Well… it happened. I am back in my strange mood. Not really depressed, but definitely feeling a little sad and hopeless. I did go to work so far, though, of which I am proud. I felt the mood coming on the weekend with stronger cravings, so I told myself that I could eat more. There wasn’t an actual binge, but I ate a lot of unhealthy things. Since Monday, it’s been better, but I still don’t really care about weight loss right now. I still want to be thin, but I also want to comfort myself with food. It’s a difficult time. My self-confidence suffers, I have no strength or energy for ballet and can’t enjoy anything. Being in ballet class like this was horrible. I wanted to dance, but everything seemed so hard. My feet hurt on demi-pointe, I stumbled around in the turns and my strength gave out before the exercises were over. If I feel that I’m not doing my best, I get frustrated and angry with myself and embarrassed because I know it looks bad. It’s a vicious circle. Mandy told me yesterday to take some time off, and I think I’ll take her advice. So no class tonight, and tomorrow only if I feel like it. Friday is my rest day, anyway. After that, I hope everything will be back to normal. I don’t really like to stop because even after one day off, I notice it in class. My body seems to forget, and I need a lot of time to get back into being aware of placement etc. But I know that we are not machines. And I can afford to take a break if I feel like it. After all, there is no show or career at stake and I haven’t had more than a two-day break from ballet since January.
On a more positive note, there has been a new development on the ballet front. The Gorgeous French Teacher substituted for Belinda this Saturday, and instead of giving a ‘normal’ class, she stopped halfway through and took one combination completely apart and made us repeat it until it looked ok. We all loved this, and after class asked her once more – we had asked a few times before – whether she could not give us a regular class. She is a retired dancer who works full time besides teaching and coaching, and until now she never had time. Now, however, she agreed to give us a few classes on Sunday morning, working on coordination and arms. The best part of it is that we are trying to rent a studio that is right on my street, only a few hundred metres away. I could practically roll out of bed, do a grand jeté and I’d be there. Then yesterday, June told me that she had negotiated a semi-private class for the two of us, with Mandy, on Sunday afternoons, and the open class on Sunday evening will be free for us. So, Sundays will be intense from now on, with two or even three classes! Once again, just like last autumn when I found Mandy, a new opportunity has turned up right when I needed it. Just in the last few weeks, I was thinking about all the classes that are available and how I still miss something in them: a focus on presentation, coordination, expression, quality, I don’t know, just SOMETHING that would help me reach the next level. I am still much too rigid and slow, with many insecurities as to coordination. Franca teaches strength and control and slowly increasing technique, Mandy teaches alignment and speed and an inside-out clean way of working, Belinda focuses on musicality and rhythm and they all encourage us to ‘dance more’. I am hoping that the privates and the classes with GFT help me to fill in the gaps.
June wanted to drive me home last night. She’s been injured for weeks and is having a difficult time dealing with it. At the moment, she has started dancing again, but isn’t allowed to jump or do relevé or anything that puts stress on her foot. She is in a semi-professional school where she dances half the day, ballet an jazz and modern etc., and seeing her classmates improve while she seems to stand still really frustrates her. She is also scared that she won’t catch up, because she is one of the worst students. June is very sweet, and just as passionate about ballet as I. I tried to comfort her, telling her that this was an important lesson to learn, trying to make her more optimistic. She said I was sweet and that it was working, she was already feeling better. So she drove me home, and when we passed the restaurant at the corner, we spontaneously decided to go and have a late dinner. It’s an Italian restaurant just around the corner from my house, and we shared a pizza and chatted until they closed at ten o’ clock, and then I invited her to come up to my flat and talk some more. It wasn’t company-tidy, but she loved the flat anyway, saying it reminded her of a Parisian city flat. We sat on the floor talking and June pounced on my ballet books and looked through them. It was wonderful to finally be able to talk about ballet and Mandy and classes and our back history with ballet to my heart’s content without my opposite getting bored. June said the same thing when she finally left at midnight. I wrote before that I wanted to get to know her better and maybe become friends, and I think it’s working. I feel pretty relaxed with June, as if I didn’t have to play a role or suppress part of myself like it was with Charlene. We have been open with each other, telling of our trials in class and things we have learned. I even told her how I used to hate GPS, which she found really funny. She never noticed anything, though. June is the only person I know who is as obsessed with ballet as I am. Well, maybe Samantha, too, but she has been dancing all her life and June is a late-starter like me.
So, tonight I will rest and stretch a little and then maybe go to the cinema, and tomorrow I’ll go to Weight Watchers and probably rest again. And after that I would like my strength and motivation and positive thoughts back, please!