August 11, 2014

From Beach to Barre

Another summer coming to an end... My dance studio's fall/winter semester begins today, and I have my first morning class already tomorrow. I'm happy, because I've missed those classes, but I'm also feeling a bit of fall melancholy... Not quite ready to make the transition from life at the beach to schedules, adult responsibilities and outerwear. Thankfully, there is dance. What would life be without a passion to sustain us?

I continue to be passionate about ballet, even though I spent more time at the beach than in a dance studio this past summer. Two classes per week, that's all. Can't even remember the last time I've danced as little. I can feel the difference, and I can see it. My leos have shrunk, and there's a new heavyness. But I've never taken class to maintain a certain weight, not even to stay fit... Those have just been bonuses. I dance for the pleasure of it.

This summer, there has been little feedback and even less personal corrections, but I've still had some big relevations. I discovered that working with gravity, really going down into the floor, makes my dancing look and feel more effortless. If you focus only on pulling up, you loose a dimension. One has to go down to come up again. Rebound, in dance and in life. I've also rediscovered my back leg. Previously, when we've been doing chassés/glissés, I've had my weight on the front leg - when I should have pushed more with the back leg. A small adjustment, but a big difference.

My happiest class was when we repeated one of our beautiful adagios. I knew the steps, directions and counts - and then I let go. No more thinking about technique, just flowing with the music. It was a really intense feeling. Made me fall in love with ballet all over again.

Last day at the beach, getting back into the spirit of dance. 

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, ...