Baby Steps

Fifth Position

Practiced again today. Most of the barre movement sequences came back, so I was at least able to dance with the music most of the time. Still had major cramps in my left foot whenever I tried to point it. Extension and turnout remained pathetic. But I focused on holding out my arm in a proper second position this time instead of dropping it like a flappy chicken wing as in my last practice.

Happy that I was able to hold out my leg for a full count, even in adagio. Proudest moment was when suddenly I could do petits battements sur le coup de pied on the beat… but only with the right foot 😉 It feels like ballet is gradually coming back to me… at least I am enjoying the pure sensation of moving with the music once again.

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First Position… Again

First Position_Sep17, 2014

It was raining at lunch time today, so I had to give up on working out barefoot outdoors. Took my very old pair of ballet slippers to an empty room in my office building and practiced ballet for the first time since my surgery. Experienced all the usual things that an absolute beginner experiences: shaky legs, low extension, stiffness, inability to hold my leg in the air for even one count. The list goes on. This gives me the insight that when I was doing ballet full out a year ago, I was often feeling inadequate in my techniques. But from the perspective of an absolute beginner. whom am now, I think that kind of judgment on myself was way too harsh. And so the same goes for every one of you ballet buddies who think you aren’t doing great. You are doing excellent!

In today’s practice, I almost forgot the steps for each simple barre exercise. But I didn’t fret too much about it. And as you can see in my first position here, I don’t have much of a turnout to speak of, but I did not try to force it when I practiced. Instead, I focused on using the core and hamstrings, which I have been working on in my Pilates sessions in the past few months. Without the help of a real ballet barre–holding on lightly to the edge of a white board, I was all the more aware of the use of core muscles. While the execution was quite pathetic, I did my best, and came out feeling quite surprised about the amount of sweat I worked up with.

It was a good start.