Ballerina class is different

Ok, so pointe class.
It’s not a once-you-go-pointe-you-never-go-back type situation, which I used to kind of vaguely think it would be? When people refer to Going En Pointe it sounds kinda permanent, right? Maybe for little kids who are going pro it is? But not for me- I still have regular ballet class in soft pink leather slippers twice a week. And I swear things are making more sense in regular class after attempting them in ballerina class.
Btw, I asked twitter what you call ballet class to differentiate it from pointe class, and the response was pretty much: Duh, it’s called ballet class.
So, ballet class twice a week and ballerina class once a week.
And it totally is ballerina class. Yeah, we’re all in varying degrees of ripped black t-shirt and leggings, but when we’re all fussing with our shoes and our ribbons and our hair-dos pre-class I totally feel like I’ve stepped into a Degas.
In a good way.
We do not work on flexibility in ballerina class, at least at this level, nor any elaborate technique combinations.
Ballerina Class is all about the fact that we’ve got fucking stilts tied to our feet. Kind of dealing with that physically and mentally, like when you’re a little kid and running a mile seems totally impossible because, like, that’s something people do in cars, but then once you’ve done it and know you can run a mile, you realize you can also run two, or six, or ten if you’re feeling sassy, it’s all just a matter of getting over that first mental freak-out.
Had three classes so far, and class 1. pretty much hugged the barre, class 2. ventured out into Scary Center for about half the exercises, by class 3. was able to stay in center the whole class. A mental accomplishment as much as a physical one.
My main correction in ballerina class is ‘keep tummy in’.
This is thrilling! In that it is Not my usual ‘hold your chin up my dear’, which is a mental problem, I think, all wrapped up in self-esteem and stuff, whereas ‘tummy in’ is physical. So nice to have a physical problem!
Smirnoff works on the upper body in ballerina class, maybe to distract us from the fucking stilts. But so far I’m completely occupied with my feet. Can’t get my head out of my feet. Maybe in a few more classes.
Feet feel pretty ok! They were kind of complain-y the day after my very first class, so I was very solicitous of them and babied them all day, but now they have their big-boy pants on and seem to be all growed-up.
Still Thera-banding like a mug.
Toes are hilariously flat when I take them out of the shoes after class! Or, actually, the left big toe is flat across the tip, the right big toe looks like Gumby. Flat at a slant. Makes me think I’d better stop by the dance store later this week and investigate a toe-spacer. Also makes me sing, “…he can jump into any book, with his pony-pal Pokey too. If you’ve got a heart then Gumby’s a part of you!”
The other girls have taught me how to store my shoes between class, and I’ve gotten to check out their foot-padding methods, and I got a nice compliment after my third class: Best Girl asked if Smirnoff had broken-in my shoe for me, and when I said no she said she’d wondered because my feet are looking much more arched.
Woo!

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About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
This entry was posted in Ballerina Class, and other pointe-y stuff, Technique and Class and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Ballerina class is different

  1. chrisgo1 says:

    I love that you refer to pointe class as “ballerina class”, and I love that you frequently drop the f bomb. I’m guilty of that too, I just hope my teachers can’t hear me say it. It’s not directed an them, always at myself when I can’t get my body to do what my mind is telling it usually during crossing combinations.
    Hopefully one day I’ll end up in “danseur class” what ever the fuck that would be. ;)

    • Hope my teacher can’t hear me say it either. Especially because I drop the f-bomb In My Mind!!!
      And if he could hear half the things in my mind- that would, like, be real bad.
      Hope you find that fuckyeah danseur class!

  2. Kaija says:

    I’m constantly F-bombing in my head too, but always aimed at myself. And sometimes at that one crabby lady who just seems to HATE me (in all fairness, she seems to hate life in general but of course I take it personally…however, I am absolutely KILLING her with kindness, making a point to smile and say hi and comment on her pretty leotard or something).

    My toes get flat in my pointe shoes as well! And now that the boxes are breaking in and I have a decent demi-pointe in them, they flatten down on the top surface of my toenails and are creating another plane of pressure. I’m going to ask the other girls for padding advice…I really like observing what other people do with their shoes and getting those veteran tips :) BTW, the toe spacer was one of those pieces of advice that made a world of difference. I just got mine from the foot care section of the big pharmacy/convenience store down the street…same thing as the dance store but less than half of the price!

    • That’s awesome. I love that you’re like, ‘look bitch, I’mma be so nice to you!’
      Good call on the pharmacy!!! Totally gonna check that out!
      Ribbons also much cheaper at a fabric store than a dance store. Just putting that out there.

      • Kaija says:

        Oooohhhh…great idea. Any particular kind of ribbon fabric you recommend (polyester? nylon?) as I am a fabric dunce?

        • Prolly best to taken old ribbon to the store and match the weight and color. Polyester/acetate/something synthetic is good- strong, and you can melt the ends. With fire!

  3. Sarah Dani says:

    Yay for pointe class!
    Have you done echappes yet? They are my least favorite thing to do in my pointe shoes.

    I found you on twitter! Excited to see what you post :)

    • Have done some eschappés, at the barre.
      Did you know eschappés means ‘to escape’?
      Yep.
      That’s just about all there is to say about that.
      Hey, I found you on twitter too!

      • Sarah Dani says:

        I didn’t know that! That is a very accurate description of what I want to do when my teacher says it’s time to do eschappes!

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  6. chrisgo says:

    So, how do you store your shoes between class?

    • This issue is now relevant to your life yayyyyyyyy!
      Yay!
      Ok, here’s what my classmates showed me: take your shoes off, fold in the heel, fold in the sides, wrap the ribbons around the shoe and place them neatly into your dance bag. Why? Keeps your ribbons nice and flat and unwrinkled and untangled.
      Then, this is very important, get home, take them out of bag, unwrap ribbons, unfold sides and heel, leave shoes open someplace where they can air out. Give ’em a day or so.
      Then wrap them up again all neat and ready for next class.
      Alternately, unwrap the ribbons, drap shoes over watermelons, take pictures. Then wrap them up again all neat and ready for next class.
      Another method: get home, take them out of bag, put them back on your feet, dance around house to the Chemical Brothers or Tribe Called Quest, then leave open to air out.

      • chrisgo says:

        It’s a good thing watermelons are in season, I’ll have to stock up for the upcoming winter months. Would a pumpkin work in the absence of a watermelon or do I need to stick with the melon family?
        I currently subscribe to your alternate method, I rock the shit out of them at home. I’ll have to find my Tribe Called Quest cd, that shit is dope!

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  10. This old posts and its comments really made me laugh out loud. Fuuuuuuck!

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