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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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