There was a time not too long ago that I lamented the fact that I don’t seem to be doing much pointe. My RAD class rarely has time for pointe, even though the teacher says each week that she is hoping to do some at the end of class.
When I found out I could do pointe on Mondays after class, I was very happy.
Then, whilst waiting for my uni ballet class on Wednesday I was talking to a girl who said that I should come on Friday because they were talking about starting beginner pointe classes.
I played it cool, but inside I was really excited. Even though I practice at home, it makes a huge difference to take an actual pointe class.
I asked the teacher if I could swap to Friday and she said no problem.
Flash forward to Fridays class. In the regular class I messed up pretty much every barre combination, but in centre I was really on my leg. I almost couldn’t believe it when I hit balance after balance.
Just before grande allegro, the teacher said anyone doing pointe should put on their shoes now.
As I began putting on my shoes I noticed a lot of girls putting on shoes that really shouldn’t.
It pains me to say this because I know I am nowhere near perfect on pointe. I made a lot of mistakes when I first started too early, and I still count myself very much a beginner when it comes to pointe.
However, I feel like I made the effort when I first started out. I learnt how to tie my ribbons. I started strengthening my feet.
The majority of the girls in the class on Friday had their ribbons wound up around their calves almost to their knees. Two girls had the ribbons tied in bows.
There was also some serious biscuit action going on.
I’m talking like this:
(source: http://www.collierdance.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Ribbons.jpg; https://righthereatthebarre.com/tag/pointe-shoes/page/2/)
Although the crazy ribbon tying is something I thought was a myth, the bad biscuits is something I have seen many times in adult classes. It happened at my old studio, it is happening at the class on Monday and now it is happening here.
How do they not break an ankle?
If I was a teacher I think I would tell these eager adult students that they need to be able to master certain things before being allowed on pointe.
If my teacher had told me that I needed to be able to a certain amount of relevés without getting tired, that I needed to have a certain amount of ankle flexibility etc etc I would have worked my butt off to get there.
I think a lot of the problem is that it is hard for teachers to tell adult students no.
Obviously I concentrated on myself in class, but these were just my observations when we were warming up.
I am excited about having more opportunities to develop my pointe work, even if that means watching Kathryn Morgan or Claudia Dean to learn about proper technique which I can apply in class.
Going back to the start of the week, I had a good class on Monday, though I was running a little late. I wish I had an explanation for why. I left at the usual time…but as I walked through the main front doors it was already 10am! I missed the start of the first exercise and felt a little frazzled the rest of class. I must have walked slower than usual.
During my Thursday syllabus class we finally managed to get around to practicing the pointe work part of the RAD IF syllabus. We have been practicing all the other combinations away from the mirror and this was the first time we were doing the pointe combinations that way. Keep in mind we haven’t practiced the pointe work combinations in at least a couple of months.
It was really odd. I feel like I have finally gotten used to doing all the other combinations without seeing myself in the mirror. However, during the pointe combination I felt blind again. I wish I could tell you if I did ok, but I have no idea.
After my last class that day I broached the topic of leaving the later class with my teacher. I told her I didn’t think I would be able to keep going to the class after March because my partner wouldn’t be able to pick me up so late anymore. I would still be able to go to IF though.
I said that I noticed that there is a 3 month notice period for leaving the contract and wanted to know if that applied to me since I was still staying for IF.
I understand why. They need the income that comes from my payment. However, I was really hoping that I could get out earlier.
She said that after March I could attend a different class until the end of the 3 months, which I think I will do. There is a very beginner class in the hour between my two current classes which I might attend for the remaining 2 months.
I have been thinking about what to do instead of going to that class.
At first I thought I could go to another class at the same place I go on Monday. The teacher from Monday only does that class and all the kids classes, so it would need to be with a different teacher.
There is another good teacher who has a class on Saturdays, but the class is €18 for an hr and a half.
Then I thought, what about taking a pilates class to build my core strength?
Then I found a fitness studio in my area that only costs €20 a month, which includes all classes.
20€ a month!!!!!! Unlimited classes!!!
This made me realise just how expensive ballet classes are.
If I leave my second class, which I do plan on doing, I could pay for both my partner and I to go to the gym.
I am still trying to figure out what to do.
What do you think is better? Going to another ballet class or going to a class at a fitness studio (like pilates or stepping) to cross train?
I hope you all managed to catch the Prix this week.
I was amazed by all the finalists and it was obvious even to me that the winner was Shale Wagman.
I noticed one of the Australian Candidates was studying at a school near where I used to work in Sydney and I was browsing their webpage when I noticed that they are an RAD school.
On a whim I decided to email them. I asked about their Inter Foundation class, specifically how long the students train and what their schedule looks like.
I didn’t say why I was emailing because the real reason I wanted to know this info was to compare them to my school. They are obviously a very good school. They must be with a candidate at the prix.
They replied quite quickly and they assumed that I was inquiring about my child, which is what I assumed they would.
They told me that the inter foundation students train for 4-4.5 hours a week on their syllabus work, plus an extra 30 minutes for beginner pointe classes. This is if they want to sit the exam. At the moment they train Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
They were so lovely and informative and sent me enrolment forms and everything.
If only they knew that the actual person with dreams of becoming a well trained dancer was actually a 29 year old.
I knew they would probably be training more on the syllabus work than what my school does, but 3-3.5 hours more? Maybe they take the exams sooner? I’m not sure.
No wonder they produce prix standard students.
That’s it from me.
Hope you all had a lovely week!