Friday’s rehearsal went well against all expectations. Let me explain:
I hurt my knee during a photo shooting on Wednesday. I write about architecture and interior design and drag along with photographers for shoots. It was a nice house, with nice goats that tried to eat my shirt, my arm and my phone as a way of greeting me. I love animals, so I was rather enjoying myself. But the house was built on very steep terrain and had a lot of stairs both inside and outside, and I’m guessing my knee got upset at those. Diffuse frontal knee pain and an inability to bend the knee under load past a certain point while retaining the flexibility when not loaded all reminded me of my old friend, the irresponsibly self-diagnosed patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Needless to say, with the recital coming up and rehearsals galore, I was less than happy about all that. After sobbing on the kitchen floor for a therapeutic ten minutes on Thursday, I decided to skip ballet and do the recommended exercises, which mostly consist of stretching and strengthening the thigh muscles. Stretching quickly revealed a knot of tension in my left abductors, which may or may not have caused the knee pain and may or may not have been caused, in turn, by my limping around because of my heel. Plantar warts: 0/10, would not recommend.
Fortunately, our entire choreography contains exactly one step capable of causing my knee to act up, when going down into the shoulder stand, and I can cheat by using the other leg without it being too obvious. The knee has been improving rapidly with daily exercises, so I’m confident it will be fine by next week. And if it isn’t, it’s not the end of the world.
Thus cheered up, I headed into rehearsal on Friday, only to find a guy in the dressing room! Men are rare enough in dance and extremely rare in adult classes, so it was cool to see someone had worked up the courage. He took part in the warm-up and looked on during the rest of the rehearsal. I chatted with him on the bus afterwards and learned that he would’ve loved to take ballet with his three sisters as a child, but it was a girl’s pastime, so he didn’t. While we are a long way from letting go of societal gender norms, I believe dance will certainly benefit from their loosening. That said, some of the female dancers might need to change their habits a little bit. The studio is entered through a single dressing room. The shower stalls have doors and curtains provide a measure of privacy, but it’s still one dressing room. (I feel equally anxious undressing in front of any gender, so I usually change at home.)
If he decides to join the class, he’ll take modern on Fridays starting after the summer break. And so, in all likelihood, will I. I’ve been thinking of adding the Friday class to my schedule ever since this thing started. Because I have really grown to love modern: it comes naturally to me. (Something I would never ever have guessed when I wrote this.) When I shared my intentions with my classmates, they suggested that the class was ideal for people who are very fond of floor work. I bloody love floor work (and yes, it can be bloody), so it’s basically a done deal.
But first, I have to do this recital thing. Our teachers finally e-mailed us our beautiful music, which I promptly put through Shazam to find the unremixed original. Here it is:
You can also see (well, hear) how it’s mostly really easy to count. Which is what I’ll be practicing A LOT in the next few weeks. Because I suck at counting.