Last night’s lesson was kind of odd. The General had something on her mind and was a little distracted. We spent a majority of the class stretching and the rest was dedicated to leaping and working on grand battements, which are tough because of my hamstring injury. I really needed a good stretch, though. I was able to thoroughly stretch everything. Call me Gumby, baby.
As for leaps, while my right leaps are not so great right now, my left were looking not too shabby. I feel so much more in control of my body in mid-air. I used to flail about. Much like a fish out of water. It was funny, and sad. Ha! During our leap exercise, one of the students proposed doing a calypso leap. For those who don’t know – it involves you first doing a series of prep chaines and then into a turn-leap while you try to literally kick the back of your head. Does that make sense?? YouTube it. My description kind of sucks. Anywho – this time last year I could not do the turn no matter how hard I tried. So when it was proposed that we do these leaps I was less then confident I was able to pull it off. I watched the more advanced students do it a couple times and I just went for it. Guess what???? I did it!! I really did it! I was so excited I could barely contain my enthusiasm! I just kept doing them over and over and over again! Sure, they were not perfect, but who cares! I did something I couldn’t do last year! The mental block has been removed!! “Look at me! I’m a calypso-er!!!! Whoopie!!!”
Then guess what else happened?! Yup – it gets better and I am going to boast. The General was giving me tips on how to improve my left grand battement and she says (wait for it)
“Your leaps look great by the way. Have you been practicing in your backyard??”
I replied, “Nope! Just been working on my stretching!” And then followed up with, “Do you remember when you said that I may never be able to leap well because I started too late?? Well – I guess you were wrong!!!” She laughed (I was being silly). Well, how was she supposed to know? She had never trained an adult before! I only hoped she would be wrong and I’m so glad that se was!! So, not only did I get another compliment from the General, but my leaps are really improving! Wow. What a good night.
Then – it happened. With all that good news, it didn’t help me feel much better about the next news I received. I found out that the General allowed another student to takes some Company classes and she didn’t ask me. Whaaaaaaaaa! 😢. I know it doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it is to me. I personally feel that it is a real accomplishment to get the “ok” to dance alongside with the best girls in the whole studio, even if it’s just practicing. I don’t want to be in the company necessarily (well, I would but then I would be delusional), but it would mean so much to me just to be asked to join a company class. I work so hard. I practice, I stretch, I push myself in class, I am always trying to learn and be a better dancer. And with all of my improvement, I thought maybe she would offer the same opportunity. Well, I guess it’s not my time yet and that’s ok. I’m a little disappointed in myself for not being good enough, but I am getting better every day and that is still a great accomplishment, right?? I will never ask the General to join a company class, not ever. And until she asks me to join a company practice (which may never happen), I will not be a part of one. I want to try to earn it. I will keep pushing to do so. Even if I never get there, I will still end up being a pretty stellar adult beginner ballerina!
So – there is still a silver lining to my little grey cloud. I did a calypso leap (slam!), I have confirmation from the General that my leaps have vastly improved (double slam) and I am going to work even harder to try to earn my way into a company practice. ☺️