A moment of Deep Despair

Had a moment of deep despair in class last night.
Deep, it felt like that sound they’ve been using in movies a lot lately to represent time slowing, a heavy heavy bass that sinks downward to even more bass and you feel it in your belly.
It was after receiving a correction I just did not get, and I realized, I was not going to get it.
Because: my super-elderly teacher doesn’t do physical corrections. He can’t. He walks with two canes, for goodness sake.
His assistant is also a bit on the elderly side and I’ve always found her steps a bit mushy looking. I usually look to one of the more experienced girls for an example, but in this case I just could not see the difference between what she was doing correctly and what I was doing wrong.
And then the Deep Despair
I feel so lucky to have stumbled into such a staunch Vaganova class, and I feel honored to be taught by this old dude, but I think I need to add in a class where the teacher can actually push and pull and poke me into the right position when needed.

About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
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4 Responses to A moment of Deep Despair

  1. roriroars says:

    Well, if it makes you feel better, I can demonstrate, poke, and prod and sometimes it still just doesn’t register. I may have accidentally slipped out, “Oh, it’s hopeless” yesterday when I was trying to correct the teen’s posture for the ninety-eleventh time. I’m pretty sure she then went into deep despair. And I felt like the world’s biggest ass-clown. Sigh.

  2. Johanna says:

    I think I have to agree with you.. I honestly would be going nowhere without my teacher constantly prodding and pushing me! Even though I know the lingo and could do an entire class without any demonstrations. In the long run you also need the teacher who can teach by example and who will run after you in class to slap some momentum into those piqué pirouettes :)

  3. I have a distinct memory of this class at The Rock as a teenager. I had some excellent, excellent teachers there, but as many summer programs do, they also had the obligatory principal-with-no-teacher-training-turned-“guest teacher”. Gotta have the star power, right? So this one teacher stops and watches me tendu-ing a la seconde a few times, and then says, You need to pull up … Pull up! Well, my core was engaged (I suspect now that she had wanted my spine to lengthen more and shoulders to open a bit.) So she place a hand under my ribs and a hand opposite on my back and squeezed/pressed them up into my chest cavity while I stood in fifth.

    Well, that was just awkward. She removed her hands and said, That’s it! Sure lady. Now I just look like I can’t breathe – because I can’t. I had never felt so clueless about what it was that I had accomplished to satisfy a teacher. I mentally tossed that “correction” into the trash bin! To me, this teacher committed two sins: 1 – Using the godforsaken phrase Pull Up, which does and should mean nothing to a logical student, and 2 -aggresively moving the body into a position that is not useable in ballet – a gentle guidance is all that should be needed!

    That was a deep despair moment, which in retrospect should have been the teacher’s! :)

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