Back at the barre

No posts for seven weeks and then you get two at once. What’s that about buses? So, ballet. As I said in my last post, I desperately wanted to continue with it – and to get better at it. But I hated feeling out of my depth.

Part of the problem was that I have a terrible memory – and part of being good at ballet involves remembering all the moves.

Even in a brief dance, there can be dozens of individual moves with the feet, and the hands. So getting them in the right order and performing them well involves a lot of practice.

Not me, obvs, but something to aim for

With my previous regular dance class, we tended to focus on one move – such as a pique turn or a balancé – and then that would be it. We’d all go home and we might not revisit it for weeks or months, by which time I’d completely forgotten everything about it.

I’m not blaming my then-teacher, just my rubbish memory. In later classes, she choreographed a dance for us, and we’d add something new on each week – but I’d lost my mojo by then. DVT happened, months passed.

Anyway, a few weeks ago, I Googled to find a new class. I wanted to experience that amazing feeling when ballet touches your soul again.

Sure enough, I found one, only a few miles from where I live. Unlike a traditional ballet class, this is classed as Ballet Barre. So it was ideal for me to get back in the swing of things.

The first half of the class involves mat work – something along the lines of yoga and pilates. The second half involves barre work, with just five or ten minutes of centre work at the end.

Again, all the other pupils are female, and this time I’ve taken a friend with me, just a couple of times. There are between five and ten people and I’ve really enjoyed it, so much so that I’ve signed up for a course of ten classes.

The studio has a barre as well! Four, in fact. At my first class, we used the backs of chairs. That worked just as well, to be honest. But there’s something nice about a real barre.

The best thing is that it’s really basic ballet, so I have no trouble keeping up or remembering my moves. The teacher is brilliant – and really funny – and most of the pupils seem to be beginners. One or two have a little more experience.

Most of all, it’s given me back my ballet mojo – and I usually leave class with a big smile on my face. We usually curtsey in reverence, though there’s the occasional bow. Guess which I prefer.

Andie x


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