Dance Fever

Had a really weird experience in class the other day, Gentle Reader,
It was the first class back after this super awkward conversation, and I was all freaked out with apprehension, I mean, what if Smirnoff was angry with me? What if he’d been stewing over that weird sort-of-argument in his head all weekend and it had gotten worse and worse in his head and he was mad at me now?
I mean, people do that sometimes?
And then he came into the classroom and got settled and greeted me and everyone else and it was clear that he was not angry, which was great, but just left me with all this tension to get rid of, like, physical tension, like I seriously wondered if I might actually have had a fever, there was all this heat and sweat and all the warm-up layers were off before we’d even finished pliés, and then somewhere around frappés it was like this weird fever thing just broke and I cooled down and felt really calm and then barre was done and we went into this combination we’ve been working on for a bit and-
This is the weird part, Gentle Reader-
I felt like I was dancing.
In this weird, calm, way I knew what step was coming next and I could feel how the next step made sense, like how after the balancé my weight was poised so that the assemblé turn just happened naturally, like it was The Right Thing To Do at that moment.
Wasn’t adding extra steps between steps, wasn’t loosing balance, wasn’t hesitating, wasn’t thinking ahead,
Even got a chance to just leave my body to do its thing while I had a quick peek in the mirror.
Which I never do in combinations across the floor. I mean, I know better than to look down, been busted for that enough times that I’ve figured out how to hold my head with the chin pointed up but the eyes pointed down at a stoopid-steep angle at Best Girl’s feet, so really I’m always looking down, just not with my head, but not this time.
It’s been almost two years since starting ballet, and I’ve seriously never felt that dance-y feeling before. Didn’t even know it was, like, out there to be felt.
And then before the next class I was all, ‘Oh I hope we do the combination again!’
And then I was all like, ‘Oh noes, what if that feeling is gone??? Oh no, I hope we Don’t do that combination again. I hope we Never do that combination again!’
And then of course we did do the combination again next class, and the next, and the feeling was gone.
But whatevs! I’d felt it! And, like, now it’s in there! Maybe I’ll feel it again sometime! Maybe I’ll be the boss of it someday, call it up at will!
Reminds me of driving past this field one early summer, my friend pointing at the horses all lined up at their trough and laughing, she was like, “Look! Look at the babies! See? Their tails! Flipping around? They haven’t learned how to work their tails yet, hee hee look at them flipping all over!”
Never occured to me that horses have to learn control of their tails. Always think of that when something awesome happens accidentally that I might actually be able to do on purpose if I just keep at it.
Anyway, just last week we did The Combination again, and it didn’t have that magical Right feeling, but I worked on staying tall and actually looking somewhere intentional instead of letting my head just bobble around. And afterward Smirnoff said, “My Dear! You’re doing much better with this. Much better.”
And I said thank you!
And he said, “Do it again!”
And I was like, aw crap,
And he was like, “By yourself!”
And I was like, aw double crap,
And he was like, “Yes, start from the left!”
And my classmates were all giggling like, ‘oooooh, you are in trouble! Principal’s office!’ Which totally made me grin and Smirnoff pressed play on his boom box and I did it again, not anywhere near that dance-y feeling this time, but that’s ok because I did the damned thing, even with everyone staring at me and no Best Girl’s feet to peek at, and then my classmates applauded, because that’s what we do.


About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
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15 Responses to Dance Fever

  1. Hannah says:

    I had a SMALL glimpse of that feeling last Thurs. during Chinese Tea practice–I hope it comes back again tonight!!!

  2. Jen says:

    Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god! Adult Beginner! That feeling, I’ve felt it too! It was, bizarrely, while doing ‘just’ a plie, but I felt totally in the zone and my body felt like a stream of water dancing with butterflies. The teacher actually happened to be watching my expression and she yelled, “JEN! THAT’S IT THAT WAS LOVELY.” I got it again a few times and it is Why I Love Dancing! You reminded me of why I love dance and ooooh. It makes me love life just that much more~

    Thank you~~

  3. lalatina says:

    Nice :) For some reason this makes me happy! (and it made me laugh too)

  4. Oh Em Gee! You know what?! I know what you felt because I felt it yesterday for the first time in my life! I wasn’t dancing beautifully at all, but the feeling was so good! It’s like you forget about the steps and do them without thinking! Like, you know what to do next because that is the right thing to do!

  5. mladen says:

    Congrats! So two years, you say? Looking forward to that feeling even though I’m still far behind…

  6. Nellie Dean says:

    Woohoo!!!! \o/ \o/ \o/ \o/ \o/

    I remember having that feeling the first time, we were doing an extended enchainement which was all amazing and dancey and my teacher said we should just ‘let go and do and not care’. As if, as if! Only then I started and it was just *there* THAT feeling and it was amazing and I wanted it to go on FOREVER, even falling inelegantly out of the chainés at the end could not wipte *the* cheesiest grin EVER off my mug.

  7. Alienor says:

    I know it, too! And the funny thing is, I knew how it feels before I started ballet. I only had to imagine myself dancing to get that feeling. It’s lovely.
    And Jen, that’s exactly how I feel, too!

    • Ooh! A good visualizer! I’ve heard that’s really helpful for teaching your body to do things your brain can’t be the boss of. Smirnoff reminds us every now-and-then that ballet is in our hearts, not our minds.

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