That’s how today’s open class felt when I walked in.
Basically, there were about 14 company girls and me, and they included probably the top two or three remaining girls in the company, the ones who will dance the role of Sugar Plum Fairy and Cinderella this season.
A few years ago, that scene would have seemed really awkward. But since company kids make of the majority of the classes I take during the regular year, it almost seems like the norm, minus the two or three company guys who have departed for bigger and better things. Having them in class has helped the comfort zone a bit, along with an occasional, brave older recreational soul, male or female.
Of course, being the lone non-company member means having to keep up with their level. I didn’t expect Deb W., our teacher, to teach down to my level, and she didn’t disappoint. It was tough, but I thought I kept up with them pretty except when we did tendu quises and cabrioles to the back. Those are things I understand in theory, but can’t quite get my body to cooperate.
It least when it comes to cabrioles to the back, my timing and range of motion seem to be a little bit off. As for tendu quises, I understand the concept, but they were a mess in a combination that also included sissones.
But still, overall, I felt I had a good class. My pirouettes were cleaner today. And my second attempt on turns from second (the sort of male variation of fouettes, which the girls did) were the cleanest I’ve done in ages.
And the most important thing about class is that I felt so much better physically and mentally after we were done. I’m loving this week of class and look forward to closing it out with a class from Mrs. O. on Friday.
Given the makeup of the classes this week, I am wondering about the number of guys who will be dancing with the company this year now that the regulars I’ve danced with have departed. I’ve had a camaraderie with them, especially two of the young professional guys.
We’d occasionally go out and get a drink after rehearsals, classes or performances. They made it a whole easier for an old guy who has found himself in classes with amazingly talented girls who are about the age of his daughters.
To the girls credit, my presence has never seemed to bother them. They’ve always been nice and encouraging. And in classes like the one we had today, they seem to push me, too.