Ballet Squid Chronicles: Back In My Element
I took Claire’s class this afternoon, and I’m starting to feel like I’ve got my legs under me again. Which is good, because at the beginning of class, I wasn’t so sure. For some reason, I kept dégage-ing when I was supposed to tendu and vice-versa. D’oh.
Claire also gave me some hands-on mid-torso corrections, getting the pelvis tucked back under while bringing the sternum forward. I was once again over-correcting for my tendency to hollow my lower back, throwing my shoulders back and compensating in the mid-torso. The core work this month has made it a little easier to keep my torso pulled together when I remember to do it. Now I just need to remember.
The hard part is knowing that what feels like a straight torso isn’t, in the same way that I had to re-train my proprioception with regard to my wrists and arms. (This is an interesting side-effect of that benign joint hypermobility thing; it makes your arabesque awesome, but your proprioception kind of wonky.)
Anyway, in today’s class I realized that if I rein in the size of my movements, I can get prettier technique out of myself. I guess I should know that by now.
Also, I need to get back to having confidence in myself as a dancer and
not thinking so much. I kept reminding myself to just dance, that the combinations would come, and when I did that successfully, things came off rather nicely.
In other news, I found a Pilates class I can probably work into my schedule, so I’m hoping to give that a try some time soon. I don’t want to add too much to the rotation until I’m really on top of things, though.
So that’s it for now. More to come.
Posted on 2015/01/24, in balllet, class notes and tagged ballet, class notes. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.
I hear you on the whole forgetting to use your new and improved stronger core – the hard part is the remembering!
That’s awesome that you’re considering doing Pilates. My only regret is not having started sooner but I feel so much more aware of my body already. Can only imagine that it gets even better the longer one’s been doing it.
That seems to be the consensus about Pilates, which makes it ask the me intriguing. I’ve been thinking about it for a while, but only just found a class that I can shoehorn into my schedule. The only catch is that I’ll only be able to go once a week. As sometime week did Pilates already, do you think one class per week (coupled, of course, with all the ballet) will be okay?
I’m sure even one class a week is fine – by the end of my first class I was already thinking about all of my body’s alignment issues, as well as the deep “thoracic”breathing pattern that seems to be a foundation of Pilates, and the constant tightening of the core. It did take me several days of class to remember how the exercises go in order to be able to perform them correctly on my own, but then I’m also notorious for forgetting things. But at a minimum, all the deep breathing done is ultra relaxing (this is probably a no-brainer, but outside of Pilates class I find myself too unfocused to spend a long while just relaxing and breathing (even though I know it’s good for you). I’m either too twitchy and I lose interest quick, or I feel like I just can’t be bothered… not good)
I’m lucky that my school offers a complete Pilates certification program. This coming semester I will be taking a class called Pilates for Dancers (taught by my favorite ballet teacher!) which I’m sure will cover more on how Pilates can improve dance techniques as well as overall body condition.
Hmm, the deep breathing alone sounds worth it! I run into the same difficulties with “following the breath” outside of a structured environment in which I’m doing something with my body.
It’s really cool that you have a Pilates certification program! The Pilates for Dancers Class sounds really useful!