Saturday, September 5, 2009

I am in Ballet Heaven!

Every once in a while, you come across the people who literally bring out the very best in you (and also the worst).  I have spent the last couple of  blogs bitching....for what?  Everyone has always told me that I the most happy go lucky person they have ever met.  Where did that girl go?  I will tell:  she got bitter about stupid things and let the debbie downers bring her down.  Enough.

So I have to say in the world of ballet, it is SO easy to get stuck in a rut with the same teacher.  I love Pam at Cincinnati Ballet.  She was so great for getting me back to where I was three years ago.  For those who don't know me, I had to stop ballet because of working on the cruise ships made it nearly impossible.  I started again this time last year and it has been a long and very painful road.  I am getting to the point though that I feel Pam isn't challenging me enough.  This is probably the reason why I put the pointe shoes on for center:  challenge.

I discovered De La Arts in Oakley via my artistic director (actually former A.D. since he needs to take a break), Kevin.  Him and I have rehearsed there because it was convenient for me but then I started taking classes and Mario just gives a hard class...for me it seems at least.  Or maybe I just like getting my butt kicked every once in a while.

So I have been down at De La Arts taking class for a couple weeks now because I haven't been able to make it to Pam's class because of work and school.  Today I got a one on one lesson with Mario.  He is the first teacher EVER to tell me I have a nice body and nice lines.  REALLY!  Short and muscular little me.  I was shocked (actually I am still in disbelief...but that is the difference between a Balanchine aesthetic and a more Modern/Realistic one).  But what I learned is that I am using my legs all wrong...I am working them too hard because I know they are my powerhouse.  

Mario also said I have great flexibility, especially in my back.  I laughed and said, "Shit!  You should have seen me 5 years ago."  He is also teaching me how to relax in turns because I get all tensed up during them in trying to execute doubles and triples.  

And then there was the epiphany:
"Kristi, I have taught you 3 times in the last 2 weeks and I have come to the conclusion that you are a straight forward, technical oriented, anal retentive dancer in class [ba ha ha ha...yes I know because everyone else has told me my technique sucks during auditions!].  Just let go and relax!  I have seen you perform and it is like watching 2 different people.  Stop being hard on yourself and let go!"

That's a novel idea!  So I did.  My turns were better and my jumps were lighter and quite frankly:  I WAS HAPPIER!

The long and the short of it:  Awesome Class today! 
Mario is officially on the list of all time favorite dance teachers!