March 31, 2012

Counting the Days

How do you know you've been dancing more than enough? When you don't panic because of the upcoming Easter break, but actually look forward to some ballet down-time! And I have to tell you, this is a big deal coming from me. Even my teacher raised a pronounced eyebrow at me when I told her I've been dancing too much already.. But you have to listen to your body, and whatever other noise your inner ballerina is making. In my case I've started to fade out in class, not paying attention at the barre and forgetting familiar exercises. Although I have to admit that too much of ballet might not be the only culprit. Switching clocks back to summer-time, messed-up sleeping habits and work-related concerns all play a part in my ballet-weariness.

The odd thing is that I have gotten a lot stronger lately. My extensions are higher than ever and my flexibilty seems to have improved significantly. There has even been some suprising technical progress. In the past week I did my first double pirouette into double fouetté (yay), nailed one entrechat-six, and overall I have now better ballon and balance. And in Friday's pointe class our teacher taught us Paquita's entire first variation! It was modified to our level, but there were still enough technical challenges. Like this new step combination we did yesterday: chassé - pirouette en dedans, arms in couronne - from croise fifth, plié and relevé onto first arabesque. Especially the last bit was scary. But awesome! This should be cause for lots of ballet happy buzzes, and it is. Maybe my ballet-fatigue is totally normal - at the moment you're most exhausted you make the most progress? Maybe I have outgrown my old excuse of "that is too difficult for me", and now I really must and can step up?

There are some five-six classes before the Easter break, and I plan to take them all, no excuses. There's Marie-Pierre's triple-class on Tuesday, which is always a high point of my ballet week - no matter what state of mind and body I happen to be in. And Mondays are good too, especially since I get to do a regular class on pointe. Wednesdays are my usual days off, and I'm keeping next Thursday optional. Which means either four or six days of no ballet. Good timing too, because after Easter we start rehearsals for our spring show. This will increase my ballet days to six per week, and I won't even bother to count the hours involved! Mid-April also marks the end of my three-month sabbatical, and it's back to the office for me. Drat. But in the meantime - plenty of time to rest, regroup and eat obscene amounts of chocolate eggs!

"Dare to Dream" print by Lim Heng Swee. Click here for more details: Etsy

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