What is your perfect class?

The other day before class, Smirnoff said, “so, my Dear. You have told me what you did not like about your classes in New York, but I have not heard what you did like. What did they do differently that you liked better?”
And I was like, “uh, durrrrrr um, … (because, seriously, up to this point I’d been so busy thinking about things that were hilarious about those classes that I hadn’t really thought about what was Better about them) …Errrrrr, ummmm, the center combinations were really simple? And that was good. For me. ‘Cause, uh, my dance vocabulary is not very, um, Good?”
The center work was really simple in those basic ballet classes, btw. To the point of insult. I mean, not insult to me, I was thrilled. Combinations would be things like “assemblé changement! changement! Assemblé changement! changement!” Which is pretty simple, right? I mean it’s just two steps, right? So as we went across the room on the diagonal I’d get the first three sets wrong, get the next two correct, realize I had a handle on the (ridiculously simple) combination, and do the last few with total arrogance, thinking inside my head, ‘OMG, are you guys Seeing This?!? I am a Frikin’ Ballerina up in here!!!!!’ and then after class I’d hear one of my fifteen year old classmates grumbling, “seriously? Assemblé changements? What the fuck was that?”
So yeah.
So I started thinking about what would be my ideal class.
Teacher Must be silly. And a Ballet Nerd. And exacting. He or she must be expert at riding that fine line between insisting that I do things 100% correctly and not making me cry. Age is not important. My current teacher is a million years old; my first teacher was like 25. For reals, it was like she was a little beagle puppy and I was this big old fat grizzled pug. She’d be jumping around, yapping, and I’d be like, ‘What? When’s my dinner. Did you say Fondu? Ok, I’ll get up.’ My current teacher can’t even do a fondu anymore, but it’s so encouraging when he singles people out and says, “Too serious! Ah! There’s the smile!”
Studio must have half dome windows. They are soooooo pretty and romantical. And a wooden floor. And portable barres. Because dragging them out and putting them away is a nice ritual. And it requires team work. Good for making ballet friends.
Classmates Must be some expert dancers in class. I want to have some nice, clear, precise examples to follow. And they should be wearing cute outfits. I wanna see fun colors, some leg warmers, i don’t wanna see any sweat-shirts unless they are artfully shredded. There should also be someone in class who knows less ballet than I do. So I’m not the Class Dummy. Likewise, I don’t want to be the Class Granny, so there must be at least one person over thirty-three in class. And there should be some dudes too, because it’s neat to see how the steps are different on a male body.
Music live piano. Duh.
Barre Good and long. Fourty-five minutes! At least! Maybe an hour! Must be intricate and fast paced and sweaty. Must included battemont piques. They are my favorite. And battemont tendus. They are my second favorite. Also must include pirouettes because even though I have never done one correctly and still think they were sent straight from hell to torment me, I feel a microscopic improvement every time I do them. I’m gonna pirouette one day, you just watch.
Center must include: the head exercises from Vaganova. Don’t know what these are called, but they are like, head rolls, then looking left center right very quickly, front and back very quickly, all while keeping arms in second. My upper arms look totally rad lately, thanks to all the second position. Also must include the Petipa exercises, where you get to be a fluttery swan lady. And some very simple combinations. Clearly, I’m not above doing combinations of two.
Reverénce there Must be one. And it must be Big and Dramatic. I wanna be like, “Yeah, Imaginary Audience! You Better be on your feet! That’s what I’m talking about!”
Post class ok, there must not be another class for at least 15minutes. I need to stretch before hoping on the bike back home. The Adult Beginner does not love being hustled out by the Cardio-Salsa girls.
Yeah, that about does it.

About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
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5 Responses to What is your perfect class?

  1. Finally figured out the blogroll thing; you are now on mine. Have a great week.

  2. Yvonne says:

    I just had to laugh about the fondu thing. Made my day! I love your blog!

  3. guinever says:

    I discovered your blog this morning and have been reading it on an off all day long as I have the time. I went back to the very beginning. Girl, you are cracking me up! I am 41 and started a conditioning, beginner ballet class not too long ago. I’ve always wanted to dance but never had the opportunity, never took the opportunity. I always thought it would be ballroom or square dancing or even something silly like country line dancing. Ballet never occurred to me until my daughter has been taking ballet and she seems like quite a natural… so I started the exercise class. It intrigued me for nearly a year before I finally had the guts to ask the teacher about it…now I am hooked. I wish the conditioning part were a little harder and the dance part a little easier. I blunder across the floor, not knowing at all what I’m doing. Anyhow, LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog!

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