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Leap Day (and the Rest of the Week)

Ha. Forgot to post this the other day. Derp. So, here it is, a few (okay, four) days late.

A fine class today: except for a touch of wheeziness, barre was good; at center, I threw off a beautiful turn from 2nd, then got cocky and kept putting too much power into the rest of the turns in that combination. I backed it off when traveling across the floor in the next combination and things improved vastly.

I have discovered that I get excited about things like renversé and sometimes kind of lose my head. I worked on keeping it together, though my failure to take my Adderall this morning made that a bit more challenging than it might have been.

Our final combination, however, was not challenging, just:

Pas de Bourée

…Eight times. The cool part is that you’re constantly switching the direction of your hips and shoulders through each pas de bourré. It’s easy to do, but looks really cool,especially if you can get high Sissones and clear épaulement.

I managed both, and felt quite good about myself, thank you very much.

After class, I took a few minutes to practice entrelacés/tour-jetés, because it would be a travesty not to leap on Leap Day.

Thanks to a second-hand note via Yorksranter (thanks, Yorksranter!), Mr. B, who was chatting with someone but still utilizing the Ballet Master’s All-Seeing Eye called out, “Good! Again!” then gave me another note that resulted in a series of, “Good! Again!” séquences.

So that was Monday’s class. Wednesday’s class was also quite good, though I was still not back at “full power,” so to speak. Nonetheless, there were some good moments, and I didn’t hose up absolutely everything.

I made it all the way through, as well, even though it was a billion degrees in the studio and I was already somewhat dehydrated at the start.

My promenades are improving again. For what it’s worth, I love promenades (and turns) in attitude. They just look cool. My turns are also coming back together.

Also, a quick shout-out to the amazing Kathryn Morgan, whose excellent video on Renverse has greatly improved mine. A few weeks ago, we had class with J.P., and he mentioned the part about renverse beginning as RDJ (grand/en l’air, of course); Ms. Morgan takes it a step further, pointing out that you want to make it all the way to arabesque before you think about getting to attitude.

Otherwise you just do crazy, dumb things with your legs and lose your turnout and stuff. Um, but she puts it much more eloquently than that.

Anyway, go watch her video; it will help you immensely with your renverse (or, if you’re already a master of the renverse, it will help you explain it to other people).

Also, pelvic placement (the Theme of The Month, apparently) really helps, but indirectly: forget your heart — if your pelvis is in the right place, you’ll have an easier time with turnout and extensions, both of which are necessary to RDJ, which is necessary to renverse.

Aerials this week have been a mixed bag. I didn’t expect to be awesomely strong after sitting on my tuchas for a week and a half, and as such was not terribly disappointed in myself, though at times I was frustrated.

That said, Trapeze on Wednesday rocked. I kind of feel like trap is my “thing,” aerials-wise — I love being up there and I find it fairly easy to do things well. It probably helps that I find heights thrilling, rather than frightening, since a lot of trapeze work involves either standing on your toes on a skinny little bar or dangling from ropes above one or your knees below one.

It also helps to have freakishly strong legs and abs, which apparently I do? I haz the knee beats, y’all. CL is teaching now and has a fantastic gift for conveying subtle technical details.

Thursday I had some weird and alarming stuff going on that led us to go see my doc today. She doesn’t think I’m going to keel over dead or anything, but did order some bloodwork to check on various things, including my thyroid function.

On the upside, my vital stats are still stellar, with blood pressure of 107/63 and a heart-rate (including the uptick for Adderall and caffeine) of 71. w00t.

Anyway, that’s it. Advanced class tomorrow, then various Suspend-y things.

Monday Class Notes: Attack of the Ballet Squid II — The Return!

I got the best compliment-cum-correction ever today. After a set of tour jetes the best of which garnered a, “Yes! Yes, sir!” Claire said:

“The only thing – your legs look great, but your arms are all over the place.”

She then demonstrated what they were doing (which was actually kind of hilarious)…

"You do FOSSE!  FOSSE!  FOSSE! ..  but you keep it all inside!"

“You do FOSSE! FOSSE! FOSSE! .. but you keep it all inside!”

and what they should be doing (which does not in any way resemble the illustration above).

Classmate Jim also offered a useful note: “Watch your mouth!” Not that I’m cursing in class (though sometimes I want to!), but I hold a lot of tension in my mouth and jaw. He also said I was “really good,” so I’m full up on validation right now ^.^

Jim was a touch shy about offering a note to a classmate, but I’m glad he mentioned it, because it’s something I’ve been trying to work on and I do need reminders. Maybe I will have a mirror-printed shirt made that reads,  “David Hallberg does not make faces!”

Because I am pretty sure this is true*.

So that’s it for Monday class notes this week. I’m still a little iffy on connecting steps sometimes, and I still somehow wind up on the wrong leg sometimes, but it’s all starting to come together now.

I also have to admit that, while getting out was really, really hard today**, a hard and fast 45 minutes or so on the bike coupled with a high-effort ballet class has done a heck of a lot for my mood.

It will be interesting to see if it carries over to tomorrow — a good-mood day would certainly help me get some additional cleaning done. Today was slow and painful, a lot of struggling to finish small tasks (though I did do kitchen and finish a lot of laundry).

I am thinking that I really need to hit up class at least twice a week — both so I can really progress in ballet and so I can keep my mood a bit sunnier. My only concern is that it’s really easy for me to tip myself over into the manic side of the spectrum, so learning how to keep it all in balance is going to be a challenge.

The upside is that right now, managing my mood feels like a challenge, not like some impossible unicorn pipe dream. At today’s low point, leaving the house seemed like an impossible unicorn pipe dream, so this is progress.

That’s it for now. Keep the sunny side up, the leather side down, and the rubber on the road (or, you know, dirt). And if you see any rampaging ballet squids making faces, don’t be afraid to give them a note.

*At least, not while he’s dancing, from what I’ve seen. I do not presume to prognosticate about what the inimitable Mr. Hallberg does with his face when he’s not on stage. He does not, however, seem like the face-making type.
**Because OMG THERE ARE PEOPLE OUT THERE and they might, I don’t know, eat me or something? When I am in Paranoid Hermit mode, my brain doesn’t take the logic that far. It’s just, “There are people out there, and we do not want to be around people.” I can’t even describe what I feel as fear — it’s just that I intensely dislike the idea of encountering other human beings when my brain gets the way it has been lately.

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