Tuesday, September 28, 2021

What to wear, what to wear?

I'm encountering a really important ballet issue. What does a "vintage" woman wear to class? Because the classes I attend are for adults, there is no need for pink tights, black leotard, hair pulled back combo that the kids have to abide by. That said, I'm not comfortable wearing my gym-rat clothes. 

I've been searching online for appropriate clothing for class. My fellow students mostly wear gym clothes, typically leggings and a loose top. A couple wear leotards and loose pants, banded at the ankle. 

Last Saturday, I committed a ballet class faux pas. I wore black leggings and a loose top with a fitted cami underneath. After the first class, I became very warm so I shed the overtop. This was so not Audrey Hepburn (my fashion idol), so "Shame on me!" I won't be doing that again, despite the fact that the classes are held in a community center building, not the American Ballet Theatre studio. 

I'm starting to learn the 'secret rules and regulations' of ballet. Very important to know! Such as, you turn toward the barre, not away from it, when switching sides. Who knew? Or should I state, "I didn't know that." Now I do, so that's progress. 

Any suggestions about ballet attire for the mature set would be really appreciated. 

Dancing onward. 

The Red Shoes Movie

Dancing onward!

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Ballet Term of the Week

Sus-sous: Usually done from fifth position, the dancer relev├ęs to a tight fifth position, joining the feet at the ankles on pointe or demi-pointe with fully stretched legs. This step can be done in place, or moving forwards or backwards.

We learned this position in class yesterday. Amazingly, this is a position I can do fairly well; I even elicited a "Very nice, Karen!" from our teacher. 

Here is a link to a YouTube video demonstrating the Sus-sous:  



 Dancing onward! 

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Ballet Classes Today

I attended two hours of ballet classes today. Yikes, this was a lot for this 'vintage' woman. And, it was on the heels of a ballet class I took on Friday. I'm so tired now.

The classes today were Basic Ballet followed by Ballet I/II. The leap (no pun intended) from Basic Ballet to Ballet I/II is a big one for me. One has to know many more ballet terms, arm positions, combinations of steps and technique. I felt pushed to keep up with the class. One fellow students is a contemporary of mine. She told me she was challenged by the I/II class also. Whew! I am not alone. 

Most everyone in class is in the same boat, except for two women who danced when they were children. I don't feel so bad because nearly everyone was struggling today. 

It is quite difficult learning ballet an an adult, as anyone will tell you. I didn't start dancing until I was well into my 'vintage' years. And, I am not patient, so I expect to be able to perform moves that probably take a while to learn. I need to remember that this is (1) great exercise, (2) good for the brain and health and (3) makes me feel good! What's not to like? 

My ballet instructor is wonderful. Today, she was doing hand claps so we could understand the beats in the music. I nearly laughed aloud because she was like a Russian ballet mistress; all she was missing was the stick to pound on the floor.