Monday Class: I Feel Somewhat More Human Now

Class went well today. I continue to be fascinated by the changes in how I perceive the tiny muscles in my hips and thighs.

Violinists (by way of example) develop more refined receptive fields and richer-than-average somatosensory cortical representation of their left hands through use. I would guess that dancers’ nervous systems adapt in a similar way, affording a more minute porprioceptive experience of what are, in fact, some pretty obscure muscles.

My mood is also significantly better. I was definitely a tad paranoid this morning, but I talked myself out of it on the bus — or, well, I gave myself a stern talking-to about it and made myself go to class anyway.

Brian gave us a barre that felt short and fairly gentle, then followed it up with interesting combinations at center and across the floor, which (as usual) I mostly did right, with the exception of occasionally firing off a turn the wrong way because thinking.

Pro tip: if say to yourself, “Crap! Which way do I turn?” the answer your brain provides almost always be wrong. At least, it will if you’re me.

Repeat to yourself (in your best Early 90s Tom Hanks voice):

There’s no thinking in ballet!

… And then just fly, little birdie.

Our final combination went:

Sauté arabesque
Tombe
Pas de bourré
Glissade
Assemblé
Échappé
Demi fouette
Jump back to 2nd
Demi fouette
Brush through failli
Full fouette
Coupe to tombé
Pas de bourré
Glissade
Assemblé
Sous sous balance
Sauté arabesque
Run away!
… And then repeat going the other way as soon as the 2nd group finishes.

It was fun; very high-energy. Set to that same lively piece from Swan Lake that I enjoyed so much last week.

There were a bunch of implied steps that we had to work out to keep everything linked.

In other news, I am getting much better at spacing, largely by dint of not having to focus so hard on just doing the steps, which used to use up a lot of mental clock cycles.

So, anyway, that’s it. My friend B. will be back this week from a conference she attended over the Thanksgiving break, and she’s going to join me in my audition video, which I suppose I could post here if it turns out all right.

It’s the opening piece from the ballet I’ll be working on for the rest of my life, “Simon Crane,” which is actually supposed to be a corps piece, but will work okay with two dancers. The video has to be between 1 and 3 minutes long, so “Shadowlands” is right out. It’s 7 minutes from start to end. (Edit: I realize that, the way I wrote this, it reads as if I mean that the entire ballet is a corps piece. While it is, in fact, corps-heavy, I just meant that the opening dance is a corps dance. Derp.)

Anyway, I need to go catch the bus.

À bientôt, mes amis!

PS: I am out of Adderall and also I am an embarrassing stereotype, so I left my coffee cup *and* my water bottle at the studio.

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About asher

Me in a nutshell: Standard uptight ballet boy. Trapeze junkie. Half-baked choreographer. Budding researcher. Transit cyclist. Terrible homemaker. Getting along pretty well with bipolar disorder. 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 2015/11/30, in balllet, choreography, class notes, school and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Oh yes, turning directions.
    I can turn in the wrong direction in every setup from every position, even if its impossible!
    Especially if I start thinking…

    …and I tend to forgetting my leggins at the studio :).

    • I am beginning to suspect that turning the wrong way is the plague of all ballet dancers everywhere!

      … And also, I am comforted by the fact that I’m not the only one forever leaving things at the studio.

      When I was a kid, my best friend’s Dad told me that if you leave something somewhere, it just means you want to return. Evidently, we just really, really want to keep returning to ballet 😀

      • I had ballet yesterday – and I can confirm I can not only turn in the false direction, I can even turn on the wrong leg ;).
        Piruettes from the 3rd – one moment of not thinking and I turn on the front leg. It worked better then the right method.

        Ok, let’s leave a lot of clutter at the studio.

  2. I was a ballet dancer for 20 of my 30 years on earth. I miss it so much and it hurts to remember but it’s beautiful to read your posts. Keep dancing and never give up.

    • Thank you! I know what you mean about missing it … there’s nothing else I’ve encountered that’s like it. During the time that I didn’t dance, it was like a missing limb or something. I hope you’re able to dance again someday. Both bipolar and the meds that treat it (not to mention everything else that can explode in life) can make that so difficult.

      Also, I love the name of your blog. That is a great freaking image.

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