This week only saw two ballet classes but it included a trip to San Francisco to see the San Francisco Ballet perform Onegin so I think I came out well. I learned a short but sweet and incredibly important lesson in my ballet world, week 5.
This week I got some interesting corrections while stretching. That was a little unexpected because it’s, um… stretching!? What does form have to do with stretching other than don’t overdo it and tear something that you’ll want to use later. Awesome Ballet Teacher corrected my form while stretching on the barre, he put me square, made sure that my leg was under me, and made sure I was out of my hips. Holy cow! I could plie, releve, lean over in any direction, slide both ways and look ma – no hands! I thought it was all about just being able to put my nose on my knee but with correct form, that is the same correct form that we use for everything else! stretching is a whole new ballgame. Awesome Ballet Teacher revealed the big secret about stretching – it’s not just about flexibility… stretching is strength work, its core work, its balance work. Sure, it can feel great to get a good stretch going especially after some deep, sustained barre work. But stretching is a workout in itself when done with purpose. When we keep our correct form and hold our positions with strength and intention, stretching not only makes us more flexible, it also helps to build strength in the positions and movements that we want to be able to dance in center!
Ballet is truly amazing in that everything we do in class has a purpose and it’s not terribly varied but it’s always important – it’s all about being able to dance by strengthening and lengthening our bodies. Walking, running, jumping, even stretching at the barre while in ballet class – it’s all balletic movement, all of it. And it all needs to be done with correct form, all the time, every time. And there you have it.
Stay tuned for my review of Onegin!