You know you´ve had enough of the dancing when you wake up, stand up and are actually relieved that there is no dancing on the day! The body is tired, and brain might like something other than ballet for a change.. Happened to me this lovely Saturday, after one week of working nine to five, followed by dancing between five to nine. Ah, the bliss of daily dancing - which can only be dimmed by the less-than-blissful morning trek to work and back. Nah, seriously, I like my job and the means it provides - but merging my work schedule with life & dance is quite the challenge! Especially when my inner clock is still in holiday sleep-in-late-mode..
Mondays and Tuesdays I get home from class reasonably early, before 8 PM (20:00 hrs) - still plenty of time for whatever else. However, on Wednesdays and Thurdays classes end after 8.30 PM, which means I´m home just before 10 PM. At that point I´m starving, tired and if it´s been a good class, way too wired for sleep. Should be in bed within one hour, but with facebooking, the blogging and the tweeting, the stretching and the eating - no can do. Before you know, it´s past midnight and I´m looking at less than 6 hours worth of sleep. Dang! Did I mention that I´m so not a morning person?
When you dance daily, rest is vital. But don´t try to hold off with the R&R until the weekend, or else your dancing suffers. Fatigue is not just a serious buzz-kill but also detrimental to muscle tonus. Any dancer knows that in order to dance full out, you need your brain and body to work in optimum harmony! Now I just need to follow my own advice.. By the time the past week had reached Friday I could have slept standing up. Class was late in the evening, so I went home first. Any sane, non-dancing person would have hit the couch and stayed there. But has sanity ever stopped me from dancing? Nope. Nor did it stop the attack of the yawns midway through class - which my teacher of course noticed! How embarrassing.. To my defense, the air inside was hot, humid and stagnant. I was not the only one feeling its slumbering effect!
So, what do you do when Big Sleep is but a wink away and you´re still in class? If there is imminent danger of you crashing into anyone, or hurting yourself, then of course stop! Tell the teacher that you have to sit out, but don´t leave the class (unless you are falling asleep just sitting there). Stay until the end, watch and try to learn something, and if the class ends with reverance, get up and finish in style. Do, however, not make a habit of this! Once is really enough.
If you can still manage, do pace yourself. Dance clean, do not mark but don´t push too hard either. As for myself, I have danced so long that I just went on autopilot. Of course it helped that the class was of beginner-intermediate level, and all the exercises familiar. But I missed a couple of steps anyway. Did a grand jeté developpé when there should have been a straight leg, and wobbled on my center grand plies. But class was not an entire waste. We did this exercise in center where you temps levé into arabesque, then walse around with the back arabesque leg coming forward and through. Caught myself in the mirror and realised that I was rushing and losing proper ligne in the process. Autopilot and auto-correct, not too bad for a dancer half-asleep. ;)
Oops, I´m doing it again - it´s 11 PM! Sweet dancing dreams everyone!
|Le Spectre de la Rose. Nurejev and Fonteyn.|