Monthly Archives: June 2014

All that jazz …

I swear, I think jazz is growing on me.

It will never take the place of ballet. It still ranks behind hip-hop.

But I didn’t stumble around nearly as much tonight. There were elements of ballet tonight that helped. I drew praise for my chaine turns. And we did a combination at the end of class that had pirouettes,

I didn’t feel nearly as out of place as I did last week.

And I was asked by one of the ladies in class if I were going to be taking jazz there in the fall because they “need a guy in class.”

We’ll see. I still find some elements in jazz a bit strange (I don’t recall it being that way during my teenage years), but it’s been OK so far.

This wasn’t the dance-apalooza day that I planned.

My soreness from Pilates on Saturday remained through the morning, so I didn’t go my regular studio for the open class (I have yet to go so far this summer). I plan on going Wednesday. I MISS a ballet class full out.

You don’t get that at the new place. It’s an hour-long and mainly a beginner class, We only had 15 minutes of center work tonight, and only did jumps and worked on facings.

This would be the type of class I loathed at the regular studio … but the adult dancer vibe is really cool in this class.

There were more people in class tonight. I was surrounded by women of all ages, from 20ish to 60. There are all body types in there, from thin to overweight. There was even a pregnant lady in class. How cool is that?

This class doesn’t adhere to dress code. Yoga pants, warmup pants and leggings are pretty much what you’ll see with t-shirts and tank tops.

And sense half of the room had never taken ballet before … messing up was no big deal.

Both classes, jazz and ballet, are full of women who don’t care how they look, how bad they mess up. Being perfect, well, is non-existent.

They are there to have fun. They’re not worried about impressing an artistic director or a school director … or even being on stage.

While I still prefer ballet full out and love performing, this is an element of class I have totally missed.

The Russian experience

My experiment with new studios took a surprising new turn today.

A friend of mine, who used to be the top male dancer at my regular school, teaches hip-hop at a studio that’s known for ballroom classes.

I had every intention of taking his class this afternoon. But I also wanted to try the Pilates and ballet classes taught by another former teacher at my regular school … Madame Vaganova (my name for her because of the academy she trained at).

I had her once as a sub, years ago. The arms and the accent were confusing.

The main reason I wanted to take her classes was because of her Pilates reputation. Everyone I know who has taken Pilates from her said she was tough.

They weren’t kidding. We used hoops, rubber balls and therabands. I was winded pretty early, basically wiped out by the end of a one-hour class.

But I stuck around, winded as I was, for her basic ballet class. It was interesting, Her terminology was a little different (actually the same as Melissa B, who also learned Vaganova style). I was winded the whole time from Pilates.

And the class was a bit unusual, a mixture of teens and adults. The guys outnumbered the girls. I can’t ever remember that happening,

I’m not in the kind of shape I need to be in. I paid the price for the time off.

The neat thing about this studio? It’s drop-in, no registration. $10 per class, except for beginning hip-hop, which is a cheap $5.

I was, however, too wiped out to take the hip-hop class,

My arms, my shoulders, my abs and my thighs still ache.

I have a day to recover before Monday’s danceapalooza. I’ll be returning to my regular studio for an open class in the morning for the first time in almost a month. It will be interesting to see if they missed me.

And then I’ll return in the afternoon to the other studio for ballet and jazz.



JustScott is the new name …

Just in case you get responses from me. I have a personal blog in addition to this one that is mainly dedicated to ballet and dance in general.

We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto!

My two week break from ballet ended this afternoon.

My great experiment with attending classes at a new studio began.

I had planned to go to the open class at my regular studio this morning before trying out the new studio, but I decided to sleep in before trying out hour-long ballet and jazz classes at the new place.

As I drove to the new place, the old nerves came back. Just how welcoming our adults there, especially a guy. What would the teachers be like? What if the classes … you know … for a lack of a better term, really sucked?

I was amazed when I drove into the parking lot. There wasn’t a parking space to be found. The place was amazingly packed … it was overrun with children and parents. The receptionist was cheerful, which helped.

The classroom was small, but I was pleasant;y surprised for a summer adult class there was actually a good number of adults with a wide range of ages. I wasn’t shocked to be the only guy. I was expecting it. But the women in the class were encouraging and nice.

The biggest was the teacher, Melissa B. I’ve had her before at my regular studio!

She taught there last summer, and I made up in a class she taught, but wasn’t on staff there in the fall.

Trust me, when you are the only adult male dancer in a sea of strange people, it’s comforting to see a familiar face.

The class was more of a beginner class. There were a couple of ladies who had never had ballet before. There were a few of us who had danced before.

I’m not a fan of slow, beginner classes. But I enjoyed Melissa B’s classes last summer. And I enjoyed it today. She was very hands on with the beginners in class, which I appreciate because I know they can be completely overwhelmed (which is why a lot of adult beginners don’t come back for a second class).

The class made me realized how much I missed the camraderie of an adult class. I haven’t had a problem with dancing with company wonders, but there is something about being in a we’re all in the class together type of class.

And, I’ll be honest, I believe I like being one of the best students in a class every once in a while.

Now jazz class, that was a different adventure altogether. Our teacher has a Brooklyn-type of accent. It was very more cardio and stretchy, for lack of a better term.

I felt like a bull in a China shop. This was the first real jazz class I’d been in since high school when we were dancing to music by “Tears for Fear” and doing the Neutron Dance to the Pointer Sisters.

We did moves tonight that are very hard for an old, straight dude like me to do (we did a thing called a hip roll and flicked our wrists quite a bit … had to sacrifice my pride … don’t tell anybody, but I actually liked the dance we did at the end … lol).

To be honest, jazz is probably not my thing. But the interaction will fellow adult dancers will probably keep me coming. About half of them were also in the ballet class,

I was asked by one of my classmates if I was going to keep taking classes in the fall.

Told her I had signed up for fall classes.

Right now, it’s an experiment. We’ll see.

But it was a good start.

After how the year ended at my regular school, it was a refreshing atmosphere to be in.

I really enjoyed it.