Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Random Thoughts, Feelings and Scenes

I've been away on vacation, and I only took class once the whole time I was away.  I bought lots of dance stuff though!  For anyone in Los Angeles, Danny's Warehouse is definitely a must do if you are into scoring deals on dancewear.  Adult Beginner wrote about her adventures there if you are curious.

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I had lunch with a ballet friend after class on Sunday, and I was able to articulate some thoughts and feelings I had been having about ballet.  She was talking about committing more, doing more, etc...and I was able to say that I am personally okay with not doing more and pushing myself in that way at the moment.

I haven't really talked about it on this blog in depth, but I've dealt with mental health issues for a lot of my adult life.  I sometimes wonder if some of the things about ballet are triggering or unhealthy for me.  It definitely can play up my anxiety, and I'm having some body dysmorphia issues that I don't really want to get into as yet.  I think it's manageable, but I think I should be mindful in the way I do ballet.  It's very easy for me to push myself and be a perfectionist; it's much harder for me to be kind to myself.  I want ballet to be healthy and joyful for me.  I want to maintain my interest in it in a sustainable way.  I definitely got pretty burned out on Other Movement towards the end, and I don't want that to happen with ballet.

Even though I am writing about this in a rational way here, I do feel a bit inadequate compared to my friends who do more and push themselves more.  Am I just being a baby about this?  Am I just avoiding challenging myself?  Insecurity...

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After class on Monday, I had a conversation with a woman I see semi-regularly in class.  She mentioned that I said something to her about a combination a few weeks ago that really helped!  And she said that I was really nice and friendly, and that some people were very serious and competitive in the studio.  I said I took ballet very seriously, but not myself.  As an adult beginner, one has to have a sense of humor and perspective, don't you think?  Anyway, in light of a post about introvert problems on balletandorbust, I'm happy that more people are comfortable chatting with me before and after class.

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We were doing a combination across the floor (saute arabesque saute passe twice, one more saute arabesque, glissade, pas de chat).  My first time across on my right side was pretty good...dare I say even pretty!  So it made it really hilarious on the left side, when my pas de chat was terrible because I didn't hold my upper body at all!  A girl I know came up to me after I did it and I was laughing at myself, and was like, you are ridiculous, what was that!?  I shrugged and said, my body thought we were doing modern dance or something, and then starting doing Graham style contractions for a second before my next pass.

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I will have to remember to write out notes from that Monday class, as it was a good one for me and I had some realizations.

2 comments:

  1. Haha I'm trying to picture what it would look like if it was all ballet on the bottom and modern dance contractions on top. Gotta try that one if I ever get access to an empty studio or mirror big enough.
    On a more serious note, I often do a lot of thinking about me pushing myself in ballet, perfectionism, and whether or not it does any harm to my mental state. While I am willing to accept that perhaps I sometimes push myself too much, and spend way too much of my free time concerned about ballet and ballet-related things, I also realize that the alternative would also be unhealthy for me - in my opinion, even more so. It appears that it's in my nature to be obsessive about things, and it's much better for me (though perhaps not so much for my body) to obsess on something beautiful but unattainable like ballet perfection, than on the not-so-good places my mind would tend to wander before I started dancing. I didn't expect it to work out that way back when I first started ballet, but I've been really grateful that it did. Hopefully that didn't make me sound like a total weirdo...

    That's an awesome feeling when classmates tell me what something I told them was helpful. I really love helping newer people because I remember how hard everything was and how intimidating everyone looked back when I started. Now I'm wondering how to spot when someone is competitive...

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    1. You don't sound like a weirdo!

      I do think so far my obsession with ballet isn't unhealthy either, but some people who I'm closest to pointed out red flags in some of the things I was saying and doing, so I'm just trying to manage it, and keep it a beautiful thing, ya know?

      Honestly, there is only ONE person in my whole studio who I really don't enjoy, and I can't tell if she is competitive or just rude. She like corrects other students between combinations (who does this??), rolls her eyes when I say hello, and talks back to the teacher when she gets corrected, but also tries to like monopolize their time. Meh.

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