When I moved to Los Angeles, I fully intended on a full life change. Things were going to get better–I’d be safe, I’d indulge in clean air, I’d get a bike and a haircut and grow my own vegetables. Some of these things happened, but, for the most part, the changes that took place happened through serendipitus planning (re: actively putting myself in the right place at the right time).
One of these changes was attended classes. I wanted to take things that weren’t offered in Fresno–things I’ve always wanted to try but hadn’t had the opportunity to take advantage of.
So when my friend Michelle told me that she had found a studio offering a rock ‘n’ roll ballet class, I was delighted! I had trained as a ballet dancer up until I was 16 (corps de drop out–I knew it wasn’t my calling). Since then, I’ve missed dancing. I mean, I dance, and I have a blast, but I miss standing at a barre and sweating and aching.
I had no idea what I was in for. Michelle had taken the class before, and told me it was like a regular ballet class, but set to music like INXS. Are you kidding me? Our song at our wedding was “Love Will Never Tear Us Apart”. At ten dollars a pop, I had to check this out.
Michelle and I lady-dated over to The Sweat Spot in Silverlake on Saturday afternoon. I had my yoga pants, a tank top, and socks on (my ballet slippers had been abandoned along with my Nutcracker dreams ages ago). The class was small, about 15 people, and the lights were turned down.
Oh. My. GOD.
Ten minutes into barre, and I was breathing heavily. I knew then just how out of shape I was. There is nothing like a reality check! I remembered most of the terms and how to do many of these exercises, but had a hard time actually executing them. I was no longer strong! My body and brain were no longer one!
Our instructor’s name was Kristin, and was adorable and funny. She didn’t focus as much on technique (I came from a pretty rigorous training program, so of course, that’s what I compare to), but she did emphasize the “big picture” of movements. I loved this. I absolutely loved the chance to enjoy every way my body DOES move.
Our class was an hour and a half. After the barre, we set out in the middle of the room and practiced pirouettes and spotting. Oh, spotting! I had completely forgotten my arch nemesis, spotting! For whatever reason, I can spot to the right, but not to the left. Something to work on, and what’s lovely is that I can work on it everywhere!
Bjork, LCD Soundsystem, and some sexy Annie Lennox was our soundtrack. Lovely! It’s not what I typically listen to, and that’s what pleased me. It is a blessing to go someplace and have the chance to be a vessel for knowledge, and then allow your body to react.
I knew halfway through the class that I would be aching for the next 24 hours. That beautiful thigh muscle was letting me know that it was still there, more badass than ever, and I needed to take care of it!
We ended the class with a group bow, big smiles, and clapping. I felt so happy! I had not only survived something that I’d wanted to go back to for 14 frickin years, but I was going to be feeling it in the future! Talk about getting your money’s worth. I told Kristin that the class was awesome and I’d definitely be back.