Modern Progress Snuck Up On Me

Last Friday, Beans mentioned she also teaches at the school where I take ballet. I told her that I had very nearly taken her class there and she said that I’d get bored in that class, since she only does beginner stuff there.

I’ve been told. By my teacher. That I’m not a total beginner anymore! Awesome! I did a couple of shoulder rolls to celebrate because modern.

I’ve been annoying my jazz and ballet classmates by doing the shoulder rolls after class for several weeks now. My flat lacks a space where I could practice without destroying something, so I use the time in the studio to do 2-3 rolls on each side. As a result, I can now roll almost equally well over both shoulders. Though I have to admit that I’ve been following them up with the standing-up-backwards-over-the-shoulder move mostly to show off.

When Beans first showed us that move, it looked difficult, but it is surprisingly easy to do if you have the flexibility. You go into a bog-standard shoulder stand, set one of your legs down on its knee and ball of the foot beside your head and swing the leg that’s still in the air around until you’re kneeling upright on the leg you set down. The momentum from the swinging leg is more than enough to stand up. It’s one of those moves that make modern so much fun: it looks difficult, but feels very natural.

Last Friday, I also finally managed a part of our floorwork that has been eluding me until now: a sort of… flip from lying on your side to lying on your back via a shoulder stand. (Modern is complicated to explain!) All it took to go from «sack of potatoes» to «this looks like dancing» was Beans’ general instruction to everyone to push off the floor. I knew I was forgetting something. I just didn’t know it was this bleeding obvious.

And today, we started a new choreography. It contains lots of turns and ronds de jambe in ever-changing directions. It reminds me of the very first modern choreo I learned. It was just as twisty, turny and weight-shifty and I was absolutely horrible at it. A year later, and it’s the most natural thing in the world.

Modern is clearly my jam — and I’m getting better at it! Yay!

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