Day 3 of the Ballet Intensive completely restored my faith in myself.
We started out with an hour of Pilates with Yuki. I had never done pilates before. Some of the exercises were easy and some made my already sore muscles work harder. But really, I can’t complain about anything I can do while lying down.
The hour passed quickly, and then Yuki dropped the bomb on us. Laura, who was supposed to teach a half hour of Modern at the end of class, was sick, and the remaining two hours of class would be all Ballet Technique. This sent me into panic mode. Two hours? Surely I misheard. I didn’t think I could handle two full hours of the torture that occured the day before. My body, ego, and sanity could not handle a repeat. I crossed my fingers that the instructor was not . . . like last night’s.
As it turned out, Yuki stayed with us the entire night which suited me just find. She was nice, funny, and gave great advice much like Ross. Her barre exercises weren’t painful and torturous. She kept the moves basic but used them in combinations that made me think. She threw in some head movements as well, but I struggled enough remembering what my legs and arms are supposed to be doing, so I just glossed over that. The breathing and muscle control excersizes that we learned during pilates proved to be very helpful with my balance as well.
Yuki was very good about taking the time to make sure we all understood what to do, as well as giving us a few chances to mark it which I greatly appreciated, especially once we moved to the floor. The floor combinations were a lot of fun. She had us do them alone, in pairs (you have to know how to dance with someone else!), and even had us in groups criss-crossing across the floor. We did a turn combination as well, and I mostly redeemed myself from the last class. I was a little wobbly still, but even when I lost my balance I was still able to end beautifully like nothing had happened.
This two hour technique class was probably my favorite of everything so far. It was exactly what I was looking for in a program like this. I got to try something new, learn a few tricks that made me better, and have fun.
For as immobile as I was throughout the day, I’m really surprised how much my body loosened up by the end of class. I could have easily gone another half hour. (Not that I necessarily wanted to, I’m just saying my body was up for it.) Also, I now have first hand experience of what a difference the floor can make. I’ve spent 9 hours this week (mostly) on my feet, and other than a little stiffness or cramping here and there, I haven’t had any lasting pain in my heels or my bad toe. I guess that’s what you get when you dancy on marley instead of tile.