B2B (Back to Ballet)

Leotards1

Filled with nervous excitement, last night after work, I went back to Ballet at the Barre! I left work at 4.20pm and caught the bus over Waterloo Bridge to Covent Garden, and then did a quick walk to City Lit. Went to the ladies toilets to get changed because the changing rooms are always occupied, but was a bit unsure about my outfit. I ended up wearing my pink leotard, black leggings, black wrap cardi and black ballet skirt, which I hadn’t worn before. The leggings kind of pulled down a bit during the class, so next week I’ll wear tights instead.

I recognised a lady called F who had been in the class the last two terms I had been, so I went on the barre by the window next to her. There were about 10 or so of us in the class, including 2 guys (plus our teacher M is also a man).

We did a head-to-toe warm up, followed by some fun things like grande battements en croix, (which I actually remembered from last time, so I wasn’t phased by which direction I was supposed to be facing), ronde de jambe (which were lightening fast for my unfamiliar feet, although it helps me to focus on the beat and the letter ‘D’). We concluded with jumps and changement. Still amazed at how my achilles are problem-free since hill-walking in Cornwall!

I was surprised to be asked to demonstrate the changement exercise while everyone watched. I mean, I haven’t done any ballet for well over a year! That was a definite feeling of imposter syndrome.

M then suggested that we take a few minutes at the end of the class to stretch before leaving. I made sure I did just that. He asked me if I’d been doing ballet class, and I was telling him all about tapping at Morley College and how weird it is to find ballet form again. Ballet is all poised and pointed and tap all bent knees and laidback.

I came away with a couple of things to work on:

  • Little toe on the ground & heel forward when pointing the toes en avant (forward)
  • General foot flexibility (tap, what have you done to me :))
  • Keep bottom tucked under 🙂

 

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Burnout 

Ok, I have to admit it. I’m burnt out. I have missed two weeks of Tap classes and am also missing tonight’s class because I am off work and have zero energy. Although I felt I had to go because I’d been telling my teacher for two weeks that I’d be back “next week” and hadn’t been, and it’s the final class of term, I just knew it wouldn’t be sensible to go. I need the rest. 

I’ve had a lot on my plate over the last few months. A lot of my stress is work-related, but I need to stay employed so I figured it would be better to not burn myself out further tonight at a class so I can actually go to work tomorrow! 

Another aspect of burnout that I’ve been reading about is that a lot of dancers hold very high standards for themselves and can end up overdoing it by signing up to too many classes and not having enough recovery or even overdoing it at each class when the fitness level is not there yet. Of course there are other factors like getting enough sleep and nutrients, but you must listen to your body. Must! 

I think a good thing for me to do would be a yoga type class for relaxation and stress relief, while also aiding flexibility and strength. 

Next week will be the first of our tap workshops, so I’m going to rest up so that I’m back in the zone for learning the Shim Sham!