Weekend Workshop

I attended an intense ballet workshop last Saturday and Sunday. It is Wednesday now, and I can still feel my muscles – especially the inner and outer thighs and my shoulder and back muscles. This is good, I like it!

This was a workshop with a teacher I had never learned from. And it was just great! Do you know this impression that every teacher focuses on the same things and on different ones at the same time?

With the almost ten ballet teachers that I attended classes of, I have learned something new from each and every single one of them. Now this one told me how to hold my arms correctly, and how to move the shoulder blades so that the movement comes actually from the upper back. I am pretty sure I had heard this before, but he found a way to finally make it crystal clear to me what the correct posture is. And believe me, I do feel the newness of the sensation in every part of my back and arms.

And this led my thoughts to the following point: Sometimes, my body is just so slow. My mind does know what to do in the combination tombé, pas de bourré, chassé, pas de chat. I know each of these steps, I can explain how to do them in words, but when I actually have to dance them in the diagonal, something might just as well go wrong as I might get it right.  My body just doesn’t get what it has to do. Of course, I have been told about this by teachers, about the “body memory” that makes practice so important, and I know that everyone has this feeling or knows this phenomemon. It’s just that sometimes I get this feeling that my body works sooo much slower than my mind that I get frustrated. And I don’t know what to do about it, except for more practice. Are there mental trainings that can help?


Hmm, I guess I will do some research on the world wide web….


Feels good to be back

I really felt so happy after the first ballet class in nine months yesterday night. It is such a good feeling to be in class, to stand at the barre, to hear the music and listen to the teacher’s corrections. No, it isn’t just fun, it is hard work, and I can feel it in my back and legs, but it is work that makes me happy.


Of course I made a lot of mistakes yesterday, and I had difficulties with the combinations. I was out for almost a year. But I felt like I could be part of the class without being too much of a disturbance for everyone else.


I am so much looking forward to next Tuesday!


So, tonight, finally, I am going back to ballet class.

Due to financial problems, I had to skip taking ballet classes for the spring term. This was a harsh cut from three hours of ballet, one and a half hour of modern dance, and one and a half hours of floor barre to – zero. No ballet, no dancing, no nothing. I tried to do some ballet exercises with my DVDs at home, but I hardly ever got the discipline to really do it for longer than just 30 minutes, or for longer than two days in a row. You can imagine what my body looks like…

Anyway, I am back to a little more money, and back to one and a half hours of ballet per week, starting from today. It is the same class that I had taken before my cut. I love the teacher, the time slot, the conditions, I love it all.

But I am so scared to go there today because I know that I will suck. It will be hard to do the pliés, I will not be flexible at all, and everyone will think: Why the hell is she here? I will have to go through that because I know that I can do the class. I will have to be strong tonight and give all I can.

And I am just so happy to be back again, too.

Banksy Tattooes

So, I am a little ashamed to say this, but I didn’t know until today that you could have an artwork tattooed on your body – I mean, of course you can, maybe I just never thought about it. And when doing some research for a gallery project today, I found a lot of images of people who have a work by Banksy tattooed on one or the other location on their body. Interesting. I like it, I think. I am not so sure yet. Shouldn’t a tattoo be something unique? Something that you create yourself and that is just your own message? I always thought this is how a tattoo nowadays should work. But then, so many people have ubiquitous motives, the same old roses and tribals and stars and whatnot, so I guess there must also be other reasons for getting a tattoo.

Now, Banksy’s images seem to be perfect for tattooing. As most of them originally were graffitis, they are easy to be drawn quickly, have a message, and are strong images. Also, they are kind of cute of violent, depending on the topic, and I think this makes them easily transformable into tattoos.

Yes, I think I like the idea.


New city, new dance classes. Good ones. My first class with a male teacher. A good one.

The level of the class is rated as „M“, which means intermediate, and is defined by the school as 1.5-2 years of regular dance experience. I don’t have that much, but I still registered for the class because (a) it fitted my schedule, (b) I like a challenge to learn more faster and (c) becaus I actually thought six months of four hours of dancing a week might be 18 months of dancing one hour per week.


However, I still felt a little nervous whether I would fit the class or be the obvious worst student, a feeling I hate. I came in a little lower than the average level, so I felt fine, and when I asked the teacher after class, he told me I was very welcome to come back again.


The teacher said we would do some easier stuff after the long break, and we did really nice combinations of pliés, piqués, fondues, and so on, that were new to me, but felt very comfortable to me. We spent quite some time at the barre and only left it for the center for the last third of class, when we did some small sequences. Although I made some obvious mistakes, I felt really fitting into the class and enjoyed it a lot.


The teacher explained everything very patiently, and he corrected some of us and sometimes all of us when he spotted mistakes, in a nice and friendly way.


It was just great to be back to the studio, with tights and slippers on and practising my skills.