A five-week summer break in my regular ballet class is coming up fast. I signed up for the summer course to fill the void, but it will be with a different teacher and with mostly different students, too. For our last two lessons before the summer, our ballet teacher decided to give us a treat.

Instead of the usual adagio and allegro, we learned an actual choreography last Thursday! It incorporated several steps and techniques we had practiced during the semester and so, after initial struggles, we were even able to remember it. Coupled with really cool music (Imagine by Drehz), it was so much fun to practice!

Since we’ll be continuing it last week, we decided to take a video – just in case our brains turned into little sieves the second we left the studio. They’ve been known to do that on occasion. On every single occasion, in fact.

Of course we had to watch the video immediately, with every intention of moaning and groaning at our poor performance. But to our great surprise, we were mostly on time, mostly in sync and mostly doing the right things. At least on the small smartphone screen, it looked like we were… dancing?

Don’t misunderstand me: it didn’t look like we were dancing ballet as such. But it did look like some kind of dancing at least, which is wow! Many progress. Such proud.

In other news: I decided to discontinue hiphop. It was a fun class and fantastic for general physical conditioning, but there were hardly ever any corrections from the teacher and all we did was choreography – not even a little bit of technique. I realise there might not be as much technique in hiphop as there is in ballet, but none at all? C’mon.

That might sound kinda bitchy: «I signed up for a dance class and all we did was dance! How awful!!!» Then again, I go to class to learn and improve my dancing, not to simply wreck my knee and sweat a lot.

But hey, I received the following e-mail yesterday:

Dear Anna,

It’s lovely that you want to dance even more! The modern course is not for beginners as such, but from time to time we have people start here, so it is possible. It will take some determination at first, but you already dance, so you know how it is and it should be easier for you. Just drop in after summer vacation to see how you like it!

Because what’s life without a little challenge? The first lesson is on August 22, which is incidentally also my birthday. No better way to celebrate the advance of old age than getting one’s self-esteem crushed in an advanced dance class.

I’m kidding, I’m kidding. I don’t think my self-esteem will take a blow that easily. Since my jazz class always has a ton of complete beginners, it is great for perfecting the basics. There is more tangible progress in ballet, where I’m not the best in everything, but also certainly not the one who struggles most. Some struggling will do me good, and anyway, you should take modern to improve your ballet. And the other way around. This way, I will get the full spectrum of movement, from the tightly controlled precision of ballet to the dynamic flow of modern. Which, I imagine, will turn me into a dancing beast par excellence. Or something.

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