Danseur Ignoble: Intermediate Class, Now With More Fiber

I finally bit the bullet and returned to intermediate class today.

But first I failed to eat breakfast, so I bought some protein bars (mainly because they were fairly low in sugar).   I had plenty of time before class, so I wolfed one down.

Then I noticed a message on the side of the box: “Increase fiber intake gradually to avoid gastric distress.”


I did not proceed to check out the fiber content (update: I did check it after I got home — 20% of your daily diet intake per Bar!   No wonder.   I mean, that’s great, but maybe better after class, here).  

I didn’t want to know.   Sometimes — particularly on the way into I(ntermediate) C(lass), Brienne’s IC especially — ignorance is bliss, or at least survival.

Barre went well.   As a body, Brienne’s students adore her because she works us like a bunch of cart-horses while providing great guidance and corrections.   We suffer under her tutelage and emerge better dancers.

Oh, and her barre is often a full hour long.  Spin class got nothin’ on Brienne’s barre.

It turns out that I haven’t lost my ability to learn long combinations and execute them, though I am somewhat out of shape physically.

I suffered like a bike racer through the final fondu adagio (we did, like, three separate slow fondu combos; mine got ugly towards the end) and then somewhat half-assed the frappés, even though that combination was fun (frappe x4, grand battement x2, all the way around and then avant with the inside leg).

At center, it turned out (no pun intended!) that all the work I’ve been doing on balances has greatly improved my turns.  They’re now solid in combinations, as long as I don’t psych myself out.

We did a little warm-up thing with tendus and pirouettes from fifth, then some really nice adagio that I freaking well did right (including a double from fourth, Bwahaha!) on the first try…

And then, like a voice from beyond, my stomach spoke.

It spoke inaudibly, but its message was clear: Danseur Ignoble, you are just about done for the day.  It was quite firm about that.

I made it through the second side of the adagio combination, but by the end of the first-side repeat my guts were in knots and I was starting to think I might vomit.   My leg was also quietly suggesting that it was close to done –and I still needed to haul groceries home on the bike.  For that matter, even my brain wasn’t so hot by then: it was busy trying to keep my guts in line, and I soon forgot the combination I’d just done so successfully a moment before.

My leg, my guts, my brain, and I limped through the rest of the adagio.   We skipped the allegro: the guts weren’t having it, and the leg felt sufficiently fatigued to suggest a good stopping point anyway.

Needless to say, I followed up my class with an unexpected pit stop.   Oy vey.

At any rate, all’s well that ends well.   I’m feeling much better now.

And I have learned a valuable lesson: when choosing a pre-class breakfast bar, fiber content is probably as important as sugar and protein content.

Today’s corrections:
1. An effective one for keeping the supporting leg really turned out while in a relevé balance (can’t remember how she said it, but it worked and I’ve got it in my body now).
2. A deeply useful one for hitting the accents and a good line in frappé. Somehow, I haven’t been thinking of where the “picture” is in frappé,perhaps because I keep thinking of it as a passing step, which is a silly thing to think anyway in ballet. In ballet, there’s always a “picture.”
3. An excellent one for being musical and expressive in adagio without squinching up too much in the “small” moments.  This one you really had to see.  Maybe I’ll make a video?

Even though graduating is, like, terrifying in its own way (I used to kvetch about never finishing anything; now I’m kvetching about how scary finishing is!), I can’t wait to be done with this semester so I can get back to doing Brienne’s class on a regular basis.   Also Brian’s Monday class.

Between the two of them and Margie’s and/or Claire’s Saturday classes, I think I’ll be in very good shape when it comes time to do the audition component for various DMT programs.   I’m gaining a confidence in my body that I really never expected to achieve (learning to loooooove yourself, it is the greaaaaaatest loooooove o-of all, amirite?).

So that’s it for today.  Stay on the ball, dancers!

About asher

Me in a nutshell: Standard uptight ballet boy. Trapeze junkie. Half-baked choreographer. Budding researcher. Transit cyclist. Terrible homemaker. Neuro-atypical. Fabulous. Married to a very patient man. Bachelor of Science in Psychology (2015). Proto-foodie, but lazy about it. Cat owner ... or, should I say, cat own-ee? ... dog lover. Equestrian.

Posted on 2015/03/25, in balllet, class notes, fitness, food and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I have a ticket to see the Bolshoi this weekend performing “Jewels”. I plan to put up a review in the coming days/weeks. I saw them many years ago when they toured the US and I finall,y really understood what great dancing was and why there is such a thing as a corps de ballet. Prior to then, I had figured that the corps was simply a place for young dancers to improve and develop in. It had never entered my mind that it was supposed to be beautiful and the dancers in synch. Wow! What a difference and rarely achieved.

  2. Sorry, I forgot to tell you how much I enjoyed reading about your efforts in class. It was very interesting and I am hoping to hear about more classes and a better breakfast. Thanks for sharing.

    • You’re welcome, and thanks for your comments 🙂 You’re right — there’s something uniquely beautiful about a well-used corps de ballet, isn’t there? The ability to dance in synchrony with a group is a skill unto itself, and when the corps is used well and trained well and valued by the choreographer, it can be breathtaking.

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