Back To Ballet

My new phid has been healing very well – it has already finished peeling! So a week after I got it, I went back to ballet class.

I was getting a bit restive – I’m not used to having evenings off, so at first, I was at a loss what to do with myself. Fortunately, I quickly remembered my secret mental list of «things to do if I ever break both legs and can’t leave the house for two months» (yes, that’s really what I call it), and so I continued rereading The Dark Tower and started rewatching Season 5 of Doctor Who. This made me happy, but I was even happier to return to ballet.

The class went very well and I got lots of praise from Birdie, for some of my pirouettes and for my cambré. I was elated about the latter: cambrés used to be the worst when I first started ballet. This post helped me improve A LOT.

As is appropriate in a good ballet class, I also got a ton of corrections.

First, I keep forgetting all about my arms and letting gravity get the better of my elbows. This is annoying – I can do nice arms so it’s stupid of me not to. The correct head position at the barre helps. It’s easier to remember your arm when you can see it.

I also have a bad habit of closing my tendus rather violently, letting my standing leg stop my working leg instead of positioning it by itself. The correction for this is thinking «down, not in» about the heel of the working leg. It works nicely and gives me much more stability in tendus and jétés. I just need to keep it in mind at all times. Maybe I should re-read my ballet posts just before class?

Birdie works on the same combinations for three or four weeks before moving on, so the adagio was already familiar to me. It’s quite turny: three piqué arabesque, a balancé en tournant, an en dedans pirouette, two soutenu turns and two chaînés.

(I just realised this is probably the first time I’ve remembered an adagio combination well enough to write it down. Yay!)

We were supposed to be doing it in two groups of two and one group of three. The three went first. I was in the last two. On the second go, my group mate went with the previous two for some reason. I wasn’t expecting this, noticed it too late and set in in the middle of the combination. Birdie saw this and told me to just do the whole thing again on my own. So I did. I didn’t screw it up and everyone clapped and complimented me at the end. It was slightly embarrassing, but also fun! I’m fortunate to have such lovely classmates.

Just so I didn’t get too full of myself, petit allegro was entrechat quatre again. I managed not to step on my feet, but my legs did little more than twitch in the air at first. Birdie then let us hold on to the barre for a little bit more air time and it looked slightly better. I’m more of a slow-twitch person, so it takes me a long time to pick up quick movements. I think I’ll have to resume the quick theraband tendus from physio to see any significant improvement.

We finished up with a fun little grand allegro: tombé, pas de bourré, glissade, pas de chat, other side, rinse, repeat.

While class went very well and I didn’t get any cramps, my calves are unreasonably sore since yesterday. I don’t understand what they’re complaining about so much – it’s only been a week since last dance class (two since last ballet class). I never get sore calves, only tight ones, so this is a complete mystery to me.

Note to self: make use of theraband next time I’m out of class for a week or two.

How fast do you lose your conditioning? Do you notice any adverse effects after just one week’s break? Sickness doesn’t count, as it will always set you back.

10 thoughts on “Back To Ballet

  1. Don’t worry, it’s a very common problem! I think it’s especially common for people who are very musical when the music is strongly marked.

    Your correction is very sound! It can also help to think about squeezing in from the top of the inner thigh.

    I get the “squeeze, don’t snap” correction on my frappés all the time, especially on relevé (when I really want to show off my legs and feet!) so it’s useful all over the place 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The soreness thing might dietary, too (could you be low on potassium or magnesium?) or it could possibly be a function of using your technique differently, which leads to using your muscles differently. I’ve run into that from time to time when I sort of “level up” and start engaging things correctly that maybe weren’t engaged as well (or at all) before.

    Cold weather can also do it, sometimes. Usually I won’t be sore after class following a week off, but it does happen from time to time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great inputs and all plausible! I would’ve expected a dietary deficiency to lead to DOMS in more than one muscle group, but who knows.The gym DOMS has stayed within expected parameters, so I hope if it was dietary, it’s resolved now. Or maybe I did level up – class felt great! But with so many factors involved, there’s no way to be sure unless it happens again.

    Liked by 1 person

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