Five, Six, Seven, Eight

Step, kick, kick, leap, kick, touch...Again!

Being a dancer means having a photographic memory. For verbal direction. And ballet essentially is spoken in French. Plié, rond de jambe, relevé, fondu, grand battement. They’re all French.

Step, kick, kick, leap, kick, touch...Right!

Different ballet dancers give different pointers and suggestions. “Shoulders down! Ears back! Look out over your cheekbones not from under your eyelids! Hips forward! Press down to go up!” They will position your arm and your gaze just so. “Soft hands! No teacup hands! This isn’t Fosse!”

That connects with...

My regular ballet teacher hasn’t taught an adult class since the week before the spring recital. All summer she was at home with her leg propped up on pillows due to knee replacement surgery. My ballet slippers haven’t seen the light of day in over two months.

Turn, turn, out, in, jump, step,

When a website that specializes in discounts at various local businesses offered a series of dance lessons at a new studio for less than the cost of my usual classes, I jumped at the chance. With voucher in hand, I typed in the web address to the dedicated registration site and clicked to sign up for a particular class. Success! It’s today!

Step, kick, kick, leap, kick, touch.

Before signing up for class, I checked the bios of the teachers. The teachers are much, much younger than my current teacher. Her children are my age. As for stamina, will I be able to keep up?

Got it?... Going on. And...

My teacher danced professionally in her teens and 20s, appearing as a Rockette for a period of time. These teachers dance with international ballet troupes. Not that ballet changes, but the athleticism is as much a part of ballet today as the aesthetics.

Turn, turn, touch, down, back, step,

I looked again at the list of classes. I’m not a good judge of my ability. In my regular ballet class, I’m definitely the star pupil. But a master class with one of Ballanchine’s protégés proved to my why I’m not a professional dancer.

Pivot, step, walk, walk, walk.

What class to sign up for? That’s the question.

Right! Let's do the whole combination,

Perhaps, hopefully, I’m just being humble. I signed up for the Advanced Beginner class. But I left it at one. I’ll go to class and see what the teacher has to say. See if she thinks I need to be in the Intermediate class.

Facing away from the mirror.

Wish me luck! Stamina, athleticism, aesthetics, passion. It takes a lot to be a dancer these days.

From the top. A-Five, six, seven, eight!

1 comment:

  1. Good luck! Dancing must be hard on the knees; my girs' dance instructions had to do some sort of surgery on one of her knees last summer and she's my age. She won't let them do the 2nd knee because she was in so much pain the first time. Have fun with your class!