Welcome to ballet boot camp

This is “maintenance” week at the ballet school.

The school year starts next week. The intensives ended last week.

To help dancers stay in shape during the week break, Mr. O schedules maintenance class.

The classes: A. Kick your butt into shape if you haven’t been dancing as much, B. Help you maintain what you’ve built up if you went to a summer intensive, and C. Serves as audition for the company and junior company.

It’s like boot camp. It’s a lot more cardio than your normal ballet class, with faster and more complicated steps. And no, I didn’t audition for the company, just took the class (I pretty much serve as the adult dancer-volunteer they use if they need me).

The class served its purpose. It totally kicked my tail. And I think it served as a good kick start for me to lose 40 pounds by Nutcracker week (yeah, I know, ambitious).

I was looking for oxygen when we were doing eternal royales, jumps in second (with beats), and doing quarter turns over and over. But hey, I did them. I didn’t ask for mercy.

There was the petite allegro where my steps have probably have never been sharper, although it was fairly simple (glissade jete, glissade assemble’, two jump seconds with beats, two royales, repeat other side). And I stayed with the music.

But the highlight of the day … getting praise from Mr. O himself while I was doing pirouettes in a trick combination (my doubles were a lot cleaner today) … and it was tricky combination (ton be pas de bouree pirouette right, same thing left, ton be pas de bouree right, balance’ to the right front corner (turn) and balance’ to the left back corner … then repeat on the left side).

And for the record, for some reason my pirouettes are better on the left. They are about the only thing I do better on the left.

As physically taxing as it was, it may have been the best class I’ve had since the summer started.

Only one combination did I botch. It contained my good friend tendu quisse before two sissones and a pas de bouree. I need to, in the words of Mrs. O, shorten my range of motion while I do them. I tried to do them too big, and therefore got behind when it was time to do the sissones.

Fortunately, we did a relatively simple grande allegro right after that which helped me regain my confidence.

I’m still feeling the class with the good sore.

And can’t wait to go at it again tomorrow.

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2 responses to “Welcome to ballet boot camp

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