Monday Class: Poco a Poco

By nature, I’m a pusher. I come back from illness or injury and push myself to jump right back in where I was when I left off.

That’s not always the best strategy, and I’m learning to listen to my body a little more; let it tell me when I should back off a bit.

Today was one of those days: we’ve entered that time of year in which the late-summer/early-autumn molds and pollens start kicking my butt, and the simple act of breathing becomes depressingly complicated.

I also woke up feeling yesterday’s lyra work a little — my mount involves using my adductors and hamstrings under pretty heavy load, and it just never really lets up after that.

Because the posterior chain is just that — a chain — the lyra work basically just left my legs tight from the bottom to the top (or, ahem, from the bottom to my bottom? I just can’t even today…). Seriously; even my Achilles’ tendons have essentially no give today, and my Achilles’ tendons are surprisingly awesome most of the time (at least, it surprises me: it’s counter-intuitive, since they’re SO FREAKING WIDE).

As a result, I took my time working into my turnout, working into my plié. I tried to keep my movements small and soft and let the legs warm up on their own schedule.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this worked pretty darned well. By the time we got to the warm-up jumps, I had quite a lot of sproing happening: powerful lift-off working through the feet; soft, quiet landings rolling back down into a cushy plié.

Prior to that, we did some really nice work through balloné more or less à terre — the same motion as the usual, but with the toe of the working leg brushing across the ground — and in pique-fouetté (proud to say that if we had been a band of hunter-gatherers, we would have feasted on mammoths!*) and arabesque turns (from fourth and fifth, one after the other).

*How I envision this actually going down IRL:


Step 1: Mammoth be napping in the fancy grass. Via my imagination and Microsoft Paint.


Step 2: Time for grand allegro! (Paul Jamin, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.)

So, anyway, working into my body poco a poco worked really well today.

This is something I’ll have to keep in mind.

The next three days will be a flurry of packing, dancing, and cleaning, so I may or may not do much writing here. As such, fear not, because…


From Monty Python’s The Holy Grail, via teh G00gelz, obvs.

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 2016/08/15, in balllet. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Those images are hilarious! Take care. 🙂

  2. Alternative caption for the last one: never mind, mammoth, dance is for everyone

    • Ha, yes!

      Edit: also, lumbering along behind like a forlorn mammoth pretty much describes how I feel during my worst modern dance moments. I suppose that the Great Choreographers That Have Gone Before (and, come to think of it, all our instructors at Mam-Luft&Co, who were forever saying, “Make something of it!”) would advise me to use that feeling somehow…

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