Tag Archive | leap

Silver Lining

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??”

*Squee ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜†

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! ๐Ÿ˜ข. 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. โ˜บ๏ธ

I Run, Run, Leapt, Yo!

I know it has been a while since I posted about any of my dance progress. What can I say? I didn’t feel like there was anything really interesting to post about. Not to mention I am low on material since I only have one class a week (boo).

This last week was an ordinary class. We are away from the barre ALREADY! It was a short-lived event, being at the barre. What was it? Two weeks, maybe? Ahhh, the barre. How I will miss thee. See you again next summer….

Anywho – back to class. Everything was proceeding as usual and then out of nowhere what does the General do?! Why she pulls out the mats. What’s so important with the mats? Well, we cannot very well leap without a cushion to land on, can we?! I stared at her while she thrust the flat, blue cushions into the corner of the room. The General turned on some funky hip-hop music to motivate our bodies into the air and any we went. Man, it has been a coon’s age since I have leapt. My performance routines did not have a single leap and we only practiced them every once in a while, so yeah. It’s been a couple of months. I did, however, leap during out pointe lesson a couple of times for kicks and giggles. Your feet look so pretty in pointe shoes. It makes leaping that much more prettier. I watched as the advanced students assemble, glissade, jete onto the mat. I have not tried that combination and all I intended to do was get to point A to point B without looking like a total goon. When my turn came I was staring down that mat like it owed me money. Coincidentally, I felt like the mat was staring at me as well. “What ch’ya gonna do punk? You wanna piece of my blue plastic goodness? Well, get a steppin girl and try not to look stupid.” To the left of the fluffy menace was the General, sitting Indian style in a chair that was conveniently positioned next to the mat so not to miss a single step, stumble or jump. Smiling at every dancer that approached, ready to make any necessary critiques or suggestions on how to improve our leaps.

So, I ran. All that was running through my mind was “don’t forget to point your feet LB!” “Stretch your legs as far as they will go!” and the words of my former teacher resonated in my brain “Run, run, leap!” I looked to my left as I briefly soared through the air and took a glimpse of myself in the mirror beside the General. Is that me?! No, that cannot be me. I’m, I’m, really leaping!! Not just the flailing-barely-splitting-my-legs kind of a leap, but a real, ballerina type leap!!! No, it had to be a fluke. I couldn’t possible get that lucky twice. WRONG – I did it again, and again, and again! Even my little friend (she is an adorable middle-school-aged young lady that has been helping me with my arabesque penche. Yup, I’m still working on it) gave me a nice complement. She said, “Wow! You looked like a real ballerina when you jumped!” Me? Leapt like a ballerina? *Swoon. The General even gave me a couple of nods of approval, especially when we jumped in second position. A leap I HATE doing by the way because no one makes it look good; so queer jumping in second. But, I was actually able to extend my legs in a way that wasn’t completely awkward looking. Huh, who would have thunk it?!

So, what has changed from last year? Well, I credit the constant stretching and, duh, practice. Confidence doesn’t hurt either. I remember this time last year the General informed me that I may never be able to leap because of my age and lack of experience. I believed her and was resolved in the fact that leaping may never be for me. Well, I suppose we were wrong! You can learn to leap no matter what your age! So, keep up the good my fellow adult-ballet beginners and you too can be goon-free during a leap exercise in class!

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