It seems that when it comes to ballet, I go through very defined phases. They roughly break down into two; the Passable phase and the Utter Shit phase.
In the Passable phase I find myself picking things up quickly and being able to execute them reasonably well. This phase can last some months and I enjoy it. I enjoy being able to really focus on technique and actually dancing, rather than scrambling just to understand a combination. The Utter Shit phase leaves me confused, frustrated and angry.
I'm currently knee deep in Utter Shit.
Trying to learn the Kitri variation from Don Q Act 3 is leaving me cold. I simply can't get my head around it and even when I can follow it, I simply don't have the physical strength to execute it. Currently, we are learning the section which has a series of spring steps and little Pas de Chevals. This is supposed to be done en pointe, but basically I can't ever see a time when I could do that. My ankles have been on this earth for 40 years and when I tried this they were not best pleased!
After each pointe class I just don't feel like I've danced at all. I hate that stage when you are just jumping about like a headless chicken, trying to pick up a combination or variation, and I feel I am permanently at that stage. The Utter Shit stage. But what frustrates me most about it as that as an adult ballet dancer I feel I have no point of reference to check if this is normal or not. Other girls in class feel the same, yes, but do accomplished dancers go through the stage too? I guess I need to know if there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Similarly, learning pirouettes has become a world of hurt. It seems like I will never be able to do it. I truly can't see a time when I will be able to do this. But is that normal? Did every dancer go through that stage? Not having those references makes learning such a difficult thing as ballet a bit like fumbling about in the dark.
But my sensible head tells me that before I found myself in the Passable stage, previously to that I was in the Utter Shit stage. It's just the natural ebb and flow of learning.