Hold Still so I can punch you

This is what Mothra says to me.
It’s toward the end of class, we’re in the center waiting, Smirnoff is fussing with the boom box, I’m using this time to do a few pliés in fifth facing the mirror because Smirnoff has been totally All Up In My Grill about staying even on both feet. He’s worried that I’m still favouring. He might be right, who knows.
So I’m like, plié…look in the mirror…shift left, shift right, feel the center…
And Mothra is like, “Hey. Hold still, I’m gonna punch you in the stomach.”
And I’m thinking, ‘well that’s weird, but ok, let’s see where she’s going with this…’
So I’m like, “Ok, go!”
And she makes a slow-motion gut-punch, while making a BOOM sound effect, fist travels through the air, contacts just below belly-button, pushes,
And I’m playing along so I’m like, slow-mo, “noooooooooooo!!!!!!” and, like, tightening stomach muscles and bending with the punch, and, like, pretending to stagger,
And then we both straighten up and I’m laughing and she says,
“See what you did there? You were all swayback when you were doing your plié just now. I have that problem too when I get tired at the end of class and I forget to hold my abs tight. And it makes my legs turn in and my feet sickle, remember how I was having all those problems with my feet? It was the damned Swayback!”
And I’m like, “Oh! Dang, didn’t even realize,”
And she’s like, “yeah, you gotta just imagine someone’s punching you.”
Which is, like, The Worst ballet metaphor of all time, I mean, the last thing I want to be thinking about in class is getting punched. That, like, does not mesh with my internal ballerina monologue of butterflies and moonbeams and candy floss.
But, gotta admit, been much more aware lately of keeping the ol’ abs engaged right up to the end of class.


About adultbeginner

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

12 Responses to Hold Still so I can punch you

  1. Yvonne says:

    Maybe this moment was enough to make you keep in mind that you should hold your abs right so you don’t have to think about being punched in class. ( I often forget that, too.)
    Question: I have problems keeping my hips still when I move my legs. Especially when I do ronde de jambes. Any ideas how to fix that?

    And ps. I finally found a bunch of beautiful ballet books in the lovely new bookstore <3
    And pps: I love your blog. It's really fun to read!

  2. chrisgo says:

    The first rule of ballet fight club is don’t talk about ballet fight club. The second rule of ballet fight club is you don’t talk about ballet fight club…

  3. lalatina says:

    Good one!

  4. Haha, I have trouble keeping the abs in, too… I’ll try to picture being punched next time. :P

  5. Cat says:

    Whoa. Whoa whoa. Whoa.
    While homegirl is totally correct about engaging your abs of steel, be super dee duper sure that your sway back is not the result of forced turnout. ‘Cuz dat wud be teh shitz, man. That happened to me and my boyfriend (he’s retired now, danced with Joffrey, SAB, and some other fancy shmancy school that makes me chartreuse with envy) delicately informed me of my bad technique like dis: “NOO! Sway back means you’re forcing your turnout, which is causing you to overpronate, and that means SICKLING! So knock it off… Sweetie!”
    Anyway, it may not be the issue with you, but it is something for errbody to look out for!

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