I have huffed and puffed my way through the first week of classes after three weeks of holidays and sickness. I was not quite as effortless as I had hoped.
Modern on Monday went surprisingly well. I put on my leotard and was very pleased to discover that I still had a waist. I was rather proud of my being able to eat like a pig for several weeks and not gain weight until I looked into the mirror sideways. That doesn’t bother me too much, however. I’ve struggled with my weight in the past, but with the usual dancing, I’ll be back to normal in several weeks.
Speaking of several weeks, Jaina announced that the preparation for the summer showcase will officially start in February. Everyone participating, including me, will take Modern on Friday then. She also told us our choreography will involve covering lots of ground and half-jokingly suggested we start jogging. I am generally aboard with the idea except that everything is currently covered in half-melted snow and the thought of going outside generally disgusts me. But there will be plenty of time to build endurance until June.
Jazz on Wednesday was rather less encouraging. I had gotten up earlier than usual and neither my brain nor my digestion were playing particularly nice. And yes, weird digestion influences your dancing, if only by making you feel vaguely sick whenever you engage your core. So I sorta dragged my butt through that class.
Dragging my way through jazz didn’t spare me from the delayed-onset muscle soreness. In fact, I remember reading that factors like being fatigued during class and not getting enough sleep afterwards can increase DOMS, so there you go. I still crawled to ballet class on Thursday and spent half an hour gently warming up, which helped a little.
I also learned a valuable lesson that Thursday: showing off is best performed when you’re NOT just coming back from a break, tired and sore all over. Otherwise, it might just backfire. M. had us do stretches where you have to hoist one of your legs up onto the barre. While she was setting up the music, my mother, who was standing in front of me, jokingly asked if I needed any help lifting that leg up. So I was like «Mom, please», gestured for her to watch, stood up straight and started lifting my leg.
It would’ve gone well, too, had I been satisfied with putting my leg up onto the lower barre. But of course I’m too flexible and too good at this to be satisfied with such a menial achievement, so I went for the upper. I never got there, because somewhere in between, the quadriceps of my working leg and the abductors of my standing one decided to cramp up simultaneously. So I ended up throwing myself at the upper barre screaming, which the class found very funny indeed (and so did I, once I was done with the contortions necessary to stretch out those excruciating cramps).
Fortunately, that was the end of the barre for that day and the center largely consisted of balancés and pas de valse en tournant. Since it originally took us all several months to «get» the very simple balancé, pas de valse looked rather intimidating, but to our great surprise, we were able to do it in time with the music and with all the arms and legs in the proper place by the end of the lesson.
And amazingly, my DOMS is completely gone by now. So the week was a net gain, all in all.