Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand we’re back.

Back to ballet!
Gentle Reader, it has been a Long Time since my last class,
Which you might remember was The Most Annoying Class Evar.
Here’s the link in case you want to relive the annoying.
So I was a little worried about what to wear and would I remember how to do anything and whether Smirnoff was even still teaching,
Because he’s totes elderly so you never know, he might’ve gone all Roger Murtaugh and been like “I’m too old for this shit”, and the studio’s website has been updated and the new schedule doesn’t say who teaches each class and there are no teacher bios anywhere on the site which is Frustrating,
But I was even more worried about whether The Baby would play nice with his pops or whether I would come home to a crying baby and a desperate husband. And I hate to see either of them unhappy.
It was only the second time I’d left them alone together and we have not been able to trick The Baby into taking a bottle yet. He’s no fool, he’s like, ‘Girl, please. Forget this rubber nipple! Get this bottle up outta my face! Gimme the Real Thing!’
So I fed The Baby as much as possible and then put on my sturdiest sports-bra and a black leotard and running leggings and grabbed my dance bag and ran.
And of course got there way too early.
Set up Smirnoff’s chair and boom box table, got my shoes out, discovered that I’d never bothered to sew the elastics on my new shoes, shook fist at Past Adult Beginner, threw shoes back in the bag, got out the other pair, put them on, met the new girls as they came in and got ready, (although I guess technically I’m back to being one of the new girls) and then finally, in comes this big cloud of perfume and Lé Assistant, and behind her is Smirnoff double-caning himself through the door, and they’re all “well look who is here!” and Lé Assistant hugs me and wants to know all about The Baby and Smirnoff gives me a kiss on each cheek and tells me he’s missed me and he’s been thinking of me and that I look very well and not like this other girl who had a baby and became a fat cow and that makes me laugh even while I’m half-tempted to speak up in this other girl’s defense and remind Smirnoff that she had two babies, but then figure it’s pointless and instead just tell him how much I’ve missed him and missed class and how glad I am to be back.
So then we all line up at the barre and he shuffles us around and Best Girl comes in and quickly shoes-up and takes the head of the barre and Smirnoff gives his last notes, which are things like “Remember my angels, the toe must stay in line with the knee, as if you are wearing trousers with a crease, your toe must be in line with that crease”, and for me, “Just demi-plié this time my dear, don’t lift your heels in the plié, you must rebuild your strength.”
And then he presses play on his boom box and dang, I tell you what: muscle memory.
I mean, it helps that the music is the same so there’s the audio-cue, but still, totally amazing to find my head turning to follow my hand just like its supposed to after all these months.
I took it pretty easy this class, figured my main goal was to see if I knew what to do, and to see if I was even strong enough to make it through.
Smirnoff also gave me the special goal of pulling in my lower abs every time I went up in relevé. Which is just good advice anyway.
Calves started feeling it right away, shoulders were all stiff, kept the grande battements low, did the foot-in-hand stretch as more of a calf-in-hand.
Peeked at the mirror a few times and was not horrified.
Center was a little shorter than I remember, I think class started late and there just wasn’t much time, and I spent most of center worrying about whether everything was ok at home and whether I should’ve left after barre. Distracted me from worrying about the jump-up-from-fifth-and-spin-around-and-land-in-fifth thing. Tour en lé air? Sauté en lé air?
Favorite part was the reverénce. Took me so long to learn how to do that thing that I’d always peek at Best Girl to make sure I was honoring the left or right balcony in the correct order, even way after I’d really learned it and could’ve done it without peeking, and even then I’d feel kinda wobbly and unsure, but this time, hearing the music for the first time in so long, I was just like, Yes! Step, wave, dip! Again! And back! And sink to the floor! And chin up like bam!
After class there was no time for chats, it was time to change shoes fast and fly home and run into the house and see:
My husband bouncing my smiling baby like it weren’t no thang. Apparently there had been some crying while I was gone, but also some sleeping, some slight bottle-taking, and some admiring of that handsome baby in the mirror.
Which means it was a success and I don’t have to worry about whether I should leave class after barre!

About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
This entry was posted in ce n'est pas une mom blog, the Body and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand we’re back.

  1. Congratulations! I’m so happy for you that your first class back went so well *and* that your hubby can hold down the fort that long.

  2. Amy says:


  3. I don’t worry about my kids during class. I just put them in a cage with a treat. They also are furry…. So……

  4. Congrats on coming back to ballet!

  5. About 9 years ago when my niece was three months old I had the pleasure of baby-sitting her (first time away from mommy), in a hotel room on the 18th floor in San Francisco while her parents went to see a concert.
    It was DREADFUL. She was asleep when they left and ten minutes later she woke up and howled like the end of the world for the next solid hour. Inconsolably. I eventually stopped trying to feed her, bounce her, burp her, rock her, coo at her… and just laid on the bed flat on my back with her on my chest. At some point she wore herself out and fell asleep and I then spent the next three hours TERRIFIED of moving in case I woke her up.
    She woke up about ten minutes before her parents got home and as they walked through the door was the happiest and most charmingly giggling baby you ever saw. I hold it against her to this very day.

  6. Carri says:

    So happy for you!!

  7. Teri says:

    So happy – congrats on a successful first day back in class! Know that was hard and that you must have had all kinds of doubts bout how it might go. Also know all about the back of mind worries for the home front. Sounds like it was all good. Looking forward to hearing all about the Real Adult Beginners of Smirnoff County getting their groove back in 2013.

  8. Dawn says:

    Lucky duck!

    I recently started adult beginnering (in about October, though I’d done modern for years in high school) and I got a compression fracture in my L2 vertebrae right before Christmas and am seriously missing it. I have to wear TLSO brace for a few months, and I go to the doctor tomorrow, but I’m afraid I won’t be allowed to go back for a while because a compression fracture sucks. It means no skating in the winter, no sitting down hard, and NO JUMPING, or I risk reinjuring. I find myself doing tendus at my desk at work. I’m itching to get back. I have three hobbies: ballet, knitting and cooking, and the only one I’m allowed to do right now is knit.

    • Oh Dawn, I am SO SORRY for you! :(
      Anyway, don’t lose your hope. Your love for ballet will heal that silly vertebrae soon enough. After all, it certainly wants to be in place for arabesques, right?? I mean, who wouldn’t?! And until then, you can go to Ravelry and check all the knitting projects related to ballet – believe me, there are quite a lot in there to keep you busy! :)

    • Yikes!
      Dude, I wish you all the best: lots of snugly hand knit legwarmers and little wrap around warm-up sweaters and homemade meals and the right amount of recovery time. Don’t rush it! Take care!

  9. And to you, Mrs. AB – well done! I have struggled to get back to class after HOLIDAYS BREAK, and you got to go through all that after almost a year. Seriously, you’re here to embarass your fellow beginners, aren’t you?
    And don’t you tell me about your foot-in-hand not being the same anymore. Some of us can’t do knee-in-hands! :-D
    I give you A+.

  10. Nellie says:

    Hurrah on all counts!

  11. Dave says:

    You rock! (And so does your baby and hubby!) SO pleased you’re back at class :)

    Oh, and the jumps are called tour en l’air (literally “turn in the air” I guess) :)

  12. Anony Mouse says:

    Is Smirnoff still using the boom box? What about the Ipod you gave him? HIS 2013 resolution should be to learn how to use that thing.

    • I knowwwwwww!
      A while back, when it was starting to look like he wasn’t using the iPod, I was feeling sad about it and telling Mr. Adult Beginner that we should’ve just burned the music onto some stupid cd’s since he knows how to use those and he was like, “No, come on, three-year-olds can figure out how to use an iPod!” And I was like, “yeah, true, but he is more stubborn than a three-year-old.” But who knows, maybe he’ll prove me wrong.
      He was really delighted with the iPod when I gave it to him, so maybe that’s the most important thing.

  13. Janet says:

    Congratulatons! Back to class and a happy baby. 2013 is off to a good start.

  14. KA (AB in MD) says:

    So happy to read this! I know my hubs loves it when I give up ‘control’ of the kids/routine – ballet nights have become a special night for our whole family :) Bravo, Mr. AB!
    I love your comment re: reverence (my keyboard doesn’t speak FR). I always doubt myself on it, too, and feel silly doubting! My new level 1 teacher does a beautiful variation/combo w/ reverence – it feels celebratory and gorgeous.

  15. roriroars says:

    AB, this post literally made me heave a sigh of relief. Somehow with AB back in Smirnoff’s class all is right with the world. Not that it wasn’t be forehand… I mean, growing a tiny human is all right and good, but I’ve been waiting with bated breath for your triumphant return to the ballet studio! Hurrah!

  16. Kaija says:

    Welcome back! :) I’m so thrilled to hear you’re back to the barre, and that first time back is the icebreaker…once you get that first class/workout out of the way, the routine takes over. I also want to cheer you on in your decision to take this time to do this activity for yourself, because far from being selfish or self-indulgent, self-care and “me time” is even more important for caregivers and anyone who is putting out a lot of time and energy…that opportunity to take in and nourish the self is not a luxury, it’s an essential. Hooray for ballet!

    • Thank you Kaija!
      True about the first class back being an ice breaker. Wonder how many “go easy” classes Smirnoff is going to give me before he expects full tilt.
      And true about me time. Lots of people, including my husband, have given me the good advice that in order to take good care of the baby I need to take care of myself first, which helps me to not feel selfish for, like, brushing my teeth.

  17. RainStorm says:

    Congrats :) Sounds like it went really well! Here’s to more classes and a happy baby!

  18. mladen says:

    Dear Madam Beginner,

    I’ve been away for some time now and finally catching up with your blog. So a big belated congrats on the baby and congrats for going back to ballet class, I’m excited to read about everything form december to march! :)

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