Monday, May 16, 2011

Friday the 13th, a good day?

Isn't it weird that Friday the 13th brought a refreshing change from the discouragement I've been plagued with lately?     
I hadn't gotten a chance to practice partnering again until the thirteenth.  Some people might take that as a bad sign, and I was a little nervous considering my last experience.  At the same time I was anxious to redeem myself and battle my silly fears again.  Last time they had won, now I wanted revenge. 
We didn't do any lifts at first.  Instead,  I learned how to step up to attitude on pointe and grab my partners hand before he travelled in a circle and turned me around slowly.  It may be one of the easiest partnering moves but that didn't diminish my excitement of accomplishing it.  Two months ago I couldn't have even said I'd ever partnered.  We learned a few more simple things that I picked up pretty quickly.  Finally, we moved on to the shoulder lift.
I bent my knees in a deep plie, ready to crush the fear that crippled me.  I tried to spring in the air with purpose, a big change from my previous timidness, but my overzealous effort was cut short.   The guy wasn't ready to lift me up yet, our timing was totally off, and the back of my head sort of collided with his face.  I got the feeling he didn't appreciated that.
 After a few more tries I almost got it, and I'm happy to say my body wasn't all over the place anymore.  I never got all the way up on the shoulder in perfect position, but I was very close.  It seems small and unimportant, but I count it as a good step in the right direction.
After this small triumph, I went home to relax before the master class I had scheduled later.  It ended up being a good class, but I wasn't feeling my greatest, which lead me to thinking I wasn't looking my greatest either. 
I was tired.  The day before I put extra effort in my technique and jumps in class.  Later that night I strived to reach a perfect six-o-clock arabesque, and worked on keeping my leg from dropping during a grand rond de jambe at it's full height. 
I was up by six-thirty the following morning for my next class.  At eight-o-clock we started a non-stop barre that lasted about twenty to thirty minutes.  Everyone dreads them, but this stamina building is what's needed.  For whatever reason, that morning's non-stop barre felt extra challenging.  My legs were heavy by the time we reached fondues, and it was only about half-way over.  You can imagine how I felt during the high leg lifts required of the last exercise, adagio.  Then we had to repeat the adagio on on both sides, on demi-pointe. 
After that marathon, our teacher filmed us executing pointe work in groups of three.  Filming is always a nerve-wracking experience, but good practice for auditions.  It's also extremely helpful to watch yourself and see what your doing wrong.  Then, as I mentioned earlier, I worked on my pas de deux skills before going home to relax and eat lunch.
I believe dancers need to eat enough in order to perform at their peak.  Well I failed in that area when I most needed it.  All I had for lunch was a small serving of pasta with broccoli.  It was a light meal absent of any protein. Twenty minutes into the master class I realized it would have been smart to grab some nuts to eat on the way.  With my legs still tired from the recent activities I engaged in, and my stomach growling, I was sure the teacher wouldn't look twice at me.  I didn't give up though.  It helped that the class was enjoyable. 
At the end of class I went to curtsy and thank the teacher.  To my great surprise, she asked me where I trained and told me I looked lovely.  I was more than thrilled to hear that. 
I feel satisfied with where my dancing is going.  I'm not content with where it's at, because I know I can continue to improve, but I also know I'm headed in the right direction.   


  1. Happy for you! Sounds like things are going well :) I always thought partnering would be fun, challenging for sure, but fun. You sound like a very skilled dancer! Are you planning on dancing professionally?

  2. Yes, regardless of it's difficulty partnering is still enjoyable! I really hope to dance professionally. I'm training with that intention, but also waiting to see how things go.