Wednesday, June 11, 2008

After the Dance

Wow, that dance class really kicked my derriere. If that's "beginning" then "advanced" must involve the Kirov. I could barely follow and keep up in spite of having taken ballet as a kid and again in college, and then doing the NYC Ballet workout DVD. I was able to figure out some of the steps by translating the French and then taking it literally. But it's exactly what I wanted it to be: a killer workout. I definitely was breathing hard and working up a sweat, and it may be my imagination, but I feel like my legs are already a little firmer. I'm not quite as sore today as I was afraid I'd be, given that I was already a bit sore and shaky when leaving the class. As soon as I got home, I did some pretty intense stretching, then took a hot shower, massaged my legs, and then rubbed them with Ben-Gay. Today I just have that kind of vague slight soreness that says I did a tough workout. I plan to walk to the library and then do a good yoga routine, and maybe I'll be mobile tomorrow (the second day is often when the real soreness hits). I'll try to do the ballet workout DVD a couple of times before the next class, and then maybe I'll be more able to keep up.

I do have trouble making my arms do something that's different from my legs. Outside a dance class, I'm generally pretty coordinated and graceful, as long as I'm not lost in la-la land, but I felt like such a klutz in class. However, I'm not the oldest in the class, I'm not the least experienced, and I'm not in the worst shape. I was the only one just wearing a leotard and tights without a skirt, shorts or sweatpants over them. I guess I looked like I had body confidence. But I got so hot in just the leotard and tights that I can't imagine putting anything over them.

I think most of the childhood obsessions that I pursued were inspired by books. I'd taken a "dance" class as a preschooler that amounted to wearing pretty costumes and twirling around -- more of a "creative movement" thing than real dance, but then when I was six I read a book about ballerinas, and suddenly I just had to take ballet. When we moved to a new place and the new school year started, I eagerly signed up for ballet class. And I hated it. Now I know that most of ballet class is essentially exercise to get your muscles to a point where they can do all the dance stuff, but when you're seven, you mostly want to twirl around on the floor to music. I don't know if the teacher explained the point of all the exercise or if it's even possible to explain that to seven-year-olds, but I was so disappointed that we never danced in dance class. All we ever did were leg lifts and plies. Now that I'm an adult, I want all that exercise and could take or leave the actual dancing part, though we did some of that last night. I think if we'd done even a little bit of the kind of center work we'd done in this class, I might have stuck with ballet a little longer as a kid. Then again, I might have read a book about something else and become obsessed, no matter what. I went from ballet to gymnastics, and then there was the horse phase (I read Black Beauty), though that didn't result in riding because there wasn't a place to take riding lessons without owning a horse (we did look).

On another topic, it's funny how much of a response I got to the mention of Gilbert. I had so many relationships like that as a kid, so that really resonates with me. I'd be hyper-competitive with a boy in school, but then that meant we also spent a lot of time together and it was this whole attraction/repulsion, push/pull thing going on. Sadly, none of mine ever grew into real romance, a la Anne and Gilbert (and I so need to get the first two miniseries on DVD. The third one Does Not Exist.). I may try to go to that show tomorrow. I had grand plans about catching the bus behind my house and not even driving, but it seems like the DART system is designed to keep people from using public transportation. I can catch a bus from my house to the transit center fine, and then it's a quick and easy connection to the bus that goes to the train station. But the buses that go to and from the train station are scheduled to arrive and depart five minutes before the train. So there's at least a 25-minute (sometimes longer) wait to catch the next train after the bus arrives, or to catch the next bus after the train arrives. The train itself is faster than driving downtown (especially at rush hour), but taking the bus to the train station means that a nine-mile trip takes an hour and a half (including waiting time). Then there's the fact that on the way home, I'd be cutting it close to catch the last bus back to my neighborhood, depending on how late the show runs. I could probably do the whole trip and just bring a book for the waiting if I had control of my schedule and could be sure I caught certain buses and trains, but without knowing the show running time and with that being late in the day, it's a bit risky. I think I'll drive to the train station and avoid the worst part of the drive while avoiding the worst part of the public transit route.

Now to the library before it gets too hot to walk.

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