A class with my ‘original teacher’

Have to admit, I was a little bit nervous heading into the open class this morning.

I knew my “original teacher” Vicki B. would be teaching.

What I mean by original is this: She was one of my teachers when I danced as a teenager. She was my main teacher when I returned to ballet as an adult for about three years.

But it’s been more than two years since I’ve been a regular in her class. The one class I had with her this year was right after eight performances of the Nutcracker, sickness and the Christmas break layoff. It was a “beginner” class, and quite frankly I wasn’t at my best.

She’ll be teaching the Wednesday open intermediate-advanced classes during the regular summer session, and since she used to be my main teacher, I really wanted to show how much progress I’ve made under Mr. O, Mrs. O and Susan K. Pressure, pressure.

Adding even more pressure? She’s a stickler for the fundamentals (even more so than Mrs. O). Her classes are usually pretty cerebral (brain teaser combinations) and she usually teaches to the level of the majority of students in her class.

Out of about 12 us, there were about 7-8 company girls, 1 ex-company girl home from college and two teachers who also dance as a adults.

And me.

So the barre was raised (pardon the pun) quite a bit today.

Her barre routines were as a remembered: Complicated. You really, really have to use your brain. From the get-go at barre, she is not the “OK, four tendus encroix” kind of teacher.

And to my amazement, I kept up pretty well, about as well as my much more talented comrades.

Center work was pretty complicated, especially during petite allegro. But I did OK.

I got reintroduced to Cecchetti arms and head today. Ditto for saute de basque turns and a few other steps I don’t normally do for my other teachers.

And somehow, not sure how it happened, but I danced better today with company crew in an advanced class than I did back in January in a “beginner” class with her and a couple of fellow adult recreational dancers.

I would say, “go figure?,” but seriously, it’s not the first time that I’ve danced better in the advanced class than in a beginner class. I think that’s one of the quirks of ballet.

She complimented me when I was done. 

Today, I felt like a dancer in her class. Today, she got to see the progress I’ve made.

Mission accomplished.

The sad thing now is that I’m now at the beginning of a two-week break from dance. Vacation is next week, I’m traveling to see family outside of Philadelphia (and entertained dropping in on open class at the Rock School, but thoughts of getting lost in Philly at night have pretty much done away with that notion).

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4 responses to “A class with my ‘original teacher’

  • Kristen Gillette

    I still haven’t taken a class at the Rock, and I live in Philly! Enjoy your vacation even though it’ll be lacking dance!

    • loveballet89

      They advertised adult open classes starting next week, which is the week our artistic director and school director will be teaching at their intensive, so I was tempted.
      Then I remembered my trip with my daughter to the art museum last year. Had a hard time getting back on Benjamin Franklin Parkway and ended up in Pensauken, New Jersey. That wasn’t a big deal because that was midafternoon. I’d rather not end up lost in the wrong part of Philly alone at night, so I’ll play it safe!

  • RO

    Love that you felt like a ‘true dancer’ in class..!! That feeling is incomparable 🙂

  • The Dancing Rider

    Great entry! That would make me nervous too. But you did it, and you felt like a dancer. That has to be the best! Have a great vacation. Hard to be away from dance, but perhaps a good break nonetheless.

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