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!

Nervous

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.

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.

It’s Been Too Long

First ballet class after a few weeks: new city, new classmates, new teacher. Not so good experience because it didn’t go quite as well as it had been going in previous classes.
The teacher was very nice and welcomed me to her class and even remembered my name after the first 10 minutes. She did the same class she had done before the school holidays, and most of the girls kind of knew what they were supposed to do. I was a little lost because I wasn’t used to the combinations of pliés and piqués and arms that they did, so I was struggling a bit. When we came to the jumps, I had some problems with my knees as the floor didn’t seem to be elastic at all.
All in all, I didn’t really feel comfortable, although I would say I am in the middle of the experience and skill range. It seems I have lost a lot by not attending any class in just a few weeks.
After the class I spoke to the teacher and she told me I was very welcome to come regularly, and so I will do…

What an Embarrassment

I moved back to my old home country on Sunday, and I had spent many hours before leaving Hong Kong finding potential ballet classes for myself back in lil old town. I had found none in the village where I will spend a few more weeks, one in the little town close to it, and some in “little big city”.

Yesterday, I tried one lesson in town. It was a “Advanced II-III” class, and the teacher had told me on the phone that I could come and try it. It was great to finally wear my ballet slippers and tights again, but I tell you, I was totally embarrassed. It started at the barre where I got into a very bad spot and couldn’t watch the other girls doing the exercises, and the teacher only showed them marginally. And thus it continued… I don’t want to go into too much detail, but I felt during 80 out of 90 minutes that I would love to just sink into the floor – open the ground and let me in, please.

It also felt pretty frustrating, because I didn’t even succeed to do a row of pique turns, which I normally can do. So it felt like I had forgotten everything I had ever learned, and being more awkward and shy than ever. Now, you see, there are people who would just be brave and strong and say that it was the totally wrong fit of class and dancer, and take it as a good lesson. I am trying to do this, but I am also thinking that I suck, that I made the teacher angry, and that I waisted everyone else’s time, and I see myself as a burden. Too much of that negative thinking, although some of it is probably correct. But how much time do you spend thinking about someone who once was in the same class with you- one single time?

I missed my classes in Hong Kong more than ever yesterday night, and driving back home on the train crying, I felt like going back there immediately. The reverse culture shock and catastrophal ballet class totally got to me: tiny little towns, people speaking their dialects, shops closed at 7 pm, rainy weather, the same old people who are so happy with their tiny little lives spent in the same village for 40 years, and this whole sense of wealth and superiority.