“Dance your cares away…worries for another day”

12 Aug

Last night I tried to stay up so I could watch the Perseid meteor shower, and was watching reruns of The Nanny to help me stay awake, but I’m feeble and old so of course I fell asleep anyway to Fran Drescher’s soothing caramel voice.  Unfortunately, I fell asleep sitting on the couch so this morning in ballet my hip flexors were tighter than a Sansha devil shoe.  So not only did I not get to see the meteors, I also struggled through ballet because I felt like I couldn’t even stand up on my legs.  Massive lose-lose for the home team.

About class, sometimes Karen will repeat a petite allegro from the previous class, since it’s good to have time to let things gel in your head even if you don’t actually do it in between classes.  However, Magelas only shows up sporadically for class and somehow manages to always comes in on the second day of the allegro, and gets a thrown into a “ballotté-ballotté-coupé-ballonné-glissade-brisé-glissade-jeté battu-pas de bourée-changement-glissade-jeté battu-coupé-assemblé-assemblé” with only a quick mark and a prayer.  I kind of imagine classes in New York to be something like that, except approximately three thousand times scarier, wall to wall with highly skilled people who know what they’re doing and have freakishly good short term memories.  It’s actually one of my long term goals to go to New York and drop in for a class, which should probably start with actually going to New York someday.  I was even born in Kingston and when I tell people I was born in New York they assume city instead of the state which inflates my ego a little and makes me feel closer to the American epicenter of dance, but the truth is I haven’t been since I was an infant and I’d probably have a hard time getting through a class without wanting to scamper into a corner and hide.  Meanwhile, I was silently laughing at Magelas in her befuddled state (we’re friends, it’s ok!), which meant that I promptly screwed up when it was my turn to go.  Karma always bites back and I never learn…

She divided the class for petite allegro into a faster tempo and a slower tempo, just based on whoever wanted to do what, and I picked faster but messed up so I did the slower tempo too.  We repeated the petite allegro, so I figured it would be good cardio too to just keep going.  This is quite the shock considering I never do any form of cardio (running hurts my hips and I’m like a cat and despise being submerged, thanks to years of misery as a competitive swimmer.  After twelve years you’d think I’d let it go, but I was also the kind of child that was TRAUMATIZED by The Goonies and an episode of Fraggle Rock where there were these cocoon thingies that hatched and made me cry hysterically).  I was a wee bit winded, but felt good about it.  It ended up being a huge mistake though, because for whatever reason, she had us do the grande allegro three times.  So I ended up doing petite x 4 and grande x 3, and my legs liquefied and are currently in some kind of gelatinous state.  At one point during the grande I just forgot what was happening and didn’t even do the assemblé and did a pas de chat (which was earlier in the combination), when midair I remembered what it was supposed to be, and so I improvised and tacked on an assemblé-ish creature, which didn’t come to fruition because I almost ran into the wall.  I turned around and made eye contact with Karen, who kind of made a face and pointed to her brain.

But I was a helpful little imp today when she was demonstrating a pique into attitude, moving the leg through passé and doing a tombé onto it, while staying on relevé.  She asked if she could borrow my shoulder and I was happy to oblige.  I’m sure the class would have erupted into chaos had I not been there to save the day.  That was during a waltzy combo that included an arabesque turn, which normally I have some issues with but I almost survived today.  It was one of those things where we did it across the floor and the first time they went really well (much to my surprise), were ok the second time and by the third time they completely deteriorated (and yes, we did that combination three times too…rough seas).  People often say you should stop while you’re ahead, but we don’t seem to get that option in dance.  I really psych myself out way too much.

Lately I’ve been really concentrating on trying to get my shoulders to stay relaxed but it’s really affecting my port de bras.  It’s almost as if I have to relearn them again, so I can figure out how to initiate movement from my back instead of just from the extremities, and I have good days.  However, it is making my fingers do funky things and my hands are weird enough as it is.  You see, besides my lower back, the only other part of my body that’s pretty flexible are my middle and ring fingers.  They’re actually hyper extended which allows me to bend just the top joint.  But isn’t that the stupidest thing you’ve ever heard?  Of all the joints to have natural flexibility, all I get are two fingers.  Like I couldn’t have prettier ankles or a nicer line through the knees, I had to get fingers.  And just the two, because my other fingers and wrists aren’t flexible at all (like those crazy people who can bend their thumbs backwards and touch their wrists…creepy)

The point is, my legs are so sore right now it’s actually borderline not funny.  At all.  Or is it?

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2 Responses to ““Dance your cares away…worries for another day””

  1. Alex August 14, 2009 at 2:16 am #

    Hey! I was in your dance class. I was trying to figure out who Karen Eliot was, and wikipedia tells me it’s probably not her real name. She’s such an incredible dancer I wanted to see who she was with Cunningham. Anyway, I was the guy with the white shirt without all the muscles. I was trying to figure out if OSU was where I wanted to go for graduate school and I’m thinking it isn’t. I want to go somewhere that really concentrates on physical training and not so much everything else. Maybe I’ll come back later. Great class though!

    • youdancefunny August 14, 2009 at 2:47 pm #

      Hi! I remember you! Isn’t the whole “is that her real name?” thing a riot? So espionage…so mystifylicious!

      Sorry OSU wasn’t what you were hoping for (I’m actually not a grad student…or even a major…just a groupie) but I hope you find the right program for you!

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