I just realized while driving myself to class this morning that it has been one year since I began ballet 2.0. While it is not the first time I’ve ever taken ballet, yadda yadda yadda, you’ve all read this before.
Q. So, it’s been one year, are you having fun?
A. Duhh, yeah. Next question please.
Q. What has changed since you quit ballet in grad school and now?
A. Well for one, I’m several years older, I live in a different time zone, tax bracket and I’d like to think I’m a bit wiser as well. But honestly, ballet has become such an important part of my life, I can’t imagine what it would be like without it, aside from having a lot more free time and money in my bank account.
Q. Like how much money and how much free time?
A. Classes really add up, I don’t remember them costing as much as they did when I was still in school. I’m afraid to do the math, I’m sure I’ve spent way more than I should on classes and other assorted dance crap.
As for time, I take between three and four 90 minute classes a week, most in the evening. Factor in driving time, it really eats up the time. But I’d probably be on the couch watching TV if I wasn’t in a pair of tights and leotard skipping around a studio (that is how ballet was once described to me by a person who has never taken ballet, or any dance at all).
Q. Well then where are you doing all of this skipping around then?
A. I split my time between two schools. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday I’m at Big City Fancy Pants Company School, and Saturday morning I go to the Urban Upstairs School. I actually attended Urban Upstairs School while in college for one term. The two schools couldn’t be more different, but I enjoy both. It’s a total apples and oranges situation, unless someone developed appnges or oraples.
Q. What classes are you in then?
A. Well at Big City Fancy Pants Company School (I was once scared of BCFPSCS, thought it was only for really good dancers, I’ve found out they have classes for all typed of dancers, even those like me who are not that good.) I’m in two beginner level / open classes. The Teach gives us more challenging options if we want to do them, and several of us do. Then there is Big Tex’s int/ adv/ open class which is fucking hard, but he let’s us dumb it down if we so choose, several of us do. And then at Urban Upstairs School I’m in a intermediate class, just about where I should be, challenging but well within what I can do, usually.
Q. Do you have a favorite class or teacher?
A. Yes on both. The favorite class has changed a bit, but I’d say it would be the Thursday night beg/ open class. A bit laid back, but still serious, and fun. The super hard class is fun too, much like a scary movie is fun. Ms Perky Blond Company Member and Ms The Teach tie for my favorite (they both allow me to indulge in my attempts en pointe) Big Tex is fun, hearing his French is a trip with his pronounced accent, plus he always give us trivia questions.
One class led me to two, then three and eventually four, it’s crazy.
Q. Well that brings me to a good question. Pointe shoes, what’s up with that?
A. Well about six months ago the idea that guys could and have worn pointe shoes seeped into my head, and I couldn’t get that notion out. People who didn’t know better kept asking if I’d ever danced on “tippy toes.” I thought they were just for the ladies, turns out it’s not always the case. So I eventually got up the nerve to ask if I could try, and to my surprise The Teach agreed and told me to go for it. I wouldn’t say I’m any good at pointe, I’d say I’m god awful, but I’m trying. I do barre and and on occasion I’ll also do bits of everything else when the mood strikes.
One surprising side effect of pointe, I’ve discovered how much fun it is to dance in plain ol’ soft ballet shoes.
Q. What have you learned this year?
A. Omg, tons of stuff, some things important other not so much.
- Muscle memory is amazing. That first class back, the music starts and everything just starts to happen, f’ing amazing!
- The other adult beginners are amazing people, we have busy lives, but find time to humble ourselves learning the same thing as the studio below us full of 6 year olds.
- Gaynor Minden pointe shoes are beautiful shoes, and f’ing expensive. They were the only shoes to fit my weird feet.
- Ballet is beautiful, regardless of the dancers experience. I love watching my classmates dance, even in class.
- Twitter, YouTube and blogs opened my eyes to things I never thought possible.
- Doing the same thing over and over hoping for a different outcome is stupid. You gotta take control of you life homes.
- I had a personality conflict with a teacher, then I realized she’s not going to change so why do I keep throwing my hard earned money at her class hoping for her to magically change.
- Thought destroying my feet would be fun and thought pointe might be cool to learn. I had to take control and ask about it, they would never asked if I wanted to try pointe in a million years
Q. What are you struggling with?
A. Where do I begin?
- Pirouettes, the second I think I have them, everything goes to shit!
- I can’t spot to save my life.
- Splits, they just aren’t gettin there.
- Bettering my developes and getting crazy high extension has been tough. I did find a great video clip from Ballet Babble using Thera-bands. We’ll see how that goes, fingers crossed.
- My right ankle is a mess, I need to really work on it, or have someone look at it too.
- I need to stretch way more than I am.