a way. I wanted us, collectively, to at least blow ONE combination out of the water. Maybe next week.

I didn’t sweat nearly as much as I usually do… but some of the others were commenting on how much harder the class was than usual. I wonder if it’s just switching gears to the different expectations. I found it more mentally taxing than physically. Some of the corrections she gave us I think actually make the exercises easier. Once you know where to put your body to support yourself properly it’s not nearly as difficult to move. Plus it looks tons better.

She stuck around to teach pointe as well, and I have to say that I greatly appreciated the technical focus here. Having only been back on pointe for a few months I can definitely use the extended time at the barre to really focus on the details. I also enjoyed watching her work with some of the girls who are newer to pointe. I always cringe watching them hanging back on their boxes with their ankles flexed, so it was great to see how she worked with them (and the one girl who was brand new to pointe) to get them in more proper alignment.

Looking forward to working with her more. I can definitely see how she and the other teacher will balance out. Between the two of them, I anticipate great things!

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