I used to take class six days a week, often 2 - 3 times per day. I could not have asked for more or wished for less. That, sadly, was a lifetime ago - or so it sometimes seems to me. Back then I was a young chick (as in current age -15 years) and had all the time I wanted and all the I energy needed. Now I have to plan each day ahead, go to bed on time, eat properly, stretch diligently and be altogether a sensible adult, just to enjoy my 90 minutes of ballet three times a week. If I get lucky.
Lately there have been too many flu-, work- and dental emergency -related obstacles, all of which have been keeping me from my regular dose of ballet class. Instead I have been relegated to youtubing and blogging ballet, which is fun and all - but without the actual dancing it´s only spectator sports. Oh, and a dancer friend of mine borrowed me the DVD of the Paris Opera Ballet documentary "La Danse". It is a very long film, and although it is all dance, and no special effects, you would need really good sitz-bones to last through a movie-theatre viewing! But I will post more about La Danse later.
Now, back to classes and to not getting enough: I do know many adults who are happy to dance only twice a week, but that person is so not me! I know I need to practice a minimum of three times, just to maintain my level and strength. If I can, I like to train at least four times a week - otherwise it is pretty hard to advance and grow stronger! Last spring I took an average of 4-5 weekly ballet classes, in addition to our recital rehearsals. I loved how my body responded to the extra work! That is until my iliotibial band got inflamed from overtraining.. So there is that too.
At this moment there is really only one class that I absolutely cannot and will not miss, and that is Friday´s advanced ballet (90 min) plus pointe (60 min) with Madame. If she would teach any more classes (to us adults), I would want to go to each and everyone. But she does not, and so my other classes are mainly chosen to fit my schedule, as there is not that much difference between teachers. Meaning they are all pros and know their stuff for sure, but not everyone can be a master teacher.. Mondays it´s intermediate ballet and Wednesdays advanced beginner class, both old-school Vaganova (a bit too old-school for my liking and previous training). Sundays I take the occasional intermediate at another studio, which is fun but not really that productive.
Looking at my meagre schedule now, I see that I somehow have to work in more classes. Our spring recital is approaching fast and I do not want go on stage ill-prepared! I need at least one more class which is challenging, energetic, fun, and where all the students get lots of personal corrections. Unfortunately (for me that is) my other favorite teacher is still on her maternity leave. Even if she hopefully returns this summer or fall, it does not help me right now. So, in addition to the 3-4 ballet classes, I plan to do some pilates and yoga, and once the snow and icebergs melt away, lots of power-walking outdoors. Not too much to risk injuries from overworking muscles, but enough to survive the few minutes I get to be on stage!
Yikes, it´s 10 pm already and I still have to sew one last elastic on my new ballet slippers! Also I have not stretched yet, and need to be in bed in less than one hour. I wish I could function with a mere six hours of shut-eye.. But tomorrow is ballet class again and the end of my spectator dancing. Yay for that!