Ballet Diary 5-6: quicker turnarounds

As she learns to move her feet, our writer/dancer keeps this short and sweet

This week, my ballet diary has to be short. It just has to. If you want longer stories, refer to previous weeks. It’s actually week 6 of Northwest Dance Project’s 10-week Adult Beginning Ballet course, but I had to miss one, making this the fifth post. Every week now, it seems that my philosophical insights are fewer, my movements are slightly more intuitive, and the ballet classes cycle is hurtling by faster and faster. This means it’s time for a Training Montage. ballet56_slippers_web Feel free to set the following to any music you like— Chariots of Fire, Eye of the Tiger, the “song of the summer,” Yakkety Sax. Okay, here goes: My feet on a checkered-tile kitchen floor, repeatedly leaping from fifth position into a wobbling semi-sous sous, crossing heels and closing into the opposite fifth. Sometimes bare, sometimes in ballet slippers, and sometimes in moccasins. My arms wide in second position, then one coming in for third. Right, then left. Me lifting my face with a pseudo-sophisticated air, then breaking character as I totter on my tiptoes. One shot of me affecting arms in third, attempting a right turn, and sweeping things off a shelf. A decent left turn that goes 360, followed by a desperate right turn that goes about 390 and ends in a stagger. Close-up of my face complaining on the phone with ballerina friend. Close-up of her mouth laughing. Me staring intently at the mirror. Head-snap. Head-snap. Head-snap. Regimented sets of my classmates’ feet doing rond de jambes and the foot-stretching weight-baring toe-balance our teacher Renee Meiffren calls “the doo-dad.” Me in class, hands on hips, diagonally skipping across the studio. Thanks to a note from Meiffren about how my feet should meet, sous sous-style, en l’air, I can now do this without looking terrible. The only man in the class and I continue our skip-step across the room after the music stops, then laugh and high-five. Every good training montage ends in a high-five. See you next week.

READ THE REST: Ballet Diary: An Artswatch Writer Tries NWDP’s beginner ballet

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A. L. Adams also writes for Artslandia Magazine and The Portland Mercury.
She is the former arts editor of Portland Monthly Magazine.

Read more from Adams at Oregon ArtsWatch | Support Oregon ArtsWatch!

 

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