Back to ballet!
Gentle Reader, it has been a Long Time since my last class,
Which you might remember was The Most Annoying Class Evar.
Here’s the link in case you want to relive the annoying.
So I was a little worried about what to wear and would I remember how to do anything and whether Smirnoff was even still teaching,
Because he’s totes elderly so you never know, he might’ve gone all Roger Murtaugh and been like “I’m too old for this shit”, and the studio’s website has been updated and the new schedule doesn’t say who teaches each class and there are no teacher bios anywhere on the site which is Frustrating,
But I was even more worried about whether The Baby would play nice with his pops or whether I would come home to a crying baby and a desperate husband. And I hate to see either of them unhappy.
It was only the second time I’d left them alone together and we have not been able to trick The Baby into taking a bottle yet. He’s no fool, he’s like, ‘Girl, please. Forget this rubber nipple! Get this bottle up outta my face! Gimme the Real Thing!’
So I fed The Baby as much as possible and then put on my sturdiest sports-bra and a black leotard and running leggings and grabbed my dance bag and ran.
And of course got there way too early.
Set up Smirnoff’s chair and boom box table, got my shoes out, discovered that I’d never bothered to sew the elastics on my new shoes, shook fist at Past Adult Beginner, threw shoes back in the bag, got out the other pair, put them on, met the new girls as they came in and got ready, (although I guess technically I’m back to being one of the new girls) and then finally, in comes this big cloud of perfume and Lé Assistant, and behind her is Smirnoff double-caning himself through the door, and they’re all “well look who is here!” and Lé Assistant hugs me and wants to know all about The Baby and Smirnoff gives me a kiss on each cheek and tells me he’s missed me and he’s been thinking of me and that I look very well and not like this other girl who had a baby and became a fat cow and that makes me laugh even while I’m half-tempted to speak up in this other girl’s defense and remind Smirnoff that she had two babies, but then figure it’s pointless and instead just tell him how much I’ve missed him and missed class and how glad I am to be back.
So then we all line up at the barre and he shuffles us around and Best Girl comes in and quickly shoes-up and takes the head of the barre and Smirnoff gives his last notes, which are things like “Remember my angels, the toe must stay in line with the knee, as if you are wearing trousers with a crease, your toe must be in line with that crease”, and for me, “Just demi-plié this time my dear, don’t lift your heels in the plié, you must rebuild your strength.”
And then he presses play on his boom box and dang, I tell you what: muscle memory.
I mean, it helps that the music is the same so there’s the audio-cue, but still, totally amazing to find my head turning to follow my hand just like its supposed to after all these months.
I took it pretty easy this class, figured my main goal was to see if I knew what to do, and to see if I was even strong enough to make it through.
Smirnoff also gave me the special goal of pulling in my lower abs every time I went up in relevé. Which is just good advice anyway.
Calves started feeling it right away, shoulders were all stiff, kept the grande battements low, did the foot-in-hand stretch as more of a calf-in-hand.
Peeked at the mirror a few times and was not horrified.
Center was a little shorter than I remember, I think class started late and there just wasn’t much time, and I spent most of center worrying about whether everything was ok at home and whether I should’ve left after barre. Distracted me from worrying about the jump-up-from-fifth-and-spin-around-and-land-in-fifth thing. Tour en lé air? Sauté en lé air?
Favorite part was the reverénce. Took me so long to learn how to do that thing that I’d always peek at Best Girl to make sure I was honoring the left or right balcony in the correct order, even way after I’d really learned it and could’ve done it without peeking, and even then I’d feel kinda wobbly and unsure, but this time, hearing the music for the first time in so long, I was just like, Yes! Step, wave, dip! Again! And back! And sink to the floor! And chin up like bam!
After class there was no time for chats, it was time to change shoes fast and fly home and run into the house and see:
My husband bouncing my smiling baby like it weren’t no thang. Apparently there had been some crying while I was gone, but also some sleeping, some slight bottle-taking, and some admiring of that handsome baby in the mirror.
Which means it was a success and I don’t have to worry about whether I should leave class after barre!
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