I remember when taking class with young company wonders at the old studio back home how envious I was of them.
The could do steps and combinations without thinking.
I would usually be really frustrated.
Mr. O, the old artistic director would remind me that most of the company wonders had been taking ballet since they were 6 or 7. Many of the steps that were routine for them, I was just trying to master.
Things are a little bit reverse in the Level II adult class I’ve managed to make for the second Sunday in a row.
Out of the class of about 10-11, I’m up near the top. Most of the steps are basic, but that is OK.
I think part of the problem since I restarted ballet as an adult is that in some ways, I plunged in too quickly. I moved on to more complicated steps without entirely mastering technique.
I’ve used the last couple of classes really to concentrate on technique. In a combination across the floor, we did passe releve’ where in my old ballet world I would try to work on hitting that double pirouette consistently. Muscle memory wanted me to turn (and I did a couple of times).
While others in class were doing combinations at the barre with arms in second, I was trying to concentrate on the proper arms and head positions. Muscle memory carried me through while others struggled.
I know how they felt.
I have to say, while the class was pretty basic from what I’m used to (Ms. B., the teacher, introduced grande allegro to class today, so we are a long way from my favorite step, a tour jete’), it was pretty cardio as ballet class gets for a 50-year-old out of shape dude.
There is a Thursday class I’m trying at the same level with the same teacher and many of the same students.
So I can finally say that I’m plunging back in.
Oh yeah, the iPhone shot is a bit blurry of Maple Street Dance Space in Albuquerque, where I take class.