Still sitting in the lecture. The lecturer is a little overconfident…
Yesterday, I had a good class. We were only five, and I felt strong and like I was working hard, really stretching my leg, really pulling up, really using my neck and my arms. I noticed that I am lighter, I could do a rather good rise in arabesque at the barre, and it didn’t feel like I was straining or losing turnout. My grands battements are definitely higher, and I got several “good”s and “right”s from Franca, our teacher. That is rare. After class, Smiley admired my (still not wholly down) splits and I, feeling flattered, gave her a tip for stretching. She seems very motivated, and she has flexible feet but lacks strength. She is always smiling, which makes her look friendly and as if she enjoys dancing. We spoke a little in the change room and I showed her how to hold up the arch by using the great toe.
I don’t want the others (or anybody) to think I’m arrogant or a know-it-all. I don’t correct others or force things on them. But lately, I have dared to show more expression, I hold back less. This makes me a little uneasy and I often wonder what the others think of me. Do I seem arrogant? I don’t look like a dancer at all. Do I look pretentious? Like Maria from Melanie’s class? I feel joy and love and delight when I really dance, and I hope that is what comes across. Correct posture and a look of concentration can look arrogant, though. Lately, I have been thinking about what Lauren, the summer course teacher, told us: “Your expression should be like Audrey Hepburn. Beauty, elegance and charm, but never arrogance.”
Most of the others just go to class, and don’t know a lot about ballet outside of what they learn there. I am obsessive about things that interest me, so I have been reading about ballet in books and forums and on blogs for years, and naturally apply much of what I learn. I have a good teacher, but she doesn’t know very much about anatomy and injuries, and she doesn’t give enough corrections. I have to correct myself all the time because I tend to lose turnout in my standing leg and roll in, or I force my turnout slightly because mine isn’t good enough. I have noticed knee pain and pain on the inside of the heel when I train a lot. It is manageable, but I have to be really careful not to relax my arch and rotators, or I will damage my joints. I wish Franca were more strict, and really nagged me with detailed corrections. My barre arm shoulder rises sometimes, my elbow drops (this she has noticed), my fingers get stiff, I bite my lip, I release my knee. But on the positive side, I notice these things myself now, and can correct myself.
Of course I’d like to have a perfect body and the best teachers, and time and money and energy enough for two. But I am happy with my dancing at the moment, and greatly motivated by my progress and weight loss, and encouragement by teachers.