Thrown into the deep end of the pool

When you’re basically the only “old recreational” dancer in company class, you kind of expect days like Thursday and today, just not back-to-back.

I can pretty much do 99 percent of the steps the company kids do, just not as graceful, beautiful and with the timing they do at times.

Every once in a while, you get thrown combinations that leave with the “you really want me to do that?” look.

Happened on Thursday with a combination that included the change direction fouettes. I was a bit wobbly, but came out otherwise OK.

Today? Two combinations that threw me entirely for a loop. One was a balance turn, attitude turn, a 180 turn, pas de bouree piroutte. I was my wobbly self, couldn’t really figure out the change direction turn (other than just cheating and turning a little extra in the attitude turn). It was sort of a site to behold. I think the Mrs. O must have needed a laugh today.

By her own admission (and this is a person who danced professionally with Pennsylvania Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet), it was a combination she had trouble with when she was in class. And one of the company kids said “oh snap!” when she demonstrated it (trust me, I was thinking up another thing to say a little less politically incorrect).

Don’t get me wrong. The combination, even if I did it entirely badly, was fun.

As was the wonderful combination we did for grande allegro (my usual strength). It starts off well, Saute fieee (I have no idea how that is spelled) glissade saute chat, glissade saute chat pique chasse tour jete, chasse tour jete (I’m good up until this point), and then a jete entrenent (a turn with a jete) sutunu and then a tour (or double tour if you’re better than me). I never got the end of the combination quite right.

It was, to say the least, a comedic day.

But I did redeem myself during the petite allegro combinations (my usual weakness, go figure!). My jetes, glissades and assemblees probably weren’t crisp enough, but Mrs. O looked pleased I managed to do the combination and on time with the music.

Even though I long for days when I do everything well, challenging days like today and Thursday do have their place. Those combinations I butchered Thursday and today, I will hopefully master by the time I’m 50.


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