Unexpected compliments

As you would have noted from this post last weekend, I have had a whooooollleeee lot of self-doubt going on. So much so that on my important/urgent matrix, “dance practice” is a thing.

Here is an important/urgent matrix, in case you don’t know what that is.

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Did I practice this week? Yeah, sort of. In a half-arsed kinda way. I did a bunch of core and diaphragm exercises on one night. On three days I pirouetted my way through the hallways. During my work day I spent time balancing (I work at a standing desk).

And today I spent time in positive visualisation.

Jazz class starts at 8 pm, which is late for someone like me. On normal nights, I’m in bed by 9.30 pm. Why? I rise early. Tuesday this week I was up at 5 am.

Today, I spent all day feeling tired and physically disordered and wanting to eat. A lot. And I drank all the coffee and ate fistfuls of choc bits just because they were there.

So, I wasn’t hopeful of a good class.

Martine Quigley (this is her) is fantastic for corrections. She takes time to give us each individual feedback, which was confronting for me to experience the first time, but is now really valuable. I get a LOT out of hearing her appraisals of my fellow dancers, because I am learning to spot each person’s different styles, and where they’re strong, and where they’re weak, and can apply those considerations to myself as I watch my peers dance.

But, I was surprised. I didn’t get any alignment corrections in the warm-up. I got some lovely compliments on my jumps: That my “framework is excellent”.

My pose turns and shanay turns were pretty good - and all I needed was a prod about posture and they were even better. Not surprised AT all; I struggle keeping everything locked down properly. The combination of the two is surprisingly difficult. Remember, fondu between pose and shanay and it’s easier. I know what I’ll be practising this week.

And then, I nailed the choreography quickly. It was a short and sweet, loose hip hop piece that was HEAPS of fun. Bloody amazing that I got it - and that I didn’t even question my ability to do it.

Sometimes, your body just really works - even when mentally you’re totally off the mark.. :)

Let’s see how I go in Martine’s jazz class tonight.  I’m already fit to fall asleep while making coffee (it’s 4 pm). Class is at 8 pm. 

Time for toasties and all the coffee!

Let’s see how I go in Martine’s jazz class tonight. I’m already fit to fall asleep while making coffee (it’s 4 pm). Class is at 8 pm.

Time for toasties and all the coffee!

I practiced today

Turned pirouettes in my hallway, in a Manowar hoodie.

I did this for half an hour. Only three of them were right ‘on my leg’, and I turned two lovely doubles after getting my weight right.

Husband freaked out that I’d face plant.

He also said:

"This is the first time in history that someone has done ballet to Gates of Slumber."

Touche.

Tags: ayearofdance

The Saturday reflection

If blogging the year of dance is going to be a thing, then I figure Saturdays are a good day to bash out a post. On Saturdays, I do two classes back to back: ballet at 2 pm, contemporary at 3 pm.

As a dance student, I am convinced I’m a weirdo. Why? The larger the class, the more intimidated I get, and the more I start to freak out that I don’t have the skills or the talent compared to everyone else.

It’s completely ridiculous, on more than one level. Nobody is judging my ability but me, and I am my own worst critic. Further, nobody else has time to look at anyone else. They’re all freaking out about their own things.

Secondly, it’s a huge assumption on my behalf that everyone is like me and trying to improve by leaps and bounds week on week.  A ridiculous assumption, I might add.

I worked out today that there are a couple of things going on here.

  1. I believe that I am impacted so much by the huge numbers in class that I’m actually not functioning to a high capacity as an individual: My balance is off, my rondes are bad, my posture is failing, my gaze is off. A whole lot of things are going sour.

  2. I want to progress but fail to practice in my own time. One never achieved anything by just attending class. It’s the daily hour of jamming it out in your own time that makes you move forward. It’s as true in language as it is in dance; as true in music as it is in art. The problem is knowing what exactly to drill.

And an hour is just not enough. I wish all classes were an hour and a half. That would be amazing. Though, I’m sure that everybody else thinks that an hour is plenty.

My challenge, if I want to start going up a level, is to practice at home. Let’s see how well I manage to do that over the coming week.

I’ve taken to lugging around just a dance bag with all the things in it. It’s easier. Also means I don’t forget important things like hot pink leg warmers when it’s freeeeeeezingggg like today.

I’ve taken to lugging around just a dance bag with all the things in it. It’s easier. Also means I don’t forget important things like hot pink leg warmers when it’s freeeeeeezingggg like today.