Due to my “more yoga, more pilates” – resolution I decided to take a trial card to Studio Motion. Last Saturday I attended my first ballet class after 20 years break (seriously, stating this makes me feel a bit old). But it was definitely good to be back – Ballet simply blew my mind. That’s why I went today for a second round.
Not suprisingly, even the athmosphere of a dance studio is something completely different than going to the gym. Last week, arriving as the first to the class, having the huge space only for myself, I immediately detached from the world. Berliners fancy doing other stuff than grand pliés Saturdays 1 PM, but that is completely their loss.
After an hour I had figured out I can’t even stand correctly. Yes, not even stand, let alone stand and hold the bar. But that felt just fine. Going throught the basics from the very beginning, with time, someone correcting me at least once per minute. I felt how all the hundreds and thousands of deadlifts and squats had made my leg muscles short and tight, and actually, when I thought about it, even keeping the knees straight was hard. So I just tried to stand still, straight and breath (as the teacher descriped, “as it is good in general”). In a while I tried to raise my hands, then my legs. Do small pliés and raise to the toes.
Before the ballet class I had thought I was stretchy due to the bikram classes, because, c’mon, I was one of the stretchiest there, always.
How wrong I was.
Even though I have been regularly squatting with 70 kg and deadlifting 100 kg, trying to stand one and a half hour still made me more sore than sets of those. On Monday my inner tights and abs very screaming, thanks to the instructor with extremely sharp eyes and almost his full attention – we were just two students on the first class. This Saturday we were four, but level of attention was of course still high.
It is fair to say I learned a lot about myself including my way of moving, being and reacting to feedback:
- My “straight” is something like leaning backwards. When I stand straight, my back actually hurts. Scary.
- Standing still is for me hard. Very hard.
- Concentrating on some muscles, with small movements while making things to look easy is… Much, much, much harder than it looks like.
- The instructor’s style with sharp eyes and slighlty sharp comments (“You look like a weightlifter!” “The idea is not to scare the audience, this should look attractive!!” “Don’t plié like farting!” – No reason to be scared though, I think he had also good sense of what kind of feedback he was able to give for whom) fitted me very, very, very well. I appreciate direct feedback from people I can respect. I had strong vibes and kind of flashbacks from some dressage classes.
- I can hardly imagine anything more relaxing than classical piano music, chassé, coupé, plié… Relevé. And same through again, again and again. A bit like surfing – you just need to concentrate or it all falls apart. Focus, focus, focus.
Ballet caused me also to be extremely aware of my way of moving the whole next week. And I’m quite sure I will be aware of it this week as well.
Unluckily the studio is going to close soon due to construction works. But a small ballerina, that I am going to be again, even though I would look most of the time like a weightlifter.