Chapter 3 – Getting my Groove back

There are many great quotes about ballet. They talk about the beauty, the passion, and the artistry. However, a lot of them talk about the struggle too.

Take this quote:

„Ballet is a harsh exercise… Unforgiving to those who pursue it“

or this one:

“You have to love dancing to stick to it. It gives you nothing back, no manuscripts to store away, no paintings to show on walls and maybe hang in museums, no poems to be printed and sold, nothing but that single fleeting moment when you feel alive.”
― Merce Cunningham

Do professionals feel this way too? Because I know I feel this way pretty often.

I feel like I am constantly trying and trying, and sometimes I nail something and it is like a light bursts out of me.

During uni ballet this week we had a combination that included a double pirouette straight into a balancé. While I didn’t nail the double, it inspired me to add in a double spot into my spot practice routine at home.

I described this spot routine a long long time ago, but it is an exercise that a teacher recommended to me to practice spotting for pirouettes.

Basically you stand in front of the mirror and you just try to spin around whilst focusing on nothing else but your spot. She used to say that we should pretend we are little children who are just turning around and around.

Well, for the past couple of months I have just been focusing on making a good spot for one turn.

After being inspired by uni class, however, I decided to add in a second spot.

And guess what! It worked!

Our usual teacher was there for uni class this week.

Surprisingly I felt much much better in class. It’s weird. That first week it felt like everyone was speaking a foreign language, but this week I was speaking the language too.

After class another girl, who I kind of know, said that I looked like I had definitely found myself in class again.

Looks like I am on the way to getting my groove back.

Every week since the summer holidays began I have been practicing the Intermediate Foundation exam. I feel pretty confident with most of the combinations, however there is one particular petit allegro combination that is driving me insane.

It is the second petit allegro in centre.

I just can’t seem to coordinate myself fast enough. I can get through it, but it aint pretty.

I also have trouble practicing it over and over again because I just run out of energy.

I made the mistake of filming myself doing it…from the side. Holy crap it looked awful!! Like, truly horrible!!

I feel like this is one of those unforgiving moments that first quote mentioned.

What I decided to do was to play the music a little bit slower to see if I could sharpen my movements.

I tried at half the speed, but that was too slow. So I tried it at 75% and I felt a lot better.

I hope this idea will help, rather than hinder me.

75% aint that much different to 100% right?

I can’t tell if its better to just keep trying it at full speed, or work my way up.

It is times like these that I really really appreciate the art of ballet. How on earth do those Balanchine dancers do it??

Anyway, hope you all had a productive week!


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