Like a lot of people I took my first ballet class of the New Year yesterday. In balmy LA,
Cold ballet in a cold studio grrrr brrrrrShe also tweeted:
— Adult Beginner (@adultbeginner) January 3, 2015
Beware your first ballet class of the new year in a studio that has had the heat off for the previous two weeks. #fuckinbrrrWell, our studio didn't have any power on the ground floor which left us with the options of changing downstairs by the light of our mobiles or in the loo. I chose the latter. And as for cold ...... LA winters are often warmer than our summers. I know because I live in Yorkshire and went to graduate school in LA. But now I am beginning to sound like the four Yorkshiremen in the Monty Python sketch which Adult Beginner might enjoy because she has a sense of humour very like ours.
— Adult Beginner (@adultbeginner) January 5, 2015
We didn't mind. There was still electricity in the smaller studio upstairs. We huddled together by the travelling barre to keep warm. Our class was taken by Fiona Noonan who is a good teacher. And it was a lot of fun.
The day before David Wilson (who is now also in California) had tweeted:
First ballet class of 2015 for many people tomorrow! What are you looking to focus and work on this year? #balletresolutionsLast year I experienced for the first time the thrill of dancing in public (see The Time of my Life 28 June 2014). There can never be another first time and it took a lot of effort to get to that point. In the weeks leading up to the show I was taking at least one class a day and some days two. That was beginning to take up too much of my time. Also, my passion for dance was boring the pants off my other followers and readers. I don't think it made me a better dancer and as an economist manquée I should have anticipated that. So this year my aims are more limited. To consolidate on what I already know.
— DaveTriesBallet (@DaveTriesBallet) January 4, 2015
Yesterday's class was ideal for that objective because Fiona took us back to first principles. In his last post David Wilson had suggested a ballet journal (see The Dance Journal – what is it and why should I have one? 14 Dec 2014 Dave Tries Ballet). It seems a very good idea so I got myself one. I made two entries. The first is: "Push the legs back when doing pliés in 2nd and 4th, to hold the back straight and relax the ribs. Then push up from the bottom." Harder said than done but Fiona seemed to think we had all got it right. The other entry is on pirouettes. "Let the leg in retiré lead you round not the arms" and "Push catch with the arms." I still have a lot of trouble with pirouettes and that is because I can't stay on demi point on one leg for long. Last year Elizabeth Rae got my Northern Ballet class to do tours lents and they really helped (see Elizabeth Rae 7 Oct 2014).
As usual I left the studio on a high. So, too, did other members of the class such as @melonyklein who tweeted that class felt good. Our class included three newbies all of whom said they were coming back. If you took your first class of the New Year yesterday I hope it went well for you too.