Dec
08
2009

  This Is NOT Beer-League Softball

I had so much fun at my first ballet class! But it was way more hardcore than I expected. Remember your SAT analogies?

NYSC Ballet Workout : Old Crozet School Ballet Class :: Neighborhood Beer-League Softball : National Fastpitch Softball

I remembered several of the moves from my old ballet workout class, but in this ballet class proper the teacher was more focused on proper technique and using proper names for the moves than on making sure we got a good workout. Which is fine, but not something I was used to.

Interestingly, the ages of the women in the class ran the gamut. There was one teenager, one woman in her twenties, me, it looked like two women and the teacher were in their 40s-50s, and one probably in her 60s. All of them had taken the class starting in session #1 which was back in September, so I was without question the most clueless.

But the teacher was very nice, showed me some variations for some of the moves I could use until I get more flexible and/or more coordinated. I was not allowed to move my arms around, I had to keep them on my hips so I could focus on my legs and feet. Good advice, but I miss waving my arms around, that was always a fun part of the ballet workout. Well, I'll get there when I get there.

The older women generally seemed to be very knowledgeable about ballet, they didn't get lost as often as the younger half of the class. My guess is that most of them had years of ballet experience when they were younger, and they could do most of these simple little exercises in their sleep. I was relieved to see entire class was not populated by rail-thin women, just the teacher and the two girls younger than me. The rest of the women were normal-to-large. It was instructive to see what kind of ballet outfits they put together. Most favored tights & leotards with ballet skirts. I wonder if they just happened to have those items in their closet from before, or if they got them new for this class. I'll have to pay more attention to the colors next time. The youngest girl wore white tights with a black leotard but it looked a little dorky. The women's outfits were much more appealing, but I didn't have time to determine exactly why since I was busy trying to keep my legs turned out from the hip. I'm curious to see if they wear the same outfit every week, or if they mix it up. I'll probably wear my gray pants with blue top next week (this week I chose black pants with pink top). Those are my only two official dance outfits. . .

I had forgotten how awkward it is to turn your legs out from the hip. At this point, I am inflexible enough it requires constant concentration on my part to keep those knees pointed out. I'll have to practice around the house to get my hips loosened up before next week. And I'll also have to practice doing my plies without sticking my butt out behind me. I can do it, it just takes a lot of concentration. Concentration which I'm going to need to use to keep up with the different moves in our little routines.

Remembering what comes next in the routine is the hardest part for me. But if the routines are similar from week-to-week, I'll catch on. One of the problems with ADD is a deficient amount of working memory, which is why I need to rely on paper documentation so much when I do accounting. I need to see the source document next to the accounting ledger to check the numbers, I can't just look up the source document then remember the number when I check the ledger. It made me a very slow accountant, and it also makes me a very clumsy dancer until the routines get into long-term memory.

I can handle the first count of 8 fine, and even the second, but then when the whole set gets moved in another direction it throws me off since my mind can't handle it as just a variation of the first set, it's pretty much a whole new routine for me, and I can't remember it all. But I'll get there. The same thing happened to me at Jazzercize, and the NYSC dance classes. It took me way longer to learn the standard moves than it took most people, but once I got them memorized, I was fine.

The teacher was very accommodating, and said she'd be happy to work with me before class each week to help get me up to speed. I'll let her know about the ADD/working memory problem. Also that ADD also causes physical clumsiness. Not many people know that, it's not well-publicized like the whole attention part of the disorder. But getting more physical coordination is actually beneficial for people with ADD, because of the way it forges connections in the brain that don't happen naturally for us. So I'll try to stick with this.