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Wednesday Class: In Which I Haz A Confuze

This morning, I opted just to do barre. My foot is finally actually healing now that I’m being extremely conservative with it, and since I have two classes tomorrow, then classes and rehearsals Friday through Sunday, I figured it would be a good idea to take it easy today[1].

  1. For values of “take it easy” equal to “do barre in Killer Class,” which is sort of like saying, “Oh, I’m taking it easy; I’m only climbing halfway up Mount Everest.” Particularly given that barre was a full hour long this morning.

Anyway, that was probably for the best. My brain was not on its A-game today. I managed to get almost every combination wrong in new and different ways … especially our fondu, which was supposed to go like this:

balloné, balloné, jeté front front front, balloné, balloné, jete side side side, balloné, balloné, jeté back back back, fondu passé developpé, fondu passé developpé, fondu passé developpé, retiré, fondu attitude, grand rond, fondu attitude

… and then reverse all that shizzle, or something along those lines.

…but quickly turned into this:

balloné, balloné, jeté side, wait, what?! balloné, balloné, jete … side for realz, I think??? balloné, balloné, jete … what the **** am I doing with my inside leg right now??? fondu all the unfoldy legs at the wrong time all the way around, retiré, arabesque, fondu attitude side, what the actual heck am I even doing right now??????!!!!, fondu developpé and HOOOOOLD.

Barring the moments in BW’s class when I sometimes fail to actually intake the beginning of some combination because I’m busy thinking about some fine point of technique and then have nobody to follow, it has been a while since my brain so thoroughly failed at the barre.

I actually asked between sides which way we were supposed to jeté first, and then proceeded to do a completely different set of wrong things on the second side.


Sadly, I had no problem remembering the adagio and terre-a-terre, even though I didn’t do them (I was stretching and watching BG dance, since he took class with us today).

I don’t know what my problem was, and I don’t think I want to know.

Tomorrow will be better. Until then, here’s a picture of my cat being extra derpy:


Pretty much how I felt during most of class.


Good Days, Bad Days

Today, we rang bells for the last time this year. For me, it might be the last time for a while, since next year I will be really drilling down on dance stuff.

We played three pieces, all of which were pretty easy for me with the exception of a small bit of very quicbell-juggling — and even that wasn’t difficult, just less easy.

So we rocked right through the prelude piece (one which, I’ll admit, I could ring in my sleep) without a hitch and came off feeling quite good about ourselves, and I expected the same from the communion piece.

And then we began to ring, and I was startled by a wrong note.

…And then I realized that I was the one playing the wrong note (egads!).

…And then I figured, “Oh, hmm, must’ve swung the wrong hand.”

But when next I rang that note — a G — I swung the correct hand (which was, incidentally, also the right hand).

And then a kind of horror broke through me.

I shifted my bells. Rang again.

Still wrong.

Grabbed the bell that was still on the table. Rang that.

Still wrong.

…And, finally, I just put them all on the table, looked down, and picked them up all over again, in the correct hands.

Needless to say, although my wrong notes somehow managed not to sound too off (my part, in that section, was practically a bagpipe drone), I was flustered. Mortified. Frustrated.

Much the way I felt in class on Saturday, when I dropped in on Essentials because Ms J was teaching and proceeded to dance well enough that my fellow students concluded that I knew what I was doing and that they should just follow me … At which time my brain decided it would be a good plan to start doing the turns on the left side of a very simple combination backwards.

…Thus leading these tender, innocent new dancers into error (seriously, Ms J remarked on that when my group finished).

I knew what was supposed to happen. I even knew how to do the thing that was supposed to happen. I saw the wrong thing happening: and yet, once again, I was forced to watch in horror as my Ballautopilot hosed things up — only, this time, said Ballautopilot generously hosed things up for everyone. (Father forgive me, for I know just what I do, but not how to stop myself doing the wrong thing anyway?)

As such, the lesson of the day for the Essentials class was, “Know the choreography, and the choreography shall set you free. Also, don’t follow that one guy just because he looks like he knows what he’s doing.”

The lesson for me, on the other hand … Eh. I guess, “Sometimes the power steering breaks at the worst time,” or something like that. At least I remained physically committed to my own special variation and made it look good.

My ego is salved (at least where ballet is concerned) by the knowledge that I, too, have in my time been led astray, sometimes by company members who presumably are much better at this stuff than I am :}

But, yeah. Ballautopilot: the struggle is real?

At any rate, it’s good to be dancing again. I shall be doing a great deal of it over the next few weeks in preparation for the Cinci workshop.

So, there you have it. Good and bad days at the same time, sometimes in the very same combination.


PS: After my ignominious defeat by the communion piece, we rang the postlude piece like professionals.

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