Contemporary fun

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.

4 responses to “Contemporary fun

  • mercietchatons

    Yea I do like contemporary for its mix and against the strict rules of ballet. How it bends it a little. It’s a new challenge and when I’m feeling more confident in my classical ballet maybe I’ll start mixing it up with hip hop, contemporary, modern, and jazz.

    I’m glad you enjoyed it!

    • Dancescribe

      Our artistic director encourages us to explore other dance forms. He thinks it helps movement quality. I enjoyed taking hip hop a couple of years ago, but I know the feeling about wanting to be more confident with classical ballet.

  • Kim

    Sounds fun! I love exploring different types of dance.

  • RO

    Ahhhh finally, you tried contemporary!! I must say I’ve done a couple of classes now and I’m getting the hang of it. As you say, the mix between modern and ballet is really nice. Sounds like you had fun and I hope the two week hiatus won’t be that bad! Have a nice Christmas 🙂

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