It’s Just A Straight Line!

I have made no apologies for my great love for barre work and my sincere trepidation when it comes to center work… which I realize is the opposite for most people. I love that barre though. It’s a nice height, a good partner, it keeps me company with no small talk, and most importantly,  it keeps me from falling over! If you aren’t a person who just seems to fall over with regularity perhaps this is not a problem for you but I have this uncanny and completely inexplicable gift for simply toppling over from time to time.

So in class last night, we blew right through barre – which has been the case lately, Awesome Ballet Teacher definitely wants to get more time in center. I don’t know about your ballet teacher, but mine always explains what he’s doing so he let’s us know that we are about to embark on a lot of dancing in center. Oh the joy. But it’s been getting better, my attitude towards center that is.

I know, I know, you are all thinking but dancing in center is the fun part! Let me explain… dancing in center means that

  1. there is no barre, therefore, falling down is a possibility
  2. you are head on with a mirror, possibly even the fat mirror. leotard +fat mirror = minor stroke
  3. other people are in center too, not only do you have to watch your own self flailing about but you could get into a collision with other flailing people
  4. you have to figure out what to do with BOTH arms

As a person who has never danced before – no, not as a little kid, I read books; no, not as a teenager, I read books; no, not as a young adult, you get the idea – I never really considered dancing to be a fun activity. When I was in high school government, I had to go to one dance a semester. I did the administrative work because watching teenagers dance to Depeche Mode and Duran Duran made my eyes burn. When I was 14, doing the accounting for the dance was more fun than going to the dance – I absolutely realize that is NOT right. But, there you are.

Miracle of miracles, I am coming to a place where center work has indeed begun to be fun! So last night when Awesome Ballet Teacher said lots of dancing, I wasn’t immediately filled with dread. And we did do a lot of dancing! Mostly back and forth but, of course, then came across the floor. I do not know what it is about across the floor because really that should be totally easy, especially when it’s only one step just repeated! You have the whole floor to yourself or maybe just one other person and it’s just one step over and over BUT somehow I always manage to lose it. Fortunately we went back to back and forth and then small jumps to end a really great class. But what is it about across the floor??? It’s just a straight line!!!

8 thoughts on “It’s Just A Straight Line!

  1. I hate the center (which is probably why after three years of taking ballet I’m still with the beginners). Honestly, what makes me happy is doing a good slow tendu at the barre, but alas, ballet is more than just dancing with the barre. I just find it so difficult to look in the mirror…so I’m always with the “back of the class” crowd of other leotard-traumatized/I-have-no-idea-how to balance -people.
    The only movements that are more fun in the center than at the barre are pirouettes, and that’s only because my hip bones and the barre are on a constant collision course in pirouette mode.

    • We have never done pirouettes at the barre, only in center. I’m thinking that trying to spin by a barre could prove to be disastrous! I used to fight for the back row in center but I’ve moved up to the front row because and only because I can follow the “good” dancer and not be as tempted to get messed up by following the not-so-good dancers. I will always question if I am on the music or doing the right thing if I look around, so I try really hard not to and just go with what I know. If I’m wrong, I’ll let the teacher deal with me! I’m starting to enjoy center more, but I do love a long, slow barre class!

      • I too have just started to do strictly center and it was (and still is, a little) terrifying. I feel myself allowing it to happen though. It makes me recognize my flaws and accept them with open arms. I have hope that I will love it like you do someday. For now, I can tolerate and accept it. You give me hope.

      • Honestly, it took a while for me to enjoy center. I still really love barre but I’ve come to understand that barre is there specifically to get ready to dance – in the center! If you can relax a bit and not obsess about flaws then you are half way there! Go you!

      • Ha! Obsess. You just stated my middle name. I can’t help but overdue everything I do, but I am starting to let go and it feels great. I love finding new adult ballet beginner blogs. You are fun to read. Question – is there a way I can read your blog from day one? I am trying to start from the beginning and get current.

      • hahaha! tell me about it! when I obsess in center it becomes too hard to let go and dance. I become so concerned with every little movement that I either mess up or it’s just mechanical. when I can just give it up a little bit, loosen up, I can actually enjoy dancing. I’ve come to begin to learn the difference between mimicking newly learned steps and dancing!

        Thank you! hmmmm, I’ve never tried to read my blog from the beginning so I’m not sure. I’ll poke around and see if wordpress has a way of making that easy 😀

      • Thanks!

        I agree – the more relaxed I am, the better I dance, especially when I am in center. I had a great lesson on Monday because I did just that! Lesson learned. 🙂

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