FBT has been back this month, and I've been able to take a couple of privates with her. We've been working in an incredibly detailed and specific way, and it has been amazing. The most notable difference is how everything is coming together and making sense.
So often in class, teachers will correct one part of your body. Like, present your heel, or lengthen your spine, or zip your ribs, etc. I have been bringing the corrections to FBT, who has made me realize that these aren't just individual corrections, they're all connected. So, for example, we worked on port de bras. So she talked to me engaging the triceps, but to do that the back has to be held, but to do that the pelvis has to be in place, but to do that the core has to be engaged and inner thigh and butt, and OMG everything is interdependent and the movement of the arm has to come from the whole body, as does everything else you do in ballet ever. She described it as everything clicking into place. I had been thinking of an alignment correction as a puzzle piece to fit in...but now I realize it's actually more like a blurry picture coming into focus, or like a structure that is slightly out of square being shifted as a whole into being square.
This is kind of incredible to me! Perhaps it's super obvious to others and I'm slow, but it feels like a game changer. One of the corrections I have gotten is that I correct my alignment when I get into a position, rather than using it throughout the movement. This is a lot easier to do when you can think of placement / alignment as a whole rather than in pieces, and it just naturally carries through everything you are doing. I guess this is what some of my previous teachers were trying to get at, when they talk about energy or spirals as a system. And while I still have to work incredibly hard to keep everything engaged and working properly with this knowledge, thing are easier in other ways because I'm not fighting myself. The alignment does the work in that sense, and it just feels right. And it gives me all this new control and awareness...which makes me feel a little closer to really dancing.
I kind of knew this in my brain and have had glimmers of experience with it, but to really start feeling and understanding it in my body is amazing. It's hard for me to find it all the time on my own in class, I lose the constant mindfulness / awareness / connection that it requires when things get hard or fast. But it comes together more and more often now.
This is kind of hard for me to write about, because it's so internal and in my body, so hopefully it makes sense.