Tuesday night was my first ballet class of the new year and it has started things off in the right direction. First of all it was the Intermediate class which makes me nervous as I still feel subpar-skilled to be in Intermediate, particularly center work. But pulling my courage together and going was an important first step in the right direction. Everything starts out hard, everything unknown and challenging is frightening at first glance.
When I got to class, there was a group sitting around talking that included my teacher. It was nice just to talk about the holidays and have a chat. One of the things that is great about taking class with awesome ballet teacher is that I actually like him. You can learn things from people you don’t particularly like, I’ve had enough success in education and the workplace to know that, but it sure does make life a lot easier and learning a lot more fun when you actually like and respect the person in charge. Plus the level of comfort for me in learning something that does not come naturally to me is very important for me to actually enjoy going to class and to be able to process my mistakes into positive learning experiences. Which is vital because I make a ton of mistakes 😀
We blasted through barre and did some great combinations in center that left me wishing that I had worked out more and ate less during the holidays! I was reminded that it is important to pay more attention to my teacher and my own movement than to follow the person in front of me. Oy, I always get led astray because I’m sure the person to the right or left of me is better than I am. I was reminded that you can’t get it by watching, you must move through it with your body, the brain will catch up. I was reminded that while it is a nice thought that a person can concentrate on only one thing and work on that, it is not realistic. That is so NOT the way ballet works. You can’t think, oh I’ll just work on my arms today or I’ll leave my arms in 2nd and work on my feet today… nope, sorry. Ballet is everything, every time, every step. It kind of sucks that for lack of moving your arms at the right time or dropping your chin, you can’t turn, I mean what does my elbow have to do with that? Apparently, everything. Your head, your arms, your legs, your hips, everything needs to be going in the right places, period. I was reminded that you cannot cheat yourself in extensions if you are concerned about hitting someone else at the barre. You have to readjust or just move because cramping in your back on a port de bra forward can hurt your back and not extending your back leg in arabesque or grand battement then makes the exercises pointless really.
But the most important thing is that I walked out of class as satisfied as I was sweaty. I have found something that makes me more aware of my overall health, is making me a stronger and more poised individual, has been good for my social well being with new ballet friends both in class and on the internet, helps me deal with stress both mentally and physically, and it just makes me happy.