Two blogs in as many days! Either I have a lot to say for myself or I am using my blog to escape from the banal reality that is my working day! Either way though, here I am!
Last night was ballet. I haven't been for two weeks as last week I had a gig (four acts in one evening!) at the Test Match in West Bridgeford; a private party for the managers of the pub chain, and the week before it was half term. My leg is still a bit painful, although this week it has not been quite as bad and although I have been practicing eleves, releves, and ronde de jambes like there is no tomorrow I felt a little rusty about the finer points of the class.
I was feeling rather tired that evening and I almost cried off in favour of a lazy evening of junk food and films but luckily for me I found the energy to get off my behind and into my dancing shoes. On arrival it turned out that the teacher who had been running the class was now on maternity leave (she had been pretty pregnant when I first started and now, I believe, only has about 9 weeks to go) and another girl who had been assisting her in the class would be teaching. The new teacher is young and pretty and very friendly and approachable and, as much as I liked our original teacher, I was pleased to have a go with her substitute.
The structure of the class was a little different than it has been so far. Instead of doing 20 minutes or so of barre work, 20 minutes of dance and a five minute warm down we did a shorter barre session (about 10 mins or so) and then spent the rest of the class working on a beautiful dance in the centre. I approached the idea of less barre and more centre work with some good humoured trepidation - while the barre work is tricky but within my reach, so far the more complicated steps of choreographed dance confuse me. I don't pick these things up easily and I find that once I fumble on one movement that has a knock on effect on the steps that follow.
So I was not expecting what happened next. I don't know if I was having a good day, if it was that I was stood in a good position to see everything or if it was something to do with the new teacher's style of dance or of explaining the movements but I felt like I picked up the movements with a lot less fuss than usual, and I retained them better than I usually do. The teacher broke the dance down into very small parts and once we had tried each part she added on the next, pausing to make sure everyone was still keeping up. I really enjoyed the dance and I felt that because I was able to pick up the movements at the same sort of rate as the rest of the class (all bar one step that was a little too complicated for me involving going up into a pirouette position twice in quick succession)I could even add some expression and emotion to the dance and really try to perform it rather than just stumbling through the motions as I have been doing so far.
Overall I feel really positive about the new format for the class although next week we are trying a faster dance so ask me in a week if I am still feeling so capable! Also, I feel like something from the classes may be starting to pay off in my burlesque work. When I have been improvising and blocking out movement for my Jackalope and another upcoming act I have in mind I have found myself using some of the body shapes and positions I have learned in class and hopefully this will make the dance elements of these acts a little more graceful and their movements more definite. I want so dearly for my Jackalope and the other acts that follow it to be of a noticably higher standard than the things I have produced before but I know I still have a long way to go before they will be anywhere near the sort of standard I would like them to be. I suppose all I can do is try!
'Til next time