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Is it All About Balance, or Not?

Another lively and entertaining blog from our guest blogger, Ms Mary E, during our Fit & Fab February!

All images here are copyright of Ballet4life and may not be reproduced with permission.
These images are of guest blogger Ms Mary E in rehearsal for Ballet4Life's annual Fundraising Dance Showcase

Greetings, dear and lovely ballet blog readers.Due to an avalanche of social and family commitments this week I have already blown my resolve to do class every day. Should never have said anything. It’s like telling everyone you’re giving up smoking or going on a diet. 

But the weather has been gorgeous and forgive myself, I must. Trouble is that it only takes three days away from class and my core turns to blancmange

I want to talk about balance. (Actually I don’t. I’m lying.)
I don’t want to talk about balance any more than I want to even think about pirouettes. Or looking like Shrek in a leotard. But I must face my fears and be grown up.
Balance is fine on flat. Yeah! Pulled up, strong supporting leg, fearsome eye line, neat retiré or whatever. ( Do you remember just prior to the election in 2017 and Theresa May’s mantra was “Strong and stable”? There were knowing sniggers in ballet classes all over the land at that time.)

Sadly, on demi-pointe, blancmange just doesn’t cut it. 
You’ve finished the exercise and it’s a simple matter of coup de pied in front, rise gracefully and take your hand off the barre. But it’s not simple. It’s upsetting and dreadful. A teacher once said to me it’s physics!  It’s all a simple matter of physics! Your weight is too far back so you put it forward a bit. Now it’s too far forward so put it back a bit again. Now it’s too far back ..... and so it ping pongs horribly on. I become nastily aware that others along the barre have been perfectly poised for at least 30 seconds. Probably doing a mental shopping list or wondering what to have for lunch, while I am bobbling around in a fury of frustration. That give away sound as your barre hand returns again and again for rescue.

Note to self: Don’t wear rings to class. Everyone will hear you!!!

But I don’t care because in a moment I’m going to dance so beautifully in the centre that I won’t give endless balances a second thought! Who needs them anyway? Turns out we all do. 
And my advice to myself last week about not going in the first group travelling on the diagonal if you don’t know it?  Double cringe.

I was scrolling through ballet video clips for inspiration and went back time and again to Marianella Nunez who does these miraculously sustained balances en pointe often at the end of a brutal circuit of the stage doing double/triple posé turns, flying leaps and so on. It looks effortless of course but she is also a fabulous actress. I wondered then if it might just be a question of confidence and drama. A sort of psycho balletic alchemy. I tried a posé piqué arabesque on that premise in the kitchen and stayed up for so long that I made cheese on toast for three people and stacked the dishwasher.

Tip of the week: Stop lying to get attention.

See you at the barre you gorgeous people xx


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Ballet4life now starts its 16th Anniversary of doing what it does best: delivering top quality dance classes and courses to adult learners with love, care, passion, precision, and professionalism.

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Happy fit and fab February all!We are delighted to introduce Ms Mary E, our new guest blogger! Welcome, Mary!

Photo: Mary dancing in our Int/Adv Ballet Classes. Images are Copyright of Ballet4Life.

Greetings, ballet blog readers. 
I’m Mary. I go to a range of Ballet4Life classes and it’s fair to say that I am obsessed with dancing.  If you’re reading this then you probably are a little bit too. I recently retired from full-time work and have vowed to take my dance training as far as I can, by doing class most days of the week when possible. Despite a long term minor knee injury, my body still allows me to do strange things in pink tights, so here goes. 
I will share my experiences here in the hope that they might resonate with some of you and possibly inspire others to ‘have a go’. Also if I see any dance performances I will tell you about them. For any thwarted ballerinas/ ballerinos of yesteryear, or any grown-ups wanting to start from the beginning, Ballet4life offers the best there can …
Limericks, heels, dynamics, class and more!
Ms Mary E is back with her next bubbly and bright blog for all ballet/ dance/theatre lovers!

Hello again, thrill-seekers in tights!  I threw together a couple of limericks for you to start the week.
There was an old dancer in Ealing Who had a peculiar feeling With one leg on the barre She pliéd too far And hit her head hard on the ceiling.
If you look up quite hard at the ceiling Of St Peter’s dance studio in Ealing There’s a tiny balloon That deflated too soon And got stuck there - it’s cute and appealing
The first is clearly ridiculous (as limericks generally are) but the second is true. Have a look next time you do class at St Peter’s. Floor barre would give you the best view. Which limerick do you prefer? I need feedback from all you gorgeous dancers. In fact, I had an idea that I might open a Ballet4life themed limerick competition! Post your contributions in the comments section and let’s see what literary talent lies beneath your exqui…