Ballet and My Body: A Brief Assessment

This morning, while stretching, I was struck by how radically ballet has changed my body.

And then I thought about it and wondered whether ballet has really radically changed my body, or whether it’s more that it has radically changed the way I see my body.

I found that the answer, at the moment, is this:

It doesn’t actually matter.

In fact, both interpretations are probably true.

Some of the changes that dancing makes to one’s body are objectively measurable.

One may lose or gain weight: I weigh about 20 pounds less than I did when I started dancing again, part of which can be attributed to time spent in the studio. At least one guy that I see in class from time to time (he usually goes to evening class and 12:15 class) has gained muscle, particularly in his legs, and as such almost certainly weighs more than he once did. I mention these first because they’re obvious:easily visible, as it were, to the naked eye.

And, then, even without changes in weight, one may experience changes in dimension: the measurements of my body are certainly quite different than they were 1.5 years ago, but they are also quite different than they were the last time I stood at my current weight. I wasn’t dancing then; I was in the midst of the staggering period of illness and weight gain that coincided with my move to Louisville. I weighed what I weigh now, but with more fat and less muscle, so I was bigger in some places (the last time I wore the trouser size I wear now, I weighed ten pounds less); presumably smaller in others.

I have watched several of us who were brand-new dancers 1.5 years ago begin to undergo a profound metamorphosis.

As for those of us who have danced longer … if you walk into Intermediate or Advanced class, you walk into a room full of people who look like, well, dancers — even those of us who don’t necessarily fit the classical ballet mold possess that even muscle balance that makes dancers so functionally sound. (But most of us, including — to my surprise — me, seem to be evolving towards the classical ballet mold*.)

We present a graphic depiction of the human body as a well-honed, functional machine. We are strong without excess: our bodies have been whittled by practical use within an artform that builds upon, perfects, and extends the vocabulary of movement the human animal uses “in the wild,” rather than by repetitive movements designed to enhance one muscle group or another in isolation, out of context. (I don’t think this is true only of ballet, by the way — modern dance, hip-hop, and any number of traditional dance forms demand that dancers develop eminently functional strength, flexibility, balance, rhythm, and grace. I also don’t think lifting weights is bad, by the way: but I do think it’s not enough if your goal is a truly functional body).

Even the details of one’s body change. My feet and ankles are like different animals: my arches are much stronger; they don’t touch the ground when I’m standing still. My shoes fit quite differently, now, than they did a year and a half ago.

As for the ankles … um, I have ankles now, not just cylinders from knee to foot with some bony knobs on the sides ;)

Some of the changes, though, are harder to measure.

I think my legs and arms, in particular, look more graceful than they did — but how exactly do you quantify that?

I have watched classmates who, a little more than a year ago, struggled to execute smooth ronds de jambe even without port de bras develop the ability to coordinate arms and legs simultaneously; to execute quick ronds and slow port de bras at the same time. Ballet is very good at teaching one to pat one’s head while rubbing one’s tummy.

As for me, I feel more capable than I used to (which is funny, because if you have ever ridden a bike 100 miles in the rain, you know that can make you feel pretty capable).

I have rediscovered my instinct for and joy in movement — and, curiously, I experience the sensation of light, free, buoyant movement in my dreams now, which I hadn’t in some while. It won’t surprise me if my flying dreams return.

I have watched my classmates discover, rediscover, or expand their capacities for free, expressive movement. There is nothing as awesome, by the way, as watching a room full of women from their late forties through their sixties go flying across the floor with the joy, grace, and aplomb of young girls, unless it’s flying along with them!

Perhaps most importantly, though, I’ve regained a sense of bodily agency that I didn’t realize I had lost (I may have said this before).

I lost a lot of that to the experience of violent sexual abuse, but even more to the side-effects of heavy psychotropics.

I loved ice-skating as a kid, but my first attempt to skate after starting lithium (along with, frankly, half of the existing psychopharmacopaiea) was an experience of stunning betrayal: gone were the balance and equilibrium that had been the source of so much pride and delight. Gone was the command of jumps, leaps, and turns invented in the spot, cribbed from TV, or translated from ballet class.

I could wobble in large ovals around the rink as well as my peers, and I could still scull backwards, but that was all.

I felt utterly betrayed by my own body (again), which was devastating — but I kept it to myself. I was fifteen and nobody had told me that lithium alone could disrupt equilibrium, coordination, and proprioception, never mind lithium-plus-everything.

I thought that I would simply have to accept the loss of myself as a physical being; that it was simply part of whatever was wrong with me.

I don’t think I fully regained my coordination fully until I got back into the ballet studio; I remember how difficult it seemed, when I was doing Muay Thai, to get my arms and legs to work together (it was rather either-or: if the legs were right, the arms were wrong, and vice-versa). And yet, once in a while, things would click back together, and for a second a steely dancer’s grace would visit itself upon me and my coach would shout, “Holy ****, where did that come from? Where was it five minutes ago?”

I couldn’t answer. I didn’t know. The circuits were still pretty corroded, you could say.

Ballet had transformed that, too.

I feel as if I can trust my body; as if it largely does what I ask it to do (okay: except when it doesn’t).

I can ask my body to attempt something it has never done with fair confidence that it will at least approximate respectably, just as it did when I was a kid.

This feels like a miracle.

I suppose some of that change might be measurable to the most sophisticated gadgets of neuroscience (or, well, might have been, if baselines had been established by prior tests), but I don’t think it really matters.

Subjectively, I increasingly see and experience my body as one that is strong, graceful, and capable.

Objectively, I am able to measure change in the studio: I am objectively able to do things now that I couldn’t a year ago.

At the end of the day, though, I suspect that the subjective experience matters more.

Not to say that the objective one isn’t important — it’s profoundly useful in some regards, not least in knowing one’s own current capabilities (I’m not going to try to replicate the famous variation from Le Corsair just yet; I’m confident, not crazy).

But it’s the subjective experience that drives us to seek, push against, and ultimately transcend the limits of those capabilities. The subjective experience tells us to reach beyond — to say, instead of never, simply not yet.

We grow not by resting in the knowledge of what we can do, but by pursuing the question of what we might do, if we try.

Which is to say, the first time I tried saut de Basque, I nearly landed right on my as…pirations. Ahem. My aspirations. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Now, saut de Basque is just another tool on my choreographic workbench; one I can grab and use where it fits.

If I hadn’t been willing to try, though — to reach beyond what were then the limits of my capability — it wouldn’t be, and I couldn’t.

I was willing (even eager) to try because dancing taught me, one again, to trust my body … and that is both the most subjective and the greatest transformation ballet has wrought upon this body — and upon me, the guy now thoroughly inhabiting this body — yet.

*I still have deep misgivings about this.

Part of me wants to recklessly conclude that ballet, in sufficient quantity, tends to reshape bodies in its own image … but I still think that’s only half the picture. I still think there’s a fair bit of self-selection pressure; that as those of us whose bodies are inclined to tend towards the predominant balletic aesthetic do so, those whose bodies aren’t thusly inclined may feel increasingly as if they don’t and can’t fit, and might simply find somewhere else to dance, or stop dancing altogether.

The dancers of diverse aesthetics who do stay seem to mostly be individuals of very strong character who have both solid support networks and deep emotional maturity — but since those characteristics largely coincide with the ones necessary to persist in the madness that is the study of ballet, it’s hard to say whether they’re causative or merely correlative.

It’s hard to say, because we don’t exactly take exit surveys. People just stop coming to class.

That still really feels like a problem.

Monday Class: Click!

Click! is the sound of “getting it” — and while there are a few awkward spots today, there were also a lot of click! moments.

I have noticed, in the past month or so, that I feel the small muscles in my hips and throughout my legs far more subtly than I used to.

I suppose this is part of the process of ballet — much like pitch training when you’re learning to sing. As a singer, you often begin by learning to sing pitches and scales: fourths, thirds, and so forth come next, then eventually chromatic scales as you learn to feel your vocal apparatus more subtly.

In ballet, first you are simply happy to get your leg off the ground (or something like that); then you learn, perhaps, lead back with your knee; then you learn to also rotate your heel forward while keeping the knee back; later, your begin to feel all the subtle little goings-on deeper within your leg that allow you to do this cleanly, with maximum turnout, while maintaining freedom of movement. Presumably, down the line somewhere, there’s some even more sublime destination.

Bizarrely, in the midst of learning all of this, I have somehow lost my petit battement (or, well, lost its speed). I assume it will return, in time, better than it was — but I’m glad we didn’t do petit battement today.

What we did do was a really nice combination with assemblés en tournant to one of the really lively bits from Swan Lake. That was fun.

It went:
Pas de Bourée
Assemblée (no change)
… Repeat going the other way.

Doing all chassées, all tournants, or alternating were also options. I did the alternating version once on each side, but I liked the “one chassé; three tournants” version better.

You guys, it felt like flying.

That was our closing combination; the one immediately before it ended with:
Pas de bourré-Chassé to fourth
Fouette to attitude

Which looked and sounded harder than it was, provided you were doing it right. At first, I for some reason thought the second-to-last step was a pique with extension avant. That version was way harder.

We are all getting better; our whole class. It’s very encouraging.

Anyway, that’s it for now. I am writing some thoughts about ballet and my body; I’ll probably get those up here tomorrow-ish.

À Bientôt!

Thanksgiving & Stuff, 2015

I’m writing this largely as a note-to-self, so it will be a tad light on actual content :)

  • Monday class only next week. No class Wednesday or Saturday.
  • The GC2B vest works well enough that I can just wear the compression tank over it if the studio’s warm enough.
  • I need to remember to make a bazillion rolls for Thursday (we’re doing dinner at Kelly’s).
  • Fathom Events is broadcasting both Balanchine’s Nutcracker from NYCB(5 and 10 December, 2015) and The Lady of the Camellias from Bolshoi Ballet … so even if you can’t make it to live, local ballet for whatever reason, you might be able to catch one of those. If you don’t have class then, of course.
    • So that’s it for now.

      À Bientôt!


      Et maintenant, en français:

      J’éris ce que la plupart du temps une note à mois-même, afin de ne pas avoir autent de contenu.

      • Leçon à lundi seulement à la semaine prochaine. Pas de leçon à mecredi ou samedi.
      • Le gilet GC2B fonction assez bien de porter le maillot de compression avec il si le studio est assez chaud.
      • Je ne dois pas oublier de faire un bazillion petit pains pour jeudi (nous dînerons chez Kelly).
      • Evénements Fathom diffuse “Le Casse-Noisette” de Balanchine du NYCB et “La Dame aux Cam´lias” du Bolchoï, donc même si vous ne pouvez pas aller au ballet local, vous pourriez être en mesure d’aller à l’un de ceux. Si vous n’avez de leçon, bîen sur.

      C’est tout pour l’instant.

      See you later!


      I’m going to try to make myself do this “semi-manually translating the post” thing every now and then to at least attempt to bail out the rusting, leaky dinghy that is my command of la langue française.

      Where I discover giant holes, I’m calling on Google Translate. When Google Translate insists on a weird, idiomatic phrasing that seems wrong, I paraphrase (for example, Teh Googs really wanted the “rapeller” form of “remember,” rather than “souvenir” — but AFAIK the sense of “rapeller” is more like to recall something from the past rather than to try to keep something your Golden-Retrievery brain for like four more days … so I just re-routed via “must not forget”/”je ne dois pas oublier*”).

      When all else fails, maybe I’ll just make stuff up — because if it works when you forget the combination, it should also work when you forget the entire French language … right?

      *Turns out that I could have just used a “penser à faire” form (perhaps “J’ai besoin de penser à faire…”). Oh, well.

Saturday Class: Pretty Decent, All Things Considered

I did haul my butt out of bed on time this morning, and since I had everything ready to go (including instant coffee already in the Hydra flask and granola bars sitting next to it so even I couldn’t forget them), I made it out the door more or less on time with everything.

… Which is good, because the bus was early, and pulled away from my stop as I was rolling down to it.

So TIL (that’s Internets for “today I learned”) that I can still bang out a 27 MPH flat sprint while wearing a peacoat and only half-awake. I guess occasionally mania has its advantages o.O

Class itself was actually much better than I expected. Thanks to coffee and Adderall, I was generally able to remember the combinations and execute them, so most of my corrections were technical (our instructor didn’t have to shout, “Inside leg!” at me, for example) — particularly, launching my turns Up, à le Balanchine.

I also noticed, though it was not mentioned, that I decoupled from passé too soon once.

I mostly made it through the combinations, though for some reason I kept losing count on the final one (a glissady-thing that was quick and ziggy-zaggy). I think at that point I was more or less just kind of tired, mentally, though I didn’t feel it physically.

I do feel better, mentally. Ballet is good like that.

Now, off to four hours of Berg…

My Brain Hates Me Right Now, And Maybe If I Write About It, It Will Shut Up

As you may have gathered from Friday evening’s post, I am wrestling with insomnia. Possibly also a touch of dysphoric mania on-ramp action. It’s par for the course (onset of winter, hormones being wacky, somewhat stressed out), familiar enough, but still difficult.

In a comment on my earlier post, Cabrogal referred to that state in which your mind is still blazingly awake and alert but insomnia has begun to make your body tired. I can relate: that’s where I am tonight. I felt tired at 9:30 PM and crawled into bed. Despite many efforts to sleep, I’m still awake.

When I close my eyes, my mind whirls away at 3,000,000 miles per hour: musical compositions (which arrive with regularity at the onset of mania) playing themselves at various tempi (often inappropriate ones), sometimes elaborating themselves into staggering crab-canons that wheeze and clatter along like seige engines. Hard and bad thoughts intermittently surface. I try to just acknowledge them and let them go, but they persist. None of this feels like a conscious process; in fact, the music leaves little room for intentional thought.

When I’m just having difficulty falling asleep (read: almost every night), I tell myself stories. Apparently, my stories are very boring, because often they do the job. (Okay, so actually I think they just distract me from the horrid life-long anxiety about being unable to fall asleep — another trait El Roberto and I share)

When my brain won’t stop musicking, I often can’t tell myself stories. I can’t “hear” them (more like see/feel/smell/hear them) over the din of my mental calliope hammering out my setting of Psalm 137, which is actually a lovely piece of music, but not like this.

It’s almost 3:30. If a miracle occurs and I get to sleep soon, I should be okay in ballet class. I don’t want to keep missing class. I don’t want this to be my new reality, always sliding away from the thing I love the most (after Denis, anyway).

In Which I Reflect On What I’ve Done

Today was a very mixed day.

I accomplished a ton of stuff around the house (you guys, I even ironed things!) and then completely lost the plot.

My frustration tolerance has been through the floor the past couple of days (Hormones! Declining sunlight! Sleep deprivation! Yay!), and I hope today was its nadir, because I’d be totally good with being over this.

To be entirely fair to myself, I did succeed in holding it together for longer than I might have: it took the combination of a huge spill (spills are a meltdown trigger I’m having trouble shifting), a loudly-ringing phone, and a cascade of other Things Going Wrong All At Once to finally drive me over the edge into a fridge kicking, door-slamming meltdown.

To be entirely honest with myself, though, I might have headed that whole episode off at the pass if I had listened to the signals in my head that were saying, “Hey, maybe it’s time to sit down and chillax before you lose it,” instead of being all like “NO I JUST NEED TO FINISH THIS ONE THING … AND THIS ONE … and this one …”

It probably also would’ve helped if I’d realized I was in Low Blood Sugar Land. Oy vey.

Denis happened to be just getting up from a nap at the same time that I hit Hormonal-Bipolar-Aspie-ADHD Defcon 5. After, when I was busy being all mad at myself because in those moments I feel like All The Work I Have Done Is For Naught, he came into the room, asked me what was up (I had the presence of mind to not be like, “NothingEverythingIsFine”), hugged me and said he gets it; that it’s okay to be screaming mad at the world sometimes — and that it might be a better strategy to actually scream at the world, even.

And I was all like, “Um. Oh.”

Because, to be honest, that never occurred to me. I mean, that actually, like, Using My Words (Loudly) might be a possible response to frustration of that calibre (which is, for me at least, a very physical, visceral experience).

In short: I recognize that other people use their words when frustrating crap happens; I also can do this up to a point — it just never occurred to me that maybe other people do experience explosive frustration* like I do, but have maybe actually figured out how to respond to it verbally, or at least vocally.

Which is interesting.

I had a long talk with El Roberto about this a while ago. We are both very high-functioning in many ways (and not so much in other ways) but I go thermonuclear way more easily than he does. In fact, I didn’t even realize it was a thing that ever happens to him until back in May — and I’ve known him for ages.

This may be because of the whole hyperactivity component, which he doesn’t have, and which means I’m just generally a lot more keyed-up than he is. It may also be a function of the fact that he grew up in a house in which verbal expression of emotions was valued, whereas I didn’t. Like, he is more able to talk about feelings and yell when he’s frustrated than I am.

Regardless, I have historically coped with most “loud” emotions fairly non-verbally — in part because of my upbringing (which brooked no yelling, least of all incoherent yelling), and in part because strong emotions make it much harder for me to access my language circuits, so to speak — it’s like they shunt system resources away from my language co-processor.

It never occurred to me, though, that these could be active parts of my embarrassing tendency to be a grown-ass person who occasionally gets in fights with the fridge without actually being drunk.

Yelling incoherently isn’t currently in my behavioral repertoire at all (not even when startled or frightened) — but it seems like a step up from kicking the fridge, to be honest (also less likely to injure my feet — foot injuries are like the Ballet Bogeyman).

It’s also a behavior that’s less likely to be perceived by normal people (not people like me, for whom yelling and sudden loud noises are really pretty terrifying) as scary and anti-social. Though my fridge-kicking frenzies are in reality more akin to a freaked-out horse kicking whatever’s in front of (or behind) it, I am definitely aware that they can seem a lot like the threatening behaviors of jerks.

The difference lies in intent — controlling jerks intend for their physical explosions to imply threat. In my case, there is no threat intended. There’s really nothing intended, at those points; I’m largely beyond higher-order stuff like that in those moments — but it’s not hard to see how a threat could be perceived.

Anyway, most people apparently find someone yelling, “AAAAGH!  I’M SO FRUSTRATED! BLARGH! GARGLESNARP!” or whatever much less frightening than someone slamming a door or kicking the fridge or throwing all the hangers on the floor (which did not happen today, but almost did, which probably should have been the clue that the laundry could wait). I don’t, but that doesn’t mean I can’t try to adjust my behavior.

I am wondering if I could learn to yell when I’m melting down instead of slamming doors, etc.

It could be difficult for a couple of reasons — one, I have done a ton of work on this and meltdowns of this calibre aren’t that common anymore for me (Yay!), which will make it harder to do the actual behavioral work in question; two, it never occurred to me that this was even possible because (believe it or not) language is hard for me. But I might be able to start by just learning to make vocal sounds, even if they’re non-verbal and incoherent.

It would be nice not to worry about causing Denis (or anyone else, I hope) to feel unsafe.

Anyway, it’s something I’ll be trying to figure out.

For now, though, I’m going to try to figure out how to get to sleep. Advanced Class tomorrow, then opera.

À bientôt!

*Seriously, this reaction is fight-or-flight, survival-mode stuff. Ugh.

Come to think of it, maybe I could also try the “flight” option? (Another thing my upbringing didn’t really allow for.)

Like, instead of kicking the fridge and slamming the door, maybe I could just run down the stairs and then run around in the basement until my limbic system stops blaring its klaxons? Hm. Not that I have too much volitional thought happening in those moments, but maybe I could somehow rewire myself so flight, rather than fight, is the default response.

Wednesday Class: Coming Together, Coming Apart

Ha! Started this post yesterday, then totally forgot to post it.


Here you go:

I have an appointment at 12:30, so I just did barre.

It was a lovely barre today with a nice adagio before grand battement. Brienne spent a lot of time with me — getting my développés aligned and higher, refining my épaulement, and making sure I was keeping my knees straight.

(Addendum: for me at least, really keeping the turnout and alignment solid during developpé makes a huge difference in getting the extensions higher. I’m not sure whether this is just because it uses the muscles more efficiently or if my hip impinges much sooner when I’m not correctly turned out, but it’s something to keep in mind if you’ve hit a snag there.)

My knees are still my ballet kryptonite: I’m figuring out where “straight” is, but since it’s just shy of locking my hyperextensions, I sometimes overcorrect when I’m concentrating on another detail.

For a long time, I just locked those puppies without realizing it, but that causes two problems: first, it’s bad for your knees; second, it can make transitions and weight-shifts awkward. It can also make you feel faint when you’re just standing there,but that’s a different problem.

So instead, these days, I focus on keeping my knees straight and pulled up without locking them, which can be hard, because I’m combating a lifetime of standing with my knees locked both in and out of class.

Ballet is like that: you’re doing so many things all at once, and they all need to be as perfect as possible. It takes time to train the muscle memory, and each time you add a new element (you’ve got the feet, legs, alignment, port de bras, and even the combination; now let’s sharpen up your épaulement!), the cognitive load is just immense.

Fortunately, it gets better, as I’m learning — both in terms of getting all the motor programming in place and in terms of correcting more easily when something isn’t quite right. Like, I no longer have to concentrate hard on my feet to correct them; I just sort of send a balloon of awareness towards them when they do funny things, and they get and stay sorted (at least for a while).

Things come together so much more readily now.

They came back apart, today, when I started really concentrating on épaulement in complex combinations — especially when, in addition, I suddenly received these amazing jolts of body-awareness during fondue and rond de jambe (Ohai! I can feel my hip and thigh doing the right thing!).

The part that dissolved, interestingly, was my command of the combination itself — so I’d do part of it, get a string of good corrections, work them, and immediately forget the details of the combo :P (At least once, I forgot it so badly that I couldn’t remember how it started when we turned to do the other side o.O’)

So then I’d be all, “Développé, fondu, extend, tendu, close fifth … which way was next? Oh, heck, I’ll just go à la seconde and pray.”

Since the exercise in question when avant, arrière, à la seconde, that didn’t entirely work. Though I guess doing the wrong thing well is still better than doing the wrong thing badly!

On the other hand, my développé is about a thousand times better than it was a few weeks ago, so there’s that.

Fortunately, we were all kind of faking it through bits of some of the combinations — so it wasn’t just me, and I didn’t feel like a complete disaster.

In other news, the new vesty thing worked just fine during barre, though it was too chilly this morning to take off my top layer (I actually wished I hadn’t forgotten my sweater).

We’ll see how it goes at center and across the floor on Saturday. It’s less itchy and cooler than my other ones, so I think I’m a convert at this point.

But for now, I must jet(é) off to catch a bus.

À bientôt!

Dances with Moobs: OMG, You Guys


I have written before about the whole gynecomastia thing and its attendant effects on me as a dancer.

So, until now I have never found a gynecomastia vest that made me 100% comfortable in a tight, fitted shirt.

Well, that may just have changed. I found a bunch of reviews for an option produced by a relatively new company, GC2B, and was so impressed that I bit the bullet and bought one.

They’re made and marketed with transguys in mind, which might be a bonus for a scrawny, fine-boned dude like me whose Moobs are mostly just loose skin leftover from the crazy side-effects of Risperdal and whatever cocktail of anticonvulsants and lithium I was taking at the time.

Regardless, all I can say is OMG OMG OMG! Look, here I am wearing just the new vest under the wicking shirt I wear to ballet class, and the upper half* of me is all Halberg-esque and stuff!

Also, this thing is hella comfortable this far (but I haven’t worn out to class yet).

Also, as you can see, I look very studious in my glasses, which is probably good because I’m busy writing admissions essays.

Anyhow, further reports to follow after this thing makes its class debut.


I had written a long and pithy caption for this, but apparently using WP’s new visual editor to make a quick change to it was a terrible idea and resulted in the whole caption being lost.

*The lower half is still all Nijinsky-like, though.

Strangers In The Land: Chapter 2

Author’s Note: I remembered to copy-and-paste into WP’s Visual editor this time in order to retain as much of the formatting as possible, but I probably won’t read through this ’til tomorrow morning at the earliest. As usual, feel free to comment both on any weird formatting glitches and on the finer points of craft, storytelling, and so forth.



I was thirteen when I first laid eyes on Arthur Winterbourne.

It was July: full summer, even in Connecticut. A sapping heat bowled in oppressive waves from the chipseal roads and a hot wind roiled out from the land to move upon the steely face of Long Island Sound like the spirit of G-d before the creation of the world.

Insofar as such a thing is possible on Long Island Sound in July, the beach lay deserted. Now and then, a disembodied voice would shout down the searing sand, “Not so far out, Jimmy!” or “Allison, watch your sister!” but for the most part the only sounds were wind and waves and the yearning cries of herring gulls.

It was not, in short, the kind of day that gets you moving.

Read the rest of this entry

Advanced Class

So it turns out that, actually, I hold up fairly well in Advanced class. This wasn’t my greatest ballet day ever, but there was nothing I flatly couldn’t do.

I got another useful correction on my turns: evidently, I’ve been dropping out of passé before competing my turns sometimes. Derp.

So paying attention to that makes my turns prettier and more reliable. It should also make my doubles, etc, much better. I think what I’m doing is anticipating the “landing,” as if the floor isn’t going to be there anymore when I put my working leg back down … to which I can say only, “Hurr de durr.”

I was having one of those mildly dysphoric days: every time I looked in the mirror, I was all like, “Yay! Long, slender, graceful arms and — WTF! I am made from two completely different people :(”

Fortunately, I was on a wall barre, and for some reason my brain chose to more or less accept the rear-wheel drive reality of my body by the time we got to little jumps.

So there you have it. Advanced class did not cause me to burst into flames. I acquitted myself acceptably well. Nobody died.

That said, I must now dash off to buy groceries.

I think I shall enjoy this new routine.


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