February 4, 2011

Dancing Til I Drop, and then some

It's one of those days.. Bad hair day and then some. Woke up too early and still missed the bus, then decided to rush to the other stop only to discover that yesterday's mushy snow had frozen into slippery glaciers! Did some interesting moves, flailing arms and all, as I tried to skid to work without breaking anything. I have to say, it's a good thing I've had all that dance training!

Tonight is class with Madame again, which I usually love. If I were not soo tired! My legs are no longer legs but logs, and it will be a feat  to raise them higher than 45 degrees. Not to mention pointe class, which I´m actually dreading a bit. All those slow relevés.. But I am going, nonetheless, and will dance. Dance til I drop..

EDIT: Class was amazing, despite my tired feet and all. You just gotta love a teacher who tells you to do juicy pliés! 

We received lots of fine-tuning, especially regarding port de bras and épaulement. Madame likes it big and beautiful and expressive, whereas my "style" has been more about polite restraint. God forbid anyone should think I'm pretending to be something I'm not! Another teacher commented only the past week that we should not mistake ourselves for artists. Although I think she was referring to some mis-guided over-the-top-artsiness. Still, better to stick to the precise and academic syllabus, in her case good old Vaganova. But I have been doing ballet forever already, and think I might be ready to bring something of myself into my dancing. I don't mean changing the steps or anything crazy like that, just a bit of personalized presence. As long as I am not going to look like an idiot. 

That is why I love Marie-Pierre's classes so much. I used to think that it's her ballerina's privilege to do a port de bras the way she does: sensuous and elegant. I would never ever assume that I could just copy her! I didn't even imagine that she would expect us to! But instead she keeps telling us to do just that, to present ourselves, to be beautiful and elegant. Even better, she shows me how she wants me to do the arms or wrists or head, and it is just like hers! Only that it's still me and my arms and my wrists and my head, but for once it's all good. We are still focussing on the technical stuff, of course, like turning-out, forwarding the heels and stretching  the  knees and the juicy pliés. The difference is that now I am living and dancing moments where I feel almost like a new woman, like someone with a bit of a real dancer inside her. And it makes me insanely happy. 

Picture: my own, edited using picnik


  1. "moments where I feel almost like a new woman, like someone with a bit of a real dancer inside her" - I truly can relate to these words and this feeling. I love the little tiny moments when I feel there's "a real dancer" inside. It makes the endless effort worth it :)

    I truly love your blog!

  2. LOVED your post - thank you so much !!

  3. Hi Aileen!

    Oh yeah.. I´m even inclined to think that in those fleeting moments that "feeling" of being a "real" dancer becomes actual reality. If only for a moment :)

  4. Hi Ballet News!

    Thank you so much, I´m so pleased you like my blog. :) I checked out your new site last night, and I´m very impressed! Love the professional and sleek look and the in-depth articles. Right now I´m in the middle of the pointe shoe feature,and I´m looking forward to reading more. Just have to sew ribbons on my new pointes first :)


To That Special Ballet Teacher

To that special ballet teacher, who not only teaches you about technique, but helps build your confidence, nurtures your inner artist, ...