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Ballet Talk for Dancers

I'm too scared...


Dolphingirl

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Well, for starters here, I'm back in classes (big cheer!):):D :D :D :D :D :D :D

 

So, I've only been to three classes, other than the ones I teach(where I also dance) due to finals and everything, but after winter break I'm going to go to two or three classes and build up from there. I have permission to do anything and everything at the barre except grandplies(or anything with really deep knee bends) and turns. I can also do some things in the center, and I can even do sautes and changements and stationary jumps like that. The problem is, I get cold feet. Not literally! We were doing fondues, and I'm still sort of afraid to bend my knee with all of the weight on it. Part of it is that, even though it's really strong, it sometimes gets a little stiff, especially if it's cold. Mostly though, it's mental. I know this because one of my exercises is standing on a step and bending my knee to touch my other foot to the ground and I can do it really well. I've done it with weights, etc, and I'm fine. But when I get into class, I get really scared that I'm going to hurt it again. Today I got over my fear of one footed releves without the barre and did 16 of them to passe in the center(while everyone else was doing pirouettes). Is there anything that I can do to keep myself of being afraid of steps I know I am able and ready to do? I'm taking lower level class right now, but after winter break I'm going to go regularly to a class of the level I was at before I hurt myself. I'm being really careful not to do anything I'm not allowed to, but my dance PT and I went over everything we could think of at the barre and she told me what I could and couldn't do. It would be great if you had some ideas for getting over my fears of things I know I can do.

 

Dolphingirl

 

P.S. It's really really nice to be dancing again without my knee popping!!!!!!!

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You just gave the solution in your last sentence! You KNOW that you can do them, therefore, it's OK, even advisable that you do them! However, the dear old nervous and endocrine systems produce anxieties to protect the organism from damage! The advantage you have over a non-dancer in a similar situation is that you know what the various steps and exercises do! It's also a disadvantage, because you can also envision what happens if they go wrong! However, I do like that image of somebody doing preparation for repeated pirouettes and just doing the relevés! Maybe I'll give that. But my main point is, you KNOW you are allowed to do them, therefore you KNOW you'll be safe. It's mind over matter. Think with the brains, not with the adrenal glands!

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...giggle, giggle.... Thanks for the words of encouragement. Next time I'm in class, I'll just try to tell myself that I know I can do it and that I'll be fine. I was better today than I was on Monday when I did my first class at this level. The other thing that's annoying me is that my teachers aren't giving me corrections because they're concentrating on the rest of the class, who need more work with technique than I do. I make sure to place myself where I can see myself in the mirror as well as possible, to catch my own mistakes, but I know that I'm not perfect! For sure, I know my placement is very off, at least sometimes. The confusing part is, I'm balancing much better now, because my legs and my stomach are so much stronger, but I know that I'm lifting my hip. I try to fix it, but sometimes I need a few extra hands to help me hold it in place and remember how it feels again. Any suggestions on getting back placement that used to be one of my best assets? I'm fine with holding in my stomach and I have a very straight back, but I really tend to sit in my hips.

 

Thanks,

Dolphingirl

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Dolphingirl, if you tend to sit in the hips you can fix that by establishing the correct weight placement and then checking it frequently by lifting the heels slightly to be sure that the weight is remaining more over the metatarsals and not settling in the heels. Keep the hand on the barre very light, no grip, so that it moves easily too, and be sure that it is slightly in front of your body not directly beside it. This will aid in keeping the weight forward.

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