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Guest LaurieM

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Guest LaurieM

I'm not sure where to post this. I'm too new for a blog :P


June 23, 2004


I know where my toes are.


That's the big realisation I came to at class last night. There are many other parts of me I've yet to find, but at least the toes are there: 1-2-3-4-5 until 10, all accounted for and pointed (somewhat).


I'm part of an introductory Ballet course: an 8-week program designed to introduce students to dance. The majority have no previous dance experience, some have taken similar classes before, and others have done different dance styles. I was interested in the class because it had been advertised as the basics of the basics, where students receive instructions and - this is the GOOD part - explanations of why they're being asked to do what they are. It's one thing to tell a student to turn out to when doing this or that step; it's another thing entirely when you show her and explain to her HOW it should be done. I'm grateful for this kind of instruction.


But my pessimistic world states that where problems can arise problems WILL. I arrived at the school and paid my balance, then proceeded to wander around until I found the studio (a century and a half later in the basement). I found the dressing room and started getting changed - it became quite evident that parts of the outfit I had with me weren't my own. Problem #2: my tights were too small! I must have taken someone else's after a different class. Luckily, the dressing room was empty at this point, so I was able to panic mildly then devise a situation involving pulling the tights as high up possible, putting a leo over it, pulling up leg warmers, and wrapping a skirt around my waist to keep anyone from noticing that the crotch of my tights was unnaturally low.


So that seemed like a problem averted - until I had to do a butterfly stretch. And a saddle stretch. I spent 90% of the class pulling up my outfit. I've never been so embarassed.


The class itself consisted of exercises designed to make us more aware of our bodies. The teacher is very hands-on and doesn't hesitate to show us how to do movements correctly. I'm grateful for that as well. It's no use doing something if you're doing it wrong. If you can feel how it's meant to be done, all the better for you! That's what I think anyway.


We did some work connecting leaps and other similar steps. I'm daft when it comes to remembering combinations: by the time I do, we've moved on to something else! I also didn't know what to do with my hands while we did the steps, except stick them out to my side for balance. I glanced at myself in the mirror - I didn't look like a panicked elephant so I suppose all is well.


It was really different from any other class I'd taken, but I enjoyed it.



And I have new tights now. Really.

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Of course we want to know! You're so lucky to be able to take this sort of class... I was lucky enough to find a teacher who specializes in adult beginners, but was an open class, so I just had to jump in with people who had been taking classes for weeks or months or years... Congratulations on finding your toes! I spent the first three months of classes doing little but trying to point my toes in a way that satisfied my teacher... Keep the stories coming!

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Thanks for sharing your imperssions, Laurie - as Sulan says, of course we're interested! We wouldn't be reading the adult buddy board if we weren't. :nopity:

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Guest LaurieM

I need to work on my balance. I seem to have misplaced it.


My second class last Wednesday was much of the same except for one notable exception: tights that fit. :(


I can't say that I've made any progress in locating various muscles and body parts (well, it's only been 1 week), and my toes were quite cramped when pointed, but I remembered our combinations and avoided any serious faceplants or collisions with other dancers. My feet seem to know where they're going, which is very kind of them. I wasn't singled out for looking like a panicked elephant (always a plus) ... I hope I have somewhat graceful-looking arms since I do tend to stick them out all over the place to keep myself from falling. :wink:


We reviewed the exercises we'd done the week before, and added a few others. I trust - or maybe that should be I hope - I'm doing them properly so as to really benefit from them.


I've never taken a class before where we've had live music (as I sit here I'm trying to imagine bringing Tony Nother with his accordion to Irish dancing), but the Ballet class has a pianist who plays for us. I really like that; it's nice.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest LaurieM

Oops, it's been a while.


Well, we've added a variety of new exercises including small jumps and hip-bruising floor work - wee. I've discovered how useless my beautiful flexibility is without any strength - must work on that. :wink:


There are only a few classes left, and although I would really like to sign up for classes in the fall, I'm not sure I'll be able to due to financial constraints. Still, I feel that I'm really benefiting from the classes, and I can continue to do the excersises at home even if I don't take lessons. (Or rather, until I can afford to have lessons!)

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest LaurieM

Classes are over for the summer, and I'm awaiting a schedule for fall lessons (I've managed the free up my evenings by conveniently choosing day classes, although I wasn't able to do this for Tuesday evenings so my fingers are crossed that the beginner class won't be held then).


So the class itself was really nice. I think I'm going to invest in some light-coloured tights if I continue - you just CANNOT see your legs in black!! The exercises we learned were very useful, and I'm sure will continue to be so in the future. I've found muscles I didn't know exist (or could be used!), but my toes are there, my hips are squared, and I can balance on one foot w/out flapping my arms like I'm trying to get cast for a sequel of Chicken Run.


So yay for Ballet! :wink:

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