Turns out private lessons are totes expensive. Soooo I probably won’t be doing that. I NEED MORE CLASS OPTIONS PEOPLE! Why are adult ballet classes so hard to find??
Thursday meant two things for me: 1. A day off. 2. Ballet is BACK! It was so great to get back to class after, what felt like months off. In reality I think it was actually just over two or three weeks. And man what a turnout we had! All of our usual class (there are five of us) plus FIVE MORE PEOPLE. Our class doubled in size over the break! I hope that at least some of them stay with us. I remember when we started last summer we were busting at the seams, but then it went down to four, then we gained one back in October or so.
Class was lovely. We started out back to the basic basic basics because several people were absolutely brand new to ballet or had not done it for years and years and years. I used the time to really hone my technique: pointing toes, pulling up, engaging core and quads, you know the drill. It made me realize that I let a lot of things slide when I do more complicated movements, and I even reached out to my teacher to enquire about additional lessons to focus on technique. I’m serious guys. Srsly.
A couple of girls and I in our class would love to do pointe work one day, and I know that using strong technique is very important, especially as an adult beginner. You need a strong foundation, even if you don’t progress to pointe, which is a distinct possibility for me.
I would like to try to do some progress points throughout the year. A little report card if you will. Just to show myself that I can improve, even if it is a small amount. I’ll be recording myself (after class or some kind of activity so that I’ll be the most warm) in picture form doing arabesque, pirouettes, and balances. I want to focus on form, extension, turnout and length of balances. I’m not a good turner. Some of the time I can maybe get one clean pirouette from either side. Forget about pique turns. But I am determined to improve my technique so that I can absolutely nail one perfect controlled turn most of the time. I think that’s fair. Oh! And I’m going to get my splits back. I used to be a gymnast as well, so it hurts my soul that I’ve gotten so out of shape that I lost my splits.
Do you look at specific points to note your changes? Do you measure progress or just feel things in passing?
I feel a little Type A by measuring things directly, but hey, you gotta do you.
There’s really no other way to describe my less than enthused attitude than laziness. On the days that I don’t work or don’t work a full twelve hours, I have adequate time to squeeze in some fitness. Do I do it? No. I don’t. I need some help. I have some kind of mental block. I will literally sit in the house for hours, deliberating on going out for a jog or doing some kind of at home workout. Hell, I could do some barre stretches or yoga, I love those things! But I don’t do them. All I need to do is get dressed and move but for some reason I never bring myself to do it. Yeah, sometimes it’s hard, but rarely do I regret working up a sweat. Not sure what my problem is.
In other news, ballet and tap are going well. Meghan has us trying for double pirouettes now. Haven’t been able to complete any but I think I did a couple 1.5ers. We are doing more complex barre combinations that have been good and bad. The ones I get I like, but the ones I struggle with I feel frustrated and want to do them over. There have also been a couple of across the floor combinations where I just stop, which is bad, because I can’t remember which way to turn or something silly, when it doesn’t matter and I should just turn. Actually, now that I think about it, I got pretty frustrated in tap and ballet this week. But I guess it’s a sign of improvement if I don’t chuck the whole class as a loss just because of some flubs, right?
So back to motivation. I was so inspired by the runners at the Iron Horse. I have been inspired by my coworkers, who exercise even on days where we work 12-13 hours. I am inspired by my dance classmates, by the dancer blogs that I follow, and the fitness bloggers that I follow. I want to do better in my classes, I want to feel more fit and healthy, I want to have better endurance and strength to provide for my patients. So why don’t I do anything about it? I’m not sure. I don’t know if I’m afraid that I will fail or afraid that I will succeed. Am I afraid that people will criticize? That they will laugh or talk behind my back? I don’t know. Those thoughts don’t enter my mind directly but I worry they are simmering in the background and influencing my choices. I know I shouldn’t give a single fuck about what other people think, but I can’t help but worry that these irrational and petty fears are what hold me back from myself.
How do you get or stay motivated? Have you ever had a serious mental block that held up your training or progress? Does fear show up in your periphery? Or are you just an all around badass and liver of life?
Yay! Class was much better on Thursday. Not perfect, but much better. Tried to do a couple of doubles during pirouettes, but I was seized by an irrational fear that someone would see me. Yeah I know, someone might see me? In a class that I take where I dance around? I said it was irrational. Anyway, they didn’t happen. Maybe next week.
I also have this other irrational fear when I’m the only person in a public bathroom, I am convinced it’s a men’s room. Don’t ask me why. Like I said, irrational.
Ankle has been fine. It hurts when I come home from work, but after 13 hours on my feet what doesn’t hurt? Exactly. I ran once this week. I might venture out tomorrow. Maybe not. I’ve been doing more yoga (in my new “studio”) and I contribute my lack of leg pain and better sleep with that habit. Kind of a good habit to pick up if those are the side effects I would think…
Joel is gearing up for the Iron Horse Half Marathon in a couple of weeks, which you may remember I completed last year. It’s a tough course but he has been training much more consistently than I had. I’m sure that he will do GREAT! I, however, have zero desire to run 13 miles anytime in the near future. I would much rather go to my little dance classes, thank you very much.
Speaking of which, why do I keep looking at these tap shoes that cost >$200?? I take one hour of class a week!! What kind of tapping do I think I’m going to be doing with these badass tap shoes!? Delusional, I tell you. Delusional.
Maybe if I just channeled Sutton…
Class on Friday was not that great. I kept forgetting what we were doing at the barre, and then I could barely do any of the jump or center combinations correctly. I blame it on having a pretty rough work week the three days before class. Have you ever been work hung over? Because I definitely have. And the struggle is real.
I tried not to get discouraged. At least I didn’t fall or anything. It was just very difficult for my brain to connect with my body. For example we were doing a combination that went from an arabesque, to fondue, followed by pas de bourée to transition to the other side. In my mind I know that pas de bourée goes, “back, side, front” but for the life of me I could not execute those steps in that order. I was literally all over the place. At the end of class I expressed my luckiness that there were only two of us so that more people didn’t have to witness my shambles. My teacher told me not to get discouraged as well, and that people have “off” classes all the time. I guess it’s like a bad run. You just have to push through and hope the next one is better.
In other news, the weather has been marvelous lately, which means my sinuses are awful since I’ve been out in it. So now I’m off to buy more decongestant, get an allergy shot, and possibly go for a run.
Can someone tell me how to do this many pirouettes? Because she does like a million…
Class went well today. We could all tell that we were tired and our bodies were not used to two classes in two days. But I could imagine how much better we would get if we did have two classes a week. I might even be able to nail some doubles or get a more respectable height in my arabesque. Hey, I can dream right?
Just a quick update, I wore my goofy brace thing to ballet and my ankle didn’t hurt! It was a little sore in the beginning but no acute pain like before. I did skip a run today though since I was extra worried about it.
I love that we are at a point in our class where we can actually dance a little bit in our combinations. We do this little bourée, pique, arabesque then windmill arm thing that is magic. I like slow stuff because I’m fat and my body wasn’t built for petite allegro. Grand allegro on the other hand is my jam. I will grand jete right into next Tuesday.