A Christmas Gift to Myself: Back to First Position

First Position - Balletomanehk.com

This Christmas, I gave the best gift to myself… No, it’s not those Christmas slippers (I bought them for Christmas two years ago). It was a home ballet class.

For various reasons, I’ve taken a six-month hiatus. But yesterday, which happened to be a full-moon day, I finally got an impulse to start picking up ballet again. I took to the roof, placed a couple of children’s thick play mats (which are placed together like a jig-saw puzzle), covered them with a sheet of Marley, and made a “sprung floor” out of it. It actually felt pretty darn good! Then I just used the edge of the roof as the barre (though a little low). Voilà!

Ballet on the Roof - www.balletomanehk.com

Kathryn Morgan was my instructor, and here are her easy ballet lessons on YouTube:

Barre:

Center:

It feels so good to have worked up a good sweat after the barre and center. Kathryn Morgan’s videos for beginners as well as dancers returning after an injury are really wonderful. They are slow-paced and do not demand high extensions. Yet they are beautifully choreographed. They made me feel like I was totally ready to get back to class yet was not forced to do anything uncomfortable. All the exercises were manageable and Morgan’s tone was so encouraging throughout the tutorials. 

I had so much fun doing the center exercises, especially the port de bras 😉 To my surprise, my balance is still quite good and my ankles didn’t wobble very much during rises! 

A neighbor peeked out from his roof and was wondering what the heck I was doing. Obviously he could not understand the English instructions coming out of my laptop, but the beautiful piano music and my movements got him curious, ha ha! I bet no one in my village does adult ballet. Perhaps this will get people interested.

In the new year, I hope to be able to do class more regularly. My the force be with me!

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6 thoughts on “A Christmas Gift to Myself: Back to First Position

  1. Oh, excellent! (And what a great idea for a floor, as well — I may have to borrow this idea for Burning Man next year!)

    Perhaps your curious neighbor will come over and try it out sometime ^-^

    May the force be with you!

    • Thanks a lot for your kind wishes, asher! What is Burning Man, if I may ask?
      The floor is indeed a great idea. I borrowed it from Ballerinas by Night (on YouTube) and added the Marley on top to make the surface smoother.
      Ha ha, maybe my Chinese neighbors will be inspired, yes ^_^

      • Burning Man is hard to describe! It’s a giant, week-long arts festival and party in the middle of one of the harshest deserts in the southwestern United States. Everyone brings everything they will need to survive for the week, and at the end, we make sure we leave nothing but footprints (and, in some areas, tire tracks). A lot of people build huge sculptures that wouldn’t fit anywhere else.

        It’s all about participation, so last year my contribution was to teach basic ballet for the uninitiated 🙂 Figuring out how to assemble a decent floor proved to be an immense challenge!

        I’ll have to check out Ballerinas by Night!

      • Burning Man sounds like a fun event and a very cool idea! What’s amazing is the vast amount of physical space you have… in the deserts! Yea, children’s play mats would be a simple and economic way of creative a floor for ballet. Why not? Best of luck and have a great time!

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