November 10, 2014

Dance Away


It was my third class with our guest teacher, and the tricky exercises were at last familiar. Not easy by any means, but I was no longer getting lost within all those changing directions. Time to focus on technique and corrections. But with a huge studio full of students, there was no time for any personal feedback. I had to fall back on myself. And as soon as the music started, so did the record in my head: Ribs in. Knee over toes. Point those toes! Are my knees stretched enough? Is my leg in derrière crossed enough? Am I sitting? Must round arms more. Relax those fingers. Shoulders down. Where is my head, where do I look? Stomach... I'm not using my abs. Heels... Must forward heels in degagé, work through demi-pointe. Don't lose turnout!! No banana feet. The toes! Breathe, remember to breath.

Only when it came to ronde de jambe à terre exercise, I found my calm. Plié degagé devant, in effacé, with the free arm in fifth/couronne, then to a la seconde, then to the back, in effacé again, allongé. Our accompanist was playing another beautiful piece of music, and I started to feel... The many voices in my head simmering down to one: "You can do more." And then it happened. I was dancing as if no one was looking... And no one was. It did not matter. I felt complete, beautiful. I had my moment.

Still, I'm happiest in class when I have my teacher to guide me. My brain is much too busy, over-thinking and over-correcting all the time. It's another aspect about ballet class which I like so much: I don't have to make all the decisions. Our teacher gives us the exercises and combinations, and we follow her directions and apply her corrections. Of course, it doesn't mean that you sit back (no sitting in class!) and stop working. But it means I can focus on the dancing right away. I trust my teacher to push me into the right direction, to captain my ship when needed and to let me sail away when I'm ready...

6 comments:

  1. Just found your blog and love it. I just started taking ballet and it's so hard. Lots of fun, but soooo hard.

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    1. Yes, it's very hard! But that makes it also so rewarding. Easy would be boring. :) Enjoy your classes!

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  2. Yes! I told a friend the other day during class, I always feel better when someone is shouting body parts at me. :) ("Knees! Knees! Hips!" etc.)

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    1. Yes! It's kind of odd, really. Nowhere else does my popo (derriere) get as much attention... ;)

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  3. I need my teacher's corrections, too. I even enjoy being corrected. But it is also nice to be able to correct yourself. It means that we are advancing.

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    1. Yes, it's very important to develop that kind of awareness. You can't just stand there and wait for your teacher to fix everything, all the time. But it's also nice to have that teacher reminding you, and pushing you further. My own teacher talks about "working together", and that's how I see it too. :)

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