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Killer Class: Okay, There’s Your Head, But Where’s Your Arm At?

Yesterday, I was wrestling with my head in modern class.

Today, it’s back the ongoing struggle to figure out where the hell my arms are in ballet.

At barre, Killer B. reset my free arm in second again. It was wandering around a little behind my shoulder. Such is the weirdness associated with hypermobility.

I made a point of remembering how it felt where she put it, rather than trying to feel for a stretch I’m never going to feel because my body is like, “Pfft, please, this isn’t even a stretch.”

Turns were back in order today, though my spot is still kind of WTF.

Likewise, in terms of just plain strength, things are definitely improving. The turnout is back to sorting itself by the end of tendus, and I found myself adding relevé even when Killer B didn’t suggest it: the second set of grand battement, for example.

We did a beautiful adagio at center twice. I had the sense to ask a question about the arms, but then spent too much mental energy thinking about that moment and made myself a little tense on the first run. The second was better.

We talked about the weird thing we do in ballet where we make a rule and establish it soundly, then break the bejeezus out of it: so all through barre, we focused on imagining a wall that would keep our arms aligned, only to use that wall and then break right through it in adagio.

A a nice waltz/turns combination from the back and an equally nice terre-a-terre followed. Double turns are back on tap, suddenly. Triples are intermittent but kinda there; I had one in each class this weekend and one today. The thing I’m working on is pressing up into my turns rather than jumping into them, a correction I’ve now received from two different teachers in the same week 😛

(File under, “You might need to fix something if…”)

To be fair, jumping into my turns is something I know that I do, which is why I’m so very, very, very much better at adagio turns than up-tempo turns. I like to just kind of ooze into adagio turns: squeeze on up to demi-pointe and float. Sometimes I jump into them anyway, though, when I’m worried I’m forgetting the choreography.

Regardless, it was a good day for musicality. A lot of the music was from Swan Lake, and we got to feeeeel our way through the combinations up until petit allegro rolled in (then it was back to OH G-D HANG ON FOR DEAR LIFE).

I’m still fighting the most annoying cold ever, so petit allegro was meh. Little warm-up jumps were fine except for the fact that I had the combination slightly wrong, so I kept having to sort myself out.

On the other hand, I felt less like dying after petit allegro than I did in BW’s class on Thursday … probably because I wasn’t the only dancer in class and could get away with hiding in the back and half-assing it. Shame on me, I guess, but on the other hand I have dance team followed by another class and rehearsal, so completely cooking my legs before lunch seems like a bad idea.



That Just Happened

Scene from advanced class.

We’re preparing for terre-a-terre. JP counts us up and says, “There’s, what, nine of you? So maybe five and four.”

We start arranging ourselves.

From somewhere in the pack, a timid voice pipes up, “Um, there’s ten of us.”

JP pauses for a sec, then says, “Nine, ten, whatever. I can only count to eight, anyway.”

PS: notes forthcoming, but life craziness had intervened. They're on my tablet.

Also, Swan Lake was awesome. Awful lot of, "OMG, that's my teacher!" (Or classmate. Or friend. Or all three.)

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