What a difference a day makes
Twenty-four little hours
Brought the sun and the flowers
Where there used to be rain
Discouraged is a word that seems to come up fairly frequently on ballet adult beginner blogs. What's the point of all this work? I'm never going to be good. I'm too old. I should just sit at home watching TV, instead of stressing out about all of this ballet stuff.
I will admit that I was rather discouraged this week. I took my regular Monday class and it was great in the way it is always great. But I felt something a bit weird in my left Achilles tendon. Fast forward to Wednesday private with FBT. There is this exercise she likes to do at the barre that I can't even describe (all I know for sure is that at the end is an attitude balance with option to open up to arabesque with high arms), but it has a lot of going up on on legged relevés. Between sides, FBT asked me if my ankle is hurting, because something looked off. I tell her about my Achilles. When I moved it around to show her, it kept clicking. She poked at it a bit and said it was definitely inflamed and made me stop and ice.
I wound up watching the friend I split the privates with take the rest of the class. And guys, she is a gorgeous dancer. I usually don't focus on that because I'm trying to keep up and basically only watch her to follow. But having an opportunity to sit back and watch her objectively showed me how much more advanced she really is. She ended with doing pirouettes en pointe at the barre, and I watched sadly in awe. I really do think these split privates are getting too advanced for me. I feel bad holding back my friend and I feel like it's not worth FBT's time to teach me.
Anyway, that's the mindset that I had when I dragged myself to class yesterday. Class which turned out to be very nice! This teacher doesn't like to give individual corrections it seems. She tends to correct us as a group after the exercise is over. But I realized that if you work on applying the correction right when she does this (before the next exercise), she will give you individual attention.
Center was really fun yesterday. She broke down balancé, which I never had done before. Like, I learned balancé by just doing them, so it was good to see how each step is supposed to be without all the movement. We did an exercise where we just did the arms of the balancé before doing the balancés themselves. We then added soutenou turns to the balancés. The combination went: preparation leading leg in tendu, balancé, balancé, pique to sous-sus, sous-sus turn, land in plié, stretch to tendu opening the arms, repeat to travel across the floor! My soutenou turns were actually pretty good! I think I held my alignment and my arms well; I felt my back working. It was nice to get the feeling of a turn cleanly. Which I never, ever get with pirouettes. I am hoping this will help my turning in general.
This is not what lifted my fog of discouragement though.
What did was this conversation I had with a girl that is very beginner who I've been seeing in class often lately.
Me: Oh! You've been coming a lot lately!
Girl: Yeah, I have a twenty class card that I bought a year ago that is about to expire.
Me: Maybe you can get them to extend it.
Girl: I'm moving soon though.
Me: Well, I guess you can take all the classes, and then do ballet in the new place you're moving to!
Girl: Nah, I'm good. I gave this ballet thing a whirl. I don't feel like I need to do it again.
Me: ...wait, what? ::baffled face::
It was unfathomable to me that she wouldn't want to do ballet anymore. I thought to myself, "I always want to do it! It is what I want to do!" And it's true.