Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Reflections on my first Month of Class

(A photo from Swan Lake, just because I love it.)

I auditioned for a part in this little foursome once. I didn't get it and it was the hardest thing EVER.

This first month of class has been really interesting.
There are things that have happened that I never expected, and some that I definitely expected.
The first thing I knew was that it would be physically tough. I haven't actually done a real, intentional physical activity since right after I quit Ballet and I took a session of kick boxing (it didn't go too well). I was very sore after my first class, but as we have gone on I'm feeling myself getting a bit stronger and I'm gaining back a LOT of my flexibility (I'm currently pretty sore from our stretching class).
I also was surprised to see when I attempted Pique turns that I seem to have completely lost my ability to turn. I was already a HORRIBLE turner, I always have been. My teacher used to work with me on pirouettes for hours and could not figure out what my issue was. However, you pointed out to me last week that I'm crunching my shoulders in a bit when I have my arms in first. I think I probably started doing this a while ago and never realized it, and I'm guessing stopping it will probably help my balance a lot! It's strange that I never had it pointed out to me before that my arms might be my issue, I feel like my teacher was usually worrying about the momentum from my plie and the placement of my hips.
Anyway, it's just a weird experience struggling to pique turn in soft shoes when I was doing it on pointe 5 years ago.
On the plus side, there are some things I have definitely retained since my ballet days that I was surprised about.
I still remember all of the vocabulary. Those terms were drilled into my head like crazy when I was going through Cecchitti testing, and I have a feeling that they will never leave.
I was also surprised at how well my feet are cooperating, it's like they know where to go without me having to think about it. They've definitely been conditioned.
In general, I think what I've enjoyed most is just being in the ballet class environment again. Ballet is extremely therapeutic for me, I like it for it's structure and grace, and the music really takes me back to my childhood. I think growing up in ballet gave me a lot of poise and really saved me from being clumsy like my mother. Haha. It's nice to be in that nice environment with out the pressure, I believe you said this somewhere (maybe in the syllabus) but I think ballet would be a great physical activity for many people, but the aura that surrounds competitive ballet is very intimidating.
I'd have to say my favorite combinations thus far are (and always have been, really) port de bras and rond de jambes (I especially like taking them en l'air). I also have always liked doing chaine turnes, frappe, balance, and....well a lot of other things I can't remember the name of.
I'm excited to keep relearning more and more!

1 comment:

  1. Good to hear that you are feeling a combination of challenges and successes in terms of your training this semester. That is what I hope for everyone in the class. Some expected things and some surprises. And the turning thing! First of all - don't psyche yourself out by assuming you are a HORRIBLE turner. By doing that you're establishing mental habits that will make it difficult to overcome physical ones. It sounds like you are open to approaching them in a new way - by opening your chest a little more and keeping your shoulders in line with your hips. That alignment and a sense of ease or suspension should help. Keep at it and be patient.