Ugh, horrible night last night at the studio. First, the second I exited the subway and saw what I saw, I had to ask myself why, why, why do I have to go to a studio located in the Times Square area??? And, if I must go to a studio located in this madhouse, why did I not remember to cancel my two-days-before-the-ball-drops lesson???
Needless to say, it took me twenty minutes to get from 42nd Street all the way up to 44th, two whole blocks… Why do tourists want to visit at this time of year??? Maybe I should listen to myself and go to Rio some time other than Carnival… Hmmm..
Anyway, then the lesson. I just couldn’t understand anything Jacob was saying, and he was being really rather impatient. We practiced my kick splits in the air — where he gives me his arm and I push down and propel myself up about three feet, do the splits as quickly as I can, pointing my toes of course, then come down about 1/10th of a second later. So much harder than it seems to split, straighten legs and make the perfect line, point toes, then come down right away, and remember to do so on bent knees, bent ever so slightly — not so much so that the audience can actually TELL they’re bent, but bent enough so that you don’t kill your knees coming down on straight ones, and in HEELS… Ugh. We did it about twenty-five times. I was finally getting the hang of it, when he wanted to start on these crazy stretches, where I lean away from him as far as I can but while holding his hand. Apparently, I’m supposed to kind of give him my body weight, but kind of hold my own weight — which I don’t get AT ALL. Pasha always used to tell me, “you have to hold yourself; you’re responsible for your own weight, not me,” and sometimes he would even let go ever so quickly to see if I’d begin to fall. Of course I always would, scaring the crap out of me, and making me hold myself completely up giving the man NONE of my weight now. Now Jacob is telling me, “you’ve got to trust me and give me your weight; you’re not trusting me, and it’s not going to look right if you don’t lean completely away me so much so that you’ll fall if I let go.” What? I swear it’s the antithesis of what Pasha said, but he said it was not, and tried to explain how to both hold myself AND trust the guy and give him my full weight, but I didn’t really get it. I guess as time goes on, I will. Hopefully.
And then apparently I am doing too many ballet-like things because he kept telling me, “no releve, this isn’t ballet,” “no ballet hands,” ” no ballet develope; in ballroom we bend the standing leg,” no ballet this, and no ballet that, and so on. Funny thing is, it’s not like I’m a former ballet dancer. I only have childhood lessons taken long long ago, and as an adult, I’m only in basic ballet classes. So, I couldn’t understand most of the terms he was saying, and therefore couldn’t really understand what exactly I was doing that was too ballet. I mean, I go to bizillions of ballet performances, obviously, but can that really rub off in terms of your own dancing? I want to push myself as far as I possibly can, and learn as much as I can as quickly as I am able to, but I just wish so much I had more background so that I would know terms and different dance techniques and be able to differentiate between different styles of dance…
Then, bright and early this morning (sorry, this is total whiner blog today…), my mom called telling me my dad was all upset because apparently he watched the DVD of my most recent studio showcase that I sent him as a Christmas present and couldn’t find either of my routines on it. “Are they on your copy?” she asked. And, if so, can you point to him exactly where? Blech! Of course, I hadn’t yet watched the copy of the tape I kept for myself, because I just hadn’t yet worked up the courage to do so (there’s nothing I HATE more than watching myself dance!). I told her to hold on, popped the blasted thing into the machine, confirmed they were both there while nearly throwing up in digust over my hideous lines, total lack of rhythm, missed steps, horrible gorilla arms, enormous, elephantine hands, etc. etc. etc. I nearly forgot she was still on the damn line. When she later called me back after reporting back to my dad, I found that he actually saw the whole tape and just didn’t recognize me. Lovely feeling when your own parent doesn’t recognize you!!!!!
Anyway, in an attempt to overcome my self-disgust, I marched straight out to my local bakery, and got this perfect early morning meal — chocolate fudge cake and Hazelnut coffee with about four scoops of sugar; a.k.a. the breakfast of pigs:
And, as soon as the liquor store opened,
Spent the afternoon by turns in front of the TV hysterically watching my hideous performances, then in front of the mirror, trying to do the lines Jacob was trying to teach me. Ugh. It just wasn’t going anywhere. Finally decided to just give it a break, and plopped down in front of the computer to read blogs. Serendipitously found these lovely little words of wisdom from Matt — thanks Matt!
When I got bored of blogs, I decided to go visit my local Barnes & Noble, to use the gift card my mom sent me as part of her Christmas present. Came away with these wonderful finds:
Thomas Pynchon‘s new book “Against the Day” is so damn huge (nearly 1100 pages), I don’t even think it’s going to fit in my dance bag (with all the other stuff I have to put in there, I mean), which means I’m gonna have a hard time carting it to and from work on the subway… Well, maybe it’s a better read for home anyway; looks pretty dense. I’m very excited though! This is a first edition by a future Nobel Prize winner after all 🙂 It’s a real investment — both in terms of the material my brain will absorb, and the item itself; am kind of surprised more people aren’t buying them all up…
Also, upon noticing it in the new paperbacks section, I couldn’t help picking up Julie Powell’s chick lit book that evolved from her blog (this is the woman I’d met a couple of weeks ago at the “Bloggers into Authors” panel discussion held by Media Bistro). And, couldn’t resist Dance Magazine which advertised on its cover this article inside entitled “Talking Back to the Ballet Bashers” presumably on the recent Lewis Segal criticism everyone was talking about for a while, which I couldn’t miss…
And then, came home and am blogging while watching
the Gerald Ford funeral. So sad; I feel so badly for his wife… And then, the Hussein execution is of course all over the news. And I have such conflicted feelings. I just don’t think anyone should be put to death for anything…
So, a sobering but less stressful end to a crazy, self-absorbed day… I do think I’m going to leave dance alone for the rest of the weekend. I’ll go back to hystericizing after the holiday! I need a break :/
Happy New Year everyone!