IN THE MIDDLE
Ballet class is just part of my life. I don't really think about it, it's just something I do for 4 hours a week. On reflection, that probably means I don't actively enjoy it so much as it's just second nature to me now. That's not true actually, I do enjoy it, but I don't get the excitement from going to class that I once did.
Adult ballet class, because you're not working towards anything specific, can feel boring and repetitive very easily. Teachers often find it boring too so rarely make effort to change their music or make their exercises very interesting.
I expressed my boredom to one of our ballet teachers and I suggested we try something a little more contemporary or neo-classical, just for a change. Since her degree is in contemporary ballet she was completely into the idea of swapping one of our usual intermediate classes into a contemporary one.
The warm up involved a bit of rolling about the floor, which I felt a bit daft doing, but the centre choreography was amazing. Lots of work in parallel but also some interesting body movements as well as some more familiar classical positions.
She took it a stage further in our point class by giving us a section from William Forsythe's neo-classical piece In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated to perform, which you can watch in the video above. So far we have learned the first 50 seconds. Which doesn't seem much but it's pretty hard.
I can honestly say, it was an absolute joy for me. I have never felt that happy dancing in quite some time. Classical ballet is a constant struggle when you have hyperextended legs. Yes, the hyperextended aesthetic is preferred, but in reality it's incredibly hard to work with, as hyperextended people naturally tilt their hips back and since the whole entire foundation of classical ballet is to keep the hips in a neutral position, it's a constant struggle to hold that. However, this Forsythe piece absolutely favours those with hyperextended legs. It felt so much more comfortable for me to dance and I felt far less self conscious than I normally do in class. I also feel this style of ballet compliments my sturdy body more than say Giselle, which favours a willowy body.
After class I came home and absorbed every performance I could find of this. I was so excited I could barely sleep!
It's been a long time since I felt that about ballet class. I realise I was in a rut because I'd become caught in a cycle of doing the same things and failing at the same things.
I've gone from being in the stuck in middle to fully elevated.