Dance Class Woes

This week has been tough in class so far. I’m not entirely sure why. Part of it could be getting over a cold I had the past week. Part of it could be I’m being held to a higher standard the better I get. Actually, I’m probably just not very good. Yet.

We’ve had small classes this week due to most schools being on spring break (side note: traffic is glorious this week since so many are out of town). Monday’s drills class only had six, and yesterday’s Novice/Prizewinner class only had five.

Drills class is always good, but it was tough. I was having a lot of trouble keeping up on tempo, especially but not limited to in hard shoe. My teacher gave me a variety of ideas for improving, but overall she said she didn’t really know how to answer my question about speeding up my legs because she’s always just been able to do it. That…didn’t make me feel great. But at least I have some ideas.

My regular Tuesday class was not as good. I was really struggling to maintain my stamina so much more than usual. I’m not sure if I ate poorly, gained weight, wasn’t really over my cold, or what was going on. I pushed as hard as I could, including a “good energy” comment from my teacher towards the end of the slip jig where she knew I was dying. We were all getting comments about not pushing through to the end though, so it wasn’t just me. Could have been the small class number resulting in less rest for us, or maybe it was the unusually long period of rain/clouds we’ve been having (not complaining – I’m so thankful for the rain because I was getting tired of having another fire every day!). I was particularly frustrated when I got told off for being off time on one of our slip jig drills. I knew I was off time, I was just trying so hard to keep my legs straight that I was stiffening up and couldn’t move. I’ll have to do that move myself at home in front of a mirror, because I did feel like I was keeping my legs straight but I wasn’t getting the praise the other students were getting.

Despite, or rather because, of all that correction and crap-feeling this week, I have a game plan for the rest of my week. I’ll be doing my ankle and turnout strengthening exercises, walking around up on my toes (demi pointe for you ballet types) and turned out in my hard shoes to work on balancing on them, and doing a slow treble drill we did last night to improve my form on my trebles. I wasn’t the only one struggling with them, but I know my form is weak and part of the reason I’m slow and do terrible in hard shoe. As a slight excuse, I was the only person in the adult class learning hard shoe at the time I did, so I didn’t have time to slowly learn proper form. I just kind of got thrown in and we didn’t do a lot of basics before I was learning more advanced steps, since the other adults had been hard shoeing for years. I guess Novice is as good a time as any to correct it before trying to plow forward.

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