Monday, 21 February 2011

an Excellent Start to the Week

How does getting up at 6am to go to an 8am ballet class before a full day at uni, trip to the cinema, and then heading to the pub quiz and out dancing sound for a Monday? Like crazy? I know right.

I've never done such an early class before. Even at school we only had to be in by 8.35am! But this ballet thing has really caught my attention (as you may have noticed from yesterday's enormous post). I'm genuinely loving it, and I decided that I wanted to do *more ballet* than just the one hour a week. But I didn't want to tell you I was going to go to the early class, in case I failed to get up and then had to come and admit it to you.

But I did make it, so now I can tell you! In fact, I made it a whole 35 minutes early. Unlike all the normal people who kept it to a fairly sensible 10 or 15 minutes. I just wasn't sure exactly what the protocol was. So I thought I'd be too early rather than too late. Sitting in a changing room on your own for a while is far less embarassing that being the last one into class and not really prepared to begin!

But it wasn't like that at all. It wasn't even a ballet class, it's a stretching class using ballet style. So we did some things in first position, and second position, and we did plies, tendues and port de bras, and we held our arms in first, second and fifth positons. But we also did a lot of stuff not turned out, and there was no particular focus on ballet technique, it was just stylistic.

Anyway, as you would expect from a class named ballet stretch, we stretched a lot. My legs feel so long. I never understood the concept of feel the burn in stretching before now. I've felt the dull, pleasant ache of gentle stretching. But for example, we were sitting on the floor, legs out to the side as far as slits will go (I'm about 60 degrees tops. I'm pathetic at side splits) and then stretch forward as far as you can. Again this is about 60 degrees for me, and I can really feel it in the tendons in my legs. But then she was like breathe in, and as you breathe out slowly, push further down. So I did. And I was like streeeeeeetch. And then again, and then a third time. And then hold, but keep breathing and sink lower if you can. And the she came round the whole class one at a time, and gently pushed us from the shoulders and waist. Like, not shoving, just pressure, and I was a whole new world of bent over. It burns. But then when we stopped, it stopped burning. No pain. Just stretch. My legs really do feel long.
We also did front-back splits, and turns out what I thought was a pretty mediocre front-back split that I can do is actually kind of alright. I was by no means the lowest in the class, but also not the highest.

I worked really hard in class, came out sweating slightly, again, but had never moved faster than a gentle jog, and that was just at the start to get us warmed up.
And although I've only walked from the studio to uni, about 10 minutes, I feel taller, composed, well held. Quite frankly I feel gorgeous and leggy, which is not something I very often feel at 10 in the morning when I'm not wearing make up.

Ballet stretch is about to become a regular on my schedule :)

love and kisses

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