Yes. Yes. I know. I’ve been a little vacant lately. I’m a busy, little lady. Kids. Work. Husband. Parents. In-laws. Illnesses. It’s enough to drive a sane woman cray-cray. Or just crazy. Depending on your mood.
I was inspired to post because this evening’s class was very eventful. In many different ways.
The bad news – I started feeling an aching pain in my left calf. Did I injure my calf? No. My lower back injury had been officially aggravated. Oh yes. I know the difference. My back is “junk” (as my good friend describes a chronic injury) and that, is that. I was feeling pretty shitty about it in the beginning of class. Just a little (constant) reminder that my body isn’t what my desire wants anymore. I don’t recover from injuries overnight. Sprains are not fleeting. I have to wait for my body to decide to do what is wants to do. And it’s depressing.
But then the “good” happened.
I landed (consistently, mind you) clean double pirouettes during class tonight. For all of you real ballet enthusiasts, you know what a “clean double” means and for those who don’t, it means staying in passé en releve until the movement has been completed. It sounds easy, but it isn’t. When you cannot do a single cleanly, you fall out of the passé too soon. Same with the double. Or even a triple! (Dream on LB). Regardless, when you do a clean single or double? You know it. It feels different. Yes. It feels….exquisite. Perfect. Beautiful. It just feels right.
So guess what? I did a lot of clean doubles tonight. Albeit they were mainly on my left, but they were clean. So clean that my normally rigid instructor said that the class had a good turn night. And when I was performing my left doubles, everyone was watching. I knew it. And I didn’t falter. Booooooom. If made me so happy. Regardless of my aching lower back, I felt accomplished.
Something terrible happened this week – the General badly fractured her wrist. She had to get a lot of hardware installed and she is out of the studio until she has recovers. I am so lost without her presence there. It’s so lonely. It’s weird. But, in order to keep her spirits up – the dancers are pushing forward. The General’s daughter (let’s call her Willow – because she is wispy, graceful and beautiful) has been teaching class and she is doing a great job keeping us all focused and motivated. Keeping high spirits has been exceptionally difficult for me lately because I have been preparing for one of the biggest trials of my career – nothing but work for weeks now. Soon it will be over, but until that time comes I am a little distracted.
Willow has been doing her best to keep us on track to improve in the areas the General was concerned with prior to her injury (I.e flexibility, stronger turn out and higher grand battement). However, the last thing we worked was the waltz. Ahhhh – the waltz. It seems simple enough, until you do it, let alone to music. A lot of adult beginners struggle with getting the rhythm and footing. If you have never danced – it seems almost impossible. You fumble, you trip. Nothing seems natural about it. Now that I am more then just a mere “beginner” (ha! Still seems hard to believe) I am finally starting to catch on to the waltz’s crazy ways. Yes, the waltz seems less complicating to me now. (Yeah!)
So in spirit of keeping the Generals desire to have us improve the Waltz step, Willow had us work on the waltz this Thursday. Something happened during class. I don’t know how it happened of why. Maybe it was the music or my mood. Either way – I finally let myself dance to the waltz. I couldn’t help but smile through the combination across the floor, even when I flubbed a step. I kept my chest upright and my head held high and for some reason, it helped me dance better. I looked at myself glide across the floor and I looked like I was glowing, just like ballerinas do. I was secure and I was happy. It was so amazing.
It seems that confidence IS key with dance. Once you feel a sense of security in what you are doing, you carry yourself better. When you carry yourself better, you dance better. It’s a (scientific) fact. I even utilized my new poise in my pirouettes and wouldn’t you know it?? I was actually landing my doubles more consistently. Frig-yeah frigger!
My point? Keep your head up, shoulders back and you back straight. More importantly – Smile. 😊. Even beginners can find the glow. When you do – you have finally shed your newbie status. (*joy).