Today was our last class before Christmas break. Mr. and Mrs. O headed to see family for the holidays.
So subbing for Mrs. O was the young professional male dancer who dances with our company and teaches jazz and modern.
He sprung a surprise on those of us who were there to get that last ballet fix before about two weeks away.
We were going to be taking a contemporary class. I’ll be honest, I’ve taken modern, hip-hop and jazz, but had never heard of contemporary until one of my fellow ballet bloggers mentioned taking a class. I thought it was another name for modern.
And I felt like politely bowing out of the experience.
But I was there. And I have a lot of respect for the guy teaching the class.
So I stayed.
We went through a torturous warmup that involved pushups and an arm workout that made my arms totally burn.
And then we began to dance.
Basically, contemporary as best as I can tell, is a little bit ballet, and a little bit modern (and from what I can tell, is a lot more fun than modern).
We used turnout. And we used parallel. We flexed our feet. We pointed our feet. We used both ballet and non-traditional arms, ballet moves and some un-ballet moves.
We ended up working on choreography for about 2/3’s of the class.
And deep down, I thought, there’s no way I’m going to be able to do this. Not at my age.
The dance we learned included having to roll in the floor twice, once after a penche-like move into a half-pirouette, and another after a pique, then double pirouette move, and then coming out of the roll into a balance turn followed by a grande jete where you fell on your knee before standing up.
I thought, I’m trying this. But there’s no way I can get up once I, much less twice.
It seems my body knows better than my mind.
Not only did I get up, I received praise for out-dancing some of my much younger company dancing peers.
It was really fun.
Didn’t enjoy it as much as ballet. But if contemporary were offered at our school, I would probably take it.
It capped what turned out to be a really good week of dancing for me, which considering coming off seven Nutcracker performances last week, I was really amazed by how well the week went.
My double pirouettes were praised by Mr. O. And Dawn C. told me my technique is greatly improved.
Sort of a bummer we’re taking a holiday break after such a week.