Today, everyone was a teacher

You know you’re in trouble when … you walk into your Thursday morning open ballet class and find that’s just you and six teenage company girls taking the class.

It seems quite a few people are taking a break with the end of company season this past weekend, and the end of the school year a month away, especially the other guys since this was the second class in a row that I was the only guy.

Mr. O., to his credit, made this class fun, relaxing one, which helped since I was the intimidated “remedial student.” But if you think being the remedial student gives you a free pass in Mr. O’s class, think again. I got the corrections just like the company girls did.

And the one thing he pointed out that I clearly need to work on is my confidence (he pointed out I showed more confidence on stage this past weekend than I did in class). Of course, it goes way down in classes where the rest of the dancers are company dancers and in small classes (where there is no where to hide) when Mr. O or Mrs. O are teaching.

I stumbled around during some of the combinations, but it was really fun despite my stumbling. And in keeping with the fun element, we were all required to teach, or demonstrate, an exercise in class (hence the title of the blog!). My part? I taught grande battements (I gave them three, then a passe’ releve’, en croix). I was a little nervous and moved ahead of the music while I demonstrated (I tend to rush things when I’m nervous).

We ended up with some interesting combinations, including one where we were in a circle doing four pique turns, saute, balance turn into a grande jete’. It was fun, but I think my version was rather comical. It would have helped if I’d done a better job spoting

Even though many of the combinations were complicated for me, it was a good change of pace from the intense classes we’ve been having, although I expect the intensity to return during Mrs. O’s class on Saturday morning.


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